RELAXERS AND STRAIGHTENERS HAVE
been a huge part of hair maintenance for a long time. However, hair care styles and trends are quickly changing, with many Africans now switching to natural hair. Gone are the days when an afro was considered shaggy and unmanageable, thanks to a marked change in perception that has led to many women ditching straighteners and relaxers in exchange for the natural look. However, natural hair can also prove difficult to maintain if one doesn’t have the proper information on care and styling.
To get you started on the right foot, we sought the advice of two hair experts: Muli Musyoka, the only certified trichologist in East and Central Africa, and Farouk R Jennedy, a beauty specialist and product developer who is also the proprietor of Farouk’s Salon in Westlands, Nairobi. They give us the A to Z on African and Asian hair.
Afro hair is naturally curly, characterised by a tight curl to a loose wave. It is ideally the most delicate form of hair since it has a thinner cortex (the most import part of the hair structure) than any other type of hair. African hair is prone to dryness and fragility because the curls slow down movement of sebum from the roots to the tips. too much hair teasing. If heat is used on hair, it should be well regulated with heat protection products used to minimise the heat effect on hair. Chemicals like bleach, colour, relaxers and softeners must be used by professionals who fully understand how to follow instructions and deliver services causing no harm to the hair.