Wash day can be just that, a whole day. However, we shouldn’t have to draw a line through the day just to wash our hair. I am now able to wash my hair and go out to dinner within the hour. Washing your hair should not have to result in a night in front of the TV, waiting for our hair to dry in twists. Some of us avoid swimming because of the time spent washing and detangling our hair afterwards. Here are some styles that are appropriate to do after washing. They allow you to wash, style and go. Plus, they have the added bonus of stretching the hair, making it easy to re-style the next day.
When I researched the best way to care for my hair, I soon became aware of the mistakes was making and why I had problems managing it. I didn’t even comb my hair correctly! Not being able to put a fine tooth comb through my hair from root to tip led me to believe my hair was flawed. However, kinky, coily, Afro-textured hair should be combed with a wide tooth comb, ideally when damp. There are many examples of misconceptions related to detangling, moisturizing and styling natural hair. If you think your hair is “too tough” to go natural, do your research before concluding this. Not understanding your hair makes it hard to manage. Here are some important facts about natural hair…
Afro textured hair is typically perceived as thick and voluminous. However, all hair types whether: European, Asian or Afro textured include thick, medium or fine variations. Some of us have fine strands but high density hair, or thick strands with low density. Density refers to the number of strands a person has on their head. It varies from person to person. A person with voluminous natural hair may have fine strands and be required to be extra gentle with their hair, even though they have a high density of strands on their head. Although they have thick hair, they may still experience more breakage than a woman with thick strands. Here are some tips to ensure your hair is at its maximum volume and you don’t lose volume unnecessarily.
If you follow my blog you know I often stress that our natural hair is far superior to fake hair and perpetual weaving is not our only option. Unfortunately, most of the straight silky weaves we wear don’t always compliment us. And, covering our natural hair with hair of a completely different texture comes with its challenges. Most of the businesses that sell us European style weaves are not black owned, and the market is dominated by Korean business owners who have the advantage that Asian hair is most in demand. Most hair masquerading as “Peruvian” or “Malaysian” is simply hair from China, labelled differently as a marketing ploy. We spend a lot of money on hair, which doesn’t go to black owned businesses, yet we can’t even be sure of what we are getting.
Since the Madam CJ Walker’s straightening tools were invented, working out has conflicted with hair styling and maintenance, for many in the black community. People would straighten their kinks and curls, but any slight moisture on the scalp would cause their precious straight hair to revert back. The time and pain experienced during this process, meant that reverting back so quickly was not an option. Parents would warn their little girls to look after their hair, to preserve the style for as long as possible. Even playing outside and running around could pose a threat to the hair. In an 1982 article by Ebony Magazine, reader Pam Proctor recounts the many missed opportunities to swim or participate in sports because her hair would ‘go back’. Then came the years of relaxers, which, are still going on til this day. Some subscribed to this notion of ‘sweating out the perm’. This may be why stereotypes have formed about black women in particular, not participating in swimming. Not wanting to get their hair or weave wet, has typically been a reason given for avoiding it. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but many of these stereotypes started because of hair.
I remember when the choice of hair weaves for black women were limited. At the local beauty supply, you would find the obvious synthetic hair, and brands labelled ‘human hair’. But such hair was actually made from synthetic fibers, designed to mimic human hair. Whether this was clever marketing or blatant false advertising, such companies managed to get away with this. Today, with the wealth of hair extensions now available, the choice has definitely improved. Unfortunately, the deceptive marketing still exists.
I finally achieved a wash and go style that I was happy with. My natural curl pattern was defined and held up pretty well. Contrary to what I use to believe, 4b hair does have a curl pattern. However, if you have fine strands and hair that loses moisture relatively quickly, your strands are unlikely to clump together in uniformity, like other hair types. So a little help is needed with a product that has a strong hold. Of course, by now we should know that no product is going to give your hair curls that do not already exist. So my expectations have never been unrealistic. The first time I attempted a wash and go, I literally washed my hair, applied some gel and went out to dinner. My hair shrunk horrendously, which led to terrible knots the following day. I’ve tried conditioner only wash and go’s, where my hair turned into a glorious afro. I’ve also used the ever popular Eco styler gel. I’ve had the same tub of gel for three years! Here’s what I learned through my trial and error, which led to a successful attempt recently.
Since moving to Australia I have had to say goodbye to Shea Moisture products and access to all the products showcased by of my favorite vloggers and bloggers. Even in the UK there is much more access to American based products online, through sites such as beautybyzara.com. So far in Australia, although there have been attempts to provide this, it has not been successful. Most of the products are available on ebay.com.au, but the shipping costs get you every time. Beware of sellers that offer ‘free shipping’. They usually double the price of the item before they offer it. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t products available to women with naturally curly or kinky hair, here in Oz. If you find products with all natural ingredients, it is likely to be suitable for your hair type. It may not be marketed towards our specific demographic, but that doesn’t mean it will not work well with your hair. I have always been a ‘just juices and berries’ kind of girl. As long as I can order shea butter online, have access to natural oils and can make my own flaxseed (Linseed) gel for styling, I’m pretty much sorted. I also use the Terressential Mud wash for washing my hair, which I purchased in the US. I stocked up on some products last time I visited the States and I plan on doing the same when I go to the UK. Prices here in Australia are distressing to say the least, so it makes sense to stock up whenever […]