When it comes to natural, or afro, hair, it can be difficult to find the right hair products on the high street that let you fully look after your locks. Caring for afro hair means finding the right styling products and developing the right hair care routine. This will keep your hair nourished and protected whatever style you decide to wear.
What makes a good natural hair care product?
First, you need to know what to look for in a hair care product. Afro hair has a distinctly different texture to European hair types, so your hair styling and care products should reflect that.
Hydrating and nourishing
Textured hair types need a lot of hydration, so you want to choose products that are going to nourish and help your hair to retain its moisture. Products such as leave-in conditioners and hair masks are great for this purpose, and ingredients such as shea butter and olive oil are great for hydration.
Dandruff can be an issue for all hair types, including natural hair, so when it comes to choosing your products, make sure you avoid sodium laureth sulfates (SLS) which can dry out your scalp and even cause a reaction. This extremely common ingredient strips away your hair’s natural oils and can damage and dehydrate your locks.
When it comes to keeping your hair moisturised, you can follow an easy 3 step rule:
- Liquid – water-based conditioning sprays work great for getting a first layer of hydration to your hair.
- Oil – oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil and olive oil help to seal in moisture and your liquid conditioner.
- Cream – this is where you can use a leave-in conditioner or a curl cream to deliver a last layer of moisture, as well as help you in styling.
- Style – After you’ve given your hair all its nutrients, now is the time to style. Whether you opt for a protective styling such as locs or braids or prefer to wear your hair natural, grab your favourite styling products and create your perfect look knowing your hair has been treated.
Enriching and strengthening
To prevent breakage, you need to use products that encourage growth and strength in your hair. Using shampoos and conditioners that are gentle on your tresses is crucial, as well as using oils and serums to really lock in all the nutrients you need to keep your hair in its best condition. Look for ingredients including argan oil, shea butter and coconut to keep your hair strong and bouncy.
A natural hair care routine
When you wash your hair, ensure that you use a shampoo and conditioner that is suited to your hair to provide a gentle but deep cleanse. Depending on your hair type, you may wash your hair every 7 – 10 days, but you should do whatever works best for you.
When washing your hair, massage the product into your scalp and hair to encourage hair growth as well as wash away any dead skin cells or hair follicles so your new hair can come through with ease.
Conditioners are a fantastic way to keep your hair in its best shape, both in and out of the shower. Leave-in conditioners help to replenish moisture and calm frizz in natural hair, while regular conditioners are vital for locking in nutrients and softening the hair after it’s been cleansed.