The Type of Natural Hair NOBODY Talks About!
|2004 w/ Relaxed Hair
My hair is natural, so when I transitioned from relaxed hair to natural hair I consumed a steady stream of YouTube videos on how to care for my natural hair. I thought, “As soon as I grow my hair out, I’m going to be the newest Instagram natural hair baddie!” LOL. I’m watching these girls with beautiful, thick natural hair doing these intricate hair styles, pineapples, and mini twists galore. Their results were beautiful and full. I thought that when I fully transitioned my hair would be able to do the same. Right? WRONG!!! Each time I attempted a style or tried a new product that was trending it always ended up being an epic fail! I would have more scalp showing than twists, there’s no “pine” in my pineapple, it’s just an apple and coconut oil is my mortal enemy.
|2nd Grade (My rope ponytails! LOL)
See, I have the type of natural hair that no one ever talks about: Fine, low density, 3c/4a natural hair. It’s what most would broadly classify as “thin” hair. It’s genetic, I have hair just like my father. When I was younger, my natural ponytails would look like long ropes and not like the puffs all my friends had. No amount of vitamins will change the density of my hair, or your hair for that matter. Throughout my natural hair journey I have come to realize that there are certain things that are popular to do in the natural hair community that are detrimental to my hair health, create new problems or just don’t work. Here’s what I’ve learned:
|3 years old
Lightweight, Lightweight, Lightweight!
My hair cannot handle the typical heavy butters, creams and oils that are staples in the natural hair community. Coconut oil leaves my hair feeling dry and breaks me out. Shea butter weighs down my hair to the point where is will just not perform at all. I have found that avocado and grapeseed oil absorb into my hair like a dream and do not weigh it down.
Caution! Protective Styles
My fine strands prevent protective styles such a braids and faux locs from being beneficial, because of the weight of added hair and the prolonged tension on certain parts of my hair. I’ve also learned that even protective style with my own hair can be counterproductive if my hair is too loose at the roots. If I wear my hair in loose plaits, my roots will be badly tangled within 3 days. I have to make sure that I’m at least lightly detangling my hair every other day to prevent tangling, which my fine strands do very easily. For these reasons, I will wear my hair in protective styles for a minimum of three days anything longer is counterproductive.
“Define that for me, please!”
With my hair I am NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, going for a super defined look. If I do I’ll look like I have exactly 3.5 strands of hair on my head (yeah, not cute!). The fluffier the better, “frizz” and I are cool, we have a mutually beneficial relationship. Let’s face it, Day 1 hair will probably never be great, but mine is especially pitiful. I’ve found that I can’t do braid outs or cornrows on my hair because it creates a result that is too defined that ends up accentuating my scalp which is never cute.
For most naturals using a clarifying shampoo is scary, but I have to use a clarifying shampoo at least 2-3 times a month to keep my strands happy and curling. If I don’t clarify this often, my curls will be noticeably lackluster, dull and limp. So naturally, co-washing is a no, no for me. Prolonging wash day is not an option. I have to cleanse my hair and scalp every 7-10 days or else the itchiness will start to overtake me and my hair will simply stop performing.
I hope this article helps someone like me who is natural and has fine, low density hair and is wondering why they too have not become the newest Instagram natural hair baddie after going natural. Girl, join the club and let’s start a conversation. What kind of hair do you have? What are some popular natural hair products or routines that your hair just can’t get with?