Afro hair is one of the most diverse hair types. From tight ringlets to beautiful fros and everything in between, natural hair is amazing. But, this also means that there is a lot to learn. There is, of course, more than one way to style afro hair and keep it healthy so expanding your hair care knowledge so your curls look and feel their best. Afro hair can also be very misunderstood which is why learning about it is so important.
Read on to reveal the answers to 10 of the most commonly asked afro hair questions.
1. What are the most common reasons for afro hair breakage?
Afro hair is very delicate. Despite often being seen as coarse and tough, natural hair is extremely fragile so mistreating it can cause serious breakage. Common reasons for breakage include heat damage, chemical damage and lack of moisture which reduces the strength of your curls causing it to break.
2. How often does afro hair need to be washed?
How frequently you wash your hair depends on you and your scalp. For example, if you tend to use a lot of products then you will probably experience build-up that needs to be cleansed regularly. In this case, washing your hair once a week should be enough. On the other hand, if dryness is a problem for you, regular washing can aggregate the problem so using a co-wash every 10 days may suit you.
3. How often should you cut/trim afro hair?
Trimming your afro hair is essential for encouraging your afro hair to grow – it’s a common assumption that afro hair does not grow past a certain length. If you’re looking to cut in order to style or shape it this can be done once a year with a shape up following 6 months after. If you simply want to keep your ends neat and healthy, a small trim every quarter is a good idea or whenever it starts to tangle.
4. What are the 3 types of afro hair?
The Andre Walker hair typing system is often used to distinguish and categories afro hair. It is split from type 2 to 4 with subcategories A, B and C. Type 2 hair is wavy hair, type 3 is loose curls to corkscrew curls and type 4 is kinky hair. Each hair type also has its own characteristics which can be useful for understanding your hair type, however, it’s also important to recognise than more often than not, your hair will be a combination of patterns and features.
5. What are some of the best afro hair products?
To find which products work best for your hair and needs it’s all about trial and error. As a starting point, some of the most popular natural hair brands include Afrocenchix, Cantu, Shea Moisture, Camille Rose and Aunt Jackies – all of which can be purchased in your local drugstore or natural hair shop. When you use a product take note of how your hair reacts and soon you’ll understand which kind of formulas and ingredients your curls love.
6. Can you dry afro hair without using heat?
Yes! You can dry afro hair without using heat and still achieve voluminous defined curls. Air drying is the simplest solution or to speed things up a little, plopping is a good technique to try especially if you have long hair. This involves applying your styling products as usual then scrunching your hair to encourage your curls to spring up. Next, ‘plop’ your curls ends first into a microfibre towel or t-shirt, secure it in place and leave it for 30-60 minutes to cut your drying time.
7. How can I find reliable afro hairdressers near me?
Always do your research when looking for a good afro hairdresser. Take a good look at their website, social media pages and reviews to gauge the quality of their work and how satisfied their customers are. Has one of your friends recently had gorgeous braids done? Recommendations are one of the best ways of finding reliable hairdressers so don’t be afraid to ask. At Afrocks, we have a directory of hair stylists where you can find their portfolio, rating and get in touch with any questions you may have.
8. Why do some people say afro hair is unprofessional?
In many aspects of society, there is a common view that professional hair must be neat, sleek and straight. Since afro hair voluminous by nature, it can be seen as wild and unprofessional. Unfortunately, these negative connotations about natural hair have led to many individuals to feel embarrassed or out of place when embracing their natural hair. However, with help from the natural hair movement, this is beginning to change.
9. What are the best protective styles for afro hair?
Protective looks will lock in moisture and give your hair a break from constant manipulation so it has time to repair. There are many different protective styles that look amazing and will keep your afro hair in great condition, no matter how short or long your afro hair is. For quick everyday styles, braids, twists and updos are easy to do. However, if you want a style that you can rock for several weeks, box braids, knotless braids and other similar styles are also popular.
10. How do I moisturise my afro hair
Moisture is key. Because afro hair is curly or wavy in shape, natural oils have a hard time travelling down the shaft which is why dry ends are often a problem. To keep your hair moisturised apply natural oils before using your styling products, at the end of styling to seal in moisture, as an extra ingredient in hair masks and even throughout the day. Once you get into a regular moisturising routine your curls will become more hydrated and softer.
Want to learn more about afro hair? Check out our latest post on 10 Most Common Locs and Dreadlocks Questions Answered and keep up to date with our blog page for top afro hair advice.