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

Style Icon Quinn

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



Style Icon Paulah

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?



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.

Leave a Reply

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

Notify of

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


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


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!!!!

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


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.




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.


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.