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3 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Afro

Updated on July 1, 2016

Afro Care 101

Afros or tightly curled hair are beautiful and versatile, but due to their very curly nature, they also need lots of TLC to be at their best. Curlier hair tends to be more fragile than straighter hair and as a result, Afros need some very specific accommodations when it comes to maintaining and enhancing the health of hair.


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

Protective Styling and Night Time 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 can help hair maintain moisture and avoid tangling. The most common type of protective style is to braid the hair. While in braids, strands are less likely to get dried out from exposure to the elements. Excessively humid weather can cause frizziness and frigid weather can dry out strands and leave them feeling brittle. Braids keep the hair tightly packed and in a position to retain moisture.

Whether or not the elements are harsh on hair, wrapping up hair nightly is also a good option for 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

Detangle Regularly

Afros and curly hair are composed of lots of tiny 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 saturated with a nourishing conditioner to loosen tangles and soften hair. 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.

Detangling Basics

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?

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