Caring for African American Hair

Hello Beauty Brains,

I am an African American woman with natural very kinky hair.  I also have dandruff, so I must wash my twice hair weekly with a shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione per my dermatologist. I am also allergic to the preservative meisothiazolinone which is in the new Head and Shoulders co-wash that contains zinc pyrithione which might avoid drying out my hair as much as shampoos do. I know you are aware of the fact that my hair type tends to be dry and break off easily because you have mentioned his several times before. Help!!

Can you definitively tell me that best hair care routine for kinky hair types?  How often should our hair be washed?  What kinds of shampoos work best? What type of conditioners should we use?  Also, for those of us with dandruff, is there anything we can do to avoid drying out our hair with harsh dandruff shampoos?

 Thank you soooo much for the informative podcast.  



  • Hi Robben. Can. we tell you definitively what's best for you kinky hair? No because I'm not sure there's a single definitive answer. Your type of hair certainly needs more conditioning. And if you find dandruff shampoos to harsh you may have a challenge finding one you like because commercial products use the same basic surfactant types for the most part. I don't recall seeing a dandruff shampoo with ultra-mild surfactants like the isethionates (although it's certainly possible that one exists.) One off the wall option is to check with your dermatologist. Mine prescribed a custom blend of anti-dandruff actives in a very mild, baby shampoo type base that's unlike anything I've seen on the commercial market. 

    For other suggestions about how to care for your hair, I think you'll be better off with one of the websites that focusses on kinky/curly hair like Naturally Curly.

    Good luck!
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