Afro hair care- a complete guide: The natural hair texture of certain populations living in Africa that include the African diaspora, Oceania, and Asia is termed as the afro hair texture. This is a popular hairstyle for both men and women wherein eabuych hair strand grows in a tiny, spring-like helix shape and the afro-textured hair appears denser than the normal straight, wavy or curly hair.
Pointers to induce an Afro-Textured Hair
For a growing, the afro hair all that a guy needs is little patience and some knowledge of good hair care. A couple of factors play a critical role in damaging the hair, hence it’s very important to be vigilant about taking good care of an afro textured hair if a guy wants to maintain this look.
The following steps help in enhancing the growth of afro textured hair.
Protect the hair from damage
Hair damage is the primary cause for the decrease in the hair volume and style damage. The following pointers will aid to protect the hair from damage.
1. Use the appropriate comb
- Refrain from combing the hair more than necessary! Just use the comb, pick, or fingers to get rid of any tangles.
- In cases of increased tangles, use a detangling spray specifically designed for African American hair. This will make combing pleasant and hassle-free.
2. Refrain from washing the hair often
Curly hair is prone to dryness, this means the hair needs fewer washes in comparison to an oily hair. It is recommended to shampoo the hair three or even fewer times a week to prevent over-drying.
- It is important to wash the hair often to keep the hair and scalp clean. The exact frequency that is right depends on the hair type and the amount of oil in the hair and scalp.
- Be wise in choosing the shampoo, as many common ingredients can aid in hair breakage. Refrain from using shampoos composed of sulfates, polysorbates, isopropyl alcohol, formaldehyde, hydrolyzed collagen, parabens, propylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol.
Deeply condition the hair.
Application of a deep conditioner post a hair wash aids in keeping the hair soft and healthy. It is advised to leave the deep conditioner in the hair for a specified time range prior to rinsing to ensure its penetration into the hair shafts.
- Choose a deep conditioner, that is composed of cationic surfactants, cationic polymers, emollients, oils, and silicones.
- Deep conditioners can also be homemade by using tons of different recipes online, but the ingredients in a homemade deep conditioner commonly include mayonnaise, avocado, aloe vera, shea butter, glycerin, coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, eggs, and honey.
- Avoid massaging the deep conditioner into the scalp as they are seen to cause flakes.
- For the best outcomes, cover the hair with a plastic cap while it is wet and apply heat to the hair post the deep conditioner application. Use a blow dryer hood for 20-30 minutes or wrap the hair in a hot, damp towel for up to two hours. For people who opt for the towel method, the towel needs to be removed frequently and run under hot water to maintain the hotness.
- The deep conditioner needs to be made to sit on the hair for a longer duration if the heat application step is skipped.
Moisturize the hair.
Moisturizing is played a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy afro. There are tons of African American hair moisturizing products available on the market, a basic experimentation will help to find the best ones that suit an individual.
- Water adds moisture to hair, but only if an individual’s hair has the capability to absorb it. Hence try using natural oils that improve hair penetration such as coconut, avocado, or olive oil, on damp hair to aid the hair hold on to that water.
- When styling the hair, finish with a product like sealing cream or oil like Castor oil, shea butter, grapeseed, and jojoba oil that will help in locking the moisture.
Refrain from over-styling the hair.
One of the main causes of alleviated afro hair growth is over styling. Over styling, the hair enhances the hair breakage, hence avoid using harsh chemical composed hair products.
- Chemical treatments like coloring and relaxing tend to cause the hair to break, which in turns alleviates the hair growth, hence it is advised to avoid these treatments if an individual is trying to grow the hair out.
- Refrain from using heat treatments like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers are these are seen to induce hair damage.
Choose protective hairstyles with utmost care.
Many people use protective styles like braids or twists while trying and maintaining an afro hair. These styles not only protect the ends of the hair from damage but also are a convenient way for styling an awkward length hair. However, the possibilities to damage the hair with these styles, are enhanced hence make apt choices.
- Avoid braiding or twisting the hair very tightly as it not only is painful to scalp but also can aid in damaging the hair.
- Refrain from leaving the protective style for longer than four weeks at a time.
- Continue to moisturize the hair on a daily basis even if it’s braided.
Air-dry the Hair:
The best way to dry a hair post a wash is by rubbing it gently with a towel or letting it air-dry. Refrain from using a blow dryer as the excess heat will weaken and damage the hair. Use the coolest setting if a blow dryer needs to be used in unavoidable circumstances. Wrap the hair in a silk scarf and leave it to dry through the night will also aid in protecting the hair.
Growing the afro hair out.
Consume a balanced diet.
A healthy lifestyle aids in faster and healthier hair growth.
Foods rich in protein, iron, biotin, and zinc efficiently aid in promoting hair growth. Vitamins A and B also play an essential role in maintaining healthy hair. If the body is devoid of enough water, the hair will tend to become drier and brittle. Hence staying hydrated also plays a key role.
The hair typically grows about 1/2 inch each month, but this can vary from person to person hence to have a true afro may take many months, so waiting with patience is pivotal.
- The curlier the hair, the longer it will take to grow out an afro.
- Each individual’s hair grows in natural cycles, so there are times when growth is dormant and no efforts will fruit to enhance hair growth during this stage.
Protect the hair ends.
Trimming the hair will not help the hair to grow faster, but will aid in maintaining a neat and tame hair. The indication for a hair trim is when the hair ends begin to show signs of damage like split ends.
Afro hair styling
Opt for natural styling.
Avoid styling products and blow dryers as much as possible post washing and moisturizing the afro hair. Prevent a hair frizz by always wrapping the hair in a silk scarf before bed. This will aid to maintain the afro look without the need for heat styling or additional products.
Comb the afro.
For a fuller afro, it is advised to comb the hair post application of a moisturizer. This will help not only to detangle the curls and but will also provide a nice and full afro. Always use a wide-toothed comb or an afro pick.
- Be very gentle while combing and work in small sections by running the comb from the root of the hair to the ends.
- Avoid combing more than the requirement to maintain or to get the desired volume, as over-combing will just cause damage.
- Combing every day is not a necessity for a shorter afro.
Consider a faux hawk.
For people who experiment with their afro looks, a faux hawk tends to improve the afro look by improving the style especially in medium-length afros.
- A hair gel or similar product is recommended to slick back the sides of the afro, leaving the top free.
- Cornrows can also be opted on both sides of the head, leaving the top of the afro free or loosely.
Refrain from washing the hair with hot water.
Piping hot water tends to not only dry out the hair but also strips away the moisture. Hence washing in warm water will cleanse the hair effectively and will aid to seal it.