Natural Hair Update
It's been quite awhile since my first post about my transition to natural hair. Since then my hair has grown quite a bit, but then I had to cut it again for reasons I'll explain later...
But before I do, I'd like to review my progress since the Big Chop, and the lessons I've learnt on the way. I tend to alternate my hair styles between braiding and free afro, depending on the seasons and my moods.
I'm a real fan of this style. I was lucky enough to find a hair dresser in my area who can do pretty much any style that I describe or find a picture of. I asked Hilda to mix cornrows and bantu knots and I loved the results!
Twists and Cornrows
This style was done by two strand twists in the front section, and cornrows on the rest of the hair. I liked it, but wanted my twists to be longer. Oh, the patience!
Wool (or yarn) was braided into my hair, and the ends were burnt to seal them. I liked the look, and was surprised how much I liked it. I found hairdressers in Malawi who could do this, but none in South Africa. Don't know what you're missing!
Free Afro Styles
When I wanted to wear my afro out, I would usually put it in large braids at night to give it more length and body. My hair is quite compact in it's rested state, and braiding helps stretch it out.
Styling with clips
Styling with a 360 degree expandable comb
...And Short Again
Ok, the story is that one day in my loose fro state, I noticed some difference in length between the sides, so I decided to go for a professional trim. My hairdresser washed it, blow dried it straight, then cut it. To this day I regret not speaking up when I suspected that what she was doing was odd. She trimmed it and styled it as if my hair was relaxed. I hated the look anyway, because it made my hair look thin. I drenched it in water to get back to my beloved fro, but lo and behold, it was even more uneven. This was because, as I learnt, you can't cut curly hair like it's straight. So I went to a barber to even it out again, but of course I had less hair to work with. That is how a trim became Big Chop Part 2.
I was annoyed, but like I said the first time around, it's only hair and will grow back. Especially now that I'm armed with better knowledge on how to take care of it. For example, I'm better off going to male barbers for a trim.
I have learnt how to do styles that work for really short hair though. I learnt about shingling and it's pretty easy to do myself with either a towel or a brush on conditioned and gelled hair.
|Shingling with short hair using a towel|
Shingling with slightly longer hair using a brush
Along my hair journey, I also learnt that my hair is defined as 4C hair, the curliest hair you can get in the human species. No surprises there! each strand of my hair curls up to 2mm in diameter. This info helped me when searching for hair care tips, because a lot of hair bloggers have natural hair that is a different texture from mine and therefore won't produce the same effects.
I shall have to be patient while I wait for my hair to regrow, but until then, I have a ton more ideas for styles to try...
Feel free to ask any questions about my hair :-) Check out The Products Behind the Styles, and My Transition to Natural Hair too.