5-step hair care routine for curly, coily and Afro hair
Lush’s Afro Hair Consultant Sarah Sango and expert colourist and hairdresser Daisy Evans have used their decades of combined experience to draw up a five-step routine designed to address your hair wants and needs.
This curly hair routine is designed to care for coily and natural Afro hair types, which usually need plenty of moisture to replenish the hair fibres. Sebum finds it harder to travel down the twists and turns of coily hair fibres, meaning the hair is drier and more vulnerable. Using oils and butters will soften the hair strands, creating a supple, more pliable head of hair.
Step 1: Pre-treatment
Hot Oil Treatment H.O.T. features deeply moisturising avocado oil, which will provide serious hydration to the hair, protecting the stands, whilst extra virgin olive oil gives moisture and tensile strength, so the fibres stay strong. Melt it down in a cup with 250ml boiling water and stir to create a thick cream consistency. Leave to cool for five minutes or until cool enough to handle then apply to dry hair. Leave on for 20 minutes under a shower cap or Knot-Wrap. This will help retain heat, which will allow the treatment to penetrate into the hair better. Rinse out your treatment, ready to shampoo. See more details on how to use your hot oil treatment here.
If protective styles are taking their toll on your scalp, you may want to alternate braids with wearing your hair naturally. Follicle-stimulating treatment Roots contains fresh mint infusion, peppermint, and spearmint to increase blood flow to the roots of your hair and nourish the hair follicles. Apply to dry hair, focusing on the scalp. Leave on for 20 minutes then shampoo as normal.
Step 2: Cleanse
When it comes to finding a cleansing shampoo that hydrates, look no further than Fairly Traded Honey. Honey is a humectant that draws moisture from the atmosphere into the hair! This shampoo will take care of any product and skin build-up, refreshing the scalp and hair, whilst keeping it hydrated. Lather directly onto wet hair and work through, rinsing away thoroughly before conditioning as usual.
Alternatively, try using a Co-Wash for a more gentle cleanse. Avocado co-wash is moisturising and conditioning courtesy of cupuacu butter and avocado butter. Rose, lavender and Nettle infusion will also help maintain a healthy scalp. To use it, simply wet the product and work into dry hands until it begins to lather up. Add more water if necessary then work the product into the hair. Co-wash twice or more to ensure the scalp and hair are thoroughly cleaned. Rinse hair thoroughly to ensure no residue from this creamy product is left on the scalp.
Banana co-wash is packed with fresh banana and hydrolysed wheat protein to help to repair and thicken the hair; “This is amazing for chemically-treated hair, whether you relax or colour it. This is going to help keep your strands strong,” says Sarah.
Coconut co-wash is hydrating and detangles your hair with rich coconut cream. “This is my go to when I need a moisture boost!” says Sarah. “It’s so gentle, I use it on my baby’s hair.”.
Mango co-wash is made with enzymic mango flesh and mango butter to add moisture to your hair. Sarah advises, “This one is the most cleansing, so if you’re focusing on removing product build-up or you want to freshen your hair in between deep cleanses, this is your go to.”.
Step 3: Condition
Coconut-scented and super rich, our creamy conditioner Glory is a must for hair needing moisture. Castor oil glides down to the very ends of each hair fibre, enriching and giving curls divine definition throughout the day. A real supergreen ingredient, fresh okra is rich in magnesium, which thickens and volumises without robbing your hair of condition. With coconut cream and a double dose of anti-statics, this conditioner pushes the hair cuticles down for smooth and shiny hair. After cleansing, squeeze out excess water before working a desired amount through your hair and scalp. Take the time to detangle and comb through, then rinse as usual.
Step 4: The LOC Method
The ‘Liquid Oil Cream Method’ or L.O.C. method is a technique for moisturising hair. It involves hydrating the hair with water or a water-based product (your liquid), sealing in the moisture with oil and then applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle which prevents moisture loss.
Afro and curly hair will benefit from the L.O.C method due to the increased potential for breakage points in the hair fibre, and the difficulty moisture has travelling down the cuticle. Some protective styles designed to reduce combing, such as braids, can also place more pressure on the hair fibre and exacerbate hair breakage.
Conditioning spray Super Milk hosts coconut, almond and oat milk to bring definition and improve the condition of the cuticle. Part your hair into four sections when it is wet or towel-dried, then spray and detangle with a wide tooth comb or a detangling hairbrush from the ends to the roots.
Renee’s Shea Souffle, inspired by a traditional family recipe, is a real treat for hair and scalp. Soften and strengthen hair with moisturising avocado and almond oils then add shine with coconut oil. Work a little (or a lot for denser, thicker curls) between your hands and apply on top of Super Milk.
Cocoa butter combines with argan, coconut and jojoba oil in Curl Power hair cream, to hydrate and protect the hair. Hold onto moisture with the help of molasses, a natural humectant, that leaves the hair looking bright and healthy, as ethyl macadamiate protects the hair from heat and humidity. Layer on top of Renee’s Shea Souffle to lock in all that moisture
Step 5: Style
Choose your favourite protective style such as single twists, braids or simply leave hair out in its natural shape.