Expert Tips on Caring for Afro & Textured Hair

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Following his recent nomination for Afro Hairdresser of the Year 2016, Anthony Grant from Shai Hair has been inundated with people asking for his advice.  So I thought this would be a good time to ask our in-house afro & textured hair expert to share his advice on caring for afro and textured hair, as well as his views on the latest styles and trends.  Now over to Anthony…

Be kind to your hair

For me, looking after afro and textured hair is about two things – 1/ proper care using products and techniques which are kind and nourishing to your hair (forget about harsh chemicals, that’s just not necessary nowadays) and 2/ stunning styles which are also versatile and easy to manage.

Really? Aveda for afro hair?

Yes really.  I think customers are sometimes surprised when I tell them that several Aveda products are absolutely amazing for afro hair.  But in my experience they genuinely are some of the most effective products out there, and the best thing about it is that it’s all very natural so customers are loving the fact that we’re not using chemicals.

My top Aveda recommendations are Dry Remedy: Which is really great for moisturising your hair and scalp; and Be Curly:  This is good for people embracing their natural curls, and the results are very instant.

I’m also a strong advocate of getting regular treatments, and find that the Aveda Damage Remedy and Botanicals are best.

Are you ready to embrace your natural curls?

In terms of current trends, we’re still seeing more and more people moving away from relaxing and straightening, and embracing their natural curls instead.  With this being such a hot trend at the moment I’m regularly asked for advice on how to go natural, and how to use products that are kinder to your hair, so I’ve developed a quick ‘how to’ guide to going natural:

Antony’s Top Tip: Sleep on silk! One thing I always tell my clients is to invest in a silk pillow if you can.  Apart from feeling totally luxurious it’s really good at stopping your hair frizzing and breaking.

What else is hot right now?

Braiding is also very big at the moment.  Crochet braids are a growing trend that I’m seeing this year, especially around Clerkenwell.  It was really popular in the nineties, and now it’s back but with a much more natural feel to it, with plenty of texture and movement.  There are a lot of clever new techniques around now, so the styles we’re doing nowadays honestly look a lot like natural hair, and they’re really versatile.

These are my top three favourite crochet braids at the moment:


Full Head Braids

Full head braids are great for giving your natural hair a break… as I mentioned earlier in this blog, I often recommend getting full head braids as in in-between stage when you want to make the transition to a natural look.  This is also ideal if you want a style that requires little to no maintenance.

Crochet Weave

A crochet weave is perfect for the summer months – it’s not as heavy as a traditional weave, so it really allows your scalp to breathe more (perfect if you’re off on holiday or even if we get a bit of sun in the UK!).  This type of weave has the added benefit of being low maintenance compared to a traditional weave and it gives you a stunning look for the summer, with lots of bounce and body.

The Natural Curly Look

If you want a super low maintenance style that you can just wash and wear then this is the look for you.  You can enhance the look by using by curl up products which you can buy in the salon – just ask me if you’d like any product advice.

Another popular look at the moment is Fishtail Braiding.  Whether you have it done high up on the head, braided into an elegant updo, in a chic side fishtail, or a wider and flatter style with micro braids or using extensions, I think there’s something quite ethereal about a fishtail braid.

A note for the gentlemen…

Male afro hair styles are definitely getting longer and looser in texture.  There’s a clear trend of moving away from the military quiff barbering styles and going for a more relaxed look.

To book an appointment with Anthony call 020 7374 6141 or email