Wash n' go hair styled with no product...only using my oil blend.
However, when I used certain styling products I use and the technique in which I use them for my hair looks (according to the typing system) 3b/3c/4a. I don't have to put any chemicals in my hair for the look and feel of my hair to change, just products applied and a specific technique used to get desired outcome I want.
This style, just like the photos above it are of a wash n' go, this time using a combination of Shea Moisture and Kinky Curly products.
The back looks totally different from the photo without product.
I feel blessed that the Divine created me with the ability to have and appreciate the versatility of my Afro textured hair. I choose not describe my hair in a "type" because I honestly feel it causes so many women of color to continue with the "good hair, bad hair" mindset instead of understanding when Afro hair gets wet, it shrinks and expands when it is completely dry, shrinking even more, simple as that. If your hair does that, you have Afro hair weather you are Black, Causasian, Latina, Asian, Indian...it doesn't matter which ethnicity you are. I strongly feel that any product can be used on any hair type due to the fact is it more technique than product that determines the outcome of a hair style. I'm going to post some photos of my hair as an example of my technique over product belief and show you exactly why hair typing, in my opinion is irrelevant even for the new to natural women.
No product...My hair looks like I don't have a curl in site...right?
Product...Shea Moisture Curly Souffle' has my curls poppin'.
Here are some photos ranging from 5/10 to current showing different "looks" of the texture of my afro hair and the styles that can be worn on afro textured hair.
Hair immediately following henna treatment
Braid out on wet hair
Bantu Knots on wet hair
Wash N' Go
Photo on top shows my hair stretched from hair dry without any oil and the one below shows immediately following adding extra virgin olive oil to it.
Twist out on air dried hair
Cornrows on blown out hair
No matter how many styles I wear, it all boils down to one thing...Afro hair is versatile and the products used are not as important in my opinion as the techniques used to create the final look.
Another reason I feel and know it's technique over product when it comes to the look of a persons hair is because women of color have been natural long before this "natural hair movement". I myself haven't had a relaxer since December 1995. In the late 60's and throughout the70's men and women of color wore Afro's often referred to as "the natural" and grew their hair quite long, or large in describing Afro hair, without the need of a typing system. All they did was learn how to take care of what they had. By doing so, it eliminated a reason for typing and in my opinion definitely resulted in loving the texture they had without the comparison factors. Did good hair bad hair mentality exist? Certainly, however the common goal as growing healthy, thick, long hair, regardless of the texture. That goal is met simply through caring for it consistently. The only separations in caring for Afro hair in my opinion should be determining what shampoo and conditioning treatments to use if your hair is dry, oily or if you have scalp issues, for instance, dandruff or psoriasis. All Afro texture hair needs to be cleaned, conditioned, styled, and left alone for extended periods of time with little to no manipulation and it will flourish regardless of the texture. Many may not agree but I have seen it time and time again. My mother was natural all my life so growing up seeing shrinkage was the norm. I wore my hair straightend with heat up until age 15 and my hair was bra strap length and again very familiar, yet uncomfortable, with shrinkage which led me to relaxing my hair.
My main purpose for writing this article is because it's been almost 2 years since I started my healthy hair journey, posting pics on social sites often and of course on this blog, yet I STILL often get questioned about my ethnicity. I honestly don't get it. Looking at my skin color, it is OBVIOUS I am a black woman but even more importantly I am HUMAN. As humans we are more alike then we are different yet most of us consciously or unconsciously choose to focus on the irrelevant differences which is REALLY SAD especially when it comes from those who share the same ethnic background as you...why does it matter so much to some people? I know I'll never understand so I won't even try to anymore. One thing I do believe is when some people see a persons hair they like and feel their hair isn't capable for what ever reason of achieving the exact"look" of the person they admires hair, then they equate it to the person being of a different ethnicity. I just want people to know that having Afro textured hair isn't exclusive to one group of people or people who only look a certain way within the group and that there are several different textures of Afro hair. As En Vogue so eloquently put it, Free your mind...and the rest will follow. Peace n' Blessings...