Growing Afro hair is simple once you have a good routine in place. Your routine should be as simple as washing, deep conditioning, moisturising and sealing in the moisture with a good oil-based product.
How often you go through these steps largely depends on how you handle your hair and on how long your hair is able to retain moisture. You will only know this once you start taking care of your hair regularly.
To care for your hair properly, you need to start by investing in good quality products. Your products should contain minimal amounts of synthetic ingredients, and should contain high-quality oils that soften and nourish your hair and scalp. The six main products you should invest in include:
- Gentle sulphate-free shampoo: Sulphates strip the hair excessively and can leave it feeling brittle and dry. Sulphate-free shampoos clean your curls while replenishing moisture and improving the manageability of your curls.
- Moisturising Deep conditioner: A moisturising deep conditioner is designed to replenish moisture, lubricate and strengthen the strands. Deep conditioners don’t just coat the strands, they penetrate the hair shaft. It is a good idea to use them with heat to get the best out of them. Moisturising deep conditioners often contain ingredients such as glycerine, honey and panthenol, which draw moisture into your hair.
- Protein-based deep conditioner: It is designed to repair and strengthen weak or damaged hair. They often include proteins like keratin, wheat or soy protein. Be careful with these products if your hair is excessively dry and brittle.
- Leave-in conditioner: This product continues the conditioning process and helps to keep your hair soft and moisturised for more extended periods. Depending on their ingredients in your chosen product, leave-in conditioners are suitable as a daily moisturiser.
- Water-based hair moisturiser/butter: Water-based moisturisers are excellent humectants. They keep your curls supple by adding a perfect blend of moisture and oil to your strands. A good moisturiser should penetrate the hair and shouldn’t make the hair look or feel greasy. Your hair shouldn’t feel weighed down either.
- Hair oil or butter: These products are designed to provide shine and to seal in moisture. They should leave your hair soft and shiny, and not greasy or weighed down.
Once you have all your products, you’re ready to begin growing long, healthy hair. Below is a simple hair care routine to get you started.
Wash your once every week with shampoo. After every wash, deep condition your hair with a moisturising treatment. On alternate weeks, use a protein deep conditioner to maintain the strength of your hair. Once you rinse out the deep treatment, apply your leave in conditioner. Allow your hair to dry to about 70%, then apply your water-based moisturiser and follow with your hair oil or butter. P
If your hair retains moisture well, you may only need to re-moisturise it every two to three days. However, if it loses moisture very quickly, you may need to re-moisturise on a daily basis. To re-moisturise your hair, part your hair into medium sections. Add a dime-size amount of leave-in conditioner to each section, followed by your water-based hair moisturiser/butter then seal with your hair oil or oil-based butter.
Stay consistent with your haircare routine and in no time, you’ll have hair just like Rapunzel!