20 WAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR AFRO HAIR
1. Water it like a plant
I used to think that watering dries out hair. Yep, that was my thinking. But I’m very sure that my way of thinking was brought on by the fact that I have had relaxed hair for the majority of my adult life. And was told to not wash my hair often because it would dry and shrivel up. Having Afro hair has changed how I think about my hair as well as how I manage and treat my hair. Spraying water to Afro hair before styling helps to nourish, revive and hydrate it making it ready for styling. So, I would recommend to always hydrate it with water first before doing anything to it in the morning.
2. Use good leave-in conditioners
A huge problem for Afro Textured hair is finding the right Leave in conditioners. I have tried and tested a couple of leave-in conditioners and, have found what works for me. My two-favorite leave in conditioners are Twisted Sista and Ors Curls Unleashed. These two conditioners easily soften hair for easier detangling and manageability. These two conditioners can also be used as a foundation to prep hair for styling. The trick is to simply apply to damp hair and do not rinse.
3. Use shampoo that don’t dry out Afro Hair
I never thought that using shampoo could dry out Afro hair until I tried out a shampoo sent to me via P.R that didn’t help my hair at all. The Shampoo was so drying that my scalp started itching immediately afterwards. The best type of shampoos to use on Afro hair are… 1. Cantu Sulfate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo. 2. Aunt Jackie’s Oh So Clean Moisturizing & Softening Shampoo and 3. Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Sulfate-Free Shampoo.
4. Shampoo very dry hair with a cleansing conditioner.
Someone once told me or I probably read somewhere that if your hair dries out quickly, ‘shampoo’ or wash it with conditioner or use little to no shampoo. Because Shampoo can tremendously dry out Afro Hair Health.com suggests cleansing conditioners in place of shampoos.
You know how right after you wash your hair it can be a little unmanageable, hard to style and flyaway? Using a co-wash can have your hair manageable by the end of the day. Your Afro hair will reward you by being so much more softer and easier to style. Also, using a cleansing conditioner will most likely have you using less styling products.
5. Braid hair in a protective style but talk to your hair stylist and ask her to be gentler with your hair
Protective styles can grow Afro hair if done correctly. But whomever is braiding your hair should understand your hair and there is no better person to inform the stylist that you. I understand that some of us do not like telling hair stylists how to handle our hair but that can be detrimental to our hair and hairline. No one should leave the hair salon needing painkillers because the hairstylist over pulled your hair. Grow a pair and let the hairstylist know how you feel. And if she keeps harassing your hair,, move on to a new hairstylist. You dot need the drama.
6, Avoid braids on Afro Hair that are too small (Micro braiding)
I avoid getting braids because I hate how long it can take to install braids, regardless of the size. Micro braids are smaller than regular braids and I am getting anxiety just thinking about the 30 hours I would have to sit on a chair just to get them done. Because it can take a very long time to install micro braids, the person doing the hair may need assistance to finish quicker. Because of time factor, there may at times be about six hands working on your head. Which may feel uncomfortable.
But what’s even more uncomfortable is micro braiding the hairline. Micro braiding the hairline, if not done correctly, may lead to losing the hairline altogether. Micro braids can be a great protective style but, sometimes they may be less protective than intended.
Reasons for why micro braiding cant snatch the hairline. 1. inadequately moisturized hair and 2. lack of patience when taking out hair. Lack of time and patience can lead to afro hair breakage.
7. Leave hairline out of protective styles
It is very important to leave hairline out of protective styles. The hairline can be very fragile and not all of us are blessed with a strong hairline. So, when contemplating a protective style, leave the hairline out so it can grow on its own.
8. Let go of coconut oil if coconut oil is not working for your afro hair
When I first chopped my hair 3 years ago, I used coconut oil religiously. I used it for months, but it wasn’t doing much for my hair. Coconut oil would drip everywhere and make my hair look unhealthy. Although coconut oil is good for hair, if it is not working for YOUR specific hair type, let it go. Do not feel pressure to use coconut oil on your hair because the Afro hair community suggested you use it. All hair is different, even afro textured hair.
Other options instead of Coconut oil are: Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil. See full List HERE
9. Use a hairline rescue oil on Afro Hair if you have hairline issues
The Hairline rescue that I use to grow my hairline is the Brazilian Hairline Rescue that can be purchased at Dischem, Clicks and some Checkers stores. You can also find it online. If you do not find the Brazilian Hairline Rescue in one of the stores mentioned above, you can always try out these amazing hairline Afro hair products.
10. Be patient with your afro hair, everyone’s hair grows different
I announced on WhatsApp, to friends, that my hairline had finally returned after three years of working on it. Most of my Pals were happy for me but there was this one girl who seemed shocked that it had taken me (so long) three years to see the results of my hard work. I have known this friend of mine for years and I also know that her hair grows very thick and very long in a short space of time. Comparing her hair journey to my hair journey was her first mistake. And it is a mistake we regularly do, as people. If you compare yourself with the next person, you will always feel discouraged. Your poor hair may be doing all that it can based on your genetics, hair pattern and texture. Stay in your lane, learn from others but try to always be grateful and thankful for what you have. You might see your hair as ugly but someone else is looking at you and being inspired.
11. Allow Afro hair to breath
“Letting Your Hair Breathe” means to simply take a break from doing things to your hair. This means take a break from the weaves, extensions, wigs, clip-ins, braids, cornrows etc. This allows you to relieve tension from the circumference around your head including your edges, nape, and temple. These areas are pulled on the most when you are adding extensions. Over pulling can cause breakage and thinning hairline.
Constantly adding extensions, in some cases, can cause you to lose your edges permanently. We do not want that at all! So, allow your Afro hair to breath.
12. Avoid harsh hair glues for wigs
If the Gorilla Glue girl saga that happened a few weeks ago online is anything to go by, avoid using glues not specified for hair on Afro hair on any other kind of hair.
13. Always test hair dye before using it on your Afro Hair
I did the horrible mistake of using a hair dye before doing the strand test to check if I am allergic to it or not. I ended up with very dry and itchy scalp and rash all over my head and, other parts of my face and head that the hair dye had touched. The hair dye that I used that wasn’t kind to my scalp was Inecto Hair Dye Sachets. Guys, Inecto hair dyes are not all bad and this goes for any hair dyes. But make sure you do a strand test before going ham on coloring the hair.
14. Cut or trim split ends on Afro Hair at least every three months (not too often)
Trimming Afro hair too often does not give your hair time to grow. When you constantly trimming hair, you are to a large extent just cutting it. Trimming means getting rid of split ends, not the actual hair. When you see loose ends or dead hair, cut them so the new hair can grow. Keeping dead hair will never do anything for your hair growth.
15. Sleep with a hair bonnet to protect afro hair from too much frizz
Wearing a hair bonnet helps prevent friction while you sleep, which in-tern reduces the amount of frizz you wake up with. Having your hair protected takes away some of the stress you might experience in the morning due to making sure hair looks good and ready for the day and, helps to prevent split ends.
16. Choose a satin scarf for your edges
When it comes to maintaining hairstyles, retaining length, and preventing frizz, the best work is done at night and this goes for all hair types. Sleep can be rough on the hair especially if you do not sleep like ‘sleeping beauty’. Moving a lot at night, nightmares, tossing and turning etc. can leave afro hair dry, tangled and damaged if a silk or satin headscarf is not worn.
17. Use curl creams for natural curls on your Afro Hair
Curl creams help curls shine and really pop. The curl creams I would recommend are
18. Eat a balanced diet for hair growth
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin. These two nutrients may promote hair growth. Berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that may promote hair growth. Spinach is a healthy green vegetable that is loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which may promote hair growth. Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel have nutrients that may promote hair growth. Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is linked to good hair health. Avocados are delicious, nutritious and a great source of healthy fats. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which may promote hair growth. They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to hair growth. Read full list here
19 . Avoid over heating Afro hair
As a general rule, use the lowest temperature setting possible on irons or blow-dryers to achieve your look. Most afro hair experts say not to go over 410°F aka 210°C above this temperature. The high heat actually begins to melt the keratin in your hair. Also, experts suggest we limit the amount of time the hot tool is in contact with our hair. For example, when using a curling iron, keep hair wrapped around the tool for no longer than 10 seconds each time to minimize heat damage.
20. Avoid stress for optimal Natural Afro Hair growth
Yes, Stress Can Lead to Hair Loss: You may have heard that stress can cause hair loss, and it’s absolutely true. While some hair loss is caused by factors we cannot control like genetics, some hair loss is due to stresses brought on by your environmental. Good thing is that that kind of hair loss may be more easily controlled if the stress can be managed.