Looking after textured hair until salons open again

We asked Charlotte Mensah, owner of The Hair Lounge and the genius behind the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil range, to share her top tips for protecting textured tresses during lockdown

With salons remaining closed for at least another month, we turned to Charlotte Mensah, owner of The Hair Lounge and the brains behind Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Haircare Collection, to share the answers to the most commonly asked questions for managing textured hair in lockdown.

Why is my hair not growing?

Healthy hair growth relies on internal nourishment received by means of the blood vessels the hair is nourished by small blood vessels, which are attached to the hair bulb and the root of the hair. In order to ensure good quality blood to the hair, you must feed your body with the proper nutrients, vitamins minerals and protein that are found in the food we eat.   

My hair is so dry. What can I do? 

Applying nourishing oils like my Manketti Hair Oil to the hair the night before you shampoo, leaving it overnight maximise the penetration of moisture for the hair to retain elasticity and strength. Also, daily leave-in conditioners and intensive deep conditioners, hot oil massage and the importance of avoiding heat styling where possible.

Follow each shampoo with a rinse out conditioner, and once a month give yourself a hot oil treatment, which helps seal in moisture. Moisturise your hair daily with a light cream, butters pomades or natural oils, like Manketti oil.

Why does my hair shrink so much?

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Shrinkage is the difference between what your hair looks like when it’s wet and gently stretched to its maximum length and what it looks like when it’s dry. You can minimise shrinkage by doing a blowout (its simply blow-drying your hair). The heat from the blow-dry stretches the hair until the next wash. Natural sets are an option too, eg straw sets, roller sets, rod sets and flexi-rod sets. You can also do braids and twists; braids offer a little more stretch than twists.   

Why is my hair is extremely dry in the morning?

If you don’t wrap your hair before you go to bed, while you’re asleep the pillow will absorb the moisture from your hair and come morning it will appear dry leading you to apply more products and heat in an attempt to banish frizz. Wrap hair in silk scarf. This will help ensure the moisture is retained, so you are less likely to resort to heated appliances and extra products because your hair will already be beautifully hydrated.

How to get rid of knots and tangles?

Use a wide tooth comb or paddle brush like my medium sized paddle brush, starting at the bottom allows you to gently detangle each knot and your way up to the roots rather than yanking your way through. 

Charlotte Mensah (@charlottemensah) during lockdown

Can you give our readers with textured hair some ‘help at home’ advice? 

It is a good time to know and embrace your hair. Find out what makes your hair happy. It’s time to focus on hair health by changing your hair and scalp routine. Since you are staying at home for another month there’s more time to deep condition the hair with rich moisturising conditioners/mask which will work well to strengthen the hair shaft and lock in moisture. Looking after your hair during this period is part of the building blocks of your psychological wellbeing.

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