Acknowledging Your Progress

Photo Credit: Ivie Enoma

This is my second time returning to natural hair and I am happy to say that I am far more patience this time around then I was the first time. This can be attributed to my hectic schedule and exhaustion or my overall desire to not focus too much on my hair. Either way, I’ve noticed tremendous growth in my hair and so have others! It’s so easy t
o convince yourself that you’re not making any progress in your hair journey (if it’s geared towards length) because shrinkage is the ultimate form deception! However, once you slow down and begin to notice the little things like finally being able to do a bun without needing bobby pins (I have yet to reach there) or you’re using up your products at a faster rate, you’ll know you’re retaining length. Some people like to have routine length checks but at this point in time I’m not too concerned to get back into that habit. However, every once in a while I will stretch my curls whenever I do notice growth. Just within 5 months I’ve noticed great growth! The last time I straightened my hair, I was struggling to do my signature flip with my bangs and couldn’t hold on to my ends very well. 5 months later and my bands are flippable and significantly longer. I could possibly be at the same length from when I relaxed again in 2015 in the next 5 months.

With longer hair comes changes. I’ve experienced texture change where my hair is now more wavy near my roots and curly towards my ends (I have a head full of lazy curls) and dryer ends which I have to pay more attention to or even switch up my products for. I definitely think my low maintenance and coconut oil massaged has helped a lot. If my hair isn’t in a flat twist and low bun, then it’s in mid-bun and a headband. I sometimes dabble in the occasional wash and go but I’m not a fan of the awkward length stage. I’ll dabble in a bantu knot out if I’m feeling fancy.

Now that I’ve figured out a stable regimen that works best for me, I may play around with different hair products now. Any recommendations you’d like to see my try? And that things do you like to do that you feel have helped you retain length?

See you in the next post!

xoxo

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Managing Type 4C Hair

Managing type 4c hair can be very difficult considering the coarseness of its texture, shrinkage, and undefined curl pattern. Learning how to deal with this type of hair takes time and patience. I have type 4c hair, and I have learned how to manage my hair, so here are some tips.

Moisture Keeping type 4c hair moisturized is very important. The hair is more prone to breakage because of its texture. Moisture should be applied daily. The easiest way to keep this type of hair moisturized is to spray it with a conditioner and water mix every morning. You can always find another way to moisturize daily. There are a lot of products out there that will help to keep the hair moisturized.

Styling The best way to style type 4c hair is to use protective styling. Protective styling helps to preserve and retain length. If you do not use protective styling, it will be easy for your ends to break off. Protective styling includes twist outs, braid outs, up-dos, etc. These styles may take a while to do, but keeping them in for two weeks is very beneficial. They allow for low manipulation, which increases the chance of length retention.

Detangling I have learned that the best way to detangle is by using my fingers. Combs and brushes tend to snap the ends of my hair. If you decide to use detangling tools, get a wide tooth comb and a soft bristle brush. Also, detangle while the hair is wet, because it will be easier to move through the hair. Detangling your hair in sections will be a great benefit, for the process will be easier to handle.

Products Make sure the products are alcohol and sulfate free. The alcohols cause dryness. Use products that are meant to add moisture to the hair. Always use a leave-in conditioner, which helps to protect the hair from damages.

Shrinkage Sometimes shrinkage can be very frustrating, especially if your hair is down your back but appears to be above your neck. Type 4c hair can shrink up to eighty percent or maybe even more. There are ways to elongate the hair. Twist outs and braid outs usually help to lengthen the hair. These hair styles also help with creating a definite curl pattern. Due to shrinkage, type 4c hair does not have much of a curl pattern. There is a pattern, but the coils are really tight. Wearing a fro and embracing the shrinkage is cool too, but remember to moisturize the fro in order to prevent breakage.

Managing type 4c hair can be tough, but it creates a very distinct look that helps individualize an individual. No matter how much time it takes to do my hair or how difficult it is to manage my hair, I have learned to embrace what I have. My type 4c hair is a part of my identity and individualized style.

Do you have type 4c hair? Do you feel as if it is the most difficult hair type to manage?

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Meet the Interns: Ivie Enoma

Name, College, Graduation Year

Hi! My name is Ivie Enoma and I am a proud Marketing major at Temple University set to graduate in Spring 2016!

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

This is actually my second time going natural! The first time, I transitioned for 8 months before big chopping. That was in the summer of 2009. I was natural up until September 2013. I got a relaxer and transitioned once again for about 11 months. I big chopped in August 2014 and here I am again 1 year and 4 months post relaxer!

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

The first time I went natural, I wanted to do something different with my hair. I am pretty tender-headed so I was experiencing a lot of burns and sores from relaxers and I was fed up with it. I hated everything about the relaxing process and did not want to continue my discomfort. The second time I went natural, I wanted to start all over again. After experiencing with a lot of color, heat and just not properly caring for my hair, my hair health had fallen greatly. My curls were limp and frizzy and I hated it. So I got a relaxer to transition and go natural once again. This time I would keep my hair healthy and I am successfully doing so!

How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

Now that I have short hair again, I definitely look a lot older than I actually am and that occasionally gets to me from time to time but my perception of others has not and will never be affected by a choice that I make for myself regarding how I choose to look.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

Not really. I just have this one sorority sister who loves my hair texture. She always plays with my curls whenever I do my hair and I love it. Other than that,I have noticed that I get a lot more compliments when my hair is straight which is ironic to me because I’m not  a big fan of straight hair.

IvieWhat is your favorite part of your hair routine?

I love washing my hair to bits! It’s the most relaxing part of my routine and I look forward to it throughout the week. Call me weird but I love it!

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

Definitely a conditioner with tons of slip to make dentangling a breeze, a great leave-in-conditioner and some type of sealant. I like to use Herbal Essence’s Hello Hydration, Oyin Handmade’s Hair Dew and raw shea butter.

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

Other than my basic comb and soft bristle brush, I have the Hair Therapy Cordless Turban that  I like to warm up and use for deep conditioning.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

My Man Crush Mondays are constant and cannot be limited to one man! I will forever and always fall head over heels for Idris Elba, Seung-Hyun Choi (T.O.P) and Charles Michael Davis. I have a ton of other side baes but those 3 will always be my top #MCM. My #WCW changes constantly but right now I am totally in love with NaYeon (@Naye0na on IG) because her makeup skills are incredibly enchanting!

 

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Yes, You Can Touch My Hair

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/o8g7zgh

There is a movement going on across college campuses that was sparked by one exhibit done in 2013 when women freely allowed people to touch their hair. This new movement of lowering public curiosity about natural hair has mixed reviews about it.

 

– Can I Touch Your Hair? 

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/pyp5pyo

 

Although seen as a simple question asked out of curiosity, some find it very offensive. The exhibit was started as a way to get people talking about natural hair and how it’s really no different from regular hair.

The people that find the question offensive stated that they are not animals in a zoo, so no their hair cannot be petted. Now there is some truth in this statement. For example, if someone approached me in a setting that wasn’t appropriate (my job, school, etc…), I’d politely say “Not at this moment, maybe later.”

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/q6q5hec

 

Now I have been in a position where I felt “obligated or trapped” into someone touching my hair. My 11th grade year in highschool, when I big chopped my hair, it seemed as if EVERYONE wanted to touch my hair. I was shocked that the majority of people wanting to touch my hair were African – American or Hispanic – people of color. When I realized that there was a pattern among the types of people that wanted to touch my hair, I immediately knew that it was a problem that I was the first person they’d seen wearing their natural hair. Now, I, a college freshman at an HBCU, still experience people walking up to me asking to touch my hair.  I don’t mind when people ask me about my hair regimen because I have no secrets to what I use in my hair – and it feels so amazing walking on my college campus seeing so many women and men wearing their natural hair. It really feels amazing.

 

 

Photo Source: http://tinyurl.com/of2vmko

In the media, little girls are being sent home for “unruly hair” and people are being fired for wearing protective styles (corn rows, etc.) and that is why “YES, YOU CAN TOUCH MY HAIR” is important. To stop public criticism, denounce stereotypes about black hair, or to convince people to go natural/ help them find their ideal regimen… for some people they HAVE to touch your hair and it’s as simple as that. I personally wouldn’t get offended, but as humans we do have the right to allow people to touch our hair or to deny them that option.

 

 

 


Here’s a link to 2 videos displaying the public exhibit:

You Can Touch My Hair, A Short Film (Part 1)

You Can Touch My Hair, A Short Film (Part 2)


 

What are your thoughts about their exhibit? Has someone ever walked up to you and asked to touch your hair? Comment below and tell us your story!

 

 

 

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