Reasons to grow that ‘fro

Monday, 12 November 2012

Growing an afro is really easy, and it gives your hair a break from the treatments and chemicals for a little while. And while a weave may look sleek and sophisticated, so can an afro, when you style it well!

First, you have to get rid of all chemically treated hair. So cut off hair that’s been relaxed or permed. If your hair’s already short, you may need to let it grow a little while longer and then cut out the treated parts. If your hair hasn’t been chemically treated, you still may need a trim to get rid of split ends and heat or colour damaged hair. You want to start off with a clean slate, so get rid of anything that isn’t healthy hair. This cut will also stimulate hair growth.

Next, get your hair cut into an even style. It will need to be short as this will become the beginning of your afro.

In terms of maintenance, you’re going to need to keep your hair clean. So wash and condition it once a week for that healthy shine. If you wash it too often, your hair may become dry and brittle. You may need to wash it twice, though, to get rid of any build-up, but you should use a leave-in conditioner. An afro needs to be kept moisturised; it can easily look dry and out of control, so use products that contain shea butter or argan oil. This also prevents breaking and splitting of your hair. After it’s been washed, let it air dry – you don’t need heat styling for this look. Weekly or twice weekly treatments will help keep your hair and scalp moisturised.

When it comes to grooming and styling, always use either a wide-tooth comb or a pick comb to fluff out your hair. A smaller comb will break your hair. You’ve got to keep ‘picking’ at it otherwise your afro will fall flat and get knotty. Even though you’re growing you afro, you need to keep trimming it. Get to your hair stylist or barber every four to six weeks to keep you ‘fro in an even shape and split-end-free. This may be a natural style, but an untamed afro just looks wild.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Trends in ethnic hair
10 Tips for ethnic hair
For the love of weaves

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
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  1. Queen Shai

    I am quite liking the afro look but the dryness has always been a big no no for me. Also I’d prefer it a bit more curly and definitely well moisturised as this article suggests.

    6 years ago •

  1. mkhize

    Thanks for the information, will definitely try Shea butter.

    6 years ago •

  1. Rox Starr

    I have been trying to wear my hair au naturale to give it a break from all the heat styling. I must say this article as well as the comments have been really helpful because I have been struggling with what to do with my mass of tiny curls that dry out easily.

    6 years ago •

  1. AmyR

    Great article but I think I need to mention three important things. (My fro is nine months old now) In the morning when you get up, use a spray bottle to slightly dampen your hair then comb it out with your afro comb otherwise your hair will break off trying to comb through all those knots while dry. Don’t use cheap products on your hair. If you had relaxed hair before and now have a fro, treat your fro as you would when your hair was sleeker. Use the best products you can afford, try new treatments and don’t limit yourself to the “black hair” section. Also put pretty bows, headbands, scarves, alice bands, clips in your hair – It really makes a difference! Be mindful of your diet, exercise and water intake. When I don’t drink enough water and eat really badly – I almost instantly notice that my hair suffers and will be very dry.

    6 years ago •

  1. akiyanna

    If your fro is dry & breaking the mpl carrot oil helps

    6 years ago •

  1. mashigoane

    I use Jojoba oil i bought on bidorbuy and 100% pure and organic Kenyan Shea Butter i bought from sOiL on my fro… other oils i love are; extra virgin coconut oil from dischem and castor oil.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ngwenya

    Great suggestions! I’ve been growing my ‘fro for the past two years, and im kinda proud of it! tell me though does having a weave or extensions on the ‘fro affect the hair?

    6 years ago •

  1. Zah

    My hair is so dry, I’ll definitely try using shea butter!

    7 years ago •

  1. Nuuh

    Good advice I am trying to grow a afro this information will be put to good use

    7 years ago •

  1. Blackcherry

    thanks for the tip. maintaining ethnic hair is very difficult even worse in a afro.

    7 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Interesting, will share with my Friends… Thanks

    7 years ago •

  1. Cat

    I like the fro look but unfortunately don’t have the hair to do it

    7 years ago •

  1. ThuliDaph

    I love me a Fro i was rocking it for both my pregy’s n when i tried to go back to chemicals it frizzled to non existence then i had to start over but lucky i have the grow over night hair :). Question? I now have dreadlocks what products or advises do have to keep the dreadlocks naturally pretty, low maintainance and trendy…

    7 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I love my big afro but I’m so helpless when it comes to styling it.

    7 years ago •

  1. CharlieW

    Love this look! So naturally beautiful!

    7 years ago •

  1. Cindy Ross

    Awsome article. i wash my hair everyday so atleast now i know why its so dry. Will definetley try the argan oil.

    7 years ago •

  1. Hajira

    Thanks for the advice it came at a good time

    7 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Ive always admired an afro. I think it is sophisticated and stylish in its own right.

    7 years ago •

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