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HOW TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR\n\n AFRO AMERICAN CUSTOMERS NEEDS AND WHY\n\n By Dr. Edward Tony Lloneau\n\n (310) 283-7118\n\n \n\nIn previous articles I attempted to illustrate how and why the hair and skin care requirements are different for most people of Afro Decent although there are other cultures with dark skin there needs  still differ from Afro Americans due primarily to climatic conditions in their  native countries where the race originated.  Although they no longer live in those regions, pills or were born there for several generations, remedy through heredity the original genes are passed on and create the needs and desires to exist in a completely different and sometimes hostel environment then their genes that are inborn into them may dictate.  The purpose of this article is to instill understanding as to why the need is different and how to service this need with understanding and knowledge.  The importance of this is two fold…….\n

  1. 1. There are at least 1/3 more Black Cosmetologists than Caucasians in proportion to their numbers.
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  3. 2. Blacks are only about 11% of the total population in this country, yet they consume over 30% of all hair care products and professional hair services rendered in the United States.
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\n \n\nWHY IS A BLACK BABY BORN WITH STRAIGHT OR WAVY HAIR AND A FEW MONTHS LATER IT IS KINKY?\n\n \n\nThe answer to this is simple: the excessive amount of bonds in the Cortex and Medulla is partly the cause of kinky or curly hair, causing the hair to retract like a stretched rubber band when released.  The Cuticle layer  backs up on each other as a result of the excessive amount of bonds in the Cortex and Medulla,  resulting in Afro hair having up to twice as many overlapping cuticle layers as Caucasian straight hair.  This causes the cuticle scales (their called scales because they resemble the overlapping scales of a fish), to stack tightly against each other and flair out. This is the reason for the kinky appearance of Afro hair.  Pressing, curling and flat ironing forces the flared cuticles flat against the hair shaft to create the appearance of being straight. When a Black baby is born, the bonding in the Cortex and Medulla layer of the hair shaft has not yet been formed.  Sometimes it takes up to a year and half for the bonds to become apparent, thereby forming hair’s permanent structure and texture.  You cannot train a baby’s hair to stay baby hair.  Hair reaches full maturity about the same time that the permanent teeth come in (Approximately 7 1/2 years old); this is the earliest that a chemical service can be performed on a child, however the longer you put this off the better.\n\n \n\nWHY MANY BLACK CHILDREN AND ADULTS DO NOT HAVE HAIR ON THE TEMPLE AREA.\n\n \n\nMany people who suffer this malady cannot remember ever having hair on the temple, so it is passed off as being hereditary and/or one of the traits of being Black.  Actually this situation is caused by persons who unknowingly and with good intentions attempt to groom the hair when the person was an infant.  As mentioned in the last segment explaining why a Black baby is born with straight or wavy hair, this type of hair structure may not be comparable to that of the infant’s parents who may have extremely curly or kinky hair.  Realizing this, the mother, big sister, babysitter, etc., will start to smooth the hair from the forehead back by tying it down with rubber bands, barrettes, tight braiding that pulls the hair and roots out of the scalp permanently, or caking it with heavy oils in an attempt to train the hair to stay straight or wavy.  This is a futile practice because it is impossible to train baby hair to stay baby hair.  Once the Cortex and Medulla has matured, causing natural retention in the hair, it then causes the overlapping of the Cuticle scale.  The hair will, for then and evermore, maintain its natural curl or kinky pattern.  Exception: When the hair is changed by such as relaxers and rearrangers.\n\nManipulation of the hair as described above causes a great deal of the papilla (the seed and root of the hair shaft) to become permanently destroyed.  It is destroyed by pulling and crushing due to the tender Papilla, at that young age, being mashed between the scalp and skull due to the pressure applied during this futile training attempt, or is pulled out of the scalp.  What results is permanent baldness in the temple area, high foreheads, thinning hair and bald spots throughout the rest of the scalp that last a lifetime.  None of these conditions are natural or inherent for the most part.  They were caused unintentionally by people who thought they were doing the right thing on behalf of the child.  Also, kinky hair is flat hair that grows from a somewhat flat follicle.  By manipulation of the hair as just described you are rendering the follicle even flatter, resulting in even kinkier hair when it matures than it would have been if simply left alone.  Normal grooming and care is fine but do not try to force it to be what it is not.\n\n \n\nWHAT IS BAD HAIR?\n\n \n\nIt is very irritating to me to hear black people referring to their natural “AFRO” hair as being ‘BAD HAIR’.  People of color have enough put downs to deal with without adding another self-imposed one.\n\nThe only “BAD HAIR” is hair that leaves the head involuntarily regardless of what grade it is.  Actually afro hair is the strongest most impenetrable hair there is. \n\n \n\n \n\nIS AFRO HAIR WEAKER THAN CAUCASIAN STRAIGHT HAIR?\n\nAs Stated In Most Text Books?\n\n \n\nNo! It is only considered to be weaker after it has been damaged by pressing, hot curling, relaxing, tinting, bleaching, back combing etc.  But, when afro hair that is in its natural state is compared to straight natural hair, afro hair is up to three (3) times stronger.  This is why afro hair can be rolled on base with tension without breaking when permanently curling. Can be processed up to three (3) times longer has up to five (5) times the tinsel strength, (the ability to stretch when wet before breaking) and is much more difficult to control and manage.  Furthermore, if a relaxer that was designed for afro hair was applied to Caucasian straight hair; it would destroy the hair in less than 5 minutes.  But on virgin afro hair it would take 15-20 minutes to relax the hair as intended without damage.   If a pressing comb heated to the proper temperature to do its intended purpose on virgin afro hair was applied to Caucasian straight hair at the same temperature, it would burn and destroy the hair.  So you now know what kind of hair is the strongest.\n\nAfro hair is assumed to be weaker because it does not appear to grow as long; this is because of the exceptional curliness of this hair, creating the illusion of being short. Afro hair grows at the same rate as any other hair type but breaks off at the ends as a result of relaxing, harsh combing or brushing and excessive heat i.e. pressing combs and curling irons.  When afro hair is braided or worn in dread locks you can realize the growth being the same as any other types of hair.

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