Afro hair texture is most often found, although not limited to, people of African origin. The biology of afro hair is the same as other hair types. However, its helix shaped make up puts it in contrast to that of its straight, wavy or curly counterparts. Read on to clue yourself up on how to manage afro hair.
Types of afro hair
Since the creation of the Andre Walker Hair Typing System, afro hair is quite commonly referred to as type 4 hair, with 4C being the most frequently used within this grading. With such a wide variety of textures, pattern and density among those with afro hair, it is hard to categorise it in such a way however afro hair tends to fit as 4A (defined coil), 4B (z coil) or 4C (tight coil).
Moisture is key
Afro hair is low porosity making it highly susceptible to dryness. The helix shape of afro hair makes it more challenging for any moisture and the hair’s natural sebum to travel down it. Afro hair also tends to be coarser and more frizz-prone than other hair types, so it is recommended to use a conditioning treatment mask at least once a week. Introduce a hair oil, such as the Black Seed Hair Oil Elixir, to also maintain the hair’s moisture. Daily hair washing will strip the follicles of essential oils so avoid this to maintain hair hydration and steer towards naturally derived hair products. Many afro targeted products contain mineral oil which is known to clog pores, again preventing the scalp from maintaining moisture levels.
Some afro styles are more than just a fashion look, they protect the hair’s natural state which is essential for growth. Styling, such as braids, protect the ends of the hair, decreasing the risk of matting, breakage, and hair loss.
Afro hair, be it natural, relaxed or styled, can require plenty of time, effort and money. However, with the right balance of moisture and protective styling, the results can be glorious and create the most eye-catching head of hair!
Jessica Simpson for Equi Botanics.