Afro hair is beautiful, but it's prone to frizzing, splitting and drying out so you have to be ultra-vigilant about your hair care needs. Whether you want to achieve long and luscious locks or keep your cropped hair as glossy as possible.
Afro hair is drier than other types for a number of reasons: the follicle is curved, which means it has a twisted growth pattern, and the nourishing oil that is naturally produced in the scalp does not flow down curly strands as readily as it does along straight hair.
Afro hair is also naturally thinner in diameter and has a tendency to tangle - making it tricky to comb or style. To avoid breakage, use a wider tooth to comb your hair and wrap a silk scarf around your hair while you sleep to reduce breakage caused by friction.
Afro hair is thirsty, so wash it as infrequently as possible by KeraCare Shampoo to prevent drying out - stylists recommend every four to five days. Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically developed for this hair type, which will be thicker in consistency, contain less cleansing agents and be full of moisturising extracts.
"When shopping for these products, scan labels for ingredients such as jojoba, mango, which will indulge the locks with much needed nourishment," explains Abena Richardson, the 2009 Afro Hairdresser of the Year.
If your hair is distressed or heat frazzled, invest in a KeraCare conditioner. "These potent products contain concentrated ingredients including panthenol (vitamin B5) and naturally-derived oils like coconut or sunflower, which get to work by penetrating the hair’s cuticle to fill in areas weakened by heat or chemicals," says Richardson.
Avoid products containing mineral oil or petroleum, which don't absorb well and clog up the cutlicles - so if you use Vaseline, like your grandma used to, it's time to stop!