After decades of spending small fortunes on relaxing and weaving their hair – read, stressing! – many women have decided to finally call it quits by going back to their natural roots and letting their afros come out to play.
With the rise of racial bias, hairstyles such as the afro and braids have increased in trend with celebrities such as Beyoncé setting an example of what it means to own and find empowerment, in one’s cultural identity. If you’re ready to grow out your afro and are navigating the best ways to take care of it, follow these three tips by renowned hairstylists specializing in afros.
Featured Photo from BET.com
Treat it Well
Our hairs’ natural oils take longer to absorb into curly hair, so it is important to keep your tresses moisturized to stop it from frizzing. There are various hair-products specifically for natural hair available on the market but the best oils to treat your hair with are usually the ones you already keep in your kitchen: coconut, olive, castor, jojoba, and avocado oil will work wonders on your hair.
These oils are extremely nourishing and inexpensive and will help you get your hair to look as though you have just walked out of the salon.
Wash your hair then follow up with a conditioner, letting it soak in for at least five minutes ensuring it reaches all the way down to the roots. Once you’re out of the shower, treat your hair with your moisturizing cream or oil of choice and let it soak into your hair, being careful not to use too much to avoid droopy, wet-looking curls.
Pump up the Volume
An afro should be voluminous and one of the best ways to ensure the full look is by braiding your hair prior to going to bed. This will ensure that your hair isn’t flattened while you sleep and will instead spring back into its voluminous form once your release it from its braids in the morning.
One of the most important things to keep a check on when it comes to afro-maintenance is your split ends. Schedule a standing appointment with your hairdresser to avoid skipping your monthly trim. Split ends will make it difficult for you to style your afro and will travel up to mid-length causing further damage to your hair.
Also, try to add some natural volume to your hair.
Invest in a Silk Headscarf
All that moisturizing care you have been putting into your natural hair will be for nothing if you don’t protect it with a silk headscarf or pillowcase while you sleep. Instead of your hair absorbing all the oily goodness, your pillow will and come morning, your afro will be back to a state of dry frizz. Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf before you go to sleep, will retain the moisture, allowing it to work its magic on your hair while you sleep. Your hair is also prone to more breakage during the night time as you are constantly moving against your pillow, the fabric of which can cause our hair to get caught and damaged. Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or investing in a silk pillowcase, will protect it from breakage throughout the night and you will wake up to healthy-looking hair that is easy to comb.