Afro textured hair is typically perceived as thick and voluminous. However, all hair types whether: European, Asian or Afro textured include thick, medium or fine variations. Some of us have fine strands but high density hair, or thick strands with low density. Density refers to the number of strands a person has on their head. It varies from person to person. A person with voluminous natural hair may have fine strands and be required to be extra gentle with their hair, even though they have a high density of strands on their head. Although they have thick hair, they may still experience more breakage than a woman with thick strands. Here are some tips to ensure your hair is at its maximum volume and you don’t lose volume unnecessarily.
1. Finger detangling
Instead of detangling with a comb or brush try finger detangling. Studies show that those who finger detangle usually have thicker hair and suffer from less breakage. Although using a comb can be quicker than using your fingers, it may not be as gentle, especially for particular hair types. Women with kinkier textures typically find finger detangling more beneficial. Dry finger detangling may prove to be even more effective. This is, instead of detangling in the shower with soaking wet hair, natural oil is used on dry stretched hair to separate the strands in small sections.
2. Protein treatments
We can often overlook keeping up with protein treatments and focus more on deep conditioning for moisture. If your hair is particularly fragile it may simply be in need of protein. Hair is made of protein, so a break down in protein will result in weaker strands. Protein treatments rebuild the strands. The key is to get the protein-to-moisture balance correct. Too much focus on protein can lead to dry hair, which will eventually become brittle. Similarly, too much emphasis on moisture may cause the hair to lack the building blocks it needs for strength. Ideally, for every third or fourth treatment should be a protein one.
Here is a list of proteins usually found in strengthening conditioners, protein treatments, shampoos and conditioners:
- hydrolyzed keratin
- hydrolyzed rice protein
- hydrolyzed silk
- hydrolyzed soy protein
- hydrolyzed wheat protein
- silk amino acids
- hydrolyzed collagen.
Protein treatments can also be made at home. Try mixing one egg and/or Greek yogurt with your regular deep conditioner, or simply mix the egg and yogurt with glycerin and Olive Oil.
3. Adopt styles that give the appearance of volume
Instead of regular two strand twists, try loose two strand twists. They give the appearance of locs and allow you to have that Marley Twist look with your own hair. Check out the tutorial below. Other voluminous styles include: curly fros, flexi rod sets and chunky twist outs done on semi dry hair. Remember, the bigger the twists or braids, the greater the volume. Extra volume may lead to less definition though, so decide what is more important to you when preparing certain styles. Finish these styles off by fluffing the hair with an Afro pic and you should notice significantly more volume. Also, don’t weigh the hair down with heavy products when preparing these styles, some gel such as flaxseed should work well for hold and definition.
4. Avoid products with harsh chemicals
Harsh ingredients dry the hair by stripping it of its natural oils. Afro textured hair is prone to dryness, as the natural oils are restricted by coils and kinks from traveling down the hair strand. Therefore, the last thing our hair needs are products that cause even more dryness. Avoiding sulfates, petroleum, mineral oil and silicones (such as dimethicone) will help keep the hair well moisturized . This is important for healthy, thicker hair.
5. Minimize heat styling
Learn to incorporate heat free methods of stretching the hair. This will ensure the hair maintains moisture and eliminates the risk of heat damage. Heat damage occurs when the natural curl pattern is altered after using heat appliances. The curls can become much looser or even completely straight, and fail to revert back to its natural state. Looser and straighter curls will reduce the overall volume of the hair. If this has occurred over a large section, it may be better to simply cut off the damaged hair. Once this is done you will immediately notice more volume, even if the length has been reduced dramatically. The hair can grow back healthy and fuller.
Do you have fine hair? How do you maintain volume? Share below.