Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 11th 2015 Contents By Tishanna Williams
SO, YOU DECIDED to join the massive
natural hair movement that has been
sweeping through the nations. Hallelujah,
right? Goodbye relaxers, hair breakage,
and long days at the hairdresser. Hello
100% natural hair products, strong, healthy
hair, 'Afro-chic' do's, new style options and
entire free Saturdays to do whatever you
want, you Nubian Natural Goddess you!
Little do you know that what you're really
doing is entering into a long-term relation-
ship reminiscent of the one your mother
had with you when you were in the midst
of your terrible twos. Though natural hair
is one of the most amazing things to hap-
pen since flats became appropriate fête
footwear, with all the trends, treatments
and hair-jargon, most times you feel like
you need a personal hair guru just to fig-
ure it all out.
That's where this series comes in. We
are going to be talking hair --- the curly,
coily, kinky truth about your crowning
glory, and we're going to start with giv-
ing you some basic info, problems and
explanations that every blossoming
naturalista should know.
You have a "Hair Type"
Yeah, you don't just have "natural
hair". You have hair that can be cate-
gorised into either Type 2, 3 or 4,
then sub-categorised into a, b and c
based on the curl/coil pattern of your
strands. Sounds like a whole lot of
extra work, right? But knowing your
hair type often allows you to define
your product search and make
sense of product reviews; many
product sites have review centres
where persons with various hair
types detail their personal experi-
ences with the products. How-
ever, in Trinidad, most of us have
more than one ethnicity in our lin-
eage, and this shows in our hair (I
am curly at the back, straight in
the centre and coily in the front).
This makes styling and product
hunting a bit more difficult for
some, but generally I would ad-
vise going with the pattern that
makes up the majority of your
hair. For me, that would give
me a 4a/4c hair type.
To determine your hair
type, check out www.natural-
All these terms!
Why does it feel like you need to hire a trans-
lator just to figure out this natural hair busi-
ness? Here are some of the main terms you
Co-Wash --- washing with conditioner. Many
shampoos strip hair of natural oils, and co-
washing has become a way to gently cleanse
LOC method --- a way of sealing moisture (in
the form of water) into dry hair by layering on
products in the order of Liquid/Oil/Cream.
After wash, drain excess water from your hair.
Add your leave-in conditioner before applying
a thin layer of a light oil, followed by your
everyday cream moisturiser. This may sound
like a lot, but I could scream the praises of this
technique forever. Please note that the order
of applying the oil and cream can be alter-
nated. It's about finding the process that
works for you.
Porosity --- this refers to the ability of your hair
to absorb and hold moisture and is dependent
upon the hair cuticle. Low porosity hair has a
tightly bound cuticle that resists absorbing
product/moisture (products often sit on hair
and take long to absorb) while high porosity
hair has very open cuticles which absorbs
products/moisture but just as easily dries out.
Check out www.naturallycurly.com/texture-
typing/hair-porosity for porosity info, tests and
DIY --- Do it Yourself. There is a huge move-
ment towards making your own products
these days and DIY recipes are everywhere.
Pre-Poo --- Applying conditioners or oils before
your shampoo (preferably overnight) to pre-
vent over-stripping of the hair's natural oils by
It will happen (especially if you're a Type 4).
Your 10" of hair could look like 3", and yeah,
short styles are sexy but we want to show off
our length sometimes, too. Some ways to re-
tain length are:
Washing hair in twisted sections. The twists
prevent hair from tangling or over-coiling on
contact with water.
A tight double-strand twist on damp hair, fol-
lowed by pinning the stretched twists to your
scalp until it dries. This allows your hair to
maintain some extra length and assume the
curl pattern of the twists until it comes in con-
tact with water or humid conditions.
There are many products that act as anti-
humectants protecting hair from humidity and
shrinkage (this will be covered in our "Prod-
14 | WOW MAGAZINE
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 11, 2015
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