I once read a post of a woman wanting her 4c curl pattern to be loose. Actually I am putting it mildly. She said she hated her 4C hair and wished it would be like a 3B. As a 4C natural I can understand her. It’s a headache and the worst part is when you let your attention slip for a moment and you have a tangled nightmare on your hair. I remember when my twin and I just started going natural she slept with her wt hair just like that, no leave in conditioner, not sectioned and not wrapped. When she woke up the next day it was a disaster. We didn’t know much about going natural at the time. So I took a comb and went to town. She lost a chunk of hair that day.
So instead of hating your hair, understand it. Figure out your hair curl pattern first and according to Naturally Curly this is how you do it.
- Let your hair shrink. it’s easier to do this when your hair is damp, not wet. Water weighs down hair so it doesn’t give a proper representation of your curl pattern. Sectioning of hair is the easiest way to keep it from being tangled. And usually this is done by putting it into two strand twists or three strand braid. Let your hair braid and figure out what kind of curl pattern you have. (Check out the chart below)
- Styling with hot tools or braiding gives your hair a different look. Styling either makes your curl pattern look tighter or loser than it really is. This can give a misrepresentation of your hair, or confuse you so you wouldn’t know how to handle it, because it always appears different.
- Heat damage, those straight, straggly, dry to the bone bits at the end of your hair. At first when I went natural, i never knew what they were or how it could happen, I would chop my hair off each time, thinking that all the relaxed bits weren’t already gone. Here is a tip, even if you are doing your hair at the Salon, make sure your hair is not damp when they start blow drying. I usually wash my own hair before going to the salon for a light straightening and braiding. I don’t allow them to spray any additional water on my head. heat damaged ends may make you believe that your hair curl pattern are loser than they actually are. If the texture at the roots is different from the length of your hair, then you definitely have heat damage.
- Dry hair does not maintain curl definition. Leave in moisturizer/conditioner is your best friend. Besides evading dry hair that breaks easily, it helps keep your natural hair healthy. Keeping your hair moisturized aids in length retention.
- There are cases where people do not have a curl definition and mistake frizz for a tighter pattern. If your hair does have definition while wet, then you do have a curl pattern but your unique texture is just more prone to frizz without the proper moisturizing products, styling products, and techniques, and that is fine. There is nothing wrong with your hair. Remember, curl definers can only capture a curl, not create one. Learning how to master your wash and go takes time, and that still does not guarantee that frizz will be completely eliminated; it may only be reduced.
So lessen your headache, get to know our hair, make friends with it and soon you’ll be lovers. There is absolutely no reason for you to get so stressed out. If you feel like its too much for you get a perm. The only thing without a solution is death.
Next week is “Restoring your natural curl pattern”
P.S, I keep myself from getting stressed out by braiding my hair.
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