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Afope: Goodbye Post-Wash Hair Frizz & Shrinkage! 5 Tips to Help You Out

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As naturals, we know how tasking some of the techniques and treatments can be; like the post-wash frizz and shrinkage. But alas it doesn’t have to be a ‘necessary evil’.

To help out my fellow naturals sisters out there, here are some of my favourite wash day tips for reducing shrinkage and help keep frizz to a minimum.

1. Washing in sections/Washing in twisted sections

For women with longer natural hair, this one would have to be a big YES from me! I usually wash my hair in 4 even sections separated with hair crabs or in 4-6 big twists. Washing the hair in sections makes it easier to manage, ensuring that all sections of the hair are adequately washed. This is while twisting each section post-wash, conditioning and detangling prevents the hair from re-tangling with itself and other sections of hair.

Leaving the hair to dry in those twisted sections is also highly recommended – it may take a little longer for the hair to dry but it will definitely reduce overall shrinkage.

2. Detangling with conditioner and a denman brush/wide-toothed comb

An obvious contributor to frizz would be combing or brushing the hair while it is dry. Needless to say it is one of the bigger causes of breakage and split ends.

In order to reduce frizz, it is advised that you detangle each section of hair while completely saturated with conditioner – starting from the tips and working upwards to the root. Denman brushes are notorious for being great natural hair detangling tools as their soft evenly spaced bristles allow for easy detangling while the rubber base simultaneously smooths the hair and reduces frizz. These can be found in most beauty supply stores but if not a blunt wide toothed shower comb should do the trick just as well.

3. Rinsing with lukewarm water

9 times out of 10, the hair’s level of frizziness will correlate with its level of dryness. Scientifically, heat has been known to essentially “burn out” moisture. Try placing a pot with a little amount of water in it on the stove; after enough time has passed, you will see the water completely disappear. This is exactly the same thing that happens when we apply enough direct heat to our hair; the direct heat from the hot water will dry out the moisture within the hair. When hair is dry, it not only appears frizzier but it is more brittle and prone to breakage.

However, heat is not all bad. It is known to open up the hair cuticles – allowing hair treatments, conditioners oils and products to deeply penetrate the hair shaft – hence the term “deep treatment”. Naturally, cooler temperatures are known to do the opposite – close the hair cuticles; locking in the moisture and treatment infused into the hair during the aforementioned heat infused procedures. It is for this reason that rinsing the hair with cooler water following a conditioning treatment is highly recommended. Not only will it keep the hair from getting dry and looking frizzy but it will also ensure all that nourishing goodness stays locked up in your hair!

4. Absorbing excess water with an old cotton t-shirt and/or air dry your hair

I know I’m not the only one who thought I looked fabulous in a bath robe with a towel on my head to dry my hair. Sadly, I had to give up on that look when I realized it was making my hair frizzy. Ever wondered why as Black women, we’ve always had to wear a silk/satin scarf, bonnet or some other form of cranial contraption on our heads while we sleep? Well here’s the deal; similar to excessive direct heat, and as you may already know, cotton is very good at soaking up moisture. In anything and everything – your hair included. Being that this is the stuff that most pillowcases and made from, it only makes sense that in order to keep our hair from getting excessively dry, that we cover our hair to protect it from the moisture-sapping cotton pillowcases as we twist and turn through the night. The same goes for towels; they soak up a lot of the hair’s moisture, causing dryness and, you guessed it…frizz!

A good alternative would be to allow the hair to air-dry. A great tip I like to use is to soak up all the excess dripping water with a cotton t-shirt. It takes no time because cotton is a quick absorbent and because I don’t leave it on I do not run the risk of dryness. Following this I just allow the hair to air-dry until it’s completely dry before unraveling the twists and…Voila! The zero effort twist-out is born!

5. Applying a water-based gel to damp hair

For all my on-the-go naturalistas, this one’s for you. I appreciate that we do not all have the time to sit around and wait for our hair to dry before we get about our daily business. Furthermore, the thought of what our hair may look like in public after it has dried throughout the course of the day is enough to discourage air drying on the move, but this tip could almost guarantee you won’t have to worry about such things as you go about your daily business.

Cue the ‘Wash ‘n’ Go’! Following a good wash, if you need to leave the house with minimal time for styling, simply grab your favourite tub of hair gel and work through each section of your hair while damp with some of the gel. Remember to balance the amount of gel you use with the sections of hair you are working with.

Rake the gel through your hair with your fingers in a downward smoothing motion until it is completely saturated with the gel. This will significantly reduce or possibly eliminate frizz as the hair dries and simultaneously enhance the natural curls and coils in your hair!

Be sure to use a water-based gel; check the back of the product to ensure ‘water’ is listed. These gels are far less likely to dry out your hair or give your hair that dreaded crunchy when it is dry.

These are some of my favourite tips and tricks, I’d love to know what works for you!

Photo Credit: Fernandes Borges Michel/Dreamstime

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About Afope
Afope Atoyebi is a Natural hair blogger & consultant. She is pretty simple – She has love for God, people, life, laughter and she loves Love. Her ultimate goal is to bring out the beauty in everything/everyone she comes in contact with. That’s what she’s all about. You can find her at her website: www.afrocurlture.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/afrocurlture or on Instagram: @afrocurlture

8 Comments

  1. Theresa

    August 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Thanks Afope, this article came at the right time! I have medium length natural hair which has become unmanageable especially with the demands of motherhood. I have often thought of cutting it or putting it in locs, but can’t find the time to do either. ;-).
    I will try your tips. Thanks again.

    • Kermit the frog

      August 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      But u seem to have time to come on BellaNaija

  2. Dazzle

    August 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Now I love love this post, water based gel sure sounds good for me, gracias Afope much………

  3. esther

    August 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    NICEONE WOULD TRY IT OUT

  4. Akpo 'Diddie Uyeh

    August 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    pls my hair has thinned out,what do i do?

  5. Authentic Sunshine

    August 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    This natural hair thing is here to stay oh.
    On a different note, my BN Ogas at the top, please can you guys look into controlling the number of times one user can love a comment. Just the way Daily Mail and the rest do the thingy………
    One golden step at a time and we shall get there.

  6. funmi Reese

    August 31, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Nice tips even for non natural haired women.

  7. chi-e-z

    September 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve been using tips 3&4 and works good. 1&2 not so much my hair and twists/baiids are not friends my only 3 styles are puff,ponytail, and just regular fro out but least it’s growing out the awkward mid-length stage.

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