If you’re like me, the process of “going natural” followed years of wearing your hair relaxed. When my hair was first relaxed, I was only 12 years old and had relatively little experience styling my own hair. Moreover, I never managed my hair while wet. That was sole responsibility of my mother and the styling tool we referred to as the infamous Gray Comb. It was no surprise then that when I began to style my natural hair, I was confused by the three distinct textures of hair on my head, all of which responded differently to products and styles.
In my experience these are the best techniques for dealing with multi-textured hair:
Stretched style can range from a blow out using heat, a roller set or banding the hair. Each of these techniques/styles can uniformly stretch the texture of your hair making the differences across textures less noticeable. Stretching the hair provides a blank slate that helps you manipulate your hair with fairly uniformed results.
One of the best ways to manage different textures is by creating a uniformed texture through braids, twists and bantu knots. Some of you may have tried this but have found that because of your different textures braid outs and other styles don’t turn out quite the way you expected. In my experience, the sections of my hair lacking a natural curl pattern (for me this is the hair along my nape) require braids or twists to be smaller than other sections of my hair. While it may seem natural to section hair in equal sizes, I suggest using smaller sections for hair more prone to frizz or lacking in a defined curl pattern, while curlier sections can hold the pattern of larger braids or twists better.
Diversifying Your Products
I know it seems like the natural thing to do: Go through your stash of hair care products, select one or two (or three or four) and apply products evenly throughout your hair. Just as you may want to consider sectioning your hair smaller in some sections, you may also want to consider using different products on different sections of your hair. Sections of your hair more prone to shrinkage may benefit from stylers that are less watery than sections with a looser curl pattern. Also, parts of your hair more likely to frizz may hold styles better with holding products, such as gel mixed with a little oil (to reduce the drying effect).
Managing multi-textured hair isn’t necessarily challenging but it does take trial and error.
Do you have multi-textured hair? If so, what styles are most helpful in managing your different textures?