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How to Maintain a Mini Afro

While the Afro is often thought of as a relic of the 1970s, it can be a stylish way for a contemporary person of African descent to maintain healthy hair, and make a statement. Whether you are of African descent or not, if your hair is naturally kinky there is a lot of pressure to straighten your hair in adherence to a contemporary standard of beauty. Straitening kinky hair often requires putting harmful chemicals such as formadahyde in your hair. Having an Afro is not only healthier, but if done right it can really make a fashion statement.

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  1. In the shower, thoroughly wash your hair using shampoo. Two washes are recommended to ensure that your hair is thoroughly cleansed. Once you have finished washing, add a healthy amount of conditioner to your hair. The amount varies depending on the length of your hair, but at least a silver dollar sized dollop is recommended. Apply the conditioner as thoroughly as possible, so that it touches all the sections of your hair. After three minutes, thoroughly rinse the conditioner out of your hair.

  2. Get out of the shower, and apply the leave in conditioner to your hair. Like the rinse out conditioner, it should be applied thoroughly to every section of your hair. It is a good idea to comb through the leave in conditioner through your hair after applying it. Take the rat tail comb, and gently comb through your hair from tip to root, using the toothed end of the comb.

  3. Separate your hair into six different sections using the hair clips and the rat tail comb. The there should be a section at the top front central point of your head, the two front side points (in front of your ears), the two back side points (in back of your ears), and the back top central point. Use the rat tail end of the comb to create the sections by dividing your hair into distinct, separate blocks. Once you have created a section, pin it down with one of the hair clips. Repeat this with all six sections.

  4. Section by section, apply the hair lotion to your hair. It is important to do this one section at a time. Unclip the section you are working with, so that the hair hangs down, and spray it with the spray water bottle to increase the moisture. Once the section is dripping wet, put a quarter sized dollop of hair cream on your fingers, and run your fingers through the hair so as the saturate it with the cream. You should see a little bit of foaming in your hair once the cream is applied. If you do not feel like you have fully saturated the section, you should add a little more cream. Once this is done, you can use the clip to pin the hair back, and repeat this process with the other five sections.

  5. Take the blow dryer, and add the diffuser attachment to the end of it. Unclip all of the cream saturated hair sections. Tilt your head a bit forward, and start to dry your hair by pointing the diffuser end of the blow dryer at the tips of the hair that is hanging in your face. As you are drying, periodically scrunch your hair with your fingers to ensure tighter curls. When the hair starts to dry, you will start to see beautiful, tight curls. Repeat this drying process with the back and sides, and top of your head until your hair is dry and curly. Your Afro will be tight and curly for a day or so after this. Later on the curls will start to loosen, and frizz a little bit, but this can be controlled through hair cair products such as Afro Sheen. Some people also like the aesthetic of the hair as it starts to loosen and frizz.

  6. Tip

    It is important to have naturally kinky hair in order to do this. If your hair is naturally kinky, but has been chemically straightened, grow it out for a few months before trying this. It is important to keep your hair nice and moist up until the point that you dry it. This is what helps it curl effectively. If you want to towel dry your hair after the shower, do so by gently patting your hair with the towel. Don't rub your hair with the towel, for it will cause friction that can ruin your results. Curlisto products are recommended, because they are designed for this process, but you can use other brands as long as you strictly utilise these methods.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shower
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Rat Tail comb
  • Hair Clips
  • Spray water bottle
  • Hair Cream
  • Blow Dryer
  • Diffuser attachment

About the Author

Lola Fredericks has been a music journalist since 2009. She writes for Ad Hoc.fm and Visitation Rites, and also contributed to Altered Zones. Fredericks holds a Bachelor of Arts in art-semiotics from Brown University.

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