After washing comes the fun part – styling:
How will you moisturise?
The most popular way to moisturise type 4 hair is the LOC method (which stands for Leave-in, Oil & Cream). This method requires you to layer a water-based leave-in then a light oil (like coconut or jojoba) and then a heavier butter/cream (like shea or mango) over one another to seal in the water. The water moisturises your hair, whilst the other products form a barrier outside the strand to stop the water diffusing out. Due to the LOC method my hair has began to retain moisture all by itself (I’m so proud!) so I no longer have to do all three steps. You will also need to moisturise your ends regularly by spraying a light mist of water and applying some oil to it.
Will you use heat?
I was a heat junkie, I used to straighten my hair every week (sometimes two or three times a week) causing it to break off and never grow past my shoulders. So when I decided to go full hog with this natural thing I stopped using direct heat for a year. To be honest I haven’t really missed it! I’ve straightened my hair once since then because I was excited to see how long my hair was, but my impatience resulted in this:
|Excuse the poor quality and that I'm not wearing make-up!|
It was New Year's Eve and I was going out so had to rush. I didn’t wait for my hair to dry - which you definitely should! If not, bubbles can form in the strand causing splitting and breakage) so it ended up looking like I just blowdried it. Because it wasn’t fully dry so it just poofed up once I straightened it. Anyway I’ve kind of diverted from the point. Give your hair a looooong break from heat at first, after about a year you can start to add it back into your regimen. Zainab bought me a Vidal Sassoon Hood Dryer for Christmas and I love it! No more overnight drying sessions for me! But I only use it rarely or for certain styles (like rollersets). Seeing as my hair has grown quickly without heat I don’t see a reason to use it so much anymore.
What will be your signature style?
My current favourite styles now are plain twist-outs (flat twist outs are too much effort) and big ol’ buns because they’re so easy for me. But when my hair was shorter I preferred puffs and up-dos. Braid-outs (same as a twist-out but with braids) stretch hair more than a twist-out so allow you to see more of your length, but require more time to put in and take-out. You can also do protective styles like extensions, weaves, wigs (although you should leave your hair out for at least two weeks in between weaves and extensions so your hair isn’t constantly being pulled out of the follicle), corn-rows, up-dos, buns... Just have to decide which one is for you!