Rock Your Frock Like A Pro – Natural Hair Beginner Basics
There is no hair type as versatile as Afro hair. No other hair type is so easily manipulated with little to no damage. And while natural hair has the ability to spruce up any outfit, maintaining natural hair and natural hair styles is time consuming, and, for some, challenging. Today we will talk about steps you can take to help lessen the stress on you and your hair while rocking your natural.
Know Your Hair Type
Now, I know you follow some fly-ass, hair always popping, “yeah girl she cute” YouTube gurus. But girl, following the care regimen for her loosely curled 3C hair type will do nothing for the shrinkage you’ll experience with 4C hair. The products being used that make her curls pop, might dry yours out and cause breakage.
Knowing how porous your hair is, is essential to knowing which products will work best with your hair. You’ll save money, time and frustration when it comes to the maintenance of your hair. Do you have low, normal, or high porosity hair? Hair porosity simply refers to your hairs’ ability to absorb water and maintain moisture. Low porosity hair has tight cuticles and doesn’t easily absorb water or maintain moisture. Normal porosity hair hair has loose cuticles that are easily raised and has no problem absorbing water and maintaining moisture. Hair with high porosity absorbs too much moisture and is unable to retain it.
Water based vs. Oil based products
Water based products penetrate the hair shaft, while oil based products coat the hair shaft and is best used to seal in moisture. Hair needs moisture, the scalp needs oil. Low to normal porosity hair should be moisturized (water) and the moisture (water) should be sealed with oil. Highly porous hair needs moisture (water) sealed into it and since highly porous hair absorbs and abundance of water, oil sealant is important.
Products -Everything but the kitchen sink
Becoming a product junkie is pretty much inevitable no matter which hair care method you use. Caring for natural hair by using home based products (i.e. black soap, apple cider vinegar, shea butter, cocoa butter, and a wide variety of oils) will work. But, if you’re not a DIYer, there is an array of all natural products available on the market. For those who can afford and are willing to trying a little bit of this and little bit of that, should head over to the nearest Target have a ball, just go in with a budget in mind. If you can stand to, use up all the product you have on hand before purchasing more (keep what you like in stock).
The wash-n-go! Want to show off how poppin’ your curl pattern is? Rock a wash-n-go. The name can be deceiving, because it’s not as simple as it sounds. A wash and go style can take quite some time to perfect, and it may take three or more products to actually achieve. Moisturizer, sealant, and some type of styling gel is usually required to make a curl pattern pop.
Twist-out or Braid-out! Shrinkage is real. Braids and twists are two methods that can be used to elongate the hair. There is also the option of flat twisting the hair. It’s similar to corn rows, but the hair is two-strand twisted to the scalp instead of being braided. Braid or twist wet hair, once it’s dry carefully separate the braids or twists to your desired look.
Afros and Afro Puffs! Nothing says, “I’m black and I’m proud” like an afro. And when wearing your fro, the bigger the better. One of the best things about rocking a fro is creating and shaping it, but most of off all, picking it out periodically throughout the day. Create a wash-n-go fro; pick out a week old twist or braid-out; or chill outside in the humidity.
Afro puffs are a girls best friend when time is running short and your hair hasn’t been prepped. Grab a headband or an extra extra large hair tie and, start at the edge of your hairline and push the band or tie back towards the center of your head until your afro turns into a puff.
Afros and afro puffs are cute to wear and fairly easy to create, but be warned. Both styles create tangles and require a good wash, time and TLC when you’re ready to switch it up.
Braids & Corn Rows! Take it back to the old school with afrocentric patterned cornrows, and braids in general. Braid your natural hair with no extensions is best for the hair, but that look can fall flat. Try braiding your hair up and adding a ponytail attachment (with any textured hair you choose) to add sass and pizazz to the style. Braid extensions are always a win for afro hair. Box braids, french braids, designer braids -you name it. You really can’t go wrong with any braid style. Spruce up the look with colored hair, hair jewels and charms.
This is merely the tip of the natural hair iceberg. Maintaining natural hair is not for the weak at heart, but it’s something any experience like no other. Learning to love and care for your hair in it’s natural state is a journey worth taking. Comment below with your favorite natural hair style.