The Biggest Mistakes You're Making When Taking Care Of Your Afro

Want to embody vintage Diana Ross? If your answer is an immediate "yes," then it's time to get an afro! So long, braids and twists — it's time to wear your natural hair out. However, while you might be prepared to shed your braids and sport an afro, know that afros (or Afrocentric hair in general) are susceptible to dryness and damage, particularly during warmer months (via GQ). "Afro hair can get very dry and coarse, so maintenance is important for keeping your hair healthy," Kevin Luchmun, a barber, told the outlet. One mistake you might be making is being lazy and not having a regular hair care regimen. 

That said, remember to wrap your hair with a silk scarf at night to minimize dryness, per Cosmopolitan. "This will help ensure the moisture is retained, so you're less likely to need to resort to heated appliances and extra product because your hair will already be beautifully hydrated," hairstylist Charlotte Mensah said. But it's not enough to simply wrap up your hair every night. 

Per All Things Hair, moisture-rich shampoos and conditioners are your thirsty hair's best friends. And while all hair needs regular cleansing, if you're making the mistake of washing your hair too much, you can strip away the natural oils your afro hair needs. As an alternative to frequent shampooing, co-washing cleans without stripping.

Avoid common mistakes to keep your afro hair healthy

Are you making the mistake of using too much heat? As any curly-haired girl knows, excessive heat can be your downfall, so while blow-drying might help get you that perfect afro shape, it can also be damaging your hair in the process, according to Cosmopolitan. If you prefer more defined curls, try roller setting over blow drying to lessen the risk of damage.

If you're avoiding oil, that can be another big mistake. Natural Girl Wigs notes that oiling your scalp maintains the health of your hair, as oil seals in much-needed moisture, leaving your tresses hydrated! You can buy the popular oils (coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil, or Jojoba oil) at your local drugstore. 

Is your afro crying out for gentle treatment, especially when it's wet and in its most vulnerable state? If you're making the mistake of handling your fragile afro too roughly, it's time for some TLC. Use your fingers to detangle first, before moving on to a wide-toothed comb. Lastly, watch your hair accessories, and don't make the mistake of using damaging items like regular rubber bands. Instead, look for gentle, metal-free elastics or silky scrunchies. "Use bands covered in silk or satin. The smooth surface will help protect from breakage and damage, resulting in happier hair days whatever the weather," Mensah said (via Cosmopolitan).

Yes, this is a lot to remember, but by avoiding some common mistakes, your afro can flourish in good health.