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,