What Makes African Hair Styles Distinct From Other Regions of the World?


Quick Answer

African hair is generally tightly coiled due to the nature of the hair follicle itself. Individuals of African descent have hair follicles that are flattened and very curly, producing very curly hair.

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Full Answer

African hair produces more oil and sebum than hair in other ethnic groups. However, due to the nature of the hair coil, the oil does not get distributed down the entire hair shaft which results in very dry hair in practice. Those with ethnically African hair often need to use hair oils to compensate for the hair's dryness and coarseness. The oils can also act as a lubricant when brushing the hair, as tight, coiled hair can be very difficult to brush. African hair cannot be treated with the same hair products that are used for Caucasian and Asian hair but rather needs cleansers that are much gentler.

Hair follicles in the scalp dictate the shape and hair fiber type. Asian hair tends to be straight, dense and thick due to the shape of the hair follicle. Caucasian hair can be varied with respect to the shape of the hair follicle. This results in Caucasian individuals having hair that is straight, curly or wavy. Additionally, differences in hair color can also impact the density of Caucasian hair.

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