I think we can all agree that Afro Curly hair needs moisture, to show up at its best. In this post we will explore 5 Product Types that every Afro Curly hair needs to look its absolute best.
Afro curly hair loves moisture, without it, the hair gets dry and brittle like a dead leaf or the outer bark of the tree. Most curlies do add moisture, too much sometimes, however the issue lies in maintaining that moisture.
Maintaining moisture is a multi-step process that takes much more than products; however, these five types of products will help you on your way to creating and maintaining a simple regimen which when executed consistently will perpetuate a cycle of sustained moisture.
Let’s get into the five types of products that are a must have for your healthy hair journey.
1. Cleansing Product
Cleaning your hair is a pivotal first step to maintaining healthy hair. Cleaning the hair gives it a fresh canvas for absorbing and trapping moisture to keep its strands supple and your scalp healthy and problem free.
Cleansing can take the form of pH balanced shampoo bars, liquid shampoo, co-wash or clay. When choosing a cleansing system, choose something that isn’t going to strip your hair and scalp as though it’s stripping grease from dirty dishes, choose something that leaves some of the oils behind.
If you choose to co-wash, ensure it doesn’t contain just conditioning ingredients, check it also has some cleansing ingredients, otherwise it’s not washing your hair.
Clay is amazing for cleaning as it absorbs dirt and oils so they are easily washed away, but doesn’t leave the hair or scalp dry and aching for moisture, the obvious downside is the time it takes and the mess. Clays can be your once every month or quarterly hair detox.
As your hair is so unique to you and your lifestyle, only you know what’s best for it. Cleaning is not a step you should skip, narrow down your options to two that work for you and alternate them every 6-12 weeks.
Your hair should be cleansed at least once per week. You take a shower or have a bath every day, brush your teeth twice a day, show your hair the same courtesy. Whilst it doesn’t need daily washing, once or twice per week is a good compromise.
2. Deep Conditioner
As the hair is cleansed and the old product buildup is washed away, the hair has gone through a slightly traumatic experience and needs to be soothed, especially if you’ve used a harsher type of clarifying shampoo.
The deep conditioner is left on the wet hair, which gives the hair a chance suck up as much moisture as it can take as well as patch up any holes that may be in the hair strands from damage.
The deep conditioner will also coat the hair strands, preferably with oils and butters so when you rinse it out, your hair is still left with the moisture it absorbed. This is why it is advised you rinse your deep conditioner out with cold water.
Deep conditioner should only be applied to the hair and not the scalp. The product should be added from the midway point to the ends of the hair as this section is oldest, driest and more susceptible to damage. It is a must have because it helps soften and protect the hair from damage.
I suggest deep conditioning once per week, this will amp up your moisture retention and protect your hair from damage.
3. Leave In Conditioner
Your leave-in conditioner is the hero of your hair story. It is the workhorse that helps maintain the good work of your cleansing and conditioning system. The icing on the cake that brings the whole ensemble together. No matter how great your cleansing and conditioner is, if you don’t have a great relationship with your leave-in conditioner, the whole house comes tumbling down and you start to feel like you’re failing or go as far as to hate your hair (blasphemy!).
Choosing the right leave-in conditioner will take some trial and error, because even though it may be made for your hair type, it may not be right for YOUR hair. Based on the thickness of the hair strand and how your hair absorbs moisture, look for products that don’t weigh your hair down, so don’t use thick products if you have fine hair and don’t use water thin products if you have thicker hair that likes a lot of moisture. I like As I Am and Shea Moisture products. I don’t like to make specific product recommendations, but As I Am has nice mostly natural products and Shea Moisture has a wide variety to choose from.
I am working on a leave-in conditioner to add to the Holpura line, it isn’t one of the easiest things to formulate and I want it to be just right so it may take a little while to make its debut in the shop.
Most leave-in conditioners will evaporate or dissipate from your hair after a few days, so it needs to be reapplied. Read this blog to learn more about conditioners. You can’t use it once and expect it to last until your next wash day in 7, 10 or 14 days. That’s an unfair expectation of the product.
Think about it, the product can be rubbed off by many of your daily activities such as putting on a shirt, rubbing on your pillowcase, your bonnet, leaning on a wall etc. The point being, the product won’t stay on your hair forever so reapply when your hair needs it. The timing of reapplication is something you should figure out, the blog post I linked above will give you some pointers on how to know when to reapply moisture.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Afro Curly hair not needing oils, I’m not sure where this came from but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this is inaccurate. Whilst it is true that oils do not moisturise on their own, the elements that do provide hydration to the hair need to be sealed in by oils to create and maintain that moisture, otherwise they evaporate.
We also need to massage our scalp with oils to help the natural oils protect the skin from drying out. Another benefit of oils on the scalp is to ward off certain bacteria that if left to their own devices, can lead to dandruff and other unfavorable scalp conditions.
As mentioned in this blog, not all oils are created equal, nor are all oils fit for every purpose, some oils are penetrating and nourishing from the inside, some are sealing, protecting from the outside, some do a bit of both such as castor oil. When sealing moisture into the hair, there is very little point in using grapeseed oil as it will absorb into the hair quickly and work its magic from the inside. An oil like coconut oil gets a bad rap for being drying, yes it can be if its used in large amounts, however, coconut oil is another oil that absorbs easily and nourishes the hair from the inside so you can’t use it as a sealant nor would I suggest it on the scalp, unless you have scalp issues, where it’s healing properties will be put to great use.
If you have the right combination of oils, you could use just oils and water after cleansing to maintain beautiful, healthy hair. Such is the importance of oils. Oils may not be necessary for some hair types, but it’s definitely a must have for Afro Curly Hair. Our Revive Scalp Oil is one such must have.
5. Water or Hair Tea
So, this is something that isn’t new but is making more of a wave currently in the haircare space. We all know our hair likes moisture and water is the cheapest form. Having a bottle of water to spritz your hair whenever it feels a little dry can help extend the days between adding a leave-in conditioner. A hair tea is great because it has the added benefits of the herbs instead of spraying with just water, some also have a lovely scent that will freshen the hair.
This is a must have for curlies who love to protective style with twists or plaits. This spray makes it much easier to add a little extra moisture without having to unravel the twists or working white product throughout the twisted hair. I personally use my hair tea blend every other day, which makes my hair feel soft and loved when I remove my twists before wash day.
If you wear braids or cornrows, you know how important it is to maintain the hair and scalp even though they’re tucked away. Spraying the scalp with hair tea is nice and soothing in between washes. It will help nourish your new growth, some herbs in the tea may even strengthen the new growth, so when you go to remove your braids, you have less hair fall.
There you have it, five must have product types for growing and maintaining healthy afro curly hair. It isn’t hard to look after your hair when you know what to do and what to use. Create a simple weekly or biweekly regimen and try to stick to it as much as possible, when you get into the routine it becomes quick and easy – no more all day affairs.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the five must have products, would you add any others? Connect with us on our Facebook page or drop us an email via the contact page.
Until next time,
Be Great x