We asked Winnie Awa, the founder of Antidote Street, for her best advice and tips for managing Afro and curly hair in lockdown.
As we live in lockdown and find ourselves unable to head out to our favourite salon for our regular hair maintenance, our hair is one of our biggest issues. For women with , this brings with it its own set of challenges, including a lack of product stock online to keeping your ‘fro in shape and not having the expertise in knowing what treatment your hair needs. And while we all love home hoods, nothing beats a salon dryer.
Keep your hands out of your hair
And by this, I mean don’t stress pull. During times of anxiety some of us may find ourselves subconsciously adopting habits such as pulling and playing with our hair which can weaken and create tension on our natural curl pattern. If your hair tends to be out and you can, try keeping your hair in a simple style that limits your ability to play with it.
For instance, you could put your hair in cornrows. However, if plaiting is not your forte a slick back bun (but remember not too tight to avoid hairline tension) or ponytail will do. Do this at the beginning of your week and keep it in until wash day. For those with shorter curls opt for keeping hair wrapped in your favourite silk scarf or headwrap. Knots UK do a great array of options for you.
Be sure to keep your hair hydrated
This is a rule of thumb for me on a daily basis as afro hair textures have a tendency to be dry so it is essential to moisturise often. A moisturising spray such as theis a great and simple form of thirst relief. Alternatively, mixing some water, olive oil and peppermint oil (if you have it) in a water bottle is a great DIY option. Do this every morning (or when your hair needs it). as part of your getting ready to WFH routine. After this, be sure to follow with a moisturising butter to seal in the moisture.
Alongside Flora & Curl, you can also try theor . All of these are spray-on options with water based formulas that are easily absorbed into the hair. In terms of sealants, the is a rich daily moisturiser full of natural butters and organic oils and ideal for all curl types whilst the works particularly well on thicker coarser hair.
Working from home is very comfortable
It can be so tempting not to wash your hair. I recommend continuing with your wash day routine and my absolute fave – deep conditioning. This is such an important step for our hair maintenance particularly those with a tighter curl pattern. Theworks well to clarify and cleanse the hair and scalp whilst maintaining natural pH levels and not stripping the hair of its natural oils.
is also a great option as it contains hydrating ingredients such as baobab oil, coconut oil, cupuaçu butter and yucca plant and willow bark extract.
Deep conditioning wise the Dizziak Deep Conditioner is ultra nourishing without weighing the hair down and can be used by all hair types. For those who have particularly thirsty, low porosity or damaged hair the is the one as it’s enriched with high performing active ingredients designed to strengthen hair.
To ensure even distribution of your deep conditioner try using a detangling brush
This will also help your deep conditioner glide through the hair. Theis a personal favourite and allows for deeper penetration and absorption with a heat cap such as the . Or if you don’t have a heat cap, sleeping in it is just as beneficial.
Right now is a fraught time with many levels of uncertainty for us all and whilst there are currently aspects of our daily lives we cannot control, ensuring that we practice forms of self care is essential to keeping us grounded. Once all of this passes, because it will, be sure to head back into the comfort of your favourite salon chair as now more than ever is a pivotal time to supporting our independent black businesses. You may also want to check out the