Caring for Afro, curly or multi-textured hair is an area that is often misunderstood. Many complain that it is dry, damaged and does not grow. We teamed up with the afro-trendsetting team at Antidotestreet.com who beg to differ and strongly believe that with the right hair care practices, healthy hair is achievable. Check out their tips:
Happy scalp = Happy hair
Clean scalp is key to the overall health of the hair. Many overlook this area completely, whilst piling on the heavy creams, gels and styling products. Washing your hair regularly removes the build-up and will allow your products to remain effective and moisturising. One of our brand founders says this, ‘Your scalp is like soil, if you don’t cultivate the land, nothing is going to want to grow there’. We could not agree more with this analogy.
We recommend, Flora & Curl’s Curl Refresh Clay Wash which contains Rhassoul and Bentonite clay for detoxifying the scalp of dirt and conditioning overworked strands.
Start a love affair with your Deep Conditioner
Afro, curly or multi-textured hair is naturally dry. This is because it just takes longer for the moisture to travel down the spirals. A proper deep conditioning treatment can be utterly transformative to the hair’s health adding shine, elasticity and moisture. We recommend Dizziak’s lush Deep Conditioner, described by many as a ‘Game Changer’ it is incredibly rejuvenating for damaged hair and can make your curls POP. If your hair needs some extra love, try TSAKA Beauty’s Black Magic Hair Mask- it does wonders for boosting micro-circulation and primes your hair for some serious growth!
Up the ante with a hot oil treatment
If you are struggling with tangling knots or split ends, you can take things to the next level by introducing hot oil treatments for the hair. Apply oils to the ends of your hair as this is the oldest part of the hair and needs the most moisture, pop on a shower cap and tie a scarf/turban whilst you get about your daily business. This encourages heat, which in turn ensures deeper conditioning of the hair.
Top up your protein
It is usual to expect some knots with tightly coiled or kinked hair due to the tight interlocking of these textures. However, if experiencing more knots than usual or if the hair is frequently exposed to chlorine or the sun, then protein is most certainly needed to help build up the layers of the hair. At this juncture, many typical reach for an egg but whilst eggs are protein from a nutritional point of view, their molecules are small enough to penetrate the hair. We recommend Healthy Hair Studio’s Protein Defence which fortifies the hair whilst keeping it soft and moisturised.
Trimming the hair always gets bad press but it is often the antidote for breathing new life to brittle and broken ends. If the hair has natural coils, you will notice that the curls form better and if the hair is relaxed, it has a beautiful bounce.
Protective style and moisturise:
Protective styling is a term used to describe twists, braids, weaves or wigs which tuck away the ends of the hair typically prone to damage. The styles are only one part of this equation though – to keep your hair happy and healthy underneath, make moisture your best friend. Depending on the style and preference, you can spritz your hair (e.g. for braids or weaves) and/or you can use water-based moisturising creams when styling e.g. for twists. And don’t forget your ends!
Seal in that moisture with a tried-and-true oil of your choice. For the moisturising cream, we suggest HIC&NUNK’s Hair Moisturising Lotion – it’s deeply moisturising and nourishing and is just what your hair needs when you’ve been skipping wash days. For spritzing, we recommend Flora & Curl’s Hydration Mist – it’s simply fab and does what it says on the tin – hydrates and moisturises and makes your hair smell divine! Finally, resist the urge to keep your protective styles for more than 4 – 6 weeks. Why? Refer to point 1.
Avoid heat and excessive manipulation:
Direct heat from blow dryers and straightening irons can be excessively damaging to both the scalp and the hair follicles. So can hairstyles that pull and tug the hair, causing injury to the edges, scalp and hair. If you absolutely must use any type of heat on the hair, build up your protein levels first. What the heat does is break down the hair to change the shape to go from a kink or a curl or a wave to a straight or stretched look and this has an abrasive impact on the hair. Make sure your hair is clean and do a protein treatment prior to heat styling.
Afro, curly and multi-textured hair is fragile and can be prone to breakage caused from friction from bedding. Use a silk pillowcase or headscarf at night to reduce friction.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, as dehydration is a common cause of dry hair and scalp. Introducing lots of leafy green vegetables to your diet and exercising is also beneficial as it reduces stress and promotes blood circulation.
Hair care = self care:
Incorporate your hair care into your self care routine and enjoy the journey of getting to know your hair. Caring for afro, curly and multi-textured hair is often seen as difficult and time consuming but we believe this can be enjoyed. Whilst running yourself a warm bath, pop on your deep conditioner & shower cap, read a book and let the steam do its work.
Antidotestreet.com is a leading online destination curating the very best products for afro, curly and multi-textured hair. Passionate about changing the status-quo in the underserved black hair industry, Antidote Street has today become home to over 20 brands and serves customers across the UK, Europe, Middle east and beyond.
Upon transitioning from relaxed to natural, Winnie Awa (co-founder) was frustrated by the ‘faff’ associated with finding high quality hair care product formulated specifically for afro and multi-textured hair.
Along with her co-founders, she launched Antidotestreet.com in 2014, determined to provide easy access to the best brands, valuable hair education along with a beautiful user experience and excellent customer service