Step-by-step, here are the products you need to care for your natural hair as you grow that awesome afro.
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What is an afro? Although you can picture it in your mind, describing an afro is maybe a bit more challenging. Basically, it is a hairstyle where the hair strands extend away from the head in a rounded, dome-like shape instead of drooping straight down. Unsurprisingly, the nature of your curls plays a big role in determining how successfully you can rock a fro.
For personalised advice, it’s always best to speak to a hair care professional . A stylist will be able to assess your locks and present you with realistic style options based on the nature of your hair – its curl type, growth pattern, texture, porosity, elasticity and treatment history.
Your stylist will also be able to tell you your hair type using the curl-based system. Of course, you can have a look now to see where you fall on the curl type table , if you don’t already know.
Sorry, ladies, while you’re unlikely to have problems growing the medium to long hair associated with an iconic afro, your curl type (and gravity!) is against you. Your hair grows straight, smooth and shiny down from the scalp, and generally struggles to hold styles without product and loads of pre-planning. Perms may be the only way for you to go ultra-curly.
The good news is that there are loads of salon-quality products that will boost the volume of your hair. A truly luxurious styling aid for instant volume on the go is Kérastase VIP (AKA Volume in Powder), a dry volumising and texturising hairspray. It’s available exclusively at salons.
These hair types have a lot of volume and bounce, and tend to poof away from the face in a way that’s not dissimilar to the afro – although strands do still grow and hang down from the scalp. As curls are looser and more elastic, trendy natural styles like twist-outs may be a better option than an afro attempt.
If you’re a Curl Type 4 or 5 and tempted to leave your hair alone in the hope it’ll become fluffy like an afro, beware. You’re more likely to end up with a bird’s nest. Type 4 and 5 hair is prone to frizz and tangles, and requires regular taming. Mizani’s True Textures Curl Enhancing Lotion is a leave-in formulation to ensure you enjoy smooth, soft, well-shaped curls no matter your style choice. Find it at your nearest salon.
These curl types are tailor-made for afro styles, and – surprise, surprise – are typically associated with women of African origin. Tight, compacted coils grow directly from the scalp, and hold gravity-defying styles exceptionally well because of a general lack of mobility.
This isn’t to say that growing and maintaining an afro will be a piece of cake for these ladies. Tightly coiled hair tends to be dry, so hair needs intense, but featherlight, nourishment while it grows out. Otherwise strands will break before they reach a decent afro length. Again, check out the salon-exclusive Mizani True Textures range, for specialist coil and curl care. Infused with coconut, olive and marula oils, the Moisture Replenish Shampoo restores moisture and life at the same time it cleanses away impurities.
For even more information on how to grow an afro, read this Salon Secret article.
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