Hey there kinky krew!
It’s inevitable that when you first go natural you’re going to want to try everything under the sun. This includes products, methods – everything! And with doing that, you’re going to find out what works for your naturally curly hair and what doesn’t. I love having type 4 natural hair but I’m not going to lie to you, it has been a journey of self love and learning the do’s and the don’ts that has gotten me to where I am today! Kinky Coily hair has to be one of the most, if not, the most challenging hair texture to work with, but hopefully with these do’s and don’ts your hair journey a little more bearable.
Natural Hair Don’ts:
- Envy Other Women’s Natural Hair
One thing that will ruin your hair journey, is comparing your hair to someone elses. I know that having type 4 hair can be hard to deal with but it is the most unique hair type there is and if properly taken care of it can be absolutely amazing. So stop fawning over everyone else’s hair and fall in love with your own!
2. Go too long without a Trim
From the time we big chop, most naturals have a hair goal set and strive to reach that milestone by following a certain hair care regimen. But in order to achieve this goal, we must trim off dead hair to get there. The way I maintain healthy ends is by doing blowouts every 3-6 months and trimming off where I see necessary. Below is a picture of my last blowout/trim in August. Some would say my hair is the same length but thanks to my regimen and yearly trims my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been!
3. Pull Single Strand Knots
Single strand knots are an annoying reality of every type 4 naturals life, and sadly there is no way to stop them. But, there is a way to minimize them and lower your chances of getting severe split ends. If you do come across a single strand knot do not pull them off! I know this can be tempting and easy to do but trust me you will be met with split ends shortly after. Instead of pulling them off, clip them off with a pair of hair scissors.
4. Dye Without Proper Knowledge
Dying natural hair is one of the many ways you can spice up your kinky fro but it’s not something to take lightly. If you are considering dying your natural hair do your research! There are several coloring options you just have to find out the best for you. Below are some coloring options to choose from.
- Color Rinses: This safe to use coloring option can be done at home and contains no harsh chemicals such as ammonia or peroxide. Rinses are perfect for the spontaneous naturalista looking for a quick makeover without the commitment because they only last for a couple weeks before needing to reapply – or not! Although this is the easiest method please note that rinses do not lighten hair.
- Semi-Permanent: The main difference between permanent and semi permanent when it comes to coloring is that semi-permanent does not open the hair shaft before placing color, it simply adds color to the hair. This option, similar to your hair rinse, does not contain harsh chemicals but adds longevity to your color. Semi-Permanent hair color can last you up to 12 weeks depending on how much you shampoo. So if you’re looking for a seasonal hair color this may be something worth looking into.
- Permanent Color: Permanent hair dyes are best done by a professional as they contain both ammonia and peroxide to aid in the dying process. As it grows out overtime you will have to seek frequent touch ups. Permanent hair color alters the hair shaft and has the potential to completely alter change the curl pattern of your hair if done improperly so please color with caution!
5. Do NOT let a stylist Damage your Hair
Type 4 hair requires patience, care and knowledge when it comes to styling. Most “stylists” lack all 3 of these things and we end up in a situation where we’re in a salon chair getting our hair ripped out because we’re too afraid to say anything. I know sometimes we want to get that silk blowout with results we cannot achieve at home, but do your research on who you will have in your hair. Set up consultations and get to know their process to see whether or not they will be the right stylist for you. We have worked too hard to allow a stylist to demolish our hair within minutes. If you are paying for a service you have the right to speak up! And if you feel like you haven’t found “the one” get on the internet and DIY.
Natural Hair Do’s:
- Keep your hair stretched as often as you can
Type 4 natural hair tangles more than any other hair type, so it’s so important to keep it in a state that prevents tangling and single strand knots. I’ve learned that if you just keep your hair in it’s shrunken state it will tangle on itself and can cause breakage. Do styles that elongate the hair, such as twistouts or braidouts. Also washing your hair in twists can also help to combate shrinkage, therefore preventing knots.
2. Detangle under running water
If you find it hard to detangle your type 4 hair, try using a slippery conditioner and detangling with a wide tooth comb under running water. This method allows me to remove any knots easily without feeling like i’m ripping my hair out. One of my go-to conditioners is Aussie Moist or the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle deep conditioner. These two conditioners are cheap and allow me to glide through my hair with ease.
3. Protective Style
Protect your hair! Over-manipulating your hair is something you don’t want to do with super coily hair. I’ve learned that my hair grows most when it’s being left alone, so try protective styling a couple weeks out of each month. I try to protective style 2 weeks out of each month and this seems to work for me and keeps my hair growing at a normal rate.
4. Drink Water, Exercise and Eat Whole Foods
A healthy body makes for a healthy head of hair! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that involves working out, eating whole foods and drinking tons of water, will help to give you a head full of healthy growing curls. Some of my favorite foods just so happen to be amazing for hair growth which include avocado, carrots, salmon and sweet potatoes. For example, try a carrot juicing challenge and tracking your hair growth!
5. Enjoy your Natural Hair
Do not take your hair journey too seriously! If you’re doing all the things necessary to maintain healthy hair you will achieve your goal. There’s no need to obsess or constantly restrict yourself from enjoying your hair – let your fro free every once in awhile, its ok! Even if you want to use heat, do it! With the proper knowledge you have the ability to do so many fun and amazing things with your natural curls – so rock them! Natural hair is so versatile and that’s one of the most unique things to natural hair, we have the ability to switch up our look like no other hair type. Our hair journey is supposed to be just that – a journey. So allow yourself to experience new and interesting things with your hair. Going natural was supposed to be a freeing experience so don’t forget to have fun and enjoy your hair!
To find out more of my natural hair practices for my 4c/4b hair check out my other posts!
I hope this post was helpful in someway, and feel free to leave me a comment down below. Until next time, later kinky krew!
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