I never really intended on going natural, but when I was 10, my dad thought it was time. The relationship I had with my hair was still a gradual process, and it took me years to be comfortable with my natural hair. I ended up wearing braids and other protective styles, and I straightened my hair so often during high school that it caused a lot of heat damage. Then, I switched to wearing wigs but wore them improperly, which triggered traction alopecia to my hairline.
Then, about four years ago, I finally embraced my hair texture to the fullest.
I’ve spent time researching and developing the routine that works for me. Once I determined my hair type is coily 4C texture, it was easier for me to find methods and products that work for me. Having a 4C hair type means the curl pattern is seen as a tight S or Z pattern. There are several false assumptions that this texture doesn’t grow, but the fact is that this texture is growing—it’s just that a lot of shrinkage occurs.
I couldn’t pay a visit to a salon at the beginning of my journey, as only a few trustworthy hairdressers are educated on 4C hair care. This prompted me to do my own research by discovering articles and videos on Youtube that taught me how to take care of my hair’s texture. It seemed daunting at first with all the terminology of hot oil treatments, pre-pooing, co-washing, deep conditioning, finger detangling, and moisturizing. It was all about adding tons of products (which can add up) and what each method does. My journey has been one of trial and error, and it’s still a process, but it’s a beautiful one.
One Youtube influencer, Chizi Duru, primarily taught me about my hair. I relate to her because she has a similar texture and hair length to mine, and she’s always kept it authentic about her journey. I came into contact with my hairstylist, StyledbyZee, four years ago, and she has helped me build a hair routine that is gentle on my hair, has recommended a protective style, and is teaching me how to take care of my hair.
Whether you are transitioning, have been natural for a while, or just trying to learn more, I have created a condensed guide with products, tools, and terms to make your journey easier.
Ample hair porosity ensures that the hair can readily absorb oils and other liquids, but hair that is too porous may not retain moisture. To test your hair’s porosity, take a strand of hair and place it in a bowl of water, then rest for up to four minutes. If your hair sinks to the bottom, you have high porosity, and if it lies afloat, you have low porosity. Not all 4C hair types are the same, so knowing your hair porosity can help you develop healthy hair habits that are specialized to your specific hair.
One of the things I’ve observed is that my hair loves water. A spray bottle brings moisture to my hair shaft before I apply any products. It helps disperse water evenly and refresh curls, and I use it to mix up oils and conditioners to apply to my hair.
A satin cap or pillowcase helps preserve your natural hair by keeping in the moisture, avoiding frizz, and decreasing split ends—unlike cotton, which loses moisture.
This brush has made my wash days go by faster. It makes the detangling method smoother with eight rows of brushes and a non-slip secure rubber handle that is excellent, especially for 4C hair and other curl types.
Blow Dry Brush
This two-in-one blow dryer is everything! It works well as a detangler and reduces the drying and styling time. It’s easy to use, particularly when you need a quick blowout for updos or any other hairstyles.
In between wigs and defensive styles, I enjoy using Black Castor Miracle Braid & Scalp Cleansing Rinse to detox and condition my scalp and break down the buildup of the products.