Afro Hair Care
Natural Afro Hair is the most difficult hair type to maintain simply because of its tight thick wiry curl pattern. Each strand grows in a tiny tight curled state which gives the appearance of much thicker, denser hair when compared to other hair types. Research has shown that all human hair has the same basic chemical composition in terms of keratin protein content, however due to afro hair's wiry kinky pattern it is more difficult for the oil secreted from the scalp to reach the ends of the hair therefore leaving hair dry and easily prone to breakage when brushed or combed. Due to the high degree of kinky curls in natural afro hair, it is impossible for many to draw a comb through the hair; this leaves hair maintenance, time consuming and painful for many African Americans. While it’s common for Caucasians to comb their hair when dry, it is recommended that those with afro hair comb their hair when wet in order to minimise hair shaft fracture.
Hair shrinkage is another factor that is common with afro hair. Depending on the tightness of the curl, shrinkage can be up to 75% of its true length. This is most evident when hair is wet or has been recently washed. In order to combat shrinkage it’s common for many to turn to chemicals and heat to straighten afro hair’s naturally tight curl pattern however this leaves the hair more susceptible to damage. If you are determined to grow long afro hair its best to avoid heat and result to more natural means to straighten your hair. A common technique is to plait the hair in sections when wet and leave over night. When plaits are taken out, hair is relatively stretched out. Hair will continue to stretch itself over time as long as the hair remains in plaits or you plait it every night before going to bed. Natural oils such as Shea butter and Avocado butter/oil are also good products to use when stretching afro hair naturally.
For general afro hair maintenance we recommend that you try some of the following tips below: