June 17, 2011

How Do You Get Your Hair to Curl Like that?

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this: “How do you get your hair to curl like that?” Countless occasions come to mind when I think about this line of questioning.  At least twice per week someone will inquire about my curls.  It occurs even more frequently during the summer when my style choice shifts to more wash and go’s.  I tend to seek low manipulation hairstyles during the summer because I am on the move more and wash and go’s are my answer for that.  I don’t know how I will handle it this summer because I am finding that a wash and go may not be conducive to my length anymore.  We shall see.  Anyway, I can always tell when the interrogation is coming.  I notice the person give my mane the once over, followed by eye squinting and look of wonder takes over their face.  One would think this type of question would come from relaxed women; however, I get it just as often from fellow naturals.  I suppose it is a fair question.  When I think back many years ago to my pre natural days, a curly head of hair would appeal my inquisitive side as well.  I can remember in elementary school, my mom would wash her hair and put jheri curl activator in her hair and I thought the activator was the culprit.  Little did I know at the time, that it was just her naturally curly hair showing itself after being hidden for so many years.  There are numerous products on the market, natural and otherwise promising curls and coils to all.  My experience has been that these are simply false claims.  If your hair is not naturally curly, no amount of curly creams or gels will miraculously formulate curls.  These products are designed to enhance the natural curls that already exist.  You will possibly achieve more curl definition through product application but springs where they did not previously exist will not suddenly appear; which leads me to another observation.  There seems to be a preconceived notion that once you decide to wear your hair natural, your tresses will automatically be curly.  False.  Natural is just that – it is your hair in its natural state.  Therein lies the beauty of being natural.
“existing in or formed by nature ( opposed to artificial)”
“based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: growth is a natural process”
“of or pertaining to nature or the universe: natural beauty”

No two natural heads are alike.  Whatever natural is for your head of hair is for you and your hair.  If your goal is to have curly hair, getting rid of the relaxer will not get your there.  It is definitely the answer to having a healthy mane, but not necessarily a curly mane.  I always say if you look at your hair as a child, prior to relaxing it, that is what your hair will most likely resemble if you decide to go the natural route.  I think all natural hair is beautiful, whether it be curly, coily, wavy, etc.  It makes me a little uncomfortable to hear someone say “I want my hair to be like yours, mine will just nap up”.  There are a million and one reasons I could write about as to the root of such comments.  Psychological, self- esteem, social stigma, etc. but that will have to be another article.  If your natural hair is not as curly as you would prefer, try a little style manipulation.  
Curly - twist out
For more curls, use smaller sections and more twists
For tighter curls, use rollers on the ends of your twists

Wavy - braid out
For deeper waves, braid smaller sections and more braids and try a flexi rod set.
For bigger waves, braid larger sections and less braids. 

The hair is the richest ornament of women.  ~Martin Luther

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