Afro Style Tips
The Afro, a hair style made popular in the 1960’s, where the natural hair is picked and molded into a large, rounded shape. Growing an authentic afro can be surprisingly challenging with many people never reaching the lengths they desire, mainly due to breakage. There are a number of rules out there on how to prevent natural hair breakage and maintain an afro, so taking the best from the old and new skool here are some rules.
Don’t manipulate your hair when it is dry!
Natural Black hair does not have much elasticity; therefore, styling when dry will facilitate breakage. Wet the hair first and use a good conditioner, or detangling product, so that the comb can easily glide through the hair.
Top Tip – It is nice to have someone else do your hair. It is a good idea to wash and detangle your hair yourself if you can, as you are likely to take more care of it than another person would. Always use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair and insist on others doing the same. Skinny tail and thin bristle combs for thick hair are a no no.
Afro hair loves water!
Moisture is essential to properly manage and maintain an afro (natural black hair), unlike chemically treated black hair, such as perms. To maintain and grow an afro it is advised that the hair is washed at least twice a week. You do not always have to use a shampoo unless you are someone who works out a lot.
Nourished and cleaned scalps grow afro’s!
Sulphate free shampoo’s should be used in moderation, maybe once every two weeks on natural black hair because it can be quite harsh and drying, defeating the objective of increasing the hairs moisture. However, shampoos with sulphate are great to remove any stubborn dirt from natural black hair and hair won’t grow unless it is clean.
The power of oil!
Oil will seal in whatever it covers, so if you apply oil to dry hair, it seals in dry hair. For those wanting to manage and maintain an afro, after moisturising the hair apply a nourishing oil, such as Almond, Castor or Olive oil. Caribbean food shops are excellent providers of these oils at a competitive rate.
KEY TIP- Massage a few drops of tea tree oil into the scalp after moisturising, as this is an antibacterial agent and a great way to keep you scalp healthy and fresh. It aids in preventing dandruff and yeast infections and increases blood to the scalp area, which also facilitates hair growth.
IMPORTANT- Be aware of your health! Always do a skin patch test before using any oils on the scalp. This can be done by applying a little of the oil onto the elbow for 24hrs and seeing if there is a reaction the next day.
Oils that stimulate hair growth (stimulants)such as Tea Tree, Rosemary, Peppermint and Vitamin E or are pungent in scent. Although there is no core scientific evidence to say that these oils cause epileptic fits, it is recommended that if you suffer from epilepsy to avoid them. There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet about this.
Drying natural hair!
Well I will like to start of by saying that you will never look at a T-Shirt in the same way again. That’s right, use a cotton T-Shirt to blot dry your hair as this will have less friction than a towel. To dry black natural hair completely, don’t be tempted to switch on the dryer as this will only cause heat damage, excessive dryness and make the hair brittle. Allow the hair to dry naturally in the air.
Sleeping in Silk and satin!
Unfortunately I don’t mean you, I mean your afro. Always cover black hair, whether natural or chemically treated in a silk or satin head scarf for bed. Men if you find triangle head scarfs to girly, you can opt for a doo rag or simply upgrade to satin or silk bedding (which will also help in impressing the females). The reason for sleeping your afro (black hair) in Satin or Silk is purely to reduce the friction caused by other bedding materials over long periods of time.
Length is strength!
Now you are showing the world your impressive afro, at times you may want to change your look to something less impactful and hold it back. Always use an ouchless hair band, which is a hair band without any metal on it. Also do not use an elastic band as both of these are likely to place friction on the hair when removing them.
I hope within these rules you are able to tailor a successful plan to grow an afro, which takes commitment. If you still prefer to be an onlooker at least now you can understand the craftsmanship that is involved. The Afro is a black hair style that will always be fashionable, as it is the most natural expression of black hair and beauty.
Find a Salon – Whether its natural Afro, braids, weaves or treatments make everyday a great hair day!