Beginner's Guide To Managing Natural Afro Hair

So, you want to take care of your natural afro hair or your child's hair and you are not sure how to go about it. Manging natural afro hair can be tasking and if we are being honest, it is a full-time job that cannot afford you slacking. Let us help you highlight some of the key elements you will need to achieve long healthy voluminous strands.

Learn your porosity.

    This term is familiar to most naturals but for just to be on the safe side, porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. It is characterized by how open or closed your cuticles are. For this reason, porosity is divided into three major classifications;

    Low porosity

      This is when the cuticle is packed, tightly bound and lays flat making it almost impossible to let any kind of moisture penetrate into the hair. This condition is purely genetic. Water ends up getting beads on the surface since it cannot get through and once soaked, it takes a long time to dry.

      Medium porosity.

        For medium (normal) porosity, the cuticles are not too loose or too tight. They are just right, allowing easy absorption of moisture and retention for longer. Colouring is very easy to do on this hair type but avoid over processing it.

        High porosity.

          This is when the cuticles are too open allowing moisture to easily be absorbed This is because, the cuticles are too open resulting in fast absorption but even faster moisture content loss. Essentially, the cuticles do not close up again after moisture is absorbed so it is lost just as easy. 

          Use the right wash day tools and products.

            A good wash day is vital for natural afro hair no matter your hair type, porosity or density. It is important to take your time to avoid too much shedding. Most natural hair is lost during the washing and detangling phase so patience truly is a virtue this day.

            As much as getting the products and tools are important, beware that most products are formulated according to your curl pattern. However, for a more educated purchase, focus more on your porosity than curl type. Here are some of the things you will need;

            1. A great pre-poo to help in detangling, sectioning and readying the hair for cleansing. You can opt for a regular conditioner, an oil or a hot oil treatment to help your work easier. It is not wise to detangle dry hair to avoid breakage.
            2. Hair clips to help in sectioning your hair.
            3. A detangling brush/ wide tooth comb to detangle easily. Start from the ends and your way up.
            4. A good natural shampoo. Dry hair can be such a task. Not only is it prone to breakage and damage, it is also really difficult to manage. For this reason, we recommend you use a good moisturizing/hydrating shampoo. This way, your hair and scalp are cleansed but not necessarily stripped.
            5. A conditioner to replenish all the moisture, nutrients and oils lost.
            6. Moisturizer to keep your hair moisturized. A great moisturizer be it water based or protein-based is a great way to ensure that your hair gets the moisture it deserves. Massage it into your scalp and be generous with the ends of your hair.
            7. Oils and butters to seal in all the moisture. 

            A successful wash day should also have great protective styles to ensure that your hair does not dry out and tangled.

            Improve your lifestyle.

              Having healthier hair is every natural’s desire but to get there, a lot of dedication is required. There a few lifestyle changes you might want to consider to have the hair of your dreams.

              • Eat healthy. Include lean meats, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and supplements. You cannot cheat your body system.
              • Work out regularly to maintain a healthy body. Remember if your body is healthy, your hair will glow and grow.
              • Increase your water intake. This is to ensure that the body is hydrated enough for the scalp to allow for water content into the hair shaft thus maintain shine and lustre.

              Know how to maintain long hair.

              The Rapunzel effect is alive now more than ever with every natural hoping to literally use theirs as a rope someday. For most of you who don’t have long hair, the obsession social media has created has become all too surreal.

              However, having long hair whether straight, wavy, curly or kinky can pose its own challenges. Here are some ways you can ensure that your hair is well taken care of;

              Always work in sections.

                Whether you are washing, deep conditioning or moisturizing, part your hair in small sections and to avoid tangling and to make your work easier.

                Keep your hair stretched out always.

                  Detangling super long hair can be exhausting and overwhelming. It is difficult enough to detangle short hair so keep your hair in stretched hairstyles to help you manage it better. Keep your hair in twists or braids to prevent it from shrinking and tangling up again.

                  Avoid too much heat styling.

                    It is one thing to have long hair it’s another to have full, healthy long hair. Heat is notorious for sucking out all the moisture leaving hair damaged. You may have managed to grow out your hair but if you are not careful with heat, you may watch it thin out the more you use it.

                    If indeed you have to use heat:

                    • Do not blow dry dripping wet hair as this may cause breakage due to hygral fatigue.
                    • Use a heat protectant.
                    • Use heat in a very low setting.
                    • Keep your blow dryer a few inches from your hair and spread the heat evenly.
                    Trim when necessary.

                      Trimming for naturals is what garlic is to vampires. We simply hate it and do not enjoy one bit. BUT trimming is the only sure way to keep split ends from damaging your hair. There is never a right time to trim so it will all depend on your hair and how well you take care of it.


                      Having natural afro hair is not an impossible task, you need to nurture it and give it all the TLC it requires. Follow these tips, be consistent with your routine, document everything and use natural products that won't damage it, you should then see great results!

                      If you need more guidance then consider trying out our hair coaching service

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