We can see you ladies are wearing your True Glory Extensions throughout the year on Instagram, but it is also important to let your natural hair breathe from underneath your extensions or wig to prevent breakage. Taking a break from wigs and weaves means embracing and wearing your natural hair. Basic care and styling our natural and curly hair takes dedication, persistence, and most important, trial and error to know what works for your hair and what doesn't. If you’re starting your transitioning journey from perm to natural or taking a break in between your extensions (like for extension care and maintenance) and are clueless when it comes to properly caring for your natural curls, this blog will help you gain more insight about caring for your natural hair. Get your pen and paper ready because you're going to need somewhere to store all of the keys you’re about to receive!
Any other time, we would dive right into how to take care of your natural hair, but we're doing things a little different this time round. It is important to first establish your hair/curl type. “What are the different hair types and how do I figure out mines?” No worries; we've got you covered. Hair type categorization all began with Andre Walker, best known for his hair styling on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Andre created a metric system that categorized natural hair, the problem areas of each hair type and suggested products for each texture. For example, when you hone in on your hair type, you’ll be able to identify the core solutions your products should provide like more moisture, anti-frizz action, etc. With this typing system, Andre could improve the health of natural hair and ensure his clients were getting results. The buzz around the metric system increased as it became the system people used to categorize their hair pattern. By establishing your hair pattern, you can properly care for your natural hair.
There are four different hair types ranging from straight hair to kinky hair. There are also subgroups in the classes with A being straight and C curlier in each group. Look at the different hair types to start your natural hair care journey.
Type 1: Straight Hair
Type 1 hair is straight, shiny and the hardest to damage compared other hair types. This texture is also the most oily out of the different hair textures.
1A: This type of straight hair is very fine, thin and soft with a noticeable shine.
1B: This type of straight hair is medium-textured and has more body than 1A.
1C: This type of straight hair is the most resistant to curly styling and relatively coarse.
Type 2: Wavy Hair
Wavy hair is the grey area, the in-between straight and curly. Wavy hair can get frizzy very easily.
2A: This type of wavy hair is undefined and lacks volume. 2A hair can easily be straightened or curled.
2B: This type of wavy hair has more definition. It is characterized by hair waves that tend to adhere to the shape of your head.
2C: This type of wavy hair is coarse with lots of volume.
Type 3: Curly Hair
Curly hair looks like “S” or “Z”; it has volume and fullness that requires consistent care. This type of hair is pretty vulnerable - it can be damaged easily during climate changes.
3A: This type of curly hair has a loopy “S” pattern. It is shiny and looser than the others.
3B: This hair texture has a smaller curl pattern and is coarser than the other two textures. It has a medium number of curls ranging from bouncy ringlets (spiral like curls of hair) to tight corkscrews.
Type 4: Kinky Hair
Kinky Hair is the outrageously curly texture that requires around the clock maintenance. Kinky hair is very fragile so you will need to be selective with the hairstyles you choose if you have this texture as it's easy to damage.
4A: This type of kinky hair is tightly coiled and has a tight “S” patterned curl.
4B: This type of kinky hair is “Z” shaped pattern with less of a defined curl.
After reading the characteristics for each hair type, you should have determined which type(s) your hair closely identifies with. Now, we are ready for natural hair tips and tricks. You'll want to incorporate many of these tips into your daily hair care routine. First, we’ll go over natural hair care tips as it pertains to your hair type. After, we’ll discuss general ways for every woman to take care of her hair in different seasons (climate) and how to revive damaged hair (color and heat damaged hair).
Wavy, Curly, and Kinky Hair Care Tips
So, we gave you the breakdown of the different hair types. Now that you know what category your hair falls under, you will understand why your hair suffers from the issues it has. Luckily for you, you’ll also understand ways to solve those problems and bring your curls back to life. Here are more in-depth looks at each hair type and characteristics needed in your natural products to properly take care of your hair.
Wavy Hair: “Because wavy hair is more prone to frizz, anti-frizz/humidity protective styles are key for creating and keeping gorgeous waves. Most natural hair care product suppliers have specific styling products for this hair type, as they provide the most hold and frizz protection. Also, try to keep your fingers out of wavy hair. The more you tousle the hair, the more frizz you can experience.”
Curly Hair: “Curly hair is the most temperamental hair type. If you apply too much styling product, the hair will be weighed down with greasy-looking curls. If you apply too little styling product = Diana Ross’s 80’s afro! The key to guaranteeing effortless, frizz-free curls is proper styling product application. Always start with a fresh, clean palette on the first day. Cleanse, condition, moisturize, then apply your styling product of choice.”
Kinky Hair: “Because kinky hair is dry by nature and results in easy breakage, it needs to be moisturized daily. Dry hair tends to fall victim to breakage a lot more often while well-moisturized hair is supple and has elasticity. The key to keeping these natural locks healthy, shiny, and beautiful is to moisturize every step of the way. Start with a creamy, sulfate-free moisturizing cleanser followed by a super hydrating conditioner. Prep with a rich moisturizer and style with a rich cream full of natural oils and rich butters. Look for moisturizing humectants, natural conditioning agents and exotic extracts to add moisture to these locks. Avoid minerals, petrolatum oil and heavy waxes.”
Curly Hair Care in Winter and Summer
As seasons and the weather changes, so does your hair and how it reacts to them. Caring for your curly hair is important in each season as your hair may need more TLC than before. When a new season approaches, as you examine your wardrobe, you should also examine the styling and maintenance of your hair. Here are ways you can properly care for your hair through the changing seasons.
Winter Hair Texture: As we are well into winter, the dry and cold air heavily affects your hair. As your skin is dry and brittle, your hair will start to feel and become the same. Your focus should be keeping your hair moisturized. This means more DIY hair masks for moisture and deep penetrating conditioners. The number of hair washes should drastically decrease to prevent your hair from getting dry from the shampoo.
Winter Hair Styling: Protective styling will be your best friend through the winter months. We suggest you leave the wash n’ go’s alone as they will result in dry, brittle hair. Also, who wants to walk around in the cold with wet hair?! Seriously, you’re asking to catch a cold. The best way to touch your hair less and maintain a style throughout the winter is protective styling like twist outs, Bantu knots, cornrows, etc. These styles will reduce the amount of heat you place on tour hair and still keep your hair moisturized throughout the winter months.
Summer Hair Texture: Summer heat can be just as damaging as the winter cold. The bright sun and the dry air bring on frizz like no other. It also results in the same dry moisture-stripping weather as the winter. What’s worse than a glistening, tanned face and dry, frizzy hair? Again, keep your hair moisturized and condition and limit the number of times you shampoo. To reduce your chances of experiencing dry, frizzy hair, invest in anti-frizz products.
Summer Hair Styling: As you are in the opposite weather, wash n go’s are more acceptable. It doesn’t mean you should be consistently washing your hair with shampoo as it can dry out your hair. Co-wash is a great product that washes away dirt from the hair, but also conditions your stands and keeps your hair soft and curly.
Hair Care Remedies for Damaged Hair
At some point in your hair journey, you may experience damaged hair, which can be brought on by many factors. The two you’ll most likely experience and worth the highlight is heat and color damage. Heat damage occurs with the overuse of heat on your natural hair with styling tools like flat irons, blow dryers and curlers. Color damage occurs when the hair has been colored or bleached and not properly taken care of. Need help reviving your hair after dealing with one or both? Read below!
Heat Damage Tips: If you want to revive your natural curls, it is highly suggested to not apply an abundance of heat to the hair as potential damage can happen anytime. If you want to apply heat to your hair, apply a heat protectant before using the styling tool. This will help your hair and prevent it from damage. It is also important to know when not to use your styling tools, like the summer. Summer brings constant frizzy hair and to keep applying heat to your natural hair can be damaging.
If you have damaged hair from heat, the best alternative is to wear your hair naturally, deep condition regularly, and give it all the love it needs to revive. Also, cut off your damaged hair. It will allow your hair to grow faster and healthier to bring back bouncier curls.
Color Damage Tips: Everyone loves the trendy unicorn colors or styles by Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, but bleaching your hair to get those styles can seriously be damaging to your hair. Bleach strips your hair’s moisture leaving it dry and brittle causing breakage. If you want to bleach your hair or have already done so, keeping moisture in your hair is your priority. For more about caring for your curls after bleaching your hair, look at our past blog on how to dye your hair at home where we talk about proper maintenance when coloring your hair.
Hair Typing System Content Credit: Andrew Walker Hair Care & CURLS Hair Type Guide