How to – Afro-Puff

I think I really enjoy my hair when it comes out like this. The emphasis for me is on the crinkly curls. You can do a lot with hair when it is like this. The main bonus is that you only need to finger comb. My hair can get away with finger combing for about five days. Longer is pushing it slightly.

Afro-puff front view
1. Step one is wash and condition your hair
2. Detangle
3. Moisturise
4. Then I make small plaits or braids. The purpose of the braids is to stretch the hair, which in turns makes it much softer to handle. Since my hair is now long enough to detangle in sections, putting in small braids to stretch the hair is much easier. I wash my hair in four sections. The two front sections are usually smaller and within each of these I can fit two or three smaller braids. The back sections are usually larger and each take three or four smaller braids. Because my hair is already sectioned and detangled, the braids take much less time. I actually timed the process and found that I took about 17 minutes. Understand that this is amazing progress for someone who took almost an hour to do about six small braids in my early natural days.
When I first grew out my TWA and began braiding my hair, I would put them in at night and take them out the next morning and comb into an Afro. I would repeat the same process the following night. With time, I have found that leaving the braids in for two nights results in a more defined and longer lasting curl. This means that once I have put them in, I would wear a head scarf or wrap for one or two days and then take down the braids and wear an afro. What then follows is about three to five days of wearing my hair out. I do not comb it (except with my fingers), nor do I braid it again at night. I prefer to tie it up at night (with a silk scarf), so that it holds my hair in place and it is not rubbing against itself and getting tangled.

Afro-puff back view
I am right handed, so I find it strange that whenever I look at pictures like this one, there is always something off about the lower right part of my hair. I can see that there were some of the braids which needed a little more finger combing to tease out the curls.

To achieve this particular style, I pinned my hair up using small hair pins. For this style, I used about ten hair pins. I initially considered another Fro-hawk, but decided that that style was too funky for a breakfast meeting (albeit with girl friends). So, instead, I continued putting in the hair pins all around my head as opposed to just on the sides. This is an Afro-puff. You can also use a hair band or scarf to keep the hair up.

Lastly, it took me some time to realise that the afro wigs that are so popular, actually look far more like this, than the regular combing out of my hair after washing it, that I had been trying to achieve for so many months.

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