WHAT IS NATURAL HAIR TEXTURE AND CURL TYPE IN BLACK WOMEN
Before you begin, let me tell you: “HAIR IS HAIR” there is no specific for any ethnic origin. We women really need to take care of our hair. When you walk down the halls of many supermarkets and pharmacies, there is a party for black hair care and a hair care section for “everyone else”.
So why is this article mainly women’s color and their texture braids? I want you to know that for years you have read and listened to stylists, family, and friends who say you have to worry about your hair differently, you should not wash it too, brush the scalp, hair should not be cut twice a year, or no more, keep your baby’s hair in braids and the hair will not be naturally worn. However, all these techniques are “old”. I am here to tell you that it is “hair is hair”; all you have to do is re-examine how to maintain the hair texture.
African American hair is the most textured and unique hair we have. At the same time, it is fragile, becomes dry, and is prone to breakage. Being knowledgeable about your own hair will help your hair to thrive to see optimum growth, health, and beauty. Learn about your hair texture and get to know how to take care of it. If need support you can connect with me at Keeping It Natural Hair Group, a community of naturals supporting the journey.
As you already know, hair follicles give hair its shape and density. When comparing hair type Asian hair is circular and very straight. Caucasian hair can vary from straight to curly, its follicle is oval. Afro-Descendants follicles are typically elliptical or flattened, given hair to be curly to coily.
African Americans are different compared to any other hair textures. The hair can be either straight, wavy, curly, or coiled. Even black hair can have a mixed combination of hair types.
Having the understanding and knowing your hair type is helpful. This will help you on how to better take care of your hair, and selecting hair products, and styling methods to promote hair’s best health and promote growth.
There are hair classification systems to place hair in a category or subcategories from 2 A to 4C to the grade of curl and density.
There are other hair typing systems on how they classify hair. Each has there own subjectivity and is debatable. However, despite the hair typing system, I prefer to combine hair type with porosity, elasticity, and density, and overall health of the hair. African people hair falls into the majority 2 categories of being 3 type to 4 type.
- Type 3 hair, has looser elongated S-shape pattern to spring-like curls.
2) Type 4 hair, curls can be either s-shape with a much tighter pattern, zig-zag, to tightly coiled.
Although hair typing and curl patterns are definite. African American hair is the most fragile of all hair types. This is due to the kinks, bends, curls, tightly coils, or zig-zag of the hair. Due to the characteristics of the hair, each bend and curl of the hair make it possible for breakage. That is why caring for the care and using healthy practices to maintain hair’s strength and moisture retention to see optimal growth. Not to say that breakage will not happen here or there. Knowing the nature of the hair and methods used as well as effective products will provide favorable results.
It’s not a surprise natural hair becomes dry due to the curl-coil nature of African American hair, the sebum, our own hair oil, does not coat the entire hair, resulting to dry looking hair. Knowing how to properly moisture hair and retain moisture is very important for hair to thrive.
Washing and Conditioning of African American Hair or Chemically treated hair:
On “hair texture” and chemically treated hair tend to be porous and dry. Hair with healthy, chemically treated textures begins with a proper shampoo and conditioner. When choosing a shampoo, choose a shampoo with a low pH to avoid stripping away hair natural oil (outer layer of hair). Wash with sulphate free shampoo weekly to bi-weekly and clarify your hair 4 to 6 weeks to deeply clean hair from hard water minerals, oils, dirt, and product build-up.
With textured and chemically treated hair, the hair layer is different and have a different level of porosity. For instance, chemically processed hair is highly porous, this means that even if the hair absorbs moisture easily, it easily loses moisture. Chemical treatments in all hair, such as color, permanent and relaxing, have the means to rid the hair of their moisture and their natural proteins. But if you know how to wash the condition of your hair, the hair will look silky, it will shine even after combing hair well and it can last for weeks.
Many women are looking for a transition from relaxed hair to natural texture hair. Some just want a hair change and the desire for natural hair. If you’ve missed your natural texture and want to wear your curly hair, the transition can be a decision that will give you the power. However, the whole process can be somewhat overwhelming. How to do it without fear of your own thoughts or thoughts of others is a decision you must make and stick too.
Prepare for good news and the bad news. The transition could result in a free break in some situations, which is the good news. The bad news is that a certain degree of failure cannot be completely avoided. This is all normal and you will continue to know your hair texture and curl type.
When transitioning your natural texture will show the demarcation line (the place that separates the two textures) is likely to be the weakest part of your hair. As soon as the handling of your hair, you can divide or do virtually any style, it is essentially an area can break. Depending on the type of hair, its demarcation line may be more noticeable and is also worth mentioning as curly hair.
THREE SOLUTION HACKS:
- Good hacking starts: you can decide not to handle two completely different textures at the same time. If you do not mind a little time to keep your hair short (and the shape of your face for it!), this can be the most effective way out for you. Many question the idea of such a radical change, especially when there are two different textures. Here you can make the decision to cut off the chemically relaxed ends. This will save you a lot of the inconveniences dealing with two different textures.
Plus, you’ll save a few dollars at the expense of hair care products during the time you have a TWA (Teeny Weenie Afro)!
- Swap hair protection: braids, extensions, lace wigs, almost any style that prevent you from touching your hair while transitioning to or maintaining natural hair. Protecting the hair does not mean neglecting the hair. Your hair needs attention to be cleaned, conditioned, treated, and moisturized. Limit the prolong wear of protective hairstyles and limit it being tight to reduce the possible outcome of breakage, such as at the hairline loss.
- Combine these textures together: this is without a doubt the most used solution. You can use heat for your new growth iron to associate chemically treated hair, but regular heat is not good for African American hair. This is often seen when straightening natural hair with a weave to blend or even to blend with relaxed hair. If you want to be natural to get healthier hair, this is not the way to do it! The roller set can easily combine two textures without using heat. When blending new growth root to look straight repeated use can lead hair to have heat damage. Then why bother to go natural? You are defeating the purpose to have healthy natural hair. Just cut off the relaxed ends to over this blending catastrophy and rock your natural hair.
Other methods of mixing textures are braids, bantu knots or rod sets to put all the hair in the same shape. The challenge is repeated once through its transition will be the level of manipulation will experience to have the desired look. Natural hair means if not handled properly can mean excessive breakage. Be gentle with hair, especially the relaxed ends if you are planning to transition a bit longer.
PROTECT, LESSEN BREAKAGE & MOISTURE BLACK HAIR
- Keep this new growth protected. I think it’s easier to maneuver and to comb your hair the day my new growth continues. The best way to grow new growth is to use no heat or traction. This can be achieved by using a braid, a twist, a roller or some sort of low manipulation style. The use of braids, twist, and roller sets also has the advantage of giving the finish a certain texture, which helps them blend in with their new growth.
- Review the frequency of the comb. When I had relaxed regularly, it was my second nature to comb each time I wanted. If you do not have a very distracted natural hair texture, it becomes counterproductive as you transition. You will find that combing hair often, it actually causes more tangles and unnecessary breakage. Therefore, opt to use fingers regularly to detangle, that can help to feel for single strand knots and pre-tangles to trim. Also, applying slight oil or conditioner on dry or damp hair can help with the detangling. Detangle SLOW! Me personally I use both my fingers and a wide-tooth comb with conditioner to detangle prior to shampooing. Both methods works (fingers or wide-tooth comb) during the transition.
3. Choose smartly your hair extensions. You may need to replace a hairdressing accessory during the transition. Standard elastic bands may have been the preferred method for creating styles such as ponytails, but as your new growth is full of strength, you simply do not want to drown in these little things. Well, at least my hair felt, so I had to find a solution. Puff Cuff, Clamps and Elastic Banana Clamps are good alternatives for reaching secure styles as they provide ample space for your voluminous and fast-growing natural hair. And of course, Bobby pins are ideal for securing your styles.
4. Open it! Scarves. Where would I be without you? Transform my swirling transitional styles into beautiful, elegant looks that never leave my “lazy look”. There are many colors and sizes, and there are many ways to become creative! And you have hidden my new growth so nice when I needed it. As you can see, I have developed a serious love for scarves.
5. Keep your hair hydrated. This will prevent drying and breaking of the hair. Many transitions’ have benefited from less hair washing and more air drying. Others often decide to moisten their hair or their deep condition. Whatever your choice, make sure these strands stay hydrated! In addition, sleeping with a silk or satin shawl, silk pillowcase, or satin cap is a great help to keep your hair moist at night.
6. Use protection styles. In fact, the most effective way to transition is to leave your hair alone and let it grow! No saying to abandoned hair. No, way. Know your hair what and when it needs to cleansed, conditioned, treated, moisturized, styled, and let it be. My Go-to is a Wig. I love it and it helps to not only protect my hair but maximize its growth. Like with any protective hairstyle should not be worn in excessive or cause harm to the hair. Excessive handling and handling can cause breakage and hair loss, which can break the transition faster than you want. But if you can discover ways to style your hair and keep it protected for a day, a few days or even longer, it will allow your natural hair to grow without putting too much stress on your hair.
7. Use a strengthening treatment. This will keep hair strong and less prone to breakage, especially where you relax to soothe your natural hair. My favorite improvement treatment is Deep conditioning to moisturize, repair, and strengthen. I also may Pre-poo from time to time with coconut oil, avocado, or extra virgin olive oil. I found that my hair seemed much moisturized. If chicken is not your thing, an occasional protein treatment may be right for you. Keep in mind that all hair needs are different and that, according to people, their hair may need more or less often to strengthen treatments. Use your assessment and do not forget to follow your trusted deep conditioner treatment with a hydration treatment.
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