Natural African hair is largely unique in comparison to other hair types. This is because the follicles of natural hair tend to curve rather than grow out straight. It is this curvature of follicles that contributes to the curling of afro hair. Because the hair grows out tightly coiled, the naturally produced oils are not able to flow down the curved follicles easily. As a result, African hair is typically dry and does not require as much washing as other hair types. While women with straight hair need to wash it every other day, African women can do with one wash a week before styling their hair.
Styling African Hair
Styling afro hair can be successfully done not only in the salon, but also at home on your own. Having your hair styled by a hair stylist is a good option as they tend to be more experienced in getting the job done well. However, if you would prefer to style your hair yourself, at least consult the stylist for some beginner points, as well as the all important dos and don’ts.
African hair can be styled in numerous ways. In fact, the possibilities for styling afro hair are endless. Depending on your hair type and length, you can have a variety of hairstyles done on your African hair. The key to enjoying the best hairstyle for longer is taking good care of it. Below are some pointers to help you style your hair in your own individual gorgeous way.
- Dreadlocks – This is one of the popular ways of styling African hair. African hair is known to form very small knots, which makes it easy to hold styles such as dreadlocks. To ensure that your dread look remains gorgeous, use products that are designed for locks. It is also necessary to shampoo and condition your hair regularly, and also treat your locks gently to avoid causing breakage.
- Braids – This is another popular African hairstyle that can further be styled in infinite ways, whether at home or at the hair salon. Be sure to protect your braids by oiling them at least once a week to ensure that they remain in great shape, and visit the hair salon on a regular basis for your touch-ups. To style your braids, you may go for looks such as the braided bun, kinky twists, cornrows, micro and box braids.
- Afro – The afro is yet another hairstyle that’s making a come-back among African women. The afro is very easy to achieve as you can comb it out and leave it as is, or add a scarf or hair band to slick it back. Once your afro is trimmed, all you have to do is maintain it, just as you would African hair. This involves washing, conditioning and moisturizing it as required. Always use a wide-tooth pick comb to shape the afro. Begin at the back of your head and then pick out the sides, before moving to the top and front sections.
There is a misconception that African hair does not grow. Yet it does, only that poor styling habits can cause it to get damaged and break off. When combing or brushing your hair, it is important to avoid using excessive force or pulling on the hair. Failure to do this could cause small breakages that accumulate over time to ruin the overall look of your hairstyle. Keep your hair clean as this will enable it to hold the style well and for longer. Be sure to wear a silk scarf or sleep on a satin pillow case at night to protect your hairstyle.