Skin-Hair Care for Black Men

Starting early when it comes to taking care of your beautiful black skin is the very first thing for you to do. Skin care does have its personal approach, but some genetic makeup may cause some specific problems.

African-American men present higher risks for developing small bumps on the face due to texture and growth pattern. Razor bumps and ingrown hairs are common skin issues for black men, even though they’re caused by shaving most of the time.

Hyperpigmentation (dark spots) is another typical problem among African-American men, but so is dry skin. Going through the skin care basics is in fact essential when addressing the skin care tips so scroll down for a full explanation.

The basics

The first thing to begin with is to know which type of skin you have, so you get an idea about which type of daily care you should develop. Skin types may be normal, oily, dry, sensitive and a combination of them. You should know which type of skin you have so that you get the right cosmetic products, after all.

Here are the things to consider when taking care of your skin:

  • Wash

Good washing is one of the most important things to do when it comes to skin care. You need to wash in the morning and before going to bed at night so that you efficiently remove all environmental buildup and debris,

A great choice for sensitive and dry skin are cream cleansers, but your skin is normal or oily, you could give it a try with some foaming cleansers.

  • Exfoliate

Washing isn’t always enough for getting rid of dead skin or some deeply buried dirt (like in blackheads). You should also consider exfoliating from time to time, just to give your skin a proper and deeper cleansing. Don’t overdo it though and exfoliate daily as the whole scrubbing action may be too hard on your skin.

Once a week should be enough for exfoliating, but you should pay attention to your skin’s needs and do it as often as you feel like it.

  • Tone

If this is the first time you read about skin toners, it’s important to know that they’re a liquid that you apply to face with a cotton ball or a pad. A skin toner is going to help you remove any traces of dirt on your face after you washed it, but it’s also great as it minimizes your pores.

Try to use a gentler toner if your skin is sensitive, but do use a stronger astringent on your nose, where the risks for developing blackheads are higher.

  • Moisturize

This is the final step for you to take when it comes to a proper skin care routine and you shouldn’t skip it under any circumstances. You are able to maintain your skin youthful and firm when you’re hydrating it and the market gives you plenty of options for moisturizers.

For better results, it’s wiser to use a different moisturizer for your eyes. The skin around your eyes is more delicate and it’s typically the first area where wrinkles show up.

Skin Conditions

In order to address any skin condition that you may develop, you need to be able to recognize it so knowing a bit about most common issues when it comes to African-American skin is quite important.

  • Dry skin

African-American men who have dry skin may also notice a gray appearance to their skin. Not only your skin doesn’t feel at its best, but it’s also not looking very well.

Your facial wash is the first thing to pay attention. You don’t want to use a strong or a stripping cleanser, but a gentle and hydrating one. Use some lukewarm water as hot water is only going to dry your skin even more.

Don’t forget to use a good moisturizer for hydrating your skin, as it’s better to be safe than sorry. An oil-free moisturizer is a great option since you don’t want to clog your pores either.

Try to get a moisturizer that contains natural ingredients as Vitamin A and E and make a habit from applying it every single day. Keep dry skin away by hydrating it accordingly, getting rid of that ashy feel so that your skin keeps its healthy and youthful glow.

  • Ingrown hairs

This is not a skin problem only for the African-American men, but for men in general too. When your hair is cut bluntly from shaving, you do end up with a sharp edge of the hair when it’s growing back. Let’s not forget the curl pattern of your hair growth that adds up to the sharp edge, which raise the risk for your hair to curl back into the skin, making the hair grow inward.

The main problem with inward growing hair is bacteria and fluid forming, leading to bumps to the skin. Make sure though not to mistake the bumps as pimples, trying to picking them. You’re only going to cause dark spots on your skin if you do it.

Long story short, you need to use the right shaving methods to help cut down ingrown hairs, but as an African-American man you may have to step up your game. The moment the bumps show, use a warm washcloth and some gentle exfoliator to carefully scrub in a circular motion over that inflamed area. This way you’re going to ease and open the pore for the ingrown hair to come to the surface.

You should also consider using a product with glycolic or salicylic acid on regular basics.

  • Hyperpigmentation

The increased melanin that happens due to various reasons translates into darkening skin. Acne, sunburns, scarring and some specific illnesses may lead to hyperpigmentation of your skin. This is why a darker skin presents higher risks for developing this kind of skin condition.

Many make the mistake of considering using skin lightening products, but it’s far more important to talk to a dermatologist first. Taking products containing Vitamin C, retinol or Alpha Hydroxy Acids is something you need to do only with prescription from your dermatologist. For instance, if you have dark circles under your eyes, chances are it’s a superficial pigmentation as a main cause. Some lightening cream prescribed by your dermatologist may work its magic.

Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun as well and use a moisturizer with a high level of UV protection. Even though many think that African-American skin cannot be affected by sun, all skin types need protection from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Your moisturizer should be at least SPF 15. When you’re protecting your skin from sun, you’re lowering your risks for developing dark spots on your skin.

What about hair care?

Taking care of your beautiful African-American hair isn’t that difficult, as long as you keep in mind some useful tips. Scroll down and give a read at the most important questions relating to black hair care.

  1. How often do you shampoo?

Shampooing every day to get rid of the gunk and grease from your hair is an option for many. Most shampoos out there include SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), which is in fact a detergent that cleans your hair, stripping away the natural oils produced by your scalp to protect your hair.

The more you’re exposing yourself to SLS (this means shampooing very often), the higher the chances for your hair to become dry and brittle.

This is why you need to consider to shampoo only twice a week. You may also want to change your shampoo and get one that doesn’t include SLS. A sulfate-free shampoo that also contains natural oils is going to maintain moisture in your hair, while cleaning it.

  1. How is your hair style?

Taking proper care of your hair also means that you should consider several ways to wear weaves, short curls or some longer styles, based on your hair type.

Don’t be shy and ask an expert groomer about what to do with your hair. A low cut is a great solution for many, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a leap of faith and try something out of your comfort zone every once in a while. As long as it doesn’t take you hours to style it, you’re good to go!

  1. What kind of styling products are you using?

Now that we’re on it, you may also want to double check the hair styling products that you’re using at the moment. This may come as a shock to you, but most hair styling products in your local drug store may be full of grease (causing a flat appearance of your hair) or aren’t even formulated for your hair type.

This is why you should take the extra mile and get to the ethnic section that is a bit more curly-hair friendly. Try to stay away from anything including alcohol, mineral oil or petrolatum. Even though they’re efficient when it comes to holding things in place, they do dry out your hair, not to mention the crazy shiny look.

A more natural solution like a pomade, infused with grapefruit seed oil that moisturizes your hair, while holding your hair as well, it a great choice. It doesn’t leave any greasy residue either, which is quite important.

  1. Do you moisturize?

Your African-American hair does tend to dry out throughout the day so moisturizing it properly is essential. The reasons for drying are numerous: indoor heating in the winter, wearing hats in the summer, dry air in the fall. Hydrating your scalp is going to maintain your hair soft and easy to handle when styling too.

As you don’t shampoo daily, you may instead use a rinse-out conditioner to give back your hair and scalp the moisture. Another efficient solution is a hydrating cream that includes various oils (sweet almond oil and coconut oil are great) and to apply it straight to your scalp. Make sure you distribute it evenly all over your scalp and hair.