Dense: Picking Your Afro for Good

Wooly black hair. Is that derogatory? Are people offended by it? If so, they really shouldn’t be. As a black woman, I love a good ‘real’ afro. Not the curly, frizzy fro that I rock. But the dense black power fro of the 60s that can only be achieved with an afro pick and coily hair.

These says we do not see the style as much as we did with the resurgence of natural hair in the 1960s. Now it is all about twist outs and protective styling – anything that will manipulate our kinks and coils into defined curls or keep our ends protected. It’s a shame really. The quest for length and definition often overshadows the natural glory of a well cut and cared for afro.

Use a plastic pick for the best results.
Use a plastic pick for the best results.

If you are one of the ladies wearing your hair in an afro, you can still experience growth and healthy hair. Pick it out! However, there are certain picks that are better for your hair. Some picks are just flimsy. Be sure you have a sturdy afro pick that can go all the way through your hair. While the wire picks do still exist, I recommend the plastic picks. They are less likely to get caught in hair and make detangling easier.

Also, pick from the tip to the root. I know the concept is foreign to some of us, but you should pick your afro just as you would normally detangle hair. Starting at the root can pull hair and damage it. Further, if you start from the root it can cause you to give up on truly getting the pick all the way through and you could experience spots where your afro is not as full as it is in others.

Another good question to ask is do you us product when using a pick? The answer is ‘yes.’ There is no reason that your hair has to be product-free to pick out your afro. However, you do not want it to be weighed down with products as you will not achieve your maximum length and height if that is the case.

A well picked afro is like a work of art and we all know the art begins with the artist and a canvas. Therefore, last but not least, is the cut. A good cut is vital to maintaining your afro. It dictates how groomed your fro looks and pretty much determines the shape of it when it is shrinkage city and when you pick it out. To get a good cut, if you have a TWA go to a barber. There is no way around it. If your hair has grown out and is longer, find a stylist that has experience cutting your hair type and stick with him or her. They are hard to come by. I hope these tips help and please please, do not let your fro be “flat on one side.” You know I always have to throw in a little Erykah Badu reference.

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