Before Pitch-Black showed up on the scene I used to have hair that my friends criticized because no matter how much I relaxed it and took care of it accordingly, it would always go back to its natural state within a week. After Pitch-Black came to the scene with his humongous afro, my friends started calling me pitch-black afro. Silly children; for a while I was upset about the way they talked about my hair as if it was some joke but I grew to love my pitch black afro. I loved it through the age of pony tail and the rise of human hair weaves. I still love it and rock it. During the rise of fake hair people questioned my afro because I had it longer than I ever had a weave and I rocked it with pride, still do, it was after Zahara rocked up to the scene that once again a different view of the afro was born. Before Zahara, after people forgot Pitch-Black, the afro was just another weird hair style but after Zahara peole started saying weird things like “ooh, you have Zahara hair”, “you love her so much that you style your hair like her” and I was like OMG!!! Bathong!!! I’ve had this kind of hair ever since I can remember and styled it however ever since I could style it; but that is just humanity at its prime, they’ll shock you always. Later on having an afro became some kind of fashion and I was shocked at how even those that criticized my unbeautiful hair were now having mini-afros because it was fashionable but I still smiled because I was rocking the rain forest while they were learning to grow grass.
Now dear beloved; you who wants to know about your hair in a positive way; let me tell you what I know. This is my introduction to afro hair.
Your afro is not afraid of water
By all means you can play in the water with your afro because all it needs is to dry and be styled. However, chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools tend to strip your hair of its moisture. Take good care of it after a pool dive. You can also wash your hair as often as you like but once a week is ideal as you still need to detangle after washing; and shampooing it daily takes away moisture.
When washing it, make sure that you wash with shampoos that are moisturizing and have the nutritional oils that your hair needs. If your shampoo doesn’t have these you may add a few teaspoons or drops of oils in it just to give it a boost. When choosing a shampoo also you need to make sure that it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that will strip your hair of moisture because our curly hair does have a natural moisture deficiency. Since your hair is not a weave getting it wet is the best part of washing it, let it suck in the shampoo, make sure it’s all covered up and rinse it thoroughly.
Don’t fear moisture
Moisture is the best friend of afro. Make sure that your conditioner and moisturizer or any other after wash products you use as well as daily care products have all the food your hair needs to grow healthy and strong. Apply your product to each section of your hair and if it is a leave-in, let it stay for the prescribed amount of time.
Cover up sometimes
When the weather gets too hot, too cold or dusty, do cover up. Use a satin scarf to cover your hair. You may cover it as a style or just for protection. I myself love playing with my different scarves and have learnt different ways to style them. It is a useful tool not only for protection against harsh weathers but also for that day when you are running late and didn’t have time to get to your hair or that time when you are just lazy or having a bad hair day (a bad hair is less likely in the life of an afro grower).
Detangling and split ends
Oh my God!!! Detangling is a good thing but Jesus knows I don’t like it which is why No.:8 is my get away scheme. Detangling takes time and it can be painful if your hair is dry. As a matter of choice however, you can detangle your hair when it’s wet or dry. Be as gentle as you can. Be slow if that’s what it takes. Love thy hair. Use a wide toothed comb or a brush with wide teeth. Using a brush helps detangling to be less painful and also less damaging to your hair. From time to time make sure you cut split ends to avoid having your hair split up to the scalp.
Braid before you sleep
Imprison that moisture. Braiding your hair before you sleep helps seal in hair’s moisture. Your hair hugs all night and continuously sharing the moisture, braiding ensures that your hair loses the least moisture possible while you sleep.
Less heat is best
We all love styles and straightening and occasionally we do straighten our beloved afro. In doing so we need to use as little heat a possible because too much heat can dry and damage our hair. Our afro is naturally not full of moisture and heat styling can crack it and leave it frizzy. Be very sparing with heat. Braiding before one sleeps is also helpful in making sure that you use less heat when you straighten your hair because your hair is less curly after undoing those braids.
Wash and wear is not a crime
Don’t wash your hair every day with shampoo if you choose to wash and wear. Your hair is ideally washed once a week thoroughly with shampoo and all the wash routine requirements. When you choose to wash and wear a lot, just run it down with water and put on your spray or moisturizer and go.
Satin sleep is best
By all means necessary don’t use cotton or any other rough pillow case. Those kinds of pillow cases damage your hair due to friction as you toss and turn and also they soak up a lot of your hair’s moisture as they are naturally absorbent. Change to a satin pillow case. Satin won’t soak is not highly absorbent and won’t take a lot of moisture away from your hair while you sleep. Satin loves your hair almost as much as you do in my opinion.
Sleep is good for your afro
The body rejuvenates while you sleep and this is also helpful for your hair as it helps you avoid hair loss and hair thinning. There are however products that can cause such problems even if you sleep a lot, be careful of what you put on your hair and in your body as what you eat also influences your hair growth (but that’s a an article for another time).