The Best Hair Care Secrets from Africa Revealed!
Africa is the Motherland, and as such, it holds countless ancient secrets. Among these secrets are many that pertain to hair care which have become less known about throughout the years. The slave trade is believed to be the main culprit of this as with so many persons being removed from Mama Africa and many more being killed, there were less and less of the older folks around to pass along these secrets. Here are six hair care secrets from Africa which are not well-known in the outside world.
Rooibos Tea (also referred to as Red Bush, Red Tea or Bush Tea) is a derivative of the rooibos plant which grows in the mountainous area of the Western Cape province in South Africa. This tea is packed with antioxidants, enzymes and nutrients including zinc, copper, potassium and calcium. It can either be ingested or used as a topical treatment for a different number of purposes.
When it comes to hair care, Rooibos Tea can be used to promote hair growth and strengthen the hair. It can also help with premature graying and it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the scalp and fight dandruff. This herbal tea is often compared to hibiscus tea as they share a similar taste and color. It can be used as a rinse after you shampoo and condition your hair. Just steep the tea bags in water, allow them to cool then apply to your freshly cleansed hair. Let it sit for thirty minutes then rinse and deep condition. With all these amazing benefits, it is easy to see why it's one of the best hair care secrets from Africa!
This Moroccan clay is used as a traditional mud wash for the hair which removes oil, debris and other products. In comparison to other clay, it contains higher levels of magnesium and silica, the former of which helps the hair to better absorb other nutrients and the latter of which is known to help with thinning hair and excessive shedding. Rhassoul Clay is also rich in minerals and so can also be used as skin treatments such as face masks. On wash days, just replace your shampoo with a mixture of rhassoul clay and water to thoroughly cleanse your hair and scalp.
Have you ever had one of those fantastical experiences when you try out a product for the first time and it literally melts into your hair like butter? If this sounds like the kind of life you're trying to live, then Ghee Butter is right for you because it is actually real, edible butter!
This hair care secret comes from Ethiopia although the butter itself originates from elsewhere. Ghee Butter is clarified butter which is frequently used in the cooking process of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. However, the practice of applying this butter to the hair was traditionally practiced in Ethiopia and it can be used as a moisturizer or a sealant. Furthermore, it is known for its strengthening properties due to its high unsaturated fat contents.
Another of the best hair care secrets from Africa is native to the Republic of Chad in Central Africa and is made from a mixture of lavender croton, cherry kernels, mastic gum, clove and Sudanese perfume oils. This product is used to strengthen the hair, promote growth and make the hair more resilient to breakage. Traditionally, it is used by wetting the hair, adding an oil and using the Chebe Powder to lock in the moisture. A protective style (such as plaits) are then installed and the hair is left untouched for the next 3 -7 days or until it is time to repeat the process all over again.
African Black Soap
This product originated in West Africa and is packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, potassium and magnesium. It is made from a combination of locally harvested plants such as palm pods, plantain and cocoa. These are sun-dried and then roasted, resulting in the deep, dark color of the soap. Water and oils are added next, and this soap if known for its high content of Shea Butter which is believed to offer UV protection from the sun.
It is generally safer to purchase the version made in Africa as these are likely to be pure, rather than those commercially produced in the USA which often contain additional artificial ingredients. Another thing to note is that real African Black Soap is normally a dark brown or tan color, and the soap is very strong in its pure form and so skin irritation isn't uncommon. Hence, if you have sensitive skin, it is recommended you test the soap on the inside of your wrist prior to using.
African Threading has many uses. Firstly, it can be used as a styling technique where it is installed and left as it. Secondly, it can be used as a method to stretch natural hair without the use of heat. To do this, the threading is installed and then removed after a few hours or a few days. Lastly, threading can be used as part of your locs regimen. It is believed that if you thread a section of your locs, then it would encourage this stubborn spot to knot up. The key thing to note when threading your hair is to never do it too tightly or it can damage or weaken your hair.
These are just some of the hair care secrets from Africa and there are many others that you can find through research. If you found this information helpful then please let us know in the comments below.
Would you try any of these techniques?