Afro Textured & Kinky Hair – How To look After It (I)

Kinky hair/afro-textured hair requires a special hair care that the majority of kinky haired males aren’t aware of. Rogelio goes through a list of hair care rules that you should abide by when rocking those tight curls of yours! This article is Part I of the whole article “Afro Textured & Kinky Hair – How To look After It”.

 

Kinky hair, also known as afro-textured hair, is perhaps the curly hair type that requires the most specific hair care and grooming. This curl type is most common with gents of African heritage, hence the “afro-textured” name, although this curl type can also occur in guys with other heritages.

Kinky hair is the most delicate of curl types because the hair strands (i.e. individual hairs) grow with a very irregular surface, meaning that a kinky-haired strand will have the least tensile strength and will be prone to breakage (i.e. the hair strands will break upon manipulating them too much). Thus, a male with kinky hair/afro-textured hair has to be smart about his hair management in order to display the most awesome of manes.

As you will know if you have read my bestselling book, The Curly Hair Book: Or How Men Can Now Rock Their Waves, Coils And Kinks, I divide one’s hair management into 2 aspects: hair grooming and hair care. This article will deal with the hair care required for a dude with kinky hair (aka Type V curly hair or afro-textured hair), and you can read more about this curl type and its hair care and grooming in my book.

Lenny Kravitz with kinky hair as a male

Hair care for kinky hair – Use a rinse-out hair conditioner

One of the big issues with kinky hair is that it will become dry very quickly if it is not handled optimally. Thus, you should condition your hair on just about every occasion that you wet it, which means that you will condition on practically every day of the week. Rinse-out conditioners (or normal conditioners, as I call them in my book) are products that are applied to your hair for 2 minutes and are then rinsed out. Remember that your hair conditioning is dictated by your shampoo use, and you must first determine your optimal shampooing frequency prior to optimizing your hair conditioner use. If you do not find out your optimal shampooing frequency first, my advice will not work as great as otherwise.

To use a hair conditioner, coat your hair with the product by first spreading some in your fingers. Apply the conditioner from mid-length up to the tip, and, if you have hair that is longer than a medium length, you can then apply the conditioner to 3/4 of the length, but never to the segment that sprouts right from the scalp. You can apply a rinse-out conditioner to your hair whether you have shampooed your locks or not, and the act of applying the conditioner behaves as a mild hair cleanser too. While your optimal shampooing frequency dictates your hair conditioning frequency and I urge you to find it, these are some generic frequency guidelines that you can start with:

  • Near-shaved hair: not needed.
  • Short hair (up to 2 inches): 3x per week.
  • Medium hair (2-6 inches): 5x per week
  • Long hair (over 6 inches): Daily or 6x per week.

Please note that, because you only condition once per day, the frequency noted above refers to days out of the week; e.g. 3x per week equates 3 days out of any given week. You can structure your conditioning days as you please, but do remember that you must condition your hair every time you shampoo your hair.

 

Hair care for kinky hair – Use oils to detangle hair tangles or knots

Tangles are another big issue with kinky hair (or curly hair as whole, for that matter!). Detangling is an art in itself, and unfortunately the only way to get good at it is by practicing, thus you will have to battle the frequent tangles that occur once your curly mane reaches a medium length.

Natural oils and butters are some awesome products for curly haired men, including kinky haired men. Of special merit is olive oil, it’s an awesome detangler as I’ve found out throughout my years of living in Spain (and from where the olive oil is magnificent, must I say!). Olive oil rocks for curly dudes, and other oils/butters you can use on your kinks include coconut butter and shea butter, which you first melt in your hands by rubbing them (hands).

How to detangle your kinky hair? Well, start the detangling process by coating the whole length of the tangled or knotted lock as well as the matted/knotted area. If several hair strands or locks are involved, do too coat them; you need to first provide a slippery foundation to the hair so as to do the next step. Once coated in oil, tightly pinch the matted/knotted area with the fingers of one hand and then pull the preceding length of the matted/knotted locks with the other hand, using a pulling motion that pulls the hair away from the matted/knotted area (e.g. towards your scalp). Pull slowly and softly; you may find that it all goes well until you find that you cannot pull any more because the lock has being intercepted in the mesh of hair. No worries, throw in a bit more oil into the matted/knotted area, and continue pulling till the lock is freed.

 

Hair care for kinky hair – Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers for styling

Never ever try to use anything other than a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to style your hair. Likewise, always use either of these two when your hair is damp and never when it has fully dried. Apply your hairstyling agent when the hair is damp and then don’t manipulate (i.e. touch) your hair any further. Carefully style your curls with the wide tooth comb and never pull hard as kinky curly hair will break easily when pulled! A good wide-tooth comb is this one from Amazon.

Hair care for afro-textured hair – Avoid heavy-duty manipulation

No only should you avoid manipulating your kinky hair after styling it, but you should also avoid dying it, straightening it or blow drying it; the latter (blow drying) can be done occasionally (i.e. once a week or less frequently) and should always be done by first protecting the hair with a heat-protecting product.

Straightening kinky hair/afro-textured hair is a bad decision in itself because it will weaken your hair and make it even more prone to breakage. All you have to do is talk to an African-American lady about breakage and straightening her hair; she will be very sure to tell you about the dramas that she will have encountered when she has straightened her curly locks.

Whenever you style your hair, do not pull hard. Furthermore, any hair accessories that you so choose to use for your kinky hair (e.g. dorag or headband) should never be placed tightly on your hair.

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Guys, this is Part I of this article, so stay tuned to Manly Curls for Part II. If you have enjoyed this article and have benefited from my advice, then do sure check out The Curly Hair Book because you will learn all about rocking your curly hair as a male; no dramas will be encountered and no manhood will be sacrificed in the process of achieving great-looking, convenient hair!

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Rogelio

Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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