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AN ONLINE AND PRINT PUBLICATION COMMITTED TO SHARING PERSPECTIVES FROM WOMEN AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE OF COLOUR

Here’s what you can do with your afro hair at home

With salons and hair shops closing across the UK, it’s time to get creative and learn how to style your afro hair at home.

Credits: Photography by Yossy Akinsanya / Peckham Palms

I’ll be honest, when this all started, I forgot to take a shower, found myself in the same dusty stained top, my skin became increasingly ashy because I barely saw the point in moisturising anymore. Denim has not touched my body and what even is a bra? As for my afro hair, well, my jumbo braids are about to start walking off of my head any day now. In a time when we’re all staying at home and don’t have any plans for the foreseeable future, for me it feels like there’s literally no reason to look presentable. And in turn, it’s a challenge not to feel clapped all the time. 

Really I know I should be grooming (where I see fit) and looking after myself for my own benefit. But staying indoors does make me think about how much of our presentation is for the sake of others, be that friends, or just the general public. Finding the line between being a slob but also genuine self-care is difficult.

One aspect of my appearance that has the ability to bring me endless joy and validation is my hair and having it styled. Yet a lot of the tools and people I’d usually need are in shops and salons and generally not in my home.  So whether your shape up is looking out of sorts, or your braids need taking out ASAP, fear not, here are tips and tricks you can do with your hair at home: 

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Reuse and wash your braiding hair

Seeing as we can’t go anywhere, it means not trips to your local hair shop. But if you’re anything like me you probably have a massive bag of random packs of hair anyway.  And if you’ve got braids in now, reuse the hair! It recently dawned on me, braiding hair is single-use plastic which will just end up on landfill somewhere. So, it may take a bit longer to unravel every braid and wash the hair but you’re saving money, the environment and you should be washing braided hair anyway. 

Big chop? Undercut?

In times of crisis sometimes it only feels right to shave your head and start again. Whether you want to big chop because you messed up your curl pattern over the years, or you’re trying to give your edges a fighting chance, maybe it’s time to reach for the clippers.  And If you’re worried about how you might look with no hair, what better time than being indoors? Perhaps, you don’t want to lob all your hair off, maybe experiment with an undercut

Learn to canerow, braid or twist

I’ve been burned (literally) one too many times by a salon, so I took it upon myself to learn how to box braid using YouTube and I’ve never looked back. So, If you’ve not got round to learning how to braid or twist this could be the ideal time to perfect a new skill. And if you already can braid, up your game and learn how to do knotless box braids. You might not be amazing at first, but this is the perfect time to practice. My biggest tip for box braids, is as long as the partings look neat from the front, does it matter what the partings look like at the back? 

Let headwraps be your friend

I’ve always loved how headscarves look on black women, they cross cultures, there’s something really regal and stylish and them. Whenever I see someone sporting one, I always assume they’ve got their shit together, buy organic food and cleanse their house with sage. But the best part about headscarves is you don’t really have to worry about your hair.

Hair treatments

I’m forever putting off that deep condition or hair treatment due to being busy (lazy). Now, there is legit no excuse, so dedicate some time to really getting your hair healthy and moisturised – you can even join a virtual deep conditioning party! And there’s no need to put mayo, egg and avocado in your hair, it doesn’t need salad dressing. Check out Afro Answers for some advice on how to moisturise your hair.

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