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Last year, I shared with you all about one of my biggest insecurities in our Insecurities post – my natural, curly, kinky hair.
If you didn’t already know, I’m bi-racial (black and white) so I have a very unique hair type and texture. And, while I love my family dearly, growing up with a white family did not allow for much education on my hair. I have so many photos as a child with my afro slicked back into puff balls with A LOT of pink lotion in it. (It was the 90’s, but still). As a child, I really didn’t think that much of my hair. When I graduated to middle school and then to high school, I belonged to a small percentage of people of color within my friend group. I dreamed of waking up and having hair that was silky, smooth, and straight. Unfortunately, this was not a reality for me. But just because I couldn’t have the hair texture I saw every day in my classroom, didn’t mean I couldn’t treat my hair correctly. It all comes down to this… I didn’t know the basic benefits of a satin pillowcase, coconut oil, or a silk wrap. If you’re confused right now,
let’s get our learning on.
When I finally decided to embrace my natural hair, I buried myself deep into the curly blogs. I kept hearing the abbreviations “2b, 4c, 3a,” etc. Not only did this inspire me because there were so many different curls out there, but it empowered me to figure out where I belonged in this curly world. Just because the bottle that you buy says “curly” on it, doesn’t mean it’s for your curls. This is why I included Naturally Curly’s graph, so you can figure out where you belong within the curl pattern and how you can take care of your hair.
2’s – The 2 pattern is classicly defined as a more wavy texture. Wavy hair lies somewhere between straight and curly hair. You have a looser curl pattern and your roots tend to be more straight. Most 2 types focus on texture and volume and can be prone to frizz.
3’s – the 3 pattern is more of your stereotypical curly hair. It has the definition of a corkscrew or “S” shape and it is more coily and full bodied. There is a definite curl pattern in place, with or without products. Type 3 curls are more prone to damage and humidity is its enemy.
4’s- the 4 pattern is your more kinky texture. It’s more tightly wound and usually resembles a “Z” shape or zig-zag pattern. This hair type is considered to have a coarse texture. It’s more prone to shrinkage and breakage. Despite many misconceptions, this hair type is fragile and needs to be treated with care and delicacy.
No matter what your race, ethnicity, or nationality, there’s a specific and personal way to take care of your curls. And it’s all about their “thirst” and how you quench it. Porosity, weather, the type of water in your environment, and so many other things will affect your curl regimen. It’s important for you to learn what works for your hair type and tweak from there. For some awesome tips and products recommendations, check out this Curly Hair Type Guide.
I think we all have heard of a little thing called moisture. I mean who strives for dry hair? But moisture is crucial to your curly locks and it is the hardest thing to maintain. Which is why I strongly encourage everyone to not wash their hair. WHAAAAAT? YES, I said it. It’s not an unheard of concept, but it’s still pretty shocking to hear. Sulfates, which are primarily in shampoo, which also makes your shampoo foam up, are so incredibly drying to your hair. They strip away the natural oils that emit from your scalp and leave your hair without any nutrients. Which is why I strongly encourage a “No-poo” formula such as the Deva Curl‘s line. A few other ways that I like to encourage more moisture for my curls is an overnight coconut oil treatment, The Inversion Method, and my own personal blend of essential oils, jojoba oil, leave-in conditioner, and aloe vera juice spray, to revitalize those curls.
*I would like to add that all of the products I apply to my curls, I do so in the shower while my hair is still wet. I then dry my hair with an old cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel. After your products are applied, avoid touching your hair at all cost. Those curls are temperamental so let them air dry and be left alone.*
Speaking of revitalizing those curls, something that was brand new to me was pineapple-ing your hair. Sounds strange, but boy does it work. Now, I’m not a master of wraps so I went out and got a pineapple cap from Target to let it do all the work for me. I did a spritz of my homemade spray, plopped it up on my head, and then shook it out the next day. I added a bit of revitalizer or oil to define my curls and I got away with another day of not having to wet my curls and start all over again! There is magic in this universe everyone!
Now, wraps are not only for sleeping, my friends. I recently discovered a wonderful site called Cee Cee’s Closet (which is based out of NY) and it is fabulous. They even offer tutorials on their Instagram page as well! There are so many other wonderful companies out there that make beautiful head wraps, but I love supporting this company.
Let’s talk about Silk/Satin pillowcases, shall we?
Silk pillowcases are the definition of it’s simple to be beautiful. Let’s be honest, this is the easiest and truly beneficial thing to do for your hair. Not only do silk pillowcases have a positive effect on your skin (hello, fewer wrinkles and more glow!), it also prevents frizz and reduces hair breakage. Silk is not a combination of fabric and layers, like cotton, it is a pure material made from silkworms. Silk fabric reduces friction and allows more breathability, which also allows for more moisture retention! You can be fancy and purchase 100% silk pillowcases that cost between $70- a few $1000. Or a more cost-effective option is the satin pillowcase. Satin pillowcases are primarily silk on the side that touches your hair, which is the most important part. Here is the satin pillowcase I use (and I refuse to travel without it).
There will never be a standard or a specific way of how to treat your curls. But it’s all about the experiment; which I know can cost a lot of money, but it’s worth it in the end. While I have learned a large amount about my crazy hair, it is still the largest pain in my ass. I continue to have terrible hair days and the majority of the time, humidity is an evil, soul-sucking monster. But I’ve learned to embrace my natural hair. I am mesmerized that I only pick up a flat iron once every 6 months when I used to pick it up multiple times a day. I’m inspired by women of color every day claiming their natural beauty and redefining the “appropriate” workplace hairstyle. No matter what your hair does without your permission, we have to learn to accept, learn, and grow alongside our sometimes untamable beast.
But no matter what, those curls, kinks, and messy waves are YOU, and you should never apologize or feel insecure about that. Always love yourself – and your crazy hair.
Stay safe and out there and change the world.