Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

WebMD Feature

Expert Q&A: African-American Hair Care

Whether you wear your hair straight, braided, loose, or curly, you deserve a great hair day, every day. That can mean cutting through myths about how to care for your hair.

How is African-American hair different from other textures?

One common myth is that there is just one type of African-American hair, New York stylist Ellin LaVar says. "African-American hair isn't just very kinky, coarse texture," says LaVar, who has worked with celebrities including Angela Bassett, Naomi Campbell, Whitney Houston, Iman, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Oprah.

Though the texture may vary, says Philadelphia dermatologist Susan Taylor, MD, there are some similarities that make African-American hair different from other types. Generally, the hair contains less water, grows more slowly, and breaks more easily than Caucasian or Asian hair.

Why is it so difficult to style my hair?

Product labeling can often be confusing and you don't want to buy something that's too heavy or wrong for you.

"Look for products that describe the texture of your hair, not the color of your skin," LaVar says.

How often do I really need to shampoo?

Most experts say you should shampoo at least every 14 days. But every seven to 10 days is actually what's recommended.

"I often have to explain to clients that African-American hair needs to be washed regularly," says West Hollywood stylist Kim Kimble. She's worked with Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington, and Vanessa Williams and has a line of hair care products.

"Bacteria can grow on the scalp without regular cleansing and that's unhealthy," Kimble says.

If you're worried about stripping moisture out of your hair when you wash it, LaVar suggests lathering with a moisturizing shampoo designed for normal or dry hair and following with a moisturizing conditioner.

Why does my hair keep breaking?

When you sap moisture from your hair, it loses suppleness and is more susceptible to breakage, LaVar says. African-American hair needs supplemental moisture to stand up to styling because it is naturally dry.

Curly textures tend to be the most vulnerable to drying out and breaking because the bends in kinky hair make it difficult for natural oils to work their way down the hair shaft.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices