Written by Freda Lukor
Africans are blessed with an uneven pattern of hair. This hair type is usually thick, hard and very painful. Good maintenance has made such hair easy to manage with the aid of information about this particular texture type. This texture type is what some people call 4A or 4C. The number ‘4C’ is used to categorize the black man race hair. What is 4C? It is a hair type characterised by different uneven patterns bound on the scalp. The patterns of this hair type consist of very curly, wavy and zig-zagged dimensions. This hair type is easily prone to dryness, brittleness and breakage. 4A is a lighter texture compared to 4C. Sometimes 4C hair becomes impossibly stubborn and hard to comb. This has led to relaxing of virgin hair. In some cases, relaxing of virgin natural hair does not turn out successfull for some people. It turned out hair started breaking continuously and having a particular growth limit. This has been the case for decades due to little or no information about management of this hair type. As difficult as this hair type appears, it is the most fragile of all hair categories i.e; 2C, 3C, 4B and so on are examples of other hair types but our focus is 4C which is most common to us in our section of this world. Our type of hair is incredibly amazing in aspects of hair styling. I want to be specific about the natural virgin unprocessed hair. It can be versatile depending on how you want to look.
1. Braids: Weaving of hair or braiding with extensions is possible. For our hair texture, the kinky attachment is preferable. Due to how it is formulated and processed, it has a similar nature to the African hair.Unlike the look of virgin hair strands peeping through processed attachment(.e.g expression), that untidy look is absent when kinky weaves are used.
2. Curls: The virgin natural hair can be rolled to give wavy and curly bounce. A little of few hair products like shea butter, styling gel, spritz and any other thing of choice when applied will give you the perfect look you desire. All you need do is apply all these and set your rollers then wear a satin cap after rolling and your hair comes out curly and bouncy the next morning. The size of rollers depends on individual hair length. Who says people with natural virgin hair can’t look chick 🙂
3. Fixing: Some people are of the belief that since a person keeps natural virgin hair fixing should be out of the question. This is not true. For protective styling it is advisable to fix when there is harsh weather condition to prevent hair from breakage. This is called protective styling.
You can have long virgin hair and enjoy these styles but there is a process to achieving and maintaining long 4C hair.
Unlike the natural relaxed hair that should be dry all times, virgin hair needs moisture. Do not mistake the meaning of moisture for wet, I mean damp or a little bit drier than damp. Moisturise hair with oils which can be bought in the mall. It is advisable to read specifications on the body of products you purchase.
Maintain a hair routine which could be twice a week, once or daily. Your activities during this routine will be application of treatments purchased. I will recommend castor oil, shea butter(can be got in yoruba states and also called ‘ori’), coconut oil. Home made regimen is also advisable since most homemade mixture comes from nature.
Have you been having difficulties in managing a natural virgin hair be it yours or your child’s? Here are tips to help.
1. Avoid vigorous combing of hair to de-tangle strands. Do not use an afro-comb for hair instead, make use of wide gapped-tooth combs but use fingers to comb through hair first to de-tangle.
2. Roots should not be made too tight while braiding or styling.
3. Maintain healthy eating habit with improvements on fruits, milk, eggs, fish and vegetables. Dietary supplements is advised.
4. Avoid use of harsh shampoo and conditioner. Read the labels on the body of haircare products before applying them rather, purchasing them.
5. Adopt a good hair routine.
6. Avoid heat from blow dryers and straigthners. If unavoidable, use heat proof oils to protect from heat damage.
7. Do hair friendly styles .i.e. styles that do not break hair.
After all said and done, the most important of these steps remains good diet. You may buy good hair products but your eating habit plays a major role in the health of your hair.