Categories
Uncategorized

Hair Shrinkage on afro hair

In this article I will be looking at the shrinkage of afro hair and how the hair technique used for washing it can have an impact on how the hair will look as a result.

Anyone with hair that is 4a – c which would have the most curly hair type and various curl patterns from spiral to z curl knows this pain too well. When I was a lot younger I used to get my hair blow-dried all the time and braided into the usual school hairstyles as we were not really permitted to have any other types of hair styles in school.

I remember there was one older girl in the class ahead of me that had beautiful hair as well. One day out of curiosity just wanting to know what she does with her hair as she did not braid much I mentioned that my hair had shrinkage. She did not know what I was talking about. At that time I thought I was the only individual that goes through this. I had assumed that she goes through the same and potentially she may have had a different curl pattern therefore it may not have been an issue for her.

Shrinkage
Since as far back as I can remember I always experienced shrinkage, however whenever my hair was braided, I did not seem to have much shrinkage on my hair. Now as many individuals are discovering their natural hair sometimes depending on the occasion you may want to have your hair in a more natural state and at other times you don’t really want your hair in a natural state. I find that when I am washing it. If you want to minimize shrinkage when you are in the process of conditioning, it’s always good to separate your hair into four parts depending on the thickness of your hair and putting in huge twists.

When I start rinsing my hair in the shower, I normally undo one twist at a time, I will then make sure that all the conditioner is completely removed and put it back in the twist immediately after it has been rinsed out. I would repeat the process on the rest of the sectioned head and once I get out of the shower I moisturize it.
When the hair is completely dry, I find that it does not shrink as much as if I had just washed my hair in the shower without any sectioning.

I believe that the technique you use to wash your hair will determine how your hair dries.

What you need to know about shrinkage

Shrinkage is nothing to worry about. The main reason why we get hair shrinkage is due to the fact our hair type tends to change it’s structure during the process of washing. The water makes the hair heavier and the added moisture from the water makes it change. However once you straighten curly hair because the moisture content is reduced, you find that it becomes drier, and it can also tend to get frizzy. There is a lot of information out there that when hair is wet it can be easily manipulated and there are various styles that you can be done. Also when afro hair is wet, it’s the best time to blow dry it.

I have also heard that sometimes it’s better to manipulate dry hair and not wet hair as there tends to be less breakage. Through doing my own hair, I find that it’s easier to remove tangles when my hair is wet than when it dries up and if it dries up, then I will have to use a moisturizer if I am not using water to remove the tangles.

Therefore it’s best to find out what suits your hair well because if you are better off untangling your wet hair then it’s best to use that technique. Another really good way is to put lots of conditioner on your hair and use  wide toothed comb to take out the tangles. It’s always time consuming, however it will help you if you want to style your hair in a specific way be it blowdrying, braiding or just leaving it as a wash and go.

I also discovered an amazing club for afro, curly haired individuals, check it out on the website and I hope you enjoy it  as much as I did. Earthtones natural

Also let me know what hair method works best for your curly hair?

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Wash and Go Styling

Wash and Go

Wash and Go, let’s just say this particular style took me a long time to adopt to. Well first of all getting used to the texture of your hair and allowing it just to stay as it is was a great learning curve for me. The fact that you grow up in a society where the afro is looked down upon, it took a really long time before I started getting comfortable with it. In my previous post I spoke about self-love and how it has an impact on how you look after yourself.  When I had to begin the process of accepting everything about myself including my hair, it took a long time. I was always using a blow dryer and I noticed everytime I used it my ends were thinning. It was quite terrible. I remember at that time I was still trying to figure out what to do with my hair and I discovered a really interesting source of information. I used a few products to help my curls get less frizzy due to the fact I had been addicted to relaxer and now I still had that need to have my hair more manageable.

I ended up using clay as a treatment.

Clay treatment

This was amazing for me because I found that it was really safe on the hair and felt good when used on your head.
As I was looking for various resources to assist me during this time, I came across a product known as Kinky curly. To say that this product was one of the best things that happened in my life would be an understatement. I started using it a long time before it became popular and loved how it worked on my hair. I remember being at University at that time, so the cost was a bit of an issue for me but I remember using it on every member of the family and letting them know how it would solve their hair woes.

In terms of my hair type, it’s a mix between 4b and 4c texture. It’s not quite tough and when it’s blowdried it get’s quite soft. Most of the time people think I have used product to make it a certain way. I can only imagine what would happen if I was more consistent with products.

Products

One things I got to discover during the wash and go journey is that we don’t need to use too many products on our hair. I would have been a product junkie if I had access to many of the products that are in the market today, however I try to keep it simple because I think getting a product for $ 24 per item can tend to be alot and imagine if you are a student that can be  way too much money for it. So when I started this site, I thought if I was a student again, what would I tell my younger self? I would probably say, don’t spend too much on products and keep it simple, which is what I do today.

In saying all this, does it mean that I always moisturise or stick to a consistent strategy. Well ever since I got my son I can say it’s a challenge, however when I had all the time in the world to fix my hair I was absolutely committed. I think it’s also great to be around individuals that are positive about themselves as that can assist you in learning how to be happy with yourself. I think with the information nowadays we have a great opportunity to meet with other like-minded individuals online. I do remember being part of some groups at that time, but it still took me a very long time to accept myself.

How things change

I find it extremely fascinating that the natural hair journey became a thing when I had been natural for over 10 years. I have finally found the confidence to be myself and not apologize for anything. I know how to look after my hair although I don’t spend too much time like I want to. I always make sure that I wash it every week as it’s curly and use products that are sulfate free such as GIOVANNI Tea Tree  . This particular shampoo makes my hair feel amazing. However if the cost seems a bit much I find that using the more natural soaps such as Himalaya Protein Shampoo for Dry,, It’s much cheaper and you can easily get a hold of it.

There are a lot of products nowadays that cater to natural hair, however sometimes when they start becoming too commercialized sometimes you wonder if it still has the same impact. A few years ago the Keratin treatment became a really popular and I even considered doing it. I just think when you learn how to manager your hair in a certain way and then get to revert back to your original texture. It is a challenge. To this day I have friends that probably don’t know the texture of their hair because of the relaxers that they are used to and I can’t judge them because I know the struggle I had and I think everyone is on a different journey when it comes to natural hair.

I can conclude that for me at this point in my life I have finally learnt to accept myself through the good hair days and bad hair days. I think I have learnt how to cope with each situation and this blog made me realise I should probably start getting back to the creative individual I once was. I have accepted my hair for what it is and would not change it for the world.

What do you think of your natural hair and how has your journey been so far?

Categories
Uncategorized

Wigs as a protective style; Do you like the look?

 Synthetic hair wig

WIGS

A wig is a hair unit that has been put together from another individual’s real hair or synthetic fibers to ensure that someone can cover up their own hair if they want to change their look rapidly or if you want to cover your head if suffering from alopecia or a cancer patient.

WHAT DO I THINK

Wigs are amazing especially nowadays. I think they have come a long way from the horse hair days and also from the way they used to be difficult to source. When I was a lot younger, I remember not many people used to wear wigs and the ones that did,had a lot of money to have them or were a lot older than I was.

When I moved to Australia, my hair was relaxed, therefore I still found ways to maintain it, however I would never put a wig on. I really loved having my hair in braids and since I had a few friends that helped me with it at that time, I was never quite stressed about my hair.

Wearing a wig took a lot of time and I think for me, I actually gained one after I had my son. It was just a convenient way to keep my hair and at that time right after the pregnancy, let’s just say it started getting really dry and brittle and did not look healthy at all. This could have been due to various reasons, such as stress, my diet and many other factors to do with breast feeding, and I just ended up cutting it multiple times. I was also not diligent in making sure that I treat it so that probably explains why it was in such a state.

The wig itself was synthetic and I loved it because it had a natural part that no-one knew it was fake. It was also short. It’s only a few weeks later after it had been through a lot of combing, it lost it’s lusture. I was still not convinced that I should use it often and started looking after my hair seriously.

Nowadays with the newer technology, wigs have become so realistic and I think they will only get better from here. I like them and I think everyone has a right to their style.

DEEPER ISSUES

The main aim of forming this blog was to help women with afro’s maintain it and I am sure someone would wonder why I am writing about wigs and the connection to afro hair. However it’s not uncommon for many women nowadays to rock a wig once in a while, but let’s take a thought to the way things used to be and potentially are for some individuals as well. Through colonization and the interaction of Europeans with Africans, many things were impacted, language, culture and looks as well. I am sure when they first came in contact, most people on the continent had only seen afro hair and therefore there was knowledge on how to look after it and maintain it.

After the first encounter though, things happened and since that time Afro hair has never been viewed the same for an extremely long time. It’s just in recent years when people started appreciating and loving themselves for who they are, but it will take a long time and change of mindset for people to appreciate themselves. Additionally with lost knowledge there’s really not much information that can be given to help with the change.

HUMAN HAIR

The other issue I have seen come up a few times is the sourcing of human hair. Is it sourced ethically? these are just some things that people think about sometimes. Therefore getting a wig is not as simple as it sounds, there are lots of things to consider. I won’t get into this because I think everyone is impacted in various ways.

SELF LOVE

There is an argument as well that individuals that wear wigs, do they really love themselves or their hair as well? I just think this is so personal because before individuals are judged for what they are doing, communicate with them. You never know if someone is unwell and therefore need the wig to help them feel better. There are those that just want one and by all means they have a right to have it. Therefore the wig debate brings up so many emotions and feelings.

Wigs will always be a part of the 21st century and it has transformed the lives of many people especially those that are going through illness. It has also become a part of entertainment and many people will continue to use it continuously. I really think that if you can manage a wig, make sure if you have your own hair underneath to take care of it as well.

It can definitely be used as a protective style and it promotes hair growth a lot. The benefit with having a wig is the fact that you can keep your hair moisturized and you don’t have to worry about your hair breathing. It is a great way to change a style without risking hair breakage and I think that the future of hair may be wigs.

CONCLUSION

Every individual has a right to the type of styling they like and if someone wants to rock a wig everyday it is their choice.

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Best protective styles for natural hair

This document will be about the different types of protective styles are and how they can assist you in looking after your curly hair. I was fortunate that when I was a lot younger, since I have an interest in hair dressing I was able to learn how to put my hair in a protective style. I will also briefly cover what the benefits of some of the styles.

Easy styles

The easiest protective styles that anyone can put on their head is twists or braids with your own hair. Now after I realised how damaging the blow dryer can be, I stopped using it, I was not quite sure what to do with my hair. Since I wash my hair often I found it easy to put them in twists. Now everyone has a different opinion on them in terms of presentation but if it is a bother to you, there are lots of quality wigs nowadays that you can use, therefore it’s not too hard to put them on your head. The advantage of twists and braids on your head is that it can be quite easy to maintain and you can easily moisturise every night. The other great thing is that it promotes hair growth.

Braids with extensions

Braids with extension can be another style to have on your head. They are great because your hair will look presentable always and you can choose any length you want. In terms of maintenance, they tend to be a little tricky as if you don’t moisturise, your hair will definitely dry out. Secondly, there tends to be build up especially if you are trying to moisturise as often as possible. A few tricks to combat this problem is to either use some spirit to clean around your scalp area to reduce itchiness. Additionally you can add some light oil to avoid your hair drying out. Braids, have a time period and when they start looking messy, it’s definitely time to take them off. If you can get the front part redone, you should do that, however it’s best to remove once they are messy. You will minimise breakage. It also promotes hair growth.

Hair with extensions

Crochet Braids

Trends are changing and gone are the days of long hours at the salon. When I first discovered Crocheting, it changed my life in ways you cannot imagine. I love this style. it’s so versatile and easy. Additionally, there is a lot less breakage on your scalp. When I do crochet, I don’t have to worry about much as most of the time it looks so natural whatever hair type I want. It does not take long and you can do braids, locks, afro’s or open hair. It normally last for about 4 – 6 weeks depending on how you look after it and I find that it can be a little tricky to maintain depending on what type of style you have. I think making sure that you use a deep treatment method will help in adding moisture to the hair after you take off your crotchet braids.

Weaves

People used weaves quite a bit back in the day and I think nowadays with the newer styles weaves are used only for certain sections of the head or to add a little body to the hair if necessary.  Weaves would be used a lot more for special occasions such as graduations, weddings and other types of events. Weaves tend to be the trickiest to maintain as if you do wash it, you must blow dry your roots, otherwise they will smell. It’s also wise to use a leave in conditioner before you braid your hair down to minimise any breakage as well.

LOCKS

Locks are quite common nowadays and if maintained appropriately, they look amazing. The beauty of locks is that you can style them in any way you want and they make your hair grow really fast. The trick with locks though is that when you wash them. You have to make sure that you dry them extremely well. Another thing with locks is that they grow quite fast, so you have to keep getting your root’s re-twisted almost every week which can be time consuming. Locks can be braided if you want a different look and can be styled in any other way if you want.

Conclusion

All these protective styles make afro hair so versatile and therefore even though you get knots and tangles, having the protective styles means minimising the trouble of taking knots out of the curly hair. The other things beneficial to curly hair is that if it’s left on it’s own without much disturbance it tends to grow quite a lot. I think that every individual with curly hair does have a preference for a specific protective style in general. Although we were born with curly hair, we don’t have to be limited to having it in the curly state all the time and that’s one thing I love about curly hair.

What do I think is the best style, well for me I actually like the crotchet the best, when I consider all other styles, it’s the most convenient and easiest style to put on your scalp and maintain. However everyone has a look that they like. What about you, what look do you like?

Categories
Uncategorized

How to figure out your hair type

Afro hair care and curl patterns

Afro’s come in different textures, volumes, shapes and sizes. The only thing that is consistent with them is that they are all curly. To identify how well to look after your afro, there are 2 things you must identify. The first thing you must do to is identify your curl pattern. Identifying your curl pattern helps you in knowing which products are better for your hair. There are various curl patterns and you can check them out on a few websites. The loose type of curl pattern is identified from 3A. This type of curl pattern is loose and tends to form ringlets on the head of an individual that has this type of hair. Type 3 hair ranges from 3A – 3C.

3A tends to look like this below:

3A Hair type

The most common type of curl pattern for more coily hair is type 4 hair. It also ranges from 4A- 4C. This hair get’s extremely dry and can be deemed hard to maintain. It also tends to shrink when washed, therefore it’s hard to tell how long the hair is until you stretch it out.

You can easily identify that hair type when you see it anywhere.  Here is an example of a look below:

Afro hair type 4

Hair Porosity in afro hair

The second thing to identify is the hair porosity. This took me a while to identify, however it is extremely important to know what your hair porosity is because if you don’t know again you can use the wrong type of products and get the wrong results. As mentioned earlier in this piece, maintaining natural hair does not have to be expensive and I am not a product junkie, therefore if you want to save yourself the heartache of spending on products you don’t need, make sure you know these 2 things. Hair porosity is important because it determines how much moisture your hair can maintain. little hair porosity means that if you pulled a strand off your hair and put it in a glass of water, it would float. This means that it would take longer for any products to get on your hair. For my hair I realized that shea butter and coconut oil work best as they moisturise it easily. But remember you must rub the oils in your hand otherwise the products can sit on your hair. more hair porosity, means that if you take a sample of your hair and put it in water it will sink. This means that you can use lighter oils and your hair will take in the product.

Therefore to make sure that your afro is well looked after, know the type of curl pattern and porosity as these items will help in determining the type of products you can use.

Below is a quick demonstration of hair porosity types:

Hair porosity is low and therefore the hair does not get water easily.

Here is an example of hair that has higher porosity and therefore easily get’s moisturized.

It’s not really clear to see at it has sunk to the bottom of the glass, however the hair is straighter and obviously has higher hair porosity.

Therefore you would think what would you do with hair that has low hair porosity. The secret is to make water your friend. In winter that is a challenge, but it does not hurt to moisturize as often as you can. However protective styles, which I shall cover later can assist during the colder periods.

During summer have a water spray with some light oil. My preference, water mixed with jojoba oil.

GELS

I find that it is harder for me to use gels on my hair because they always leave some type of residue and I have used most of them. Aloe vera is gentler, however gels just don’t seem to work very well for me at all. Therefore I don’t use them.

For those with high porosity hair, some gels tend to work really well and minimize frizz. Nowadays there are so many gel types around like Camille rose, Cantu, Shea moisture, curly custard e.t.c just to name a few.

I find that they look amazing on high porosity hair and low porosity. But if you have low porosity, you know that you will get white residue on your hair which does not look great. Spraying with water works but the struggle to maintain less frizzy hair is very real.

The main goal of this article was to assist in helping you identify your hair type to make sure that you know the best products for your hair. Do you know your hair type and if you have low porosity or high porosity?