To keep your Afro hair looking good, you must take good care of your tresses. Growing and caring for a good-looking, healthy Afro requires quite a bit of work and patience because of its fragile and brittle nature. Using the proper techniques in the upkeep of your hair will help keep your woes at bay.
Use the Right Tools
In most cases, you wouldn’t need a tool to comb your Afro, especially when your hair does not have any tangles. Running your fingers through your hair will keep your Afro neat. However, at times you will need a large, wide-toothed comb or wide-toothed brush to remove tangles or knots. You’ll need the same tools in styling your Afro hair. In addition, use a rat-tailed comb for parting and combing around the hairline. A rat-tailed comb will also work well in teasing your Afro, especially on days you want to wear your hair a little loosely. You may find products exclusively made for Afro hair, such as an Afro comb or pick, which has teeth and notches that work well with curly or kinky hair.
Comb or Brush Your Hair in Proper Directions
Combing or brushing your Afro hair upward from your hairline will thin your hairline and break your hair on the sides and top. Instead, take sections of your hair — one section on the front, one on each side, one on the crown or top part of your head and a few sections at the back of your head. Then, separate each section with your fingers before you comb through your hair. Turn your brush on the opposite side of your hair if you feel a bit of resistance when you’re brushing.
Avoid Washing Hair Often
Going as long between washings will keep your Afro hair from becoming too dry and brittle. Shampooing can worsen the dryness and brittleness that often characterize African-American hair. Washing your hair once a week will do if your Afro does not have too much dirt. If needed, you can rinse your hair with a little water in between washings. Towel-dry your Afro or use blow dryer in low-heat or cool air settings only.
Apply Heavy Moisturizer and Deep Conditioner
Prevent dryness by using heavy moisturizer or deep conditioner. Natural emollients, such as olive oil and shea butter, can keep your Afro hair soft. Mineral oil and petroleum will block your pores and make your hair dull; therefore, stay away from them. Your Afro may also benefit from hot oil treatments to keep your hair moisturized and healthier. Stimulate your hair growth by massaging moisturizer on your scalp and through your hair.
Wrap Your Hair Before Going to Bed
Wrapping your hair with a silk scarf before you go to bed will prevent tangles and damages to your Afro hair. While you’re at it, you might as well use a pillowcase to keep your hair protected from the friction that can cause your hair to break.