Shrinkage for kinky hair is real. While this is no news to anyone with Afro-textured or kinky hair, caring for your natural hair is a different ball game, because natural hair needs treatment every week.
Treatment for your hair includes a wash, conditioning and a leave-in conditioner.
First off, though, before we get down to the basics of caring for your precious strands, it's important to figure out which curl pattern you have. Raging from slight waves to super kinky locks, the spectrum of natural Afro is vast.
Different types of curls
It starts with the least curly where the waves don't have a lot of definition, and moves through to the kinkiest, curliest, fluffiest 'fro you can grow.
Know what type of curls you have, so that you can adjust your hair treatment accordingly.
Coarser, crazier hair may need heavier, creamier products.
Using the right protective measures and products on your Afro will keep it strong and healthy, ensuring a speedy natural hair growth.
An Afro can be difficult to maintain but with a little patience and proper care, it can be your crowning glory.
Follow a weekly strict wash-and-conditioning routine to keep your Afro healthy.
Tips to maintain your Afro
Wash your hair
Properly shampoo your Afro at least once a week. Choose a shampoo that has enough moisture elements in it to keep your hair hydrated.
Use a conditioner
Choose a conditioner designed for thick and curly hair. After washing your hair, use a dampener or leave-in conditioner to prevent hair knots.
Water is your friend
When it comes to your Afro hair, water is an absolute necessity. One of the keys to maintaining healthy natural hair is water.
It is a good idea to try to drink eight glasses of water daily and also consistently apply water to your hair. One of the ways you can use water is to detangle your hair as, due to its curls, naturally kinky hair is more susceptible to knots and tangles.
Never comb wet hair
Avoid combing wet hair as this makes the strands more susceptible to breaking.
Give it the oil treatment
An Afro is mostly dry and needs regular oil treatment to keep it glossy and hydrated.
Wrap your hair at night
To reduce the loss of hair and protect your hair from falling out, wear a silky scarf to bed.
Give your hair a break
Wear a protective style, such as braids and cornrows.
Follow the leaders
Many celebrities have started to embrace their natural hair and opting to do the big chop.
Pearl Thusi, for example, is one of the celebs you can look up to in terms of maintaining your afro. She also has an affordable line of hair products.
Pearl Thusi has glorious Afro hair
If you are wondering which wash day routine to adopt for your afro hair or how to go about it, check out @Chizi Duru on YouTube. She has videos that might help you.
If you love using homemade products, you can check out @natural85 on YouTube. She details how to make homemade shampoo and conditioner. If you follow her step-by-step routine you will end up saving money but it is most important to know your products.
Products that contain nourishing natural ingredients like argan oil, avocado oil, jojoba and shea butter are the most beneficial for taming frizz, keeping the hair moisture levels high and stopping further breakage.