3 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Afro
Afro Care 101
Afros are beautiful and versatile, but due to their very curly nature, they also need lots of TLC (Tender Loving Care) to be at their best. Curly hair tends to be more fragile than straight hair and as a result, afros need some very specific accommodations when it comes to maintaining and enhancing their health.
3 Simple Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Afro
- Utilize Protective Styles and Nighttime Wrapping
Curly hair can be more prone to dryness than straight hair. Therefore, moisturizing is a requirement! The best way to moisturize curly hair is to get it wet. Water will impart moisture to the strands. Using conditioner regularly also helps hair maintain its moisture. For an intense hydrating effect, moisturize with a deep conditioner and give it a few minutes to absorb into your hair. Your hair will absorb the moisture and nutrients from the conditioner, which also serves to soften hair and help it stay strong and healthy.
For the Best Results:
- Get hair thoroughly wet.
- Add (deep) conditioner and allow it to absorb into tresses for a minimum of ten minutes.
- Rinse out conditioner and apply a leave-in conditioner.
- Follow up by sealing the moisture into your strands with an oil.
Moisturizing Made Easy
2. Utilize Protective Styling and Nighttime Wrapping
Since curly hair can be fragile, it can benefit from protective styling, which is the process of styling hair to limit the amount of stress and damage caused by the weather or daily manipulation and styling. Protective styles are meant to last anywhere from a few days to several weeks and protective styling can help hair maintain moisture and avoid tangling.
Types of Protective Styles
- Braids: Braids are a popular type of protective style that keep hair tightly packed and in a position to retain moisture. Braids are the most common type of protective style. Braids are easy to maintain and style. Because of their easy installation and maintenance process, braids are an excellent protective style for children, athletes, and all types of adults. While styled in braids, hair strands are less likely to get dried out from exposure to the elements.
- Weaves: Weaves are also utilized as protective styles. During the installation process, hair is braided close to the scalp and weave tracks with attached hair extensions are sewn into the the braids. Some weaves are glued in with hair/scalp glue, but glues can damage hair and irritate a person's scalp, so sew-in weaves are the more popular option.
- Wigs: Wigs are an excellent method of protective styling because they can be changed daily. Lots of people own several wigs in a variety of colors and hairstyles so they can sport a diverse range of styles while protecting their natural hair.
Nighttime Hair Care
Wrapping up hair on a nightly basis is also a good means of maintaining healthy tresses. Cotton pillow cases and bed sheets can absorb a lot of the moisture in your hair and leave it dry or frizzy. To combat that, try sleeping on silk or satin pillow cases and bed sheets. Both silk and satin are smooth and unlikely to snag at strands of hair. They also do not absorb moisture in the same way that cotton fabrics do. If you can't change all of your bedding to silk and satin, try buying a satin scarf or bonnet to wear on your hair while you sleep.
Scarf-Wrapping Made Easy
3. Detangle on a Regular Basis
Afros and curly hair are composed of lots of coiling strands of hair. All the different curves and coils can leave hair prone to tangling. When hair gets tangled it can dry out, break, or just cause a lot of frustration. A good way to keep the hair strands healthy and avoid breakage is to detangle the hair gently and often. Detangling can be successfully performed on wet hair that's saturated with a nourishing conditioner to loosen and soften tangles. Some people like to detangle their hair using their fingers and others prefer to use wide-toothed combs. Either method is good for removing shed strands of hair and keeping tresses tangle-free. Just make sure you detangle regularly.
Moisturizing, detangling, and using protective styles on a regular basis form a healthy foundation for basic afro care. What else do you do to keep your hair healthy and fabulous?
Favorite Hair Care Tip
What's Your Best Care Habit for Maintaining Healthy Hair?
© 2016 Veronica G