How To Soften A Freshly Washed Afro


My shopping list for soft, healthy hair that is easy to manage post was about the products that every new natural must have as a starter kit. Now, in this post, we deal with the question of how to use these products.

Starting this new venture on a clean slate, use a regular shampoo that contains sulfate to wash your hair. The sulfate in the shampoo is a detergent that strips your hair of dirt, product buildup and oils, including the sebum which is a natural oil produced by the body to nourish skin and hair. This is why regular shampoos are drying, and are best used once a month immediately followed by a deep conditioning.

Washing the hair at night is ideal because you can apply the Tresemme Naturals conditioner, fortified with essential oils, on freshly washed hair for an overnight treatment. In the morning, your hair would have sufficiently benefitted from the long deep conditioning. If you feel like detangling at this point, which I like to do while my Afro is super slippery, do so gently using your fingers or a plastic afro comb.

On the first rinse use lukewarm water, hotter water is damaging to your hair. Then, co-wash using the same conditioner and make sure every strand is covered before rinsing with cooler water. To retain some slipperiness, don’t fully wash out the conditioner. If you do, re-apply a tad of the conditioner before drying. Please note though, hair drying should be done by scrunching the hair with a T-shirt or a micro fiber towel, alternatively cover your hair to absorb excess moisture.

Next, moisturise with Coconut or Olive Oil, both are penetrating oils that moisturises hair inside and out. In winter, you will find that the Coconut Oil, even at room temperature, will solidify making it tricky to use. The Olive Oil will retain its form, making it an ideal moisturiser to use in a jiffy. Personally, I’m a sucker for Coconut Oil, so melting it before use is really no bother.

Now, seal-in moisture using the Shea Butter or Castor Oil. The Shea Butter comes in a solid form and grainy when unrefined. Like the Coconut Oil, it requires melting at times. Make your life easy, store them in small plastic containers, think of the sauce takeaway containers, and drop them in hot water before use.

The Jamaican Black Castor Oil, JBCO, remains a liquid and ready to protect your hair against dryness. The other reason that the JBCO is so popular, even though it’s a smelly fella, is because it is a hair growth stimulant. By religiously massaging the JBCO to the scalp, you improve blood circulation, which is essential to hair growth. So, if inj’ibhabha has taken over where your hairline once was, the JBCO might just be the oil for you.

With love and healthy hair on my mind,

4 comments on “How To Soften A Freshly Washed Afro”

  1. Hey Meka-O. This is great advice. Thanks a lot for explaining this so simply for us novice natural newbies. I will let you know how it goes when I’ve tried this method. I actually already co-wash with Tressemme Conditioner. I’ve just never had it overnight and I’m going to try that. Coconut oil seems to make my hard hard though – I don’t know but it just doesn’t seem to agree with my hair. Castor oil on the other hand – ??. My go-to.

  2. Meka-Owethu says:

    You are always welcome B, have you added essential oils to your conditioner yet? If not, please do.

    A co-wash is a gentle wash that will not dry out your hair further, considering how long the conditioner remains on your hair during a co-wash, that really is not enough time for it to work its magic and definitely cannot rival the impact of an overnight conditioning treatment. The feel of your hair the morning after will convince you of that, I promise. Overnight conditioning sets the tone of how my own hair reacts to my moisturisers and sealants. It is basically an essential step, if my hair has anything to say about it.

    Am happy that the JBCO is showing you good results. As a sealants it really softens and thickens the hair, I have customers of all ages hooked on that dark oil.

    So, give my advise a bash, observe your hair’s reaction and tell me all about it 😉

    P.S. I am currently working on a daily hair care post that incorporates other products that are not part of the starter kit, that should be up sometime next week.

  3. Loads of coolness. I’ll most probably wash my hair this weekend and if I do, I’ll sure keep you posted. I can’t wait… ?

  4. Meka-Owethu says:

    Please tell me you loaded up on those essential oils?

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