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The secrets to styling Afro hair

Photo by Tomaz Borcellos from Pexels

Some South African salons that previously only catered to Caucasian hair are now wanting to include Afro hair services.

In an article on, Darrel Starkey, salon owner of Taylor’s Hair Studio, offers his tips on how to work with this type of hair.

Says Starkey: “Firstly, beware of breakage. Afro hair is so much more delicate and prone to breakage than other types of hair, as each curl or coil is a potential point for breakage to occur. The curly structure of Afro hair also means that sebum produced by the scalp can’t reach the ends of the hair, leading to dryness, brittleness and vulnerability to snapping off. Using heat can also heavily impact the hair, so it’s important to bear this in mind when it comes to styling.”

Secondly, notes Starkey, moisturising is one of the most important parts of Afro hair. “Moisturising the hair is essential to keeping it in prime condition and as healthy as possible. Lack of moisture results in breakage, so it’s important to get as many nutrients in as you can. Start with a liquid water-based product – sprays are much easier and work better for the hair – then seal your moisture in with an oil. Products containing olive oil, coconut oil or castor oil are best. Then finish with a water-based cream for leave-in conditioner.”

Starkey advocates putting a focus on protective styling. He continues: “This is super important when it comes to textured hair as it limits the exposure to damage and protects against further breakage. Before going ahead with the styles, it’s important to make sure the hair is in good condition. I would advise styles such as box braids, knotless box braids, plaited up dos or cornrows.”

Relaxing Afro hair is a very popular service in South Africa and is a complex procedure. Starkey comments: “Do your research and speak to your educator on how to be the best you can be in this area. Practice as much as you can to build your knowledge and skills.”

Lastly, build up your retail knowledge about products suited to textured hair and recommend appropriately as home care for your Afro hair clients. (Source:


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