8 Expert Tips For Looking After Afro Hair

8 Expert Tips For Looking After Afro Hair

In British beauty circles, Charlotte Mensah’s name is synonymous with natural hair – her salon in Notting Hill is an industry favourite and her bestselling products are loved by the likes of Lorraine Pascale, Zadie Smith and Edward Enninful. We spoke with the three time-winner of Afro Hairdresser of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards to discover her golden rules for caring for afro, multiracial and curly hair types….
Photography: premiermodelmanagement.com

1. Look After Frizz

In general, natural hair tends to be more prone to frizz than other hair types because of dehydration in the strands – this results in your hair being more vulnerable to fly-aways and an unruly nature. The warmer summer months can make this worse, when your hair will become more dehydrated for a variety of reasons, including not drinking enough water and not using the right conditioning treatments.

2. Have Regular Trims

You’ve heard it before but regular trims are essential if you want to keep natural hair in its best state. Try to have a trim every six weeks or so to get rid of split ends, and always have a cut around a week before you go on holiday. If you don’t have regular trims, your hair won’t style well. What’s more, once the ends start to split, it travels up the mid-lengths causing the damage to spread.

3. Be Ingredient Savvy

While sulfate does cleanse well, it strips hair of essential oils and can lead to brittleness and irritation in the long run, so try using a sulfate-free shampoo. At the same time, try to avoid mineral oil and petroleum, as these ingredients can cause an imbalance of oil levels. An added bonus would be to use a shampoo with UV filters, vitamins and antioxidants to help protect your hair from damaging UV rays, which can affect the protein structure of the hair.

4. Try A Silk Scarf

If you’re on a mission to banish frizz and have smoother, more resilient hair this summer, wrapping your hair in a silk scarf before bed can make all the difference. If you don’t wrap your hair before you go to bed, your pillow will absorb moisture as you sleep, making your hair appear dry and frizzy in the morning. Using a silk scarf – or alternatively, a silk pillowcase – will ensure moisture is retained, so you’re less likely to need to resort to heated appliances and extra product come morning.

5. Know Your Brands

For sleeker, smoother hair, try the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil range – it delivers moisture, softness, definition and shine to natural hair. Aveda is also a good brand to try – they’ve been waving the natural hair flag since coming to the UK in 1994; their Be Curly Enhancer is a bestseller. Mizani’s products also come recommended – part of the L’Oréal Professional division, Mizani’s entire range is targeted at natural hair.

6. Invest In The Right Tools

Having the right tools to hand is crucial to maintaining natural hair. The Charlotte Mensah Paddle Brush is great to detangle and you can also use it to massage the scalp in order to stimulate hair growth. It makes light work of tangled hair and contains special air cushioned heat that’ll help prevent damage and split ends.

7. Cut Back On Shampoo

While it may be tempting to wash your hair to keep it shiny and healthy, over-shampooing can actually dry out strands, so stick to washing your hair just once a week. You should be using ingredients that nourish and stimulate the hair, as well as a blend of the right oils to nourish the scalp and encourage growth to keep your hair strong.

8. Have Regular Treatments

Afro and curly textures can struggle in the warmer summer months, becoming dull and dehydrated. Make an effort to apply a deep-conditioning treatment every two weeks to rehydrate, strengthen and maintain hair health. A rich in-salon oil treatment such as the signature Manketti Treatment is ideal. In between salon treatments, an at-home treatment mask containing shea butter or manketti oil will work wonders.
To book an appointment or for more information, visit CharlotteMensah.com

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