If you’ve been natural for a while, you have probably tried different styling techniques and developed ‘go to’ styles. These are styles that work when all else fails, and are usually done on a regular basis. They are reliable and inspire the most confidence. However, after a while even these styles can start to get tiresome as you find yourself wearing the same ones week after week. Your hair may also stop cooperating like it use to, which can be frustrating. Here are some ways to get out of a styling rut and even reinvent yourself. Some may be more suitable than others.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favorite styling tutorials on YouTube, as well as giving some of my tips on achieving amazing styles for natural hair. There are countless styling tutorials on YouTube. I have handpicked a few to share with you, some well known and others that are hidden treasures. Stayed tuned. Flexi rods are a great styling tool. They are reasonably easy to use and quite convenient. They come in different sizes depending on how tight you want the curls and how much volume you are going for. Below are some of my favorite tutorials on using flexi rods.
Wash and gos are traditionally summer styles as they typically require the hair to air dry. Many who do wash and gos leave the house with damp hair at the start of the day. This is great in the hot summer months but would not be ideal in winter. In winter, many opt for long-term protective styles instead. This option is great for your hair, but protective styles are not for everyone, all the time. As many naturalistas discover, rules and conventions can be adapted or broken to suit your individual needs. So how can a wash and go actually be beneficial in winter? Alicia James’ Wash and Go
Do you trim your hair regularly? There are different methods of trimming naturally kinky/curly hair and various opinions on how often you should do it. Some don’t even believe in trimming the hair unless it is absolutely necessary. I remember when many followed Cathy Howse’s advice in her book: Ultra Black Hair Growth II. She explained how she rarely trims her hair because in her opinion, it wasn’t necessary and could hinder reaching length goals.
I was watching one of my favorite vloggers showcase another tutorial, with her thick waist length hair (she has since cut her hair and it is still just as beautiful). I scanned the comments, most of which were gushing about how beautiful her hair is, only to find one that had a lot of replies. One unsuspecting viewer made the mistake of asking if the vlogger, Naptural85 was mixed. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting it to become a heated discussion. Many commentators began to tell her off for implying that Naptural85 must be mixed with another race, in order to have long, luscious hair. Another began to educate her about this misconception and what someone is really saying when they ask this question. Then another inferred that ALL black people are mixed and this started a whole new debate. There were discussions about our ancestral links to other races, the intermixing that took place during slavery and so forth. Others gave examples of the diversity of Africa and how you would find tight kinky hair, to loose curly curls and even straight hair, within the vast continent. During such discussions someone always tries to be the voice of reason and say, “it’s just hair people!” Although it is true that this all started from a simple hair tutorial, here are some reasons many would consider this emotive topic to be about more than ‘just hair’.
Can wash and go’s really work on 4b hair? Here are some methods that may be more suitable for this hair type. Updated method: check out my most recent method of achieving my best wash and go. The first time I tried a wash and go I vowed to never do it again. The method I first used was to; wash my hair, coat it with Eco Styler gel and then literally go. This resulted in severe shrinkage; my hair looked like a TWA. I didn’t mind the look but the next day my hair was severely tangled. I had to painstakingly separate every strand as carefully as possible or risk breakage. So what has changed? I have tried a number of methods in the last few months. Now I believe the wash and go is a styling option for me. Stretched out styles are better for my hair because they result in less knots. However, wash and go’s are great for women who work out a lot and enjoy frequent co washing. Here are some of the methods I found useful.
Some women declare that they do not have time to manage their hair in its natural state, and therefore cannot go, or stay, natural. If relaxer had never been invented, I doubt they would make such a claim. Rather, they would have simply learned how to manage their natural hair like everyone else. Adapting your hair care regimen to suit your schedule and time constraints is important, whatever a person’s hair texture. The use of chemicals should be an informed choice, not a necessity. There is nothing inherently wrong or unmanageable about our hair in its natural state. We simply have to realise the importance of educating ourselves about natural hair. And most importantly, our children’s natural hair. If we do this, we will develop the ability to adjust our hair care accordingly. Initially, it is going to take patience and practice, but trust me, it’s worth it! Here are some suggestions on how to save time when managing your natural hair: 1. Deep Condition your hair before shampooing Deep conditioning or hot oil treatments don’t have to be done after shampooing. It can become tedious, shampooing, getting out of the shower, deep conditioning, sitting under the dryer, and getting back in the shower, all over again. If you deep condition or do a hot oil treatment before shampooing, you only have to use the shower once. This will save water and time. If your shampoo is natural and free of sulphates, which strip the hair of moisture, the benefits […]
My top six tips for caring for 4b hair and retaining length. 1. Moisturize regularly Afro textured hair has a tendency to be dry. With all the kinks and curls it is difficult for moisture to penetrate every strand thoroughly. Therefore we constantly have to keep our hair moisturized. Moisturizing in advance is better than waiting for your hair to dry out before adding moisture. This will also minimize the breakage that occurs as a result of dryness. A moisturizing deep conditioner applied after shampooing will give your hair a well needed moisture boost. How often you do this is up to you. I try to do mine once a week but if my hair is in a protective style like mini twist I find it easier to do a hot oil treatment instead. Washing your hair doesn’t just clean it; it adds moisture that you can seal in for days or even the whole week, depending on how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. After shampooing and conditioning, use a good sealant to lock in the moisture. A natural oil such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or Shea butter will work well for sealing in moisture. Then check your hair during the week to ensure that it isn’t getting dry. A spray bottle with water can be used to top up the moisture of your hair or you can use a leave in conditioner of your choice. Make sure any leave in conditioner you use is […]