The 2019 Haircare Guide For Afro Hair | Hair.com UK

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The 2019 Haircare Guide For Afro Hair

25 March 2019
woman smiling blowdrying her afro hair
Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth Hall

Journalist

An American journalist living in Paris, Elizabeth has a passion for all things hair.

#Bighairdontcare is the mantra you should live by - embracing your afro hair is empowering and fierce. Sure, maintaining your ‘fro isn’t always the easiest feat, but hot damn it looks good. Whether you have a coarse, curly, fuzzy, or natural texture (or all four) we chatted with Charlotte Mensah, Founder and Creative Director of Charlotte Mensah Hair Lounge in London to bring you the lowdown on the best afro products to not only accept, but embrace your afro hair. Let’s face it, afro hair is fussy AF… using the wrong products can encourage the dreaded F word - frizz. With this comprehensive afro haircare guide, you can land locks that are bouncy and beautiful, oh my! So if you’re tired of fighting the ‘fro, read on!

Let It ‘Fro: What Makes Afro Hair Specific To Care For?

First, let’s understand what makes afro haircare so unique: due to its coil-like structure, moisture and sebum have a little trouble working their way down the hair shaft. Each strand grows in a tiny, angle-like helix shape; the effect lends the illusion that your mane is denser than straight or wavy hair, when in fact it’s the opposite. Naturally straight-haired ladies have around 227 hair per square centimeter whilst afro hair has about 190. You may find yourself asking: “y tho?”. Going back to that angle-like helix shape, it makes the distribution of lipids throughout the hair shaft more difficult, in turn, the hair takes a bit longer to grow. Before you get your hair in a tangle, we assure you that there’s no need to worry. We gotchu, girl. With the right afro products in your arsenal, you can have an enviable head of natural hair that dreams are made of.

back of womans natural afro hair style

Afro Haircare Tip #1: Make The Most Of Your Wash

One of the major perks of having afro hair? You only need to wash it approximately once a week - ‘frooooo yeah! Washing your locks less is a true blessing, but when you do suds up, you need to make it count. Just as you wouldn’t wash your face with hand soap or your body with detergent, the same sensible logic applies with shampoo shopping.

“Wash your hair weekly with a moisturizing shampoo that has extra emollients, those formulated for dry or damaged hair are most nourishing”

Charlotte Mensah

You heard it from the pro first - the best afro haircare products all have one thing in common: they’re mega moisturising. Redken All Soft Shampoo is one of our favourites because it not only moisturises your lovely locks, but gently cleanses for oh-so-soft hair! If you’re an au-naturel naturalista, then L’Oréal Professionnel Source Essentielle Nourishing Shampoo was made for you. Made from 96% natural ingredients for your green soul, the nourishing properties are equally impressive. Packed with goodies like jasmine flowers and sesame oil, it’s not only a natural hair hero, it smells like a dream. Another afro haircare hack you should practice in the shower, allow us to introduce the concept of co-washing (where you skip shampoo and only use conditioner). Whilst you shouldn't co-wash every time you wash your hair (your scalp still needs cleansing!), you should try to integrate this habit into your afro haircare routine at least once a month for refreshed curls full of b-b-bounce!

Afro Haircare Tip #2: Lay Off The Heating Tools

As we mentioned, thanks to science, afro hair is naturally drier than other hair textures so can be prone to breakage. To keep your ‘fro looking cool and collected, it’s best to put the blow dryer down. Blow drying hair creates massive friction and frizz - yikes! Friction + heat = damage and tangling. ‘Fro no! Instead, let your locks air dry.

“You can air-dry, hood-dry or blow-dry with a diffuser - or if you require straighter hair, blow-dry in sections with a comb attachment or paddle brush”

Charlotte Mensah

If you’re impatient or pressed for time, then it’s time to strike oil, hair oil that is. Hair oils, like L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil offer much-needed heat protection up to 230 C for your locks. This product is infused with precious oils that control frizz and unleash the powers of detangling. So if you must pick up a blow dryer, use protection (just like your mum says!) and a diffuser. Not only does this oil work as a heat protectant, but it can inject some moisture into your locks when used overnight:

“Two-three times a week apply a small amount of Mythic Oil (and wrap hair in a silk scarf before bed) for added hydration”

Charlotte Mensah

Two-in-one products for the win - heyo!

Afro Haircare Tip #3: Mind Your Masks

Embracing your afro haircare to its fullest potential requires moisture, and lots of it. To give your ‘fro the big drink it needs to stay soft and tame, it’s time to call out the big guns: hair masks. It’s no secret in the styling world that the difference between a crazy puff ball and manageable coils lies in a hair mask. Since moisture is an afro haircare best friend, let’s hop to hydration station with our favourite hair masks! If you’re all about 10 minute makeover (who isn’t?), use Redken All Soft Mega Sheet Mask once a week to transform dry, unruly hair into soft, heavenly coils. Treat yourself (and your locks) to superfood, literally. Pureology Strength Care Superfood Mask feeds your hair with the essential nutrients it needs to stay strong and shiny. Added bonus: due to the Goji Berry Extract, it smells delicious AF whilst protecting hair from damage.

The pro weighs in:

“Afro and mixed-race hair needs regular moisture to be added - especially during the colder months. Just as you moisturise your skin, try applying a good hydrating hairdress like L’Oréal Professionnel Source Essentielle Nourishing Balm daily to prevent hair drying out. Don’t overload the hair with product though – just use a little bit more than you would during the summer”

Charlotte Mensah

Coming from 99% natural origins, allowing you to embrace your natural texture and naturality. Use this product to say goodbye to damaged hair and split ends while feeling like an eco-friendly goddess. Winning!

It’s time to embrace the ‘fro! Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near

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