How to Take Care of Afro Natural Hair
From being prone to dryness to breaking easily, afro-textured hair requires a lot of maintenance. But with the right products, tools and knowledge, you can enjoy beautiful hair, every single day!
Here are our top afro hair care tips for happy, healthy hair.
1. Water is Your New Best Friend
Afro-textured hair is extremely susceptible to dryness. Just like you would hydrate your body by drinking water, the hair can be kept hydrated with water too.
A great tip is to keep an empty spray bottle on hand and fill it with water when your hair is feeling a little dry. For extra hydration, you can even mix in a drop or two of conditioner.
This can also help with detangling your hair, and can generally add deep hydration throughout the day if you notice your hair drying up.
If you incorporate this tip into your afro natural hair care routine, you’ll soon notice a difference in the look and feel of your hair. Curls become bouncier when they’re hydrated and they also appear a lot more defined. An added bonus of hydration is hair growth too!
2. Don’t Overwash Your Hair
There is no need to frequently wash your hair. Overwashing can lead to dryness, as washing strips the hair of the natural oils that your scalp produces to hydrate your hair. In the long term, this can cause breakage.
As little as once every two weeks is adequate, but be sure to use a suitable shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. If you can’t bear to drastically scale backwash days, try co-washing instead (wash with conditioner only).
If you haven’t found products that work for you, we recommend trying Aveda. Their naturally-derived products are suitable for all hair types and offer deep moisturisation.
We especially love the Be Curly Co-Wash! Not only does it deeply cleanse the scalp and remove build-up from your curls, but it also works to condition and moisturise the hair for up to three days.
3. Avoid Heat
Heat is one of the biggest causes of damage for most hair types, but it can especially be a burden for afro hair.
We recommend leaving the hair to air dry rather than using a blow dryer, but if you need a one-off blow dry once in a while, try using a heat-protective product.
Tip for drying your hair: towels can often be harsh on the hair and can cause breakage. If you have an old t-shirt lying around, use that instead! The material is very gentle on the hair and scalp and absorbs the excess water a lot faster too.
4. Have a Moisturising Routine
The right hair care routine can go a long way. Have you heard of L.O.C? It is a routine that you can use to successfully keep your hair moisturised.
L is for liquid. This means either using water or a water-based product on your hair first. You could also use a leave-in conditioner.
O is for oil. Oil is amazing for afro-textured hair as it keeps the moisture from the liquid locked into the hair.
C is for cream. This is layered on top of the oil to further add moisture to your hair. After this step, your hair will be looking beautifully defined and super soft.
If you want to add an extra step, try using a hair masque every two weeks. This intensive treatment will restore dry, dehydrated hair to its former healthy self.
5. Have The Right Gear
Having the right tools and protective gear to keep your hair healthy is important, especially to avoid breakage.
To brush your hair, use a pick or a wide-tooth comb. These are brilliant for your afro hair, as they can pull apart tangles without causing damage at the ends of the hair. Make sure to always use these tools on wet hair rather than dry.
When you get out of the shower, use a plopping towel. The plopping technique allows your hair to dry whilst retaining its moisture as the soft cotton fabric keeps the hair cuticle smooth. It will also ensure that your wet curls remain scrunched.
Finally, sleep in a bonnet or satin scarf. The materials are soft and will ensure that your hair won’t tangle or break whilst you sleep, making it so much more manageable. To be on the safe side, throw your hair into a few braids before putting it in the scarf or bonnet.
6. Get Your Hair Cut Regularly
Usually a result of excessive heat styling and dryness, split ends can make afro hair harder to manage than necessary. Inspect the hair for split ends and visit the salon regularly to get your ends trimmed. This is the only guaranteed way to fix your split ends!
Here at Strand & Lock, we know how to work with different hair types and textures. Take a look at our styling services here.