Guest Post : Understanding Your Natural Curl Type
By Kate Moraa, Naturally Curl Hair Care.
I have been a natural most of my life. As a child my mum always kept my hair short to avoid combing because I would cry my eyes out at the sight of a comb. When I joined High School and permed my hair for the first time.
Discovering my natural curl type
6 years ago I went back to natural. After years of constant weaving and braiding I’d lost my entire hairline to the excessive pulling. It was time to give my hair a break. I stopped going to the salon and transitioned from relaxed to natural hair for several months. Meanwhile, I searched for hair care tips online.
To Big Chop Or Transition?
After struggling with styling and dealing with two textures -natural and relaxed, I took a pair of scissors and cut my hair. That was the best decision I ever made!
I learned that there is no shortcut to achieving your natural hair goals. If you have relaxed hair and want to go natural you will at one point have to CUT your chemically treated hair off and start with your natural hair.
In the beginning of my journey I didn’t know much about curls so I just washed my hair applied coconut oil and combed it. I didn’t mind the frizzy look at all because I was still learning and trying new things on my hair.
My experience with curly hair
After watching many tutorials and reading articles I discovered that I actually had naturally curly hair. But, what I didn’t know is that by combing my hair I was in fact combing the curls away, ending up with frizzy untamed hair. Natural hair is NOT supposed to be combed!
As a new natural you see another natural with shiny curly hair and think ‘wow’ I want my natural hair to look like that! What products did she use?
You then buy hair products with the word “curl” on the bottles and watch a few tutorials by a You-Tuber with wavy hair, then for some reason when trying the same style it doesn’t quite turn out right!
What most naturals probably don’t know is that the curling products, mostly used by naturals such as curling gel or curling cream, do not change the natural pattern of your hair but only enhance the natural curl. So if we have natural hair which has no curl pattern, the gel or curling cream we use will not make our hair curly!
When asked, “Which products can I use to get my hair to look like that?”My answer is always the same.
The gel or curling product I apply on my hair doesn’t change the texture of my hair. It only helps to enhance my natural curl pattern and makes it more pronounced. Before buying any styling products for your hair it is important to first identify and understand your natural curl pattern. This will enable you to choose the right products for your hair type.
How to know your curl type
One of the best ways to identify ones natural hair type is by using the Andrew Walker’s Hair Classification System. Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist for many years, created the hair typing system, to help women with natural hair better understand their natural hair type.
According to Andrew’s typing system, my hair type ranges between 4a-4b. This is because I have multiple textures whereby my hair is more curly at the back of my head and slightly less curly on the sides and front of my head.
Therefore my curl definition will appear different from someone with type 3c hair and 4c hair after using the same product. Knowing and understanding the different natural hair types helped me in finding the right products for my hair and overall saved me a lot of money.
Our hair is our crown. Whether it is straight, curly, tightly coiled, or kinky each of us have a unique story to tell. Understanding the hair typing system can make it easier to understand your hair’s needs. Note that your hair type will only be apparent if your hair is well moisturised and conditioned. If your hair is dry and thirsty you may think it is coilier than it really is (see my photos of combed hair with coconut oil alone.) Once you know your hair type, this will guide you in which bloggers or vloggers to follow and what results to realistically expect from using hair products.
Helpful Hair Care Tips
So far I have enjoyed my hair experience and would like to share with you some tips:
- Dare to Cut your hair, in return you will experience freedom and a refreshing new look.
- Identify and understand your hair type, by using Andrew Walker’s Hair Classification. System, this might be helpful in your hair care.
- To avoid damaging your hair, minimize the use of heat appliances.
- Moisturise your hair daily to avoid breakage.