Screwy Haired Girl

I've got really screwy hair. LOVE IT.

caring for type 4 (response to k is for kinky comment)

A lot of us are still learning how to care for screwy hair. Responded to a comment a week or so ago on K is for Kinky in response to a commenter who seemed to be having a little trouble with her hair (you can read the rest of the comments and the article that started it here):

@SophiaS My hair’s just like yours–a full “O”. It looks just like a slinky AND it’s highly porous, so you know I’ve got those dry naps I’ve felt your frustration, so I know what you’re talking about. I wouldn’t, however, totally dismiss all hair advice because of that. Despite the difference between our hair and other people’s hair, there’s a lot of good advice out there. I’ve learned more about my hair in the last 4 months than I did in the previous 11 years I was natural. My hair’s full and tangles a lot, but it grew well past my ears before my big chop. My sister’s is shoulder length and her hair’s a whole lot fuller than mine. This is because we follow simple rules, e.g.,:

– keep hydrating your hair (cos our hair is always really thirsty!)

– don’t manipulate your hair unless it’s wet AND greasy

– don’t manipulate it too much (wash and go is definitely NOT for our hair type)

– don’t use combs too much and try to stay away from brushes

– co-wash more and shampoo less, washing/conditioning in sections

– use lots of shea butter+oil mixes (I use a shea butter/olive oil/coconut oil/glycerin and oil with an olive oil+coconut oil+jojoba oil mix)

– keep your hair in protective styles most of the time (lots of cute styles online)

– trim periodically (to help reduce tangling and split ends)

Also, when you wash, twist each small section a few times to help loosen the curl. A friend recently introduced me to vegetable glycerin and when mixed in with shea butter, it’s great at keeping away the dryness by pulling in the moisture in the air. Doing these and similar things will result in less breakage, which is the main reason our hair loses length. I twist my hair every night, putting in my mixes every night or every other night. I live in the very humid and hot Lagos, Nigeria, and people always marvel at how I can keep natural hair (cos everyone has a perm and a weave) and they don’t believe my hair is really that nappy. (Hence, the annoying touching.) They assume it’s naturally soft, like I’m mixed race, and don’t believe me when I say it’s just hair cream and twisting every night.

 The best advice I can give you, however, is this: find your own routine. Different hair responds to different things.

Advertisements

2 comments on “caring for type 4 (response to k is for kinky comment)

  1. Natural Nigerian
    June 22, 2011

    I have people claiming that the only reason why I wear my natural hair is because it is “manageable” and “must be naturally soft”. My hair is not at all soft and I manage it because I want to. The more determined I am to wear my natural hair, the more I learn about it.

    I think my hair likes the heat and humidity of Nigerian weather. When I am in places that are less humid, my hair looks dank and dry. What I have learnt to do is to adopt my routine for whatever country I find myself in.

    Gread advice in this post. Thanks!

    • screwyhair
      June 23, 2011

      Hi, Natural Nigerian! (Sorry in advance for the long response!)

      Yes, most people have that misconception about natural hair, especially in these parts :-) Truth is, though, that we all grew up with that mentality too, so I understand where the ignorance is coming from–it comes from being raised in a world where permed hair is the “natural” way to go. I had a family friend tell me about how she tried going natural and it was “Oh, so horrible, my hair is so hard, it was just breaking everywhere and was growing in patches!” etc. and she tore off her wig to prove it. When I asked her what she had been doing, she said, “Nothing.” Except comb it dry (of course) and oil it dry. She basically treated it the same way she had treated her permed hair. I told her that THAT was the problem. And she, of course, says, “But I thought natural hair was so easy! I got tired of doing my permed hair all the time.” My sis (who was in town at the time) and I started laughing and gently broke it to her: if you want to go natural because you’re tired of DOING your hair, then don’t. We gave her some resources we knew she’d never use and sent her on her merry way.

      Most Nigerian girls and women don’t realize that natural hair is work and that we don’t choose this work because we want the easy way out. And they don’t know how to care for natural hair because even in the short years of their childhood when they may have had natural hair, it was abused, and all we can remember–especially me–is crying or wanting to cry each time we got our hair done. Even my mom’s generation who were teens and young women in the ’60’s don’t remember how it was to care for their hair in its natural state, so most of them didn’t know to teach us any different. (Even my mom who had a natural beehive that competed with the Sears Tower didn’t know what to do when she decided to go natural.) Hopefully, we’ll let our own daughters know that they can have their hair the way God created it if they want to.

      Which brings me to my next point: I agree with you too about manageability. Your hair only becomes manageable when you decide to make it so.

      Glad you found this helpful! It’s always great to hear from a fellow Nigerian naturalista. How long have you been natural?

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on June 2, 2011 by in Conditioning, Hair Love, Oils + Butters, Protective Styling and tagged , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: