Hair consists of keratin, a protein. Keratin is a protein that occurs as a structural element in animals and is a classic example of a fiber protein. Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids. The low pH of the conditioner protonates the amino acids, providing the hair with positive charge and thus more hydrogen bonds among the keratin scales, giving the hair a more compact structure. When this chemical reaction has happened, the hair will be easier to comb, it will be smooth, soft and shiny, also by the oils which are in the conditioner to coat your hair.
African hair is usually very curly and rougher in nature, but their are many different kinds of African hair. Strong African hair (kinky/hard hair) feels rough, but it doesn't have to be! Conditioning your hair, using masks, oils, etc. on a regular basis will make/keep your hair very fit, smooth and shiny. So appearantly all these years, we have treated our natural African hair very wrong, because we didn't know these things, but times are finally changing for our benefit. You can have long hair too as a black woman with African hair! Take a look at this video How to get long African hair.