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 Styles

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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.

Creating Texture

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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

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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?

 

Gen

Island girl raised in the most royal of NYC's boroughs. Proud nerd, social scientist, educator and recovering awkward black girl. When not listening to NPR, trying to grow spiritually, or detangling my fro, I'm searching for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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9 Comments on "3 Tips to Manage Multi-textured Natural Hair"

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[…] 3 Tips to Manage Multi-textured Natural Hair […]

Diamenrose

Is aussie a good hair care product :)? Have been thinking of buying it..

Kat

I have 3c textured hair in the majority of my head—front and crown, 4a in the back, and two small sections of 4c by my temples. I love my hair, but detangling that 3c portion can be a grueling task. Everything else is a cakewalk. I agree with trying different products on different textures. I’m trying mixed chicks on the 3c area. I hope it helps. Don’t give up!!!!

Lauren
LOVE this article cause sometimes watching youtube i feel like i should have 1 pattern as the dominate one in my hair but in reality my hair is 4a, 4b and 4c in one section, 4a in another, 4b another, 4bc another even some 3c thrown in there! lol its so hard styling sometimes, but like you said “creating texture” is key for me, i don’t (or should i say my hair doesn’t lol) like twist outs but it loves braid outs and they come out fab! I’m guessing because its more “tension” then twisting, my hair laughs in the… Read more »
Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

I think we all have some amount of different textures in our hair. For me, I have a very loose curl at the nape of the neck (as you noted) and it always needs a little “encouragement” to curl 🙂

I like the idea of sectioning certain areas smaller

D

This is going to be a problem for me when I finish my transition. I have 4c hair, but the path at the very back is #c with a little 4b around it. My wash and gos might look a bit odd, lol.

D

4c*

Chanda

I have very multi-textured hair. Loose and wavy in the front, kinky-curly texture at the crown and looser in the back. I wear a lot of buns and ponytails, occasional twist-outs. For now I’m wearing a bun-hawk style w/ 100% Kanekalon hair added.

Nessa

I loved this article! The tip about using different products for different sections. My hair will achieve definition just fro twisting, whether I use product or not but if I find that the definition in the front of my hair, which is loosest, only lasts when I use As I Am Twist Defining Cream.

http://www.curlkitshop.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=332

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