Afro hair isn’t always the easiest to deal with, but damn it looks good. More and more women are ditching relaxers and embracing their natural curls, and if you’re thinking of doing the same, all you need is the right afro hair products and pro tips in your arsenal to get that bouncy mane that can beautiful and manageable.
In celebration of World Afro Day, Pantene Scientist, Rolanda Wilkerson PhD, has shared her best tips for taking care of afro hair.
Make your wash routine work for you
One of the biggest perks of having afro hair is that you only have to wash it approximately once a week, which in comparison to most of our every day or every second-day routines, is dreamy.
On wash days, Rolanda recommends using a moisture-boosting shampoo and conditioner. But depending on the person’s hair texture, it can also be beneficial to integrate co-washing (where you only use conditioner and no shampoo). This can be an easy way to refresh your curls and have a lower-level cleanse within the week.
Rolanda does warn not to co-wash to much though, or replace it with shampooing permanently. It’s still important to keep the hair and scalp cleansed.
Put down the hairdryer
When it comes to drying your curls, it’s best to eliminate as much friction and heat as possible to minimise damage and tangling.
It’s for this reason that Rolanda says air-drying is best, and if you need extra help detangling, to run a product like Pantene Gold Series Leave-On Detangling Milk through your hair post-shower. “It protects the hair from breakage and will make it more manageable.”
Afro textured hair can be very fragile, so be careful when brushing and combing it wet. Rolanda recommends following the natural curl patter of the hair, and always prep with a product that adds moisture and protection.
Beware of breakage
With curls, it can be harder to spot breakage, but it’s still a problem area for afro hair. For this reason, Rolanda says to avoid manipulating the natural movement of your hair, and try not to put it in hairstyles that create a lot of tension.
There are also special brushes, like Conair’s Rubber Cushion Brush and Wetbrush’s TxturePro Extension Brush, that are ideal to use when hair is wet and needs detangling, to prevent stretching and breakage.
Hydration, hydration, hydration
Moisture is an afro’s best friend. Not matter what style you’re going for, always add a hydrating milk, cream or oil before styling.
When going for a long-lasting style like braids, make sure to use a highly conditioning product to keep the hair moisturised throughout the entire duration.
Treat your hair to a hydrating hair mask every so often too, and you’ll find your curls to be much more manageable.