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2020 vs Afro Hair. Useful Tips I learnt Coming Out of Lockdown.

August 26, 2021

This is not a detailed guide on how to grow and maintain your Afro Kinki hair. What I will be sharing here are useful tips I learnt while I was stuck at home during the 2020 lockdown. 

One thing the lockdown did for me was build my independence. Coming out of the lockdown I realized I was a walking DIY manual. I could do more for myself than ever before. One category I polished up on was hair care. Not being able to see a hairstylist meant I had to be my own stylist. The trials and errors were worth my results and newfound independence. 

I’ll be briefly breaking down the 5 biggest changes I made to my hair regime out of having too much time on my hands and seeing positive results afterward. These 5 tips helped me achieve healthier hair.

1. Afro hair likes to be left alone

Not having to leave the house except for food shopping meant not always having to manipulate my hair daily. Anyone with grade 1 level knowledge in afro hair care knows afro hair likes to be left alone. Take your fingers out of your hair! Touching your fro too often will lead to knotting and breakage. A good way to keep your naughty hands out of your hair is to keep it in a protective style.

Benefits of wearing a protective style: 

Less combing. Which in turn means less knotting and breakage. Combing through your afro hair daily is not advisable as afro hair is fragile and prone to breakage due to the structure of the hair. Daily shedding of hair is normal but breakage is something that should be avoided or minimized as best as possible.

Moisture retention. This obviously depends on how often you refresh your protective style. This should be done using a moisturizing lotion. It is also advisable to oil your scalp at least once a week while your protective style is in.

Length retention. Less combing means less breakage, and this ultimately means length retention.

Note: Be sure to wash and refresh your style gently using an SLS-free shampoo or a clarifying shampoo. Hair kept in a protective style still needs washing to get rid of build-up and to keep your scalp clean. Clean scalp = healthy hair. How often to wash your protective style will depend on you.

2. Moisturise/Deep condition!

Staying at home indefinitely meant I had extra time on my hands. I experimented with ways to add moisture to my hair during these times and I saw impressive results. 

When you think of moisture, you think of Water. The human body is made up of 60-70% Water. That’s a lot of water right? Well, your cells need water, your skin needs water, and your hair needs water. YOU NEED WATER! Ask yourself this question, are you drinking enough water? Is your hair drinking enough water? By all means, chug down as many liters of water as you can manage in a day but don’t forget to add water to your hair by means of doing deep moisturizing/conditioning treatments and refreshing your mane with a water-based lotion. The keyword is ‘water-based’. 

An alternative to using a water-based lotion is aloe vera gel. This is my go-to moisturizer. I use it at least once a week to add moisture to my strands. Try adding Aloe vera gel to your twist-out routine and see if you notice a difference in the softness of your curls.

A simple homemade recipe for a deep conditioner: Honey (honey is a humectant, it attracts moisture) + Avocado + Banana + olive oil + Coconut milk.

3. Oil your Scalp

If you know Afro Kinki hair needs oils say aye!

While quarantined at home, I had ample time to research and experiment with various oils. My hair routine included mixing a variety of oils and massaging my scalp with it at least twice a week. Massaging your scalp helps to promote circulation which brings oxygenated- nutrient-rich blood to your scalp. Be sure to use oils that won’t clog your hair follicles. A list of the oils I swear by are:

Moroccan Argan Oil

Jojoba Oil

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Peppermint Oil

Rosemary Oil

Olive Oil

Avocado Oil

Grapeseed Oil

There are other oils out there that are good for Afro-textured hair, but these are my go-to ones for daily use.

Note: Coconut oil is also good. Personally, I only use it as a pre-poo steaming treatment. Feel free to add it to your scalp oiling regime if it works for you.

4. Invest in a silk pillowcase or scarf

since 2020 was spent quarantined at home it also meant I spent more time lounging in my bed. That meant more hair-to-pillow contact. It is now common knowledge that afro hair likes to be pampered and cared for with extreme gentility. Cotton + Kinki hair = knots and breakage. To prevent this, get a silk pillow or a silk scarf to wrap your hair with before bed. This will not only discourage breakage but will also help your hair retain moisture.

5. Eat a balanced meal

A healthy balanced meal is required for the body to function properly, and the same goes for your hair. Hair is made of Keratin. Keratin is a protein. Don’t overdo the protein but make sure you are not eating below your recommended daily intake. 

Even more important than stocking up your fridge with eggs and chicken is taking hair supplements. Invest in a good supplement that will help support the growth and health of your hair. An added benefit is that it will also help grow your nails and give you clearer skin.

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