Tips On How to Maintain African Hair
African hair is actually a bit different from other types of hair like Asian or Caucasian hair whereby African-hair tends to be slightly wavy to extremely-curly. In fact, the texture of African-hair tends to be drier and curlier than that of Asian or Caucasian hair and you also need to be very careful about the way you style African-hair because it tends to be more prone to breakages if handled carelessly. On the other hand, you will need to do some basic maintenance on your African-hair inorder to keep it good condition and shape. So, below is a simple step-by-step guide that will help you in the process of maintaining your African-hair.
SECTION-1: How to wash and condition your African-hair:
- Wash and shampoo African-hair for once a week: African-hair actually tends to be naturally drier with minimal-oils and that’s why it’s recommended not to wash and shampoo it more than once a week. In fact, shampooing African-hair for several times a week or daily will just strip-off the natural-oils within hair thus making the hair-shafts, frizzier, drier and prone to breakages.
- Condition African-hair every time you shampoo it: since African-hair tends to be drier, it’s very essential to condition it every time you shampoo it inorder to restore hair-moisture. However, while conditioning your African-hair, always pay extra-attention to the hair-ends since they are the most brittle and consider keeping the conditioner within hair for a few minutes washing it out.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner into washed African-hair: after washing your African-hair, you will need to add a small-amount of leave-in conditioner into it while it’s still wet because this will help to add extra-moisture within your African-hair. So, try using a leave-in conditioner that contain natural-ingredients like; coconut-oil, cocoa-butter and Shea-butter for best moisturizing results.
- Use a conditioner to wash hair regularly if it gets dirty more often: if you African-hair builds-up sweat and grime/dirt regularly, then you may consider washing it more often than just once week inorder to remove the build-up and sweat. However, you will need to wash hair with a conditioner instead of shampoo in-between these weekly washes. This is because a hair-conditioner helps to gently wash away sweat and build-up while maintaining the natural hair-oils. Lastly, ensure the conditioner reaches your scalp and hair-shaft for best results.
- Apply a leave-in moisturizer to hair daily: using a leave-in moisturizer or conditioner on days when your African-hair is not washed will ensure that hair stays hydrated and protected from any damages. So, consider using a light leave-in moisturizer that is formulated for African-hair in the morning just before styling your hair. Additionally, try to use a moisturizer that contains essential-oils like coconut-oil, cocoa-butter and Shea-butter since these oils can easily be absorbed into hair and keep it moisturized throughout the day.
- Deep-condition African-hair at least once a month: doing a monthly deep-conditioning treatment will actually help to make your African-hair extra-moisturized and less-brittle. So, get a good-quality deep-conditioner that contains essential-oils like coconut-oil, argan-oil and Shea-butter for best results.
SECTION-2: How to detangle and style African-hair:
- Detangle African-hair using a mixed hair-product and a comb: you will need to untangle knots within your African-hair before you begin washing it. So, start spraying your tangled-hair with a mixture containing 3-parts water and 1-part olive-oil or coconut-oil and then apply a regular conditioner directly into the tangled-hair beginning from the hair roots to the tips. Afterwards, use your fingers to gently detangle your hair. Additionally, after partially detangling your hair, use a wide-toothed comb to gently brush-out hair beginning from the hair-roots while working your way downwards to the hair-tips. However, never try using a detangling-comb on knotted-hair that is completely dry because this will just damage your hair. So, always dampen your African-hair before you start detangling it inorder to achieve effective results.
- Straighten African-hair with a blow-dryer with a comb-attachment: you will need to use a blow-dryer with a comb-attachment to straighten-up your African-hair but remember to spray your hair with a heat-protectant just before using the blow-dryer over it. However, you will need to first let your hair air-dry and then apply a heat-protectant just before brushing it straight with a blow-dryer with comb-attachment.
- Style African-hair into protective and low-maintenance styles: in case you prefer styling your African-hair instead of wearing it down, then consider styling it in form of protective and low-maintenance styles that help to keep hair into place and require no regular manipulation or styling. So, consider going for braided-hairstyles because they look classic, stylish and are protective. On top of that, you can also go for other hairstyles like Senegalese twists and up-dos like the bantu-knots or buns.
- Tryout a sewn-in weave: wearing a sewn-in weave can actually protect your African-hair but avoid using a glued-in weave. So, if you prefer styling a weave then consider having it professionally sewn into hair for best results. Additionally, you will need to visit the hair-stylist every 2 to 3 weeks inorder to ensure that the sewn-in weave stays tight onto your hair and doesn’t over-pull your natural-hair. On the other hand, you may even consider wearing a wig in case you don’t want a sewn-in weave.
- Let your African-hair rest by wearing weaves: you can actually wear a weave for about one and a half to 3-months inorder to let your hair rest. So, after the second consecutive-weave, leave your hair to rest for about 3-weeks inorder to prevent hair and scalp strain. In fact, wearing weaves for too-long or several-months can strain your scalp and hair which isn’t a good thing.
- Get hair relaxed professionally: relaxing your African-hair does some damage to your hair but this damage can be lessened if you get it done by a professional hair-stylist rather than relaxing hair at home. In fact, you will also need to touch-up your newly grown-hair every few-weeks so that it can be able to match the relaxed hair. However, never relax the entire head-of-hair twice because this can severely damage hair.