Hi!!! Okay, my name is Shannon and this is my second time going on the natural hair journey. I was natural for two years in 2005 and I slipped up and got a relaxer (the worst mistake ever). Well not only was my hair relaxed but it was also colored which caused my hair to BREAK tremendously!!!! It was like my hair went into shock and the only way I knew how to recover it was going back to the source that made my hair beautiful….. being NATURAL.
So currently I am in my 10th month of transition and it’s been a stress free transition so far. I’ve been wearing quick weaves and sew ins and my hair is growing so fast. My issue is once you decided to do your big chop, where do you go from there? Before, when I was natural, I wasn’t aware of all the different resources that were available to me. So I was looking at my hair and thinking ok where do I go from here. I don’t have the hair where if you put water on it the curls just pop. I have 4b and the alphabet after that LOL! I can see my curl pattern if I pull a strand out but how can I define my 4b hair without using gel??? I washed and conditioned my hair this weekend and it came out really soft and if I get up really close to the mirror and I can see my tightly coiled kinky hair but no definition. Please Help…..THANKS!!!
To be honest, type 4x hair is a hair that needs patience and gentleness. That hair is very difficult and mostly unresponsive, unless you do some kind of twist. I love curly hair and never liked my hair in the perm — God, has life been expensive and traumatic since I went natural!!! I would recommend lots of conditioning for the hair and hydration for your body. As far as styling, that is a very expensive endeavor I have launched myself into. Without blow-drying, there is nearly no way to achieve a sophisticated look. It alwasy looks sort of nappy. Thankfully, Keratin treatment is a great solution to loosen the hair without damaging it.
I have 4b/4a hair too! after shampooing I mix the Hello hydration and totally twisted conditioner with a bit of honey.After applying it to my hair I do a bunch of two strand twist.I tie the roots and ends with goodies ouch less bands then wash the conditioner out.Make sure you get it all out.Finally I place some water base gel(thick and slick or moose if your willing)into hair.Next I blow dry my hair with the two strand twist still in.If you want to avoid using heat put the dryer on cool.It works just as well(but takes forever to dry).When its done drying you can have a twist out,with a nice texture!
it's not a close up but this is my hair currently http://public.fotki.com/heavenlyhummingbird/my-freedom/10th-transition-month.html#media
I have more of a 4a, so I dont know how helpful my routine would be. But usually after I wash and condition, I spray my hair with a water, olive oil, castor oil mix and then I comb through a mixture of Aloe Vera Gelly, Vegetable Gylcerin, and Almond Oil mixed up together. Usually Gives me ALOT of definition.
check out this video!
Yeah, HEHH doesn't really work well with 4a/b/c textures. I don't really go for definition, because with 4 anything, hair definition is relative. If I want a defined pattern, I do twist outs or braid outs; it's easier than putting oodles of conditioner in your hair in the hopes that you'll end up with tiny, defined curls. I love my hair, but like SheBee said, there are some things that type 4 hair can and can't do. Just find what works best for you=o)
Thanks ladies for all the great advice!! I have tried HEHH and it just didnt work to well for me maybe I will need to try again but it didnt give me a different result. I will try to post a picture later on today. I'm taking notes and I'm going to see how it works out. AGAIN THANKS…thanks Nik!!
a photo would make it easier to give you advice
Maybe you can try condition washes using Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. Rinse the conditioner and then while hair is still wet, add some HEHH as leave in. Use some olive or coconut oil to seal. Add a tiny amount of Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse. This combination leaves my hair soft, plus my hair does not seem to be a fan of gel. Also, I don't use the mousse everyday, just on the days I really want more defined curls.
I also have a mixture of 4 in my hair, and only randomly across my head are there curls that pop. To get some kind of uniform pattern (and the bonus of stretching and detangling) I stick to twist sets – twist out, flat twist out, bantu knots, etc. These work really well for me to set a pattern, then I just style as I please from there.
You may not see the definition yet, because you havent BC'd yet. I have 4b hair and saw nothing while my relaxed ends were still hanging on. When I finally did chop it off, there was a little something there. But don't expect to see lots and lots of curls/coils without the help of gel if your hair is 4b. Just try conditioning your hair (once you BC) and then rinse it out with out manipulating your pattern too much.
From one 4b to another, accept your hair for what it can and CANT do. No saying that you aren't… but I know it can be frustrating when you want your hair to do something and it doesn't. Our hair is so versatile. in time you'll see.
Good luck with the rest of your transition period 🙂
In the few months since I BC'd I haven't found a better product than bentonite clay to give me the best definition. I condition in the shower and pour some on my hands and work it in my hair. While I massage my scalp I can literally feel my hair clumping together (in a good way, of course). You have to take your time to thoroughly wash it out but, for me, it's worth it. Then I twist using a little leave in condish (i like Knot Today), a mixture of shea butter and vatika oil (basically coconut oil with lots of other goodies), and a styling cream (I use Nex Faze because it holds without being stiff or drying). This is my anti-frizz, anti-shrinkage routine! If I moisturize with MJ buttercreme and the above oils and re-twist every few nights I can easily go a week.
I agree with Fatty B. Another thing you could do if you want to avoid gel is 1st be sure to deep condition a lot right after the BC because your hair may be very very dry. In the shower I coat my hair with "HHEH" then twirl my hair around my fingers in small sections to create coils. After I have done this all over my head I rinse with cold water not washing out all of the conditioner. Then follow-up with Knot Today as my Leave-In. Once my hair is dry and throughout the course of my day I pull out the coils. I have serious "hand in fro" disease anyway so I dont mind doing this. 🙂 You may need a little bit of gel to hold the definition, but you could try this first and see what you think.
U could try either of these (this is what I do.. I'm not how to define my texture but I have mostly tiny coils):
a) wet ur hair n then coat ur fingers with ecostyler gel & run them thru ur hair. Then use ur hands to kinda splash ur hair with the water from the faucet. Shake. Try not to manipulate too much. Go.
b) use a condish (I mix herbal essence totally twisted w/ a lil olive oil) & use the same method above to distribute the condish.
With both methods u will need to leave sum time to let it air dry a bit (or use a blowdryer if u want) so that any white clumps will dry. If an area is particularly clumped with product, wet ur hands again and comb thru it w/ ur fingers.