Natural hair needs treatment every two weeks. Treatment for your hair will include a wash, conditioning and a leave-in conditioner. If you’re doing this at home, comb your hair after applying the conditioner, while it’s soft and tangle free. Otherwise, this can also be done at a hair salon. Innecto hairstylist and Unobuhair hair salon owner, Rupert Mpanza shares some painless tricks to help you look after your natural hair.
7 Tips for a healthy afro
1. Get the Correct Care
The natural curl makes it difficult for products to travel to the roots, which leads to hair breakage and knots. The main challenges of natural hair are dealing with breakage and finding the perfect moisturiser that isn’t too heavy and will keep your scalp moisturised. Rupert advises you use products with natural oils in them such as Shea oil/butter, Moroccan, argan or jojoba oil, which are known to help frizzy hair.
2. Comb it the right way
Having curly hair means dealing with knots and tangles from root to tip at times. Knots are caused by product build up in the hair or double curls (hair that curls twice and knots itself), which cause hair breakage when combed – if the hair is not handled gently.
Gently run your fingers through your hair before brushing or combing it. This will help eliminate big knots without breaking your hair. Separate your hair and comb small sections with a wide-tooth comb. After combing your whole head, comb your hair together, tie it and wrap it in a scarf to prevent it from tangling while you sleep. Avoid combing and brushing your hair from the roots, as this will break your hair if there are knots. Brush from the middle then work your way up.
3. Pump up the Volume
With natural hair, the volume is important – you want to keep your afro nice and big. Sleeping usually leaves your hair flat, meaning you have to revive the shape in the morning. Divide your hair into four sections (more if your hair is short) and braid those sections. This will help keep your hair’s volume and keep it from getting tangled and hard to comb.
Our natural hair oils take longer to travel through curly hair, so you need to keep it moisturised. Rub your product of choice into your hair for 2-3 minutes before combing.
5. Protect your ends
Apply more moisture to the ends of your hair to keep them from splitting or breaking.
6. Wrap it up
Wrap your hair in a satin scarf or head wrap when you go to bed to help keep in the nutrients and help avoid hair breakage.
7. Be product wise
Joburg celebrity hairstylist, Jawad Maphoto advises we wash our hair at least once a week as natural hair produces sebum (natural oils from the hair roots), which makes it greasy. Use a shampoo that is sulphate-free and that won’t strip your hair of natural oils. Using products that are specifically designed for your hair type (coarse, soft, medium or sensitive scalp) is important as the wrong products will cause hair fall. Your hair loses its natural colour at times as a result of using the wrong products and exposure to the sun. Use products with UV protection to help keep the natural colour. Overnight treatment with essential oils such as amla oil is needed the night before you wash your hair to help keep its natural nutrients. Wrap your head in a cap or towel to avoid wetting your pillow.
Home Remedies: True or False
Olive oil is known to prevent hair thinning and boost hair growth. Olive oil has natural nutrients that are good for hair and skin.
True: Olive oil is good, both internally and externally. Rub some olive oil onto your fingertips and massage onto your scalp to help get rid of dandruff or an itchy scalp. Olive oil is one of the few oils that does not coat (close the hair roots and cuticle) your hair.
Castor oil is known to help repair a fading hairline. The smell may be bad, but castor oil is great and helps boost the hair.
True: Castor oil is filled with nutrients such as vitamin C, proteins, amino acid and omega-6 fatty acids, which help prevent hair breakage and split ends. Using it will boost blood circulation to the hair follicles (skin organ that produces hair), which will lead to hair growth.
Beer is known to help boost hair volume. When the liquid evaporates, the malts and yeast nourish the hair.
False: Beer does not help your hair grow, but it does increase the volume. The yeast and ingredients used to make beer can help thicken your hair, but there’s no proof that it actually helps with hair growth.
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