Afro and textured hair need its own set of hair care rules and routines – and d*** does it look good. If you have natural curls and coils, here are some hair pro tips that solve the mane mistakes you could be making – from overwashing to not using the right products. Over to the expert:
What your afro hair care routine should include?
Well, let’s start by saying there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to afro hair care, everyone’s hair is different, and can vary from person to person. But, you should invest time and effort into your afro or mix-textured hair – it’s the crown you never take off. That being said, our expert has a few universal truths for afro hair care that will ensure more body, bounce and definition:
● Make your washing routine work for you: One of the biggest bonuses of having afro hair is you can get away with washing it once every 7 days, 10 days, at a stretch. So, ensure you look at your afro hair care routine and ensure you wash your hair on a regime that works for you.
● Hydration, hydration, hydration: Your afro hair care routine can benefit on wash days, by using a moisture-boosting shampoo and conditioner to lock in nourishment. If you need a mid-week refresh a co-wash can be an easy way to refresh your curls and have a low-key cleanse too. Make sure you’ve got the best afro hair products that suits your hair type and style.
● Don’t despair, repair: Afro and curly textures can struggle in cold temperatures – not to mention central heating can dry out hair, leaving it dehydrated and ‘meh.’ Treat your afro hair to a deep conditioning, hydrating mask every couple of weeks (more frequently, if your hair is coloured or chemically treated). You’ll find your curls much happier and healthier.
● Did we mention hydration? Afro hair care routines truly benefit from it. Whatever style you fancy wearing, always add a hydrating oil, cream or milk before styling your hair. And when it comes to choosing your ideal styling product, we’re finally seeing more diversity on the beauty shelves, with afro haircare products readily available in major shops and online retailers. We recommend you look for offer formulas explicitly designed for textured hair and curly locks.
How to wash afro hair
When it comes to washing your afro hair, make sure your hair is fully saturated with water before starting the washing process.
1. Start by using moisture-locking shampoo in one go, or sections, if you prefer. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner; this is important for nourished hair.
2. Use a specialist detangling brush, like The Ultimate Detangler, available in regular or large sizes, it's perfect for the shower, and will evenly draw conditioning treatments through the hair. Interested in more tips? Find out how to detangle afro hair here.
3. Detangle in small sections, from root to tip – usually, 6-8 sections does the trick. Twist the hair once you’ve detangled.
4. Style as you see fit – and never let anyone dull your curls.
Afro hair care products to consider
Whether it’s worn all-natural or in braids and weaves, Afro hair needs the right products regularly to grow healthy, retain length, and keep hydrated. Using the best products for your hair type can transform damaged curls and help them bounce back to life.
● Choose the best brush for curly hair: The Ultimate Detangler is a real game-changer for detangling wet hair quickly and easily, with 325 two-tiered flex teeth that glide over knots and tangles, reducing breakage.
● Shop black-owned or black-founded brands: There are plenty of high-quality hair ranges for textured hair that you can shop, such as Shea Moisture, Boucleme and Antidote Street. Not only do they provide valuable expertise and cater to specific needs, but it means you can support black-owned businesses. Ensure your afro hair care routine comes complete with afro hair products designed to keep your hair healthy.
● Swap the blow-dryer and iron: Rather than blow-drying and heat styling, try roller setting instead. It subjects the hair to much less direct heat; this option is a kinder way of getting a smooth hair cuticle. For anything else do book yourself an appointment with a professional.
Additionals for your afro arsenal
Here are some bonus tips and tricks. Because really, who run the world? CURLS.
Afro hair care tip 1:
Wrap your hair in a silk scarf: Retains moisture as you sleep, so you're less likely to need hot hair tools or extra products as your pillow won’t absorb hair moisture.
Afro hair care tip 2:
Don’t overdue the chemical treatments: Too many chemical treatments can dry the hair or cause damage. If you fancy a treatment, try to have something done in-salon at a reputable salon.
Afro hair care tip 3:
Not using the right hair bands: Using plastic bands can tug and pull on the hair, especially if you’re out on a walk in windy weather—swap for bands covered in silk or satin, like Slip scrunchie sets.
For even more afro hair tips and hair care expertise, follow Stephanie Sey on Instagram at @stephanie_sey.