Monday, March 28, 2011

Just MY Type!

Andre Walker is mostly famous for being a hairstylist to huge celebs like Oprah Winfrey.  I learned awhile back, he is also the creator of the Hair Type Classification System.  This classification system was created to help women of all ethnicity's better identify their hair texture, thus making it easier to understand which hair care methods and products will produce the best results.  Most black women fall within the range of Type 3b (loose defined curls)

  Type 3c hair (tightly curled, slightly coiled still defined),

Type 4a hair (coily and kinky easily frizzed usually dry),

Type 4b hair (course instead of curls this type coils, frizzy very little to no curl definition),

 and last but definitely not least Type 4c hair (instead of a coil this hair type is more similar to a zig- zag pattern and is usually very course and dry).

 Only thing is...what about those of us whose natural hair consists of
 multiple hair types?

Over the years one of the things that kept me from keeping my hair in its natural state was my inability to get uniformed looking curls when I wear my hair out.  The front sides and nape have curls similar to 3c with the texture getting more course towards the crown which to me, is 4b borderline 4c.  One of the greatest blessings about keeping my hair  natural is the ability to learn each texture, how each texture reacts to different products and most of all practicing trial and error styles which teach me how to get the uniformed outcome I desire within my multi- textured head.  I feel confident I have mastered the ability to create any hairstyle on multi-texted tresses, whether I have my hair twisted, in an Afro, wash n' go, or in an updo.

Many naturals opt out of subscribing to hair typing.  Since every ones hair is unique, hair typing can sometimes be inaccurate.  Ive had some naturals tell me mine looks 3b, which in my understanding is way off.  I've had some say it looks 4a.  Understanding hair typing can be confusing due to the fact many naturals identify their hair types incorrectly, however to them, it is correct, so who is really to say its been mis-typed.   I don't subscribe to hair typing.  My hair has at least 3 very distinctly different types and to follow the regimen or advice of someone simply due to a typing system that can be and is often misinterpreted is pointless.  For me, hair typing is essential for one reason.  As a natural hair stylist I need to get an idea of the hair texture prior to my appointments.  This way I know what products to use, which styling options are best, and which grooming techniques to incorporate in the styling process to minimize breakage from mishandling a clients hair.

As a natural, I feel it is most important to just KNOW your hair.  A part of learning all I can about my hair is also learning all I can about natural hair in general, hence, understanding the hair typing system and its definitions.  A huge myth I bought into was that the courser the hair texture, the least likely it will grow to extreme lengths and more looser hair types effortlessly grow to extremely long lengths.  This is untrue.  I have seen many 4c naturals with waist length hair.  I have seen many women with 3b and 3c hair stuggle to retain their lengths.  It all begins with understanding how to handle your individual texture to minimize breakage, what products are beneficial for your individual texture to maximize health, and what styling options are best to wear for maximum growth retention.

This is just my type...multiple curl patterns are seen throughout. I Luv My Kynxx!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Healthy Hair Update

Sometimes I feel like there just isn't enough time in a day.  March 17th I was supposed to update my growth challenge for 2011. Unfortunately, life happens and I hadn't been able to squeeze in time to take pics, upload them, and write.  Nevertheless, I have had WONDERFUL results from wearing twists for almost 2 months (re-doing them weekly or bi-weekly) sticking to my co-wash only, bi-weekly ayuvedic regimen and Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curling Custard combo for styling (luv it!). 

May 2011 marks my 1 Year anniversary of being heat free.  I don't miss it that's for sure.  I can tell my hair has grown although at this point in my journey my focus has shifted from concentrating on  stretched length results to health length results.  This was always my focus however at one point I wanted to track the results every 3 months. I decided like I said in my last growth update, the length is where it is now without stretching so my updates wont have pics of me pulling my hair.  My long-term hair goal is collar bone length, dry, natural, and unstretched.  Might not sound like much but with my kynxx stretched that would be waist length.  Blame it on the shrinkage.

  Just wanted to share an updated pic of my low pony puff.  This time last year my puff was practically see through and so thin from years of heat damage.  So happy my journey towards recovering my hairs health is finally starting to pay off!  Continued Blessings!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Confessions of a Co-Wash Junkie

My fav from above is $1 VO5...detangles my kynxx like no other!

It's been a little over 2 months since I last shampooed my kynxx.  After reading Curly Girls by Lorraine Massey I decided to try her technique and do what made sense, to me.  I'm not one to follow trends and word of mouth suggestions but when I read or hear anything that just makes common sense, I'm quick to take heed and make the required adjustments.  At this point I can honestly say I am a full fledged Co-Wash Junkie.  Nothing has made my hair look or feel the way it looks and feels after I co-wash.  Even when I pre-poo with oils or conditioners and even when using sulfate free shampoos of various brands, no shampoo I've tried easily untangled, defined, and moisturized like a good old co-wash.  Since my coils are tight and I dont have much product build up from keeping my hair in mini-twists, I have been able to omit shampoo from my regimen completely, my natural oils dont even reach my ends.  Only thing is....I need to wash my hair as I am now feeling sebum building slightly and need a gentle way to cleanse my scalp. 

I read blogs and forum comments and noticed that many Naturalistas have opted for the no-poo lifestyle and as one I understand the value from it.  I still need to have something for times when my scalp needs to be cleansed so as of today I am in search of the perfect shampoo.  Perfect meaning a shampoo that will leave my hair clean yet looking and feeling the exact way it does after I co-wash.  A part of my Ayurvedic regimen includes scalp cleasning from Shakaiki powder found in the Henna I use and at times I mix it with Brahmi and Amla for my bi-weekly treatments.  Yet and still the beneficial ayurvedics don't leave my hair with the silky feel of conditioner washing.

I've had my eye on a few shampoos Im going to try.  Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash and DevaCurl-No Poo and/or One Poo, are top of my list.  Hopefully, I can find them in small or sample sizes this way if my hair doesnt agree with them it wont be a total waste of money.  Product reviews to come!

My hair is growing healthy and thriving since I've omitted shampoo. Moving forward I will only shampoo as needed and since its been over 8 weeks Im guessing my shampoo bottles will last quite awhile.