Things My Type 4 Hair Loves
I get a lot of flack for catering to type 4 natural hair. Guess what? I’m completely unapologetic about it! I don’t believe that hair typing separates us. It helps us to understand the reality of how our hair behaves, what it likes, and what it doesn’t.
Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me share one thing that I have learned about my natural hair. After being natural for almost 9 years (geez, I just realized how long I’ve been in this game.) I have struggled with finding my rhythm. Every season, my hair is different. Every stage of length, my hair is different. Depending on my diet and how disciplined I’ve been with my hair, it is different.
One consistent thing, besides moisture, that my hair loves is to be stretched & protected. Because our hair is low in porosity and has high shrinkage, in order to prevents breakage and knots our hair thrives when its stretched and protected. When I allow my hair to curl and shrink, I have more knots which equates to lots and lots of hair that has to be cut. Each time I have to cut a knot out of my hair, it is an eerie reminder of neglect.
If I had just twisted my hair at night to keep it stretched….
If I had just tucked my fragile ends away, and not allowed them to be exposed to the elements…
If, If, If!!!
Every night, I have either braided or two strand twisted my hair in 4 sections. When I take a shower, I have been using a grocery bag (don’t hate) to prevent the steam from shrinking my hair. When I style my hair, I have been doing loose epode’s with hair clips and hair pins. What has this done? This has greatly minimized tangles and it has helped me to retain lots of length!
trimmed cut my hair last year and I lost about 4 inches. In the natural hair world, 4 inches can mean a one-two year of growth setback. My hair is now about where it was when I had a massive trim back in 2013, plus the 4 inches that I chopped last year.
What’s the moral of the story? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, listen to your hair! If you are noticing that your hair is thriving in a certain environment, don’t change what isn’t broken. My hair loves to stay stretched and it loves being protected so I make these two things a high priority in my regimen. <3