Healthy Ends/Texture/Hair Type
Close up of texture. Never would have thought my coarse hair could ever feel soft! Since I trimmed off my split ends, my twists look sooooooo much better. Look at the ends. Instead of wispy-looking, straight, raggedy ends, the ends of my twist actually coil up now like a spring. That’s they way I’ve always wanted my hair to look in my twists. Plus now that my hair has gotten so much longer, my twists lay a lot better. My length goal is 16 inches of hair. I’d eventually like to stretch my hair down to the middle of my back. See how healthy my twists are? I think I’m on my way!
One day, I told my mom that I wanted all of my twists to sit on my shoulders after shrinkage, and she remarked “Oh, that means your hair would have to grow down to your boobs.” I’m just keepin’ it real y’all…that’s what she really said. But ya’ know…I think she’s right!
One thing that trips me out on NP is that some people have the biggest aversion to calling their hair nappy. They dance around the word like it’s the “N” word. I find that sooooo interesting because although I grew up pressing my hair…even into my third year of college, I didn’t hate my nappy hair. Sure, I didn’t want to walk out of the house with nappy hair, but that’s because no one knew how to style nappy hair other than wear it in an afro or put it in french braid. And I hate they way I look in french braids. By the way, I use the term french braids interchangeably with cornrows although I know there’s a difference. Anyway, I was raised with my mom who subscribed to a good hair/bad hair mentality but not to the point that I felt like we vehemently hated nappy hair. I knew I had nappy hair, and it got pressed. In fact, back in the day, nearly all the girls got their hair pressed, so we all knew we had nappy hair. But it wasn’t hated or feared. Calling someone’s hair nappy or using the word nappy wasn’t fightin’ words. So it is truly amazing to me that people dance around the word nappy when it comes to describing their hair. Well people I love the word nappy…cause that’s what it is. It ain’t, curly (yeah right) it ain’t wavy, it’s nappy. It’s NAPpy. It’s NAPPY, NAPPY, NAPPY! And, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
A good close up of my healthy ends. That’s the secret of gaining and maintaining length. Taking good care of those ends! Remember, your hair does grow, it what you do to it that determines whether or not you’ll have long hair. So, stop saying your hair doesn’t grow…ok? Just take care of the ends!
I recently started wondering what my hair type is. The best I can tell from all the research I’ve done is that it’s type 4B.
Here are some of my hair’s characteristics:
Product Free my hair
- Is very coarse and dense.
- Has a nap coil pattern is about the diameter of an ink pen spring.
- Has a texture and structure that absorbs light so it doesn’t shine.
- Is very porous…sucks up moisture like a sponge but doesn’t have the ability to hold moisture very well either.
- Loose and product free, it dries quickly
Wet with no product, my hair shrinks very unevenly due to the varying textures which behave differently under the same circumstances…
- Top has a loose almost wavy pattern. When it dries, the naps become more defined. After I put product on it, this area has almost no definition at all. But oddly enough, it holds a twist and will actually shrink and coil up nicely as it dries but not as tightly as the back, sides and crown.
- Crown when wet is as tight as a clinched fist. Dries very quickly so it must be stretched before it dries or I’ll have to wet it back up just to comb it. Does not behave differently with product on it.
- Back and sides are not as tight as my crown but nowhere near as loose as the top of my head. Much easier to comb when wet or dry…although I absolutely avoid combing or brushing product free or dry hair. Also does not behave differently with product on it.
Product likes and dislikes
- Despises any kind of grease. Grease blocks out its ability to suck up moisture. If I use grease, it gets hard and yucky. Always hated grease and oils anyway.
- Prefers water and glycerine based moisturizer products. Glycerine is a humectant that promotes the attraction and retention of moisture, which means it works wonderful in high humidity. It doesn’t work this well in the winter time, which means I have to moisturize my hair much more often because the air is so dry.
- Moisturizers leave my hair with more of a low, dark sheen. The best way I can describe this is to have you think of a piece of suade material. You know how it appears lighter when you rub it on the grain? That’s how my hair looks when it needs moisture. Now think of what it looks like when you rub it against the grain. You know…how it looks darker? That’s what my hair looks like when it’s well moisturized.
- Since I don’t use heavy grease or oils on my hair, it responds well to nonsulfate shampoos and organic conditioners.
Styling tools likes and dislikes
My hair hates heat. It damages very easily with the use of heat, and it doesn’t matter the source or the setting. It took me a long time to figure this out. So as a result, I NO LONGER USE
- Direct heat. That means no pressing combs, flat iron or hot curlers
- Indirect heat. That means no hooded dryers, no bonnet dryers, no blow driers or heating caps
Styles (I’m an INie not an OUTie)
My hair does much better when it is being worn in…that is being worn in a protective style that minimizes my need to manipulate it on a daily basis. Plus, I’m very good at doing them, and I’ve found several dos that I absolutely love wearing. In addition to this, I like being able to roll out of bed in the morning and not having to factor hair in to my get ready time. Currently, my hair is about 11-13 inches long, and the longer it gets the more this becomes true.
In the summer of ’06, I tried a couple of partial twistouts. But since I only use water/glycerine based products on my hair, which are very lite, as a result, my hair reacts to the humidity very quickly and twistouts won’t hold. Instead, when I grew tired of spending time doing intricate twist and flat twist styles, I tried to wear my hair out in puffs for extended periods of time. Each time, no matter the routine, my ends would end up with horrible knots and snarls that had to be cut out. After that experience, I’m just not inclined to want to be bothered with wearing my hair out for extended periods of time. For special occasions and/or just because, perhaps I’ll wear out styles for a couple of days here and there…but all the time…it’s just not worth the effort or the damage.
During the winter months, my hair will be in protective custody all the time. An out style wouldn’t hold up not even for a minute under all my hats, hoods and scarfs when the winter hawk is flyin’ around my head!