#HairGoals: 5 simple steps to a soft, shiny afro

16 January 2018 - 00:00 By ALICIA BAILEY
For a soft, shiny afro, keeping your hair moisturised is key.
For a soft, shiny afro, keeping your hair moisturised is key.
Image: 123RF/sam74100

Calling all naturalistas, the answer to your afro maintenance struggles isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

“To keep your afro soft and shiny you must be sure to keep your hair moisturised," says Alicia Bailey, Global Educational Corporate Trainer at McBride Research Labs in Georgia, USA.

“Some believe that moisturising consists of only applying topical oils to the hair. Although some oils are essential, proper moisturising starts during cleansing and ends with great finishing products."

Finding the right products for your specific hair type and texture is also important. 

"If you follow the five simple steps that I call 'The Fabulous Five', a soft, shiny afro will be the result each time,” says Bailey.



“Cleanse the hair with a moisturising shampoo containing oils like almond and avocado oil or use a co-wash with coconut milk for soft, moisturised and detangled hair.”


“Condition with a rich conditioner or hair masque infused with essential oils by applying a liberal amount from roots to tips. Use fingers or a wide tooth comb for easy detangling.”


“Apply a liberal amount of leave-in conditioner to prep the hair for your favourite styler.”


“There are many stylers available for various curl types. Once you've determined your curl type, one or more styling products may be used. You can try a curl mousse, twist-setting lotion, curl-stretching cream or curl custard dependent; each product is designed for optimal results based upon curl type and texture.”


“For a complete and polished look, apply an edge tamer with shea butter, a shine mist or oil treatment to the hair for moisture and shine.”

“After completing the 'Fabulous Five', to maintain moisture at night, cover your hair with a satin bonnet or wrap the hair with a silk or satin scarf. Try to avoid cotton scarves or pillow cases because they will dry the hair out," explains Bailey.

"In the morning apply a light moisturiser to refresh and revive the hair. Use fingers or a hair pick to style.”

This article is adapted from one originally published in SMag, a magazine available with the Sowetan newspaper. Check out the SMag online for more fabulous lifestyle, beauty and fashion reads.