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Curly Nikki

Are You a Sandy Brown Natural?

By January 27th, 202176 Comments
Are You a Sandy Brown Natural?

Erika writes:

A few years ago, my hair dresser shared that people with my color hair (a dark but very sandy and shine free brown, that’s very blond in the sun), have a very “unique” natural hair texture. I’ve observed a few other SB’s like myself (sandy browns) and I see the following commonalities:

Read More!!>>>
Characteristics of My Sandy Brown Hair:

  • Fine ( and I will repeat this again)
  • Very dry and porous (can never get enough moisture and sucks it up from anywhere)
  • Very fragile, breaks easily, and very susceptible to mechanical damage
  • Easily heat damaged ( I still have a press and curl from 12 months ago in my head)
  • Deceptively fine & easily straightened, yet very high shrinkage ( 80% +) and fairly ‘kinky’
  • Sucks up color & keeps it (there is no such thing as semi-permanent or rinse color for me, it’s there forever)
  • Easily weighed down by products that usually work for 4a/4b hair, however my hair looks like 4a/4b hair but acts like some hybrid of 3-4/b

I also noticed whenever I get a sew in weave, it seems to tangle horribly (especially the wet and wavy, curly blond mat quickly). All the while I find myself insanely jealous of darker haired curlies who seem to fair better than me.

Is it My Hair Color? Or My Texture? 

Is there something in particular curlies of this type can do? I have finally started to find some products/regimens that work to a degree, but only through A LOT of trial and error. If there is a connection I’d love to know more about it so I can tailor my hair care accordingly. Is there something to natural hair color in relation to ones hair texture? 

Weigh in!

The following post was written in February 2011 and has been republished for grammar and clarity.


  • Anonymous says:

    Well I am years late with my comment. But yes I am sandy with hazel green eyes. I dye my hair golden blonde with no bleach and it takes within seconds. I flat iron my natural hair and it stays forever. It looks fine with straightening but thick in its natural state. And yes easily damage from heat and manipulation

  • Chrisshree says:

    My son has this hair type. I need tips on keeping it moisturized. It sucks up everything I put in it.

  • Anonymous says:

    THAT IS MY HAIR TO THE T!!! >:( I absolutely love my hair and color when it holds moisture, but it usually doesn't. I use the shea moisture yucca growth milk and it is light enough for my hair and works well. HOWEVER, If anyone knows of a great shine spray that works for SBs SPREAD THE WEALTH!! =)

  • Bre says:

    Wow, my niece and I have this hair color, texture, etc… You described it perfectly, I definitely need guidance maintaining this hair! I have been transitioning for 9 months and it has been everything but easy. I need suggestions. My hair is a sandy brown, with light natural highlights. My hair is also very thin if flat ironed, or relaxed. The top grows very well, while the back continues to break and dry out. Can anyone help?! I also would like to find a quality weave brand to use for sew ins, sew ins make this transition way easier. I can NEVER find a weave color to blend with my hair, I usually have to put a brown rinse on my hair that is left out in the sew in.

  • Anonymous says:

    I know exactly what the writer is talking about. My hair and my daughter's hair is everything she described. It is definitely true that our sb hair sucks up moisture and ppl with black hair holdsmoisture. My daughter is too young to get her hair professionally done but i go every two weeks. However, i recently just got it dyed n i got more compliments with my hair being black! Such as my hair looks really healthy,looks softer,and more manageable. Im in the process of trying to find products my little one. She is two. She has alot of hair,just dry,dirty looking,brittle,frizzy,and no shine…..HELP!!!

  • AnaDion says:

    Wow. This is me… I never though about hair color being indicative of texture. Maybe those genes just tend to travel together,

  • Erika says:

    This is Erika (the OP), WOW! I did not realize my QUESTION would garner such a response. Thank you for the supportive words & suggestions I'm going to try them.

    I also have to respond to those who posted negative & insulting comments. I am not sure why you come to CN, but I would assume that you visit the site to learn & exchange information like most CN readers. Although the responses did not bother me personally, they saddened me because it discourages others from asking questions.

    My area of expertise is in finance & commercial real estate development,not the structural elements of hair. Maybe I should remember that from my college biology course, but I don't. So I am here. With my personal observations & questions. About hair.

    Again thank you for the anecdotal & scientific responses, especially @Cami.

    Regarding the methods that have worked for my hair , my biggest issue is mechanical damage since my hair is so fragile & fine. Sitting under a warm dryer for both my pre-poo & DC (or takin' it to the gym) have done wonders for detangling & stretching my curls. I can finally retain some length!

    Pre-poo-I add hibiscus powder, coconut milk & olive oil to my conditioner, stick on a plastic cap & sit under a warm dryer for 20 minutes.

    DC- I add the same ingredients as my pre-poo + shea butter, amla powder,castor oil, and rosemary oil to my DC of choice, then sit under a warm dryer for 20-30 minutes. After that I leave it on from 3 hours to over night. I usually do not have to detangle after I do this.

    conditioners that work well for me are Hello Hydration, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckly Rose, and the the Keracare Hair Masque.

    Hope this helps.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 1:52- Whover you are

    I was not "speaking for everyone", but rather, my reference was to "us" and "we as a people". Quite honestly, I don't even know how you reached that conclusion from what I stated in my in my comment that I was attempting to speak for anyone else but myself.
    I reasonably assumed that since this was a site directed towards black women with natural hair, most of the readers would be black. If you re-read my initial comment, you will see that I was making reference to a CNN report which discussed high employment rates . This report showed that there ARE many jobs available, but many people cannot take advantage of them becuase they require skills in math, science and technology. The highest rates of unemployment were among blacks, partly due to discrimination, but at least equally dut to lack of emphasis and therefore lack of preparedness in the skillset reuired (science and math). I DID see comments which voiced a disdain for science AND scientists- especially as it pertains to the discussion at hand. I took issue with that, and still do. You may not agree with my comments or the previous scientific commentary, that's fine. I don;t feel the need to attack you personally for that.

    I also stated that although the commenter may have been coarse and offensive, I think she meant well in trying to share her knowledge with us. I still believe that too.

    No need to attack me because you disagree. Again, I wasn't trying to speak for others.
    Have a great day!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Pauline I don't think everyone ignores science okay, the fact that the anonymous came off so pretentious turned a lot of people off. It's not WHAT you say it's HOW you say this case it was written in a matter of fact tone, that gave off the impression that everyone's comments were subpar and plain stupid. Everyone looks at things different. I do not ignore science and math, in fact I look to scientific facts like pH BALANCE and how our individual hair strands are composed but to each his own. and BTW 'as a people?'don't speak for everyone 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't have the colour but I have everything else.
    I had to cut off 9 inches of dyed highlighted hair. My hair soaks things up so the dye didn't turn out right. Ughh. Porous hair galour!! Don't even get me started about getting my hair straightened. After washing it my hair looks like it has a texturizer.


  • Anonymous says:

    Science rocks. We shouldn't act like it doesn't matter. We are being left behind in so many fields because as a people, we like to focus on everything BUT math and science. The poster may have been coarse and offensive in her commentary, but I think she meant well by enlightenin us with scientific information. We DO need to focus on science more. It is relevant to the discussion. I realize and appreciate that Erika (the authour of the SB article) was throwing a question out there, but it behooves all of us to listen to EVERY response, even those that are based in scientific fact. I mean, I thought we were all here to collect good and accurate information, not JUST anecdotes and observations.
    Yes, I do have a degree in a scientific based field, if it matters, (as asked by a previous poster), but do you expect others who make comments (of ANY type ), no matter how limited in academic fact, to have a degree??

    I just watched a CNN news report on unemployment rates and we, as a people are off the scale at the bottom of the list. THe show acknowledged that discrimination plays a role, but a bigger issue was the fact that we are unprepared in fields like technology, health sciences and engineering. Our rates of enrollment in these types of educational programs is embarassingly low. Perhaps the poster , like many of us, is totally sick of us embracing our inner ignorance adn constantly seeing reports like this, trying to defend our people each and every day in these fields while experiencing a constant disdain by our own peopl for science. It is just as hurtful as some of you felt her comments were.

    Be blessed!

    PAULINE (not anonymous)

  • Rebecca says:

    I have this hair too! When I'm outside it gets super blonde,platinum near my crown, and is more prone to breakage. If you are planning to go swimming, try a protective hairstyle like twists. I should know! Whenever I get out of chlorine or sea water my hair puffs up like a lion! Same color and everything! If you want to flat iron it, blow dry first in little sections or try a roller set. It makes a difference! Now instead of blonde hair with chewed up ends (I have 3c), I have smooth ends. Hope this helps!

  • Poetic.Justice says:

    Thank you Natural E!
    Everyone comes on here just to find ways to bash people. In no way is she saying it is scientific..she just notices a pattern with sandy brown haired naturals including herself. That person who had to bring in everyone in her family so she can get her point across was a bit too much. Good article though,makes you sort of think.

  • Natural-E says:

    It's interesting that the really rude comments are always posted by anonymous users. At least have the guts to post your name. Secondly, what I've found is that people who are always yapping about scientific studies and trying to showcase their intelligence are some of the most ignorant.

  • adrien says:

    *observation* i'm noticing that many of the people with the "scientific" posts have a rather supercilious tone to their comments. that's not necessary. the information you have is helpful and i'm sure it can be stated in a way that doesn't talk down to others, no?

    Anon 8:32 made some GREAT points i.m.o. 1) the texture change many people experience when they go from their natural color to grey (that would be a color/texture correlation that is widely recognized by many regardless of race and/or original texture). 2) we should be building each other up! SO RIGHT!

  • Anonymous says:

    Why are some of the comments so hateful? I thought the purpose was to help each other in our hair journeys. Anon 8:18 AM, your comments were very distasteful. Who are you to question our intelligence? Maybe you should spend more time learning to socialize with people instead of trying to convince everyone of how smart you are.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have hair just like the OP and although the two may not be correlated it is still an interesting observation. It's Friday, stop the arguing!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anon 8:36am – Thank you! I couldn't have said it better!

    @ Anon 8:18 – Your comment was so rude and condescending. Who would ever want to learn anything from you? You can be the most talented and smartest person in the world but with an attitude like that you won't get far. You should probably lay off the math and science for a while and study Communications and Social Skills 101-for your own good.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have naturally brown hair and I have the exact same issues that you listed above. My hair is excessively dry, easily damaged, and tangles easily. It never seems to get enought moisture. My stylist told me that MOST (not all) people with our hair color usually suffer from dry hair and scalp. So as the other post said just continue to moisturize. To help with moisture and decrease tangling and manipulation I pre poo(water,conditioner, oil mixture), next DC with EVOO (Cold pressed) for 2hrs, then shampoo in sections, next condition hair, and twist and seal with pure unrefined shea butter.

  • Ejiro O. says:

    Yeah i can totally relate on every point. For me i've learned to avoid braids and weaves, I wish i could have them so as to grow out my hair faster, but its a mess to take out and the tangles are horrendous. It doesn't help that i have a sensitive scalp to boot. I shampoo wash once a week and co wash midweek, and i do a twist out using the leave-in conditioner from Kimmay-tube (knot today + castor oil + aloe vera gel, but i use YTC leave in instead of knot today). My hair still tangles, but i just work the tangles out gently and i'm good.

  • Kemi says:

    My little sister has sandy brown hair but her hair is just thick..

    @Anon 8:18 Your comment was very condescending.. Yes it's too bad that more people of color do not pursue a math/science based education but regardless of what your field of interests are there is always going to be SOMETHING that any given person does not "get". And reading and understanding scientific journals take alot of effort especially for those from a non-science background.
    If educating about this topic is so important to you, why didn't you find a relevant article about this topic and explain it in layman's terms?

  • Toybox Playground says:

    I think some of the posters are being a bit harsh in their reactions. Just because you're not SB or know no one who is and has these issues, does NOT mean it isn't true. And as far as science goes.
    Do you have a degree?? There are MANY factors that because of our skin color, we are more affected than other races etc. So why could this not be true for hair color as well? It just hasn't been studied, lol.

    BTW, I don't pay much attention to my hair color now since it's so short it still looks a lot darker than it did. Once it grows out I'll see more of the color, but I'm planning on hennaing so I may never know. But when I was younger, my mom always told me she didn't like my hair color because no matter what, it would not shine. As I got older I noticed this myself and it was a bit of a downer when styling. I would do the same things people with darker hair would do to no avail. My hair didn't shine, never looked moisturized and was inherently frizzy. My hair is also VERY sensitive to everything, I don't get braids anymore because they'd always wreak havoc on my hair.

    All in all, it may be a person to person thing. But no one here can say for sure that it's NOT something due to the coloring of your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Everything you describe, I have experienced and my hair is also with in this color range. Recently I have begun to use Henna, Why did I wait so long! What a wonder! In truth I have been a naturalista for over 6 years, and love it. But the color issues, textures issues, breakage issues, I've experienced every one of them! I would strongly suggest Henna!

  • gloria says:

    What i find missing feom any discussion on hair type is your genetic history.While the hair type system of 3a m 3b, 4a, 4 c can provide some insight into your hair curl type, but tracing your family history will provide more in sight. Many African Americans have ancestors that were of Caucasian, American Indian and Latin descent. My hair grows curly, wavy, kinky and straight all on the same head. So while many of the online videos are nice to watch, I have had to develop a routine that works just for me. Same with products. So i have many of the same issues with my hair that this writer does,but my natural hair color is dark black.

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anon 8:18

    But reading scientific journals is so booooorrrriing *twirls hair*

    Insulting someone's intelligence is not an effective method of educating anyone. What good is all of your book knowledge if you don't know how to communicate? You just sound like an a-hole.

  • Anonymous says:

    Um lighter hair does not have LESS melanin. It has a different type of melanin. (Eumelanin vs. pheomelanin). Not the same as skin. That's basic medical science and no, that's not something complex that we don't understand that is going to change. It is painful how few of us get educated this way.
    Too bad people don't spend as much time in the science lab or stats class as they do on their hair.
    Correlation is not causation, and a bunch of black women chiming in that "oh, my sandy hair or my daugther's sandy hair" is like this is not proof of anything, since loads of people who don't have this kind of hair will have the same issues (but aren't on this blog and aren't commenting).
    If you want to find out more about actual studies done on statistically significant, unbiased samples, do a search on Medline or something similar. Lots of this work has been done, but if you haven't studied science beyond high school, it's easy to assume that it hasn't.
    And pointing out that someone's understanding or knowledge of science is non-existent isn't tearing them down, it's being honest. Should someone tell you that you understand or know something that you don't? Those D's in Chemistry and Math do mean that you didn't get it.

  • Tanaka says:

    3)Washing and detangling.
    * I section my hair into 4 sections when it's dry.
    *Apply coconut oil from root to tip on one section, followed by conditioner (usually a cheapie I use Alberto Balsam- goes for 99p I do not know if you have it in the U.S,its the best the only conditioner to have survived rotation during my 3years natural)
    *I then finger detangle the section.

    *Depending on if I am doing a hair treatment
    (twist the section= hair treatment will be easier to undo and apply) I braid the section up if not.I repeat all the other sections. Then throw a carrier bag on for a while ( would love to give specific time but I get carried away)
    *I wash my hair in the braids then moisturize my hair when its semi dry.

    *I apply conditioner (Dove and Rain-forest moisture from the Body shop) coconut oil, then I comb my hair with a wide tooth comb or the Denman brush – apply Shea butter, Castor oil or almond oil to seal my hair then I split the section into two or three twists. I find my hair truly recovers moisture wise at least two days after the wash.

    I usually treat my hair before washing with a coconut milk and oil, olive oil, avocado, natural yoghurt and conditioner mix- I also deep condition after with normal conditioner usually mixed with olive oil ( I am an olive oil junkie)for extra softness and moisture, The results are beautiful.

    I also started using henna on my hair. I now miss my natural colour,my hair is at least a shade darker, with various shades of red now. I use Nikki's henna gloss treatment sometimes. Henna does make a difference when I first used it the only effect was on my hands but in due time it does work my hair is softer but at a cost the of the colour. But it you love the colour I mix the Henna with lemon juice and apply it to my hair. Then follow up later with the coconut mix treatment to put back the moisture in my hair – works wonders.

    Just bought 3 huge Tresseme conditioner's Dove is now to expensive lol. Sorry for the lengthy reply hope it helps.

  • Tanaka says:

    I agree with your commonalities and I have the same issues I suffer from the dark hair envy especially black hair. I realised my issue was serious when I had to sit down in a store so I could stop starring at every Arabic women with beautiful jet black hair I was passing. I feel like dark hair brings out your features more but on the other hand although I think I could look better with black hair, the irony is I would never dye my hair black in fear of totally loosing my hair colour.

    On the other hand people are always telling me how they love my hair colour and asking if I dye it. But I have too many shades of coppers and browns, I think that dye would me impossible to come across. I used to refer to my hair as carpet hair because of the different tones and textures; 4b mainly but ranging to almost 3a, a little section on my back which ruins my twist outs by trying to go puffy straight.My hair does look like one of those (dingy brown) carpets when its matted. I stopped doing this and allowing my hair to matte, not helpful(laughs).

    My hair too is fine but dense, My cousin has jet black hair and her strands are literally 3 times the size of mine, my niece who has just off black hair also thicker strands than me but finer than my cousin. It dries and tangles quickly but during the summer – I live near the sea-front I leave the house with defined hair and I return back with Big poofy hair which I love so there's a plus.

    1)The density of my hair hides breakage I usually notice it really late, but two stand twists with your own hair are usually a way to recover.I twist for a month if I want to give my hair a break plus I also have a weak hairline, extensions= a bald front(still recovering), I maintain by spraying my water conditioner and oil mix then sealing with my Shea butter mix every three or two days. I cornrow the twists after to stretch them , plus to also have a curly style. Re-twisting after every month the same sections.

    I only take out my hair when I decide to wear it loose which is 90% of the time. I rock the twist-out especially with mini twists( if you don't mind the lengthy detangling session later on.If so larger twists are the best option. for a while the longest three weeks.This minimizes the amount of time I comb or manipulate my hair = less breakage. I also wash my hair with the twists on only the day before I re-twist.

    2) I found that if I am wearing my hair loose, re-twisting my hair every night is not helpful. So I avoid chunky twist-outs that need to be redone for definition(I am a tired college student lol). If I am wearing chunky hairdo it is usually 5th day hair. When definition truly fades and all fails I reach for the bobby pins and wear up-dos which are easy to do and low maintenance can sleep and wake with my hair done for a week.

    2)For moisturizing I only use my water, oil and conditioner spray if I am going to re-twist the section of hair, but just a spritz. Then I apply a washout conditioner just discovered Dove intensive repair does wonders!De-tangle with my fingers, I find no point in using a comb mid week If I am going to wear a twist out. Seal that with coconut oil and Shea butter mix- for the ends Castor oil.

    This is done every three days and if I'm slacking days I can. I don't use proper leave in conditioners, they don't absorb and they either weigh my hair down or make it incredibly greasy you can see the oil residue on my strands when the moisture leaves my hair.I used to use minimal amount but the hair refused.

  • Anonymous says:

    I use Shea butter, Giovanni leave-in, Qhemet Biologics, castor and coconut oil and of course water. I still have issues with dryness no matter what products I use. I have to moisturize twice a day sometimes. I also have to do the 2 min Aphogee protein each month or I will start to see little hairs breaking off. The ironic thing is that I moisturize it twice daily, keep it stretched in cornrows, wash and deep condition it every week, and co-wash it in between AND I STILL get breakage(little hairs not the shed hair with the bulb). Also the comb had to go. I don't use combs at all because combing my hair (even with the whole bottle of conditioner) is like giving myself a hair cut. All of my detangling is done with my fingers.

    This is the type of hair that you really have to stay on top of if you want it to grow long and be healthy. Oh and I totally understand what the author is saying about the sew-ins. I stopped wearing sew-in's and kinky twist extensions because of the tangling AND I had to wear a style that would allow me to still wash and deep condition my hair. With this type of sandy brown hair you have to take EXTRA special care of it. So I have to keep my hair in natural cornrows for weeks at time because that is the best style for me.

  • Lilchez says:

    I understand what everyone is saying about the science but science changes everyday. Do you really know? I was talking to my bf about this very thing. I dyed my hair black in the Army and it looked so awesome that everybody else wanted black hair for graduation. I thought it looked healthy and hairdresser told me that black hair looks healthier. I TRULY believe that. I have been trying to shun my sandy brown hair since I was about 14. I started dying it either blonde or black. I've seen my hair color on others and their hair often appeared dry (to the eye). My hair always looks dry to me unless psychotically moisturized. It breaks from being wet and from being dry. I can agree with many things the OP says. My hair is a mess and it only seems to act like other hair when I add lots of moisture and then it seems like a different texture (also the color is darker because it wet/moist). If melanin darkens hair then I would assume lighter hair has less of it. It could affect the way the sunlight absorbs into the hair or even how much moisture is retained. Why would it not? Melanin in skin is a sun protector. Skin with less amounts of it are more susceptible to burning. Why can't that be the case with hair. Why can't we give the girl a chance instead of jumping down her throat like a bunch of know it all SCIENTISTS? I am not certain to what extent if any hair color plays in OUR issues but it was great to see someone else thinking the same thing and looking for info and a solution. BTW I use glycerin and water and shea butter. It doesnt add any sheen whatsoever but it is moist to death. Our sheenless hair is another matter.

  • SwirlieCurlies says:

    hmm my hair is a Sandy Brown…but it shines a bright reddish/blonde in the sun. It's WEIRD! people are always asking me if I've dyed my hair…

    …about the fineness (idk)…my hair is kinky-wavy. I'm about a 4a/b and using Sulfur 8 anti-drandruff spray conditioner followed by Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding makes my hair feel like silk.

  • Carla says:

    My natural hair color is a very dark brown that but gets highlighted in the sun easily, but it has the exact same characteristics as what's mentioned. I cant use heat, it gets dry and porous and so on. I cant use gel because my 4a/3c hair would turn into 3b!

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Natural-E, no need to accuse others of "criticizing" because they don't agree. The article was presented and specifically says to weigh in and that's what everyone is doing (including those that disagree).

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm not alone. I have the same hair color and a majority of the same unique characteristics that you do. My hair dries out after two days no matter what i put in it. I put a rinse when i transition the first time that went natural and it never came out. which has me scared to color my hair now. my hair has very little shine and when it does it looks greasy. The one thing that hasn't happen is that i did't get heat damage when I have straighten my hair in the past. This is mind blowing. I thought I was the only one. This is something that need to be look in to.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can hardly believe this but you have described my daughter's hair exactly! Every single thing that you have said about your hair applies to her hair. She is 12 years old and her hair is exactly like her father's. It is light brown with golden highlights, very thin, very fine and very fragile with a tendency to dryness. Since becoming natural myself not too long ago and finding these boards, I have been experimenting with things for her hair. So far I have found coconut oil does wonders–it makes her hair very soft. By the way I don't straighten her hair–only tried it once or twice and those times were a disaster (enormous breakage). By the way, I do think there is some kind of connection between the color and this hair's fragility (I have always thought this since she was a little girl). What it is exactly I don't know. My very unscientific hypothesis is that it a genetic thing inherited from a distant Dutch ancestor (both the color and fineness of hair).

  • Anonymous says:

    Correction: I have to do it a few times a week though.

  • IcyLillies says:

    I have sandy brown hair too, but I don't really agree with the article either. I don't think my hair is fine. I'm pretty sure it's thick and I don't think I've ever had heat damage. I also don't think that color has anything to do with texture or how thick or fine one's hair strand is. That's all genetics.

    Anyway to answer your question, lol,
    I use
    eco styler gel, shea butter, Tre Semme Naturals Shampoo and conditioner- still searching for the best ones for my hair- kimmaytube's leave-in, and joboba oil.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for keeping us focused Anon 8:45.

    My daughter hair is just as you described. I find it amazing that so many posts of the same color hair have most/all of the characteristics you stated. Coincidence??????

    For my 5 y.o. I find that a water and condish mixture sealed with oil (specifically argan/moroccan oil) works well. Of course, we always braid or twist which helps retain moisture. Oh, I just thought about this–castor oil on dry or slightly damp hair, cover with a plastic bag over night leaves it soft and moisturized. I have to it a few times a week thogh. HTH
    Also, when she's older I will definitely try henna and/or cassia for her. Have you tried either of these?
    BTW, please tell us what you have found through trail and error that works for you.

  • KC says:

    Science be derned, my daughter's hair is similar to the characteristics listed in the post… only her hair is very shiny, and curly… not so much kinky.

    She's 4, so I don't put a ton of stuff in her hair. It responds best to occasional shampoo, frequent co-washing, and chunky braids. My fave products for her are Carol's Daughter hair milk, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, Burts Bees Baby Wash, and Kinky Curly Knot Today.

  • sugarandcurls says:

    OMG! I don't know if there is a direct or indirect correlation or not, BUT, all of those characteristics CERTAINLY hold true to the hair color (for me), because I am also a "sandy brown" curly! Very interesting though…I've never thought about it. Always died my hair black (not jet)! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I have the same type of hair with all of the characteristics listed. It's sandy brown, reddish with blond streaks that turns even more reddish and blond in the sun. I have had people approach me and say "my ______, has your same color hair" and then they go on to describe all of the characteristics of it (which this author listed). There may be a link between some lighter pigments and moisture retention or maybe not. I think it is interesting though to talk about it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Im not scientist but i think i kind of agree. Think about it more pigmentation in skin (melanin) is responsible for offering you more sun pretection than lesser pigmented skin. Then i think this theory is plausible. It seems to me that darker skin holds moisture better and wrinkles less quickly than lighter skin. Maybe hair is the same way, Maybe more color in the hair haelps as a sun protectant to help hold moisture slightly better. …. Its a thought


  • Natural-E says:

    No need to criticize just because YOU don't agree…

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely disagree. My natural hair color is that ashy sandy brown color and though my hair is notoriously dry and shrinks like a mofo, none of the other blanket statements really apply.

  • frouLaLa says:

    interesting…you just described my hair to a tee and my hair is dark brown not sandy!

  • Anonymous says:

    Erika, I am not sure if there is a correlation but there could be something to that. Ordinarily you hear that the coloring of hair with chemicals can dry your hair. I tried to look it up but I wasn't able to find any information. And perhaps, as one poster stated, a study should be done on that to see if there is any merit to it. After all, someone decided to do hair typing. (shrug)

    I have noticed that some little girls that I know who have the hair color you are describing do have dryer hair. Perhaps the lack of pigment and contribute to how well the hair holds moisture. But it seems you have found a regimen that is working for you now. And as the curly sister prior stated MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE. And you'll probably have to keep trying things. But it would be good once you did find a regimen to post pics of before and after and share. There seems to be a lit of ladies on here who can relate.

    Hope your journey get's better!

  • Alta Angel says:

    My youngest daughter has sandy-brown colored hair that is not especially shiny, very thick, and probably 4a/4b textured. She has blond hairs all over her body and especially at her front hairline.

    I use Shea Moisture Hair Milk and African Pride/Royale Braid spray on hair to keep it moisturized. I use Organics Hair Mayo or Shea Moisture hair mask for deep conditioners. Of course I keep her hair braided to retain moisture.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have natural golden-blonde highlights all around my edges, over my ears especially in the back, and a few light streaks in the front and when the sun shines you see specks of gold, and my ends are always lightest (which i heard was bad but they are healthy ) is that what you mean? 3c,3b and a little 4a. my 4a are fine, but a lot of my hairs are thick to normal too. My hair isn't overly porous, it's normal….i don't think hair color has to do with hair texture. You probably just need to take better care of your hair. Use the right treatments all that

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think this is an issue to argue about. Erika's question was just a question. Sheesh! Some of the comments look like the scientific aspect of it is being made bigger than it is.

    What stood out to me was that in SOME of the comments, sisters admitted to having similar issues/symptoms AND having multiple textures of hair. Not all sandy heads are the same. I think that it could be the differing hair types (a.k.a. salt and pepper hair) that cause SOME sisters' hair to appear the sandy/ashy color depending on wet or dry, curly or straight, oily or oil free. So with that being said, the texture and "color" could have a correlation, or not. Who knows yet? I just hope we find out. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone who started going gray had any similar symptoms when their hair became a combination of wiry grays and curly darks?

    My hair color and texture fit the description she described. To take it a step further, I actually have mostly fine blonde hair on my arms, but I have a few dark curly strands that God strategically placed as well. . . Weird, I know. That's really not important, though. The bigger/biggest issue from Erika's post is finding out which products work to keep the hair moisturized. If anyone knows, PLEASE HELP!

    Let's not tear stuff down so much. Let's build each other up!

  • Pysees says:

    It was interesting to read through the comments. I have sandy brown hair (my family calls me dusty head) which is not shiny and it is fine. It hardly holds any moisture which is annoying. I have about three textures on my head and I can also find them in the same pattern on my youngest son's head! The description of her hair is just like mine. I mean every bullet point is just like mine. It may not be science, but it does seem to be a general tendency with this hair color. What seems to be working for me is to use a shea butter leave in conditioner. Wish me luck.

  • Bobbie says:

    Good luck with your journey! *__*

  • Bobbie says:

    I can relate…I dont have your hair color. My hair is a dark brown. Based on your hair description its similar to mine. Very dry and porous yet easily weigh down with products. It's fine with 80% shrinkage. I dont straighten my hair anymore because it will NEVER regain curls. As far a coloring or rinse, forget about it…I color my hair with henna.
    It took lots of trial and error to find the right products and learn how to use them properly. I figured out what works. I suggest try to use water based natural ingredients products. Such as Aubrey Organics or Shea Moisture. Using the product properly is just as important…For example I dilute my shampoo with water. d/c every week with protein conditioner (dry heat) follow-by a moisture conditioner (steam towel). Daily moisture is just as important with a mix (water/veg glycerin/aloe vera)and seal with shea butter.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Erika! I've been trying to come up with a comprehensive description of my hair texture and behaviour, and it looks like you've just done it for me. Thing is, my natural hair color is black, not sandy brown. I don't think that there is a correlation between hair color and hair texture. Your experience and that of others who you have spoken to with similar texture and color may just be a coincidence. So, no need to envy us dark haired girls. Some of us have the same issues as you do. 🙂

  • loveletters says:

    wow I never knew this. Interesting info. My hair is dark dark brown (black) but I do have family with sandy/lighter-colored hair. I must pass this on.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have had this problem my entire life. I am one of four girls and we all have different hair types. I am the only one with SB hair and have all the symptoms (if you will) that was stated in the original post (pre & post chemicals). Not sure if this linked to genetics or specific hair colors. Would love to hear form more SB's naturals and collect info on how they manage, what they found works for this hair type and any additional tip they may have.

  • Anonymous says:

    Usually when there is an attempt to make a correlation between two or more things, there are rules of science/statistics that apply which predict the ACTUAL relationship between those things. Just the way the world works and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Otherwise, people would be out here making association between all kinds of crazy stuff that really is not associated.

    Then, of course, there is fantasy and wishful thinking. LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    i agree to an extent with the writer. I have sandy brown hair and it is DRY. DRY DRY DRY. there is nothing….NOTHING that has put moisture in my hair and LEFT it there for more than 12 hours. NOTHING. I have blonde undertones in my hair. Lighter hair DOES TEND to be drier. It just IS. it doesnt mean ALL SB hair is dry….but it TENDS TO BE dry.
    I dont, however, think that the color has anything to do with the texture.
    i have the exact type of hair the writer is talking about, but i have tiny waves at the top, dry rough edges, tiny TINY coils in the back…its just a hot mess right now…….8 months into my transition.

  • Annie L. says:

    I know it's so far not supported by science but I've always wondered about this with all hair patterns and all hair colors. I don't know about the poster's case in particular, but what is so beyond the boundaries of science to find some correlation between hair pigmentation and pattern/density? Some scientists have already seized on the theory that many natural light blonds who maintain that color throughout their lives have thinner hair and go bald at higher rates than the rest of the population. Interesting post, food for thought.

  • Anonymous says:

    thats crazy…i have the same color hair and issues with it lol…i never called it sandy brown i just call it ashy lol ewwww i hate the color it blends in with my skin! i usually dye it jet black but since i bc'd its backkkk

  • Danni says:

    My hair is sandy-brownish-reddish-almost blond in places. But I have thick (THICK!!!) strands of hair on my head. And although my hair sucks up moisture and can act out at times, it seems to be somewhat indestructible. As of late not even permanent color will last me past a month. And porosity, my hair would take days to dry if I didn't assist it! And I haven't met a bottle or jar of anything that can weigh my hair down lol. All this to say…your stylist is wrong. Outside of color our hair seems to behave opposite of each other. My hair is what it is regardless of its color.

  • MsAnkh says:

    I dont know if there is a correlation, but I have this color of hair and some of the same problems. I mean the exact same problems. It could be a coincidence or she just might be on to something. LOL!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    That's not even supported by science. Different hair colors are caused by different types of pigment in the hair. People with light hair have a preponderance of one kind, and people with darker hair have a preponderance of another kind.
    The structure of your hair is another matter entirely, and black people with the hair you describe (including some of my first cousins), have the same variations in hair texture that we do.
    Some anecdotal evidence form one hairdresser hardly trumps real science.
    Another way to look at it is this…if you found some white people with natural blond hair (yes, it's hard to do in this country where so many people are fake blonds), their hair isn't any different from the hair of white people who have red, brown, or black hair.
    Plenty of naturals of all hair colors have the issues you have. Assigning them to hair color is really silly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Definitely Confirmation Bias
    No ,absolutely NO scientific basis for this.

    But, I'm glad she got it off her chest and has a place to commiserate with others who happen to have sensitive hair issues and just coincidentally are sandy brown.

  • ixiblix says:

    omgeee this is ME!!!
    (except my hair texture is very thick&corkscrew curls, like a 3C/4a mix)
    I dyed my hair with Kool-Aid in September '10; guess who still has "red" in the front of her hair?!? XD

    Anyways, I've found that using conditioners as leave-ins is very effective&cheap. I use the "Yes To" mixed w/ Suave. I also use the "Shea Moisture" line.

  • Bree says:

    I have the same color and fit the descriptions too. I don't think there necessarily a correlation between texture and color. I there needs to be a study to see which hair color, usually studies are done on hair type but color rarely comes into play. It would be interesting to see the results

  • Anonymous says:

    i agree with everything the poster wrote. it was like she was describing my hair. i could relate to every issue!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have the same exact hair qualities in your description, however my hair is 4b

  • GG says:

    SB means sandy brown. I know what the writer is talking about. I'm not saying that there is necessarily a correlation between hair texture and color, but at the same time, I know what she means when she's describing this hair type. My daughter's hair fits her description PERFECTLY and it happens to be sandy brown just like she describes. I also have had a few girlfriends with this hair just like this.

    While I know what she means, I have no answers except moisture, moisture and more moisture. My daughter is only 5, so we're still going through the trial and error thing too.

  • Jlove says:

    What is SB?

  • cami says:

    I have alot of your similar issues with shrinkage, products for type 3 hair working better although I have type 4 hair,etc. Scientifically, there is not a correlation between hair color and hair texture. Both color and texture are controlled by many genes, but these genes aren't similar. does that make sense? i had to drop some biology there, but i like to inform!

  • Moni says:

    Alex's comment is exactly what I mean about confirmation bias. Erika listed about 6 different factors and the only thing that Alex said she has in common with Erika is that her hair is dry. You and 50-11 other naturals! How does that have anything to do with your hair color, when we see posts/questions/comments all the time from all sorts of naturals talking about how dry their hair is???

  • Alex says:

    i have this exact hair color and issue. well its not really an issue i just big chopped and as long as i deep condition every day i dont have a problem but if i skip a day or two my hair gets dry. i was always told never to dye my hair because i would never get the original color back. My hair is medium brown with definite red undertones, i become a red head in the summer. i have crazy mixes of textures on my head from straight to wavy curly and kinky. Ive never had a weave so have no experience with that. And while i was transistioning i only straightened my hair once but it seemed to bounce back okay. I think there is something specific about our hair color because dryness has always seemed like a huge factor.

  • sarah says:

    i although i don't believe there is a correlation between hair color and texture, i do know of a few SBs who have the same issue as you describe it.

  • Anonymous says:

    My daughter has this hair texture and color that your talking about! And her hair is Super Duper Sensitive!Uggh!!! The less manipulation the better for her. However like socialitedreams said, I don't see how the color of someone's hairs effect texture?

    – FacingmyFears

  • Moni says:

    I completely disagree that there is a correlation between hair color and texture. My brother, sister and niece all have hair that is the exact color you describe and none of them have hair that is alike. My sister's hair is very thick and coarse, with 3c curls and practically indestructible in terms of strength. She was that chick who could do nothing to her relaxed hair (ie DC once a month, not take special care of it) and still have it halfway down her shoulders. My brother's hair is definitely 4a or b. I'm not sure which one because he's never grown it out, but according to him it's nappy. My niece has 3a/b hair, fine but thick. My grandpa and some of his siblings also had that color hair, but again had a diversity of hair types.

    Imo, your observations are simply confirmation bias.

  • socialitedreams says:

    interesting! my bff has hair sorta that color, i'll have to get her thoughts on this. I don't know though, because there are blondes with curly hair, wavy hair, straight hair and same with any other shade variation. I just don't really see a shade to texture correlation


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