Hello and welcome back lovely people to our third instalment on the series on growing your kid’s natural hair for beginners.
If you haven’t already I would recommend you to go back and read part one and two in this series!
In this instalment we are going to look in detail at hair types.
But first, for those of you who don’t know, I’m Lulu the bestselling author of ‘A Parent’s Guide to Natural Hair Care for Girls’ mother of Bae and I’m pretty much obsessed with her natural hair.
My ONLY aim is to share my knowledge with you, so you can grow your own OR your daughter’s natural hair longer than it’s ever been before.
I know from experience that many mums do struggle with exactly this.
Many mums want to grow their daughter’s natural hair but struggle with dry, brittle or breaking hair that doesn’t seem to grow and that is where I hope to help!
I want to get this post out to as many people as is possible! So please share this post using the pink box at the side of the page! Thanks!
My goal is to help mums the world over, understand, care for and grow their daughter’s natural hair to be beautiful and healthy because I believe the relationship a young black girl has with her hair is of critical importance for the following 3 reasons: -
1) OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR HAIR FROM CHILDHOOD CAN IMPACT THE TYPE OF PERSON WE BECOME
How we see our hair can very often translate into how we see ourselves.
I know it did in my case. I thought my hair was short and ugly and as you can imagine, my self-image and in turn my self-esteem developed negatively. I was insecure for a long ass time.
But I’m not alone, speaking with others, I have found that it is an all too common experience; many black women report that their relationship with their hair as a child was less than ideal. Many women have reported struggling with their hair for long periods of time before getting it together as an adult but sadly some never get it together, ever.
The truth is all this drama can be avoided. Little black girls can have beautiful hair that they learn to love from childhood. There is now no need to wait until adulthood to love your hair.
PIN IT FOR ME! SHARE THE LOVE!
2) NOT ENOUGH OF OUR GIRLS LOVE THEIR HAIR
Read the smile on my face as I write this. Bae loves her hair, like absolutely loves her hair, like really freaking loves her hair! And you know what I love it too! It seems everybody does. We get constant compliments on it when we go out.
She loves me trying different styles with it. Its length and health allow us to try a multitude of styles, (to differing degrees of success of course), but you get the picture we have FUN with it.
But not enough Black girls love their hair and to be blunt not enough mums know how to bring out the full health and beauty in their daughters natural hair.
They don’t know how to care for the hair to get it to a place where they can have more fun with it or really appreciate it.
When Bae turns up at a birthday party, she turns up! Her hair is big, beautiful and fun and attracts positive attention; it really beats me as a child who had the same dry style for any occasion come rain or shine!
What I’m saying is black girls CAN truly love their hair, you just need the knowledge on how to get it to be beautiful and healthy, then, the sky is the limit.
3) BLACK HAIR TRULY IS BEAUTIFUL
I’m sure we have heard this spouted off somewhere but how many people truly believe it?
If you’re from the old school then it’s likely that it’s a concept you struggle more with but the new school we KNOW that it is true.
Listen beautiful black hair has NOTHING to do with genetics, which is what you might believe. My family were convinced that any black person with beautiful hair was mixed with Indian, until of course I taught them otherwise.
Beautiful black hair has nothing to do with luck or so-called ‘good hair’.
But it has EVERYTHING to do with how much you know and understand about it. Your knowledge is going to be key to bringing out the full beauty in the hair.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DAUGHTERS HAIR IS ABSOLUTELY KEY IF YOU WANT HER TO HAVE BEAUTIFUL, LONG AND HEALTHY NATURAL HAIR.
I am hosting a FREE training webinar on the 12th Jan 2016 at 8.30PM GMT where I will reveal: -
‘The top 10 things you should NEVER do if you are trying to grow your kid’s natural hair long, beautiful and healthy”
I expose the mistakes that I see SO MANY mums making, mistakes that are causing them to NOT see any results with their daughter’s hair, and mistakes that could be keeping the hair dry, damaged and/or short.
So lets get into this.
In the natural hair community, there is a lot of talk about different hair types and hair curl patterns.
At first glance, I wasn’t sold on the importance of knowing my daughter’s hair type or mine, but with time, I saw how helpful this information could be.
The benefit of knowing your hair type
The main advantage of knowing your hair type is the ability to diagnose potential problems and issues associated with it.
I, for example, have Type 4 (kinky, afro-textured hair) hair. For a long time, I struggled with severe breakage. After searching for the common problems associated with my hair type, I was able to figure out a solution that helped me dramatically reduce my breakage and get healthier thicker hair.
Hair problems and solutions can often be broken down by hair type, which is advantageous.
The Andre Walker system
Andre Walker made popular a hair typing system widely used in the natural hair community and identified 4 hair types with 3 possible sub-types.
Most women and girls with curly or afro-textured hair will likely have at least 2 different textures of hair.
Many curly-haired individuals find the curls around the perimeter of their head to be looser, while those in the middle and crown can be tighter.
Generally, there won’t be a great variation in the types of curls, but rather their diameter, making them looser or tighter.
It’s important to note that depending on your daughter’s age, she may still be developing her established hair texture, so her hair type is subject to change until she gets to around 3–4 years of age, but below is a brief overview.
Type 1 – Straight hair
Straight is often said to be the strongest hair type. It’s resilient and well moisturized, as the natural oil is able to travel down the hair shaft with ease.
1a – Fine and thin with a noticeable shine.
1b – More body than Type 1a hair.
1c – The coarsest of straight hair and resistant to heat styling.
Type 2 – Wavy hair
Wavy hair usually isn’t overly oily or dry. It’s generally thought of as the middle ground between straight and curly hair. It has slightly less natural shine than straight hair.
2a – Fine and thin. Easy to curl and straighten.
2b – Tends to have waves that adhere to the shape of the head.
2c – Frizzy waves that are fairly coarse and with less shine.
Type 3 – Curly hair
Curls in this rage typically have an ‘S’ shape when stretched. The cuticle doesn’t lay flat in curly hair, so this type will have noticeably less shine than Types 1 and 2 hair.
3a – Shiny and loose curls.
3b – Tighter, bouncy curls, spiral-shaped.
3c – Tight spiral curls that look like corkscrews.
Type 4 – Kinky hair
Commonly referred to as afro hair, this type is comprised of tight curls or ‘coils’, as they are commonly called. It is extremely fragile and can be the driest hair type with the least shine. Hair strands are often fine.
4a – Coils that have an ‘S’ shape when stretched. Some curl definition.
4b – Less definition. Coils appear to have a ‘Z’ pattern as the hair bends at sharp angles.
4c – Very similar to 4b, but will have no curl definition as coils will not clump together.
If your daughter has afro-textured hair, then it’s highly likely that she will have hair that falls into the Types 3 and 4 range, and as you now know from our first post on WHAT MAKES BLACK HAIR UNIQUE, these hair types are in fact the weakest and require the most care and attention in order to thrive.
Why you should know your daughter’s hair type
As I said earlier, I found it helpful to understand my hair type because I could then better understand and evaluate the issues I was having with my hair to be able to overcome them. It works the same for children’s natural hair.
HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR KID’S NATURAL HAIR TYPE
The best way to identify hair type is on dry, ‘naked’ hair: that is, hair that is completely dry and has no hair products in it.
Wash and condition the hair as usual, but rinse the conditioner out fully and let the hair dry naturally without product this is because some products can cause the curls in the hair to ‘pop’ or clump together more, but we need to see what the hair does on its own.
When the hair is fully dry you can then evaluate the texture.
Take a small section of hair from near the back of the head and compare it with the hair textures pictured above. Take a note of what texture you think it is.
Then repeat this in the crown of the head, and again make a note of what you think it is.
You can then repeat this in another area of the head if you wish. It could be that you can see great variations of texture across the head, and if this is the case you should identify these different areas to understand what combination of textures your daughter has.
You will likely discover that she has two or even three textures, which is completely normal.
Most of us actually have two textures of hair.
Bae has two distinct textures. Her hair has looser curls around the perimeter, but at the crown, the curls are a lot tighter and as a result the hair in that area is a lot drier.
Hair typing isn’t an exact science, so you may be slightly off, but it will give you an idea and this can help you understand your child’s hair more.
Managing two hair types
If you discover that your daughter does indeed have 2 or even 3 hair textures, then you are not alone, and it’s actually easy to manage, although it can seem daunting if they are very different.
The key thing to remember in this scenario is that the curlier the hair, the more delicate and prone to dryness it will be.
Focus on keeping the driest parts of the hair hydrated and moisturised; this should ensure that you keep ALL of the hair moisturised.
Styling hair with two textures
There are some considerations that will need to be made when styling hair with two textures.
I have found it good practice to use additional product layers on drier sections of hair to really lock the moisture in place where it is needed.
It can be easy to dismiss a dry patch as just that, a “dry” patch.
But dismissing it can only worsen the inconsistencies in hair moisture across the different textures of your child’s hair, which can lead to breakage in some areas.
You should aim to hydrate the dry patch and keep it just as moisturised as the rest of the hair.
Accepting a dry patch is dangerous because it shows complacency, which is never good in a healthy hair care regime.
To stay on top of your hair game you need to be vigilant with your hair care regime and aim to keep the hair as healthy and moisturised as possible.
Please comment below and let me know how you have got on identifying your daughters hair type or if you need further help or advice! I’d be happy to help you!
Love Lulu and Bae
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