Kinky & Coily: My 4C Natural Hair Journey

This post is sponsored by Private Label Extensions

I’ve been “natural” since my Fall 2008, freshman year of college. I decided I no longer wanted to chemically straighten my hair and that I would let it be free. This was my first real decision as a semi adult (I was 17 at the time) and I was quite proud. Going back to my 4c natural hair was more than just a movement for me. It turned into a self love journey and allowed me to comes to terms with how God had made me. And this was necessary for me to grow and has shaped who I am today.

After going natural, I felt apprehensive because I couldn’t find vloggers who shared their 4c hair journey. Certain products just did not work for me. So I began experimenting. Some things worked. Some things obviously didn’t. But what I learned was that my hair was exactly that, MY HAIR. I rarely achieve the same result twice. But that’s ok. I also realized I needed to understand the type of hair that I had. Because I didn’t see a lot of 4c hair women sharing their journey when I first went natural, this took a lot of trial and error. Today, I’m happy to see that 4c hair is being embraced within the natural hair community and is getting just as much love as with any hair type. Additionally, there are so many online resources (besides videos) that help us identify our hair type, porosity levels, products that work best, and even companies that sell hair wefts that match our own (I’m still blown away by this)!

I achieve my curls with three different methods:

The Flat Twist Method. Section your hair into 8-10 sections. Starting from the center of your head, begin flat twisting, adding hair to your twist as you move closer to your forehead (or nape of your neck). Wrap end of twist around your finger. Let set overnight (or under a hair dryer).

The Bantu Knot Method. Take a section of hair, twist in a counterclockwise motion until you reach the end. then, wrap the hair around itself continuously until there is no more hair to wrap. Secure with a bobby pin and let it set overnight (or under a hair dryer).

The Perm Rod Method. Take a section of hair and twist in a counterclockwise motion until you reach the end. Take a perm rod and starting from the end of the twist, roll under (as opposed to outwards) about 3/4 of the way up the twist, and secure the rod. Set it overnight (or under a hair dryer).

Since embarking on this journey, I’ve come to notice the lack of representation of my hair type. While the 4a and above get constant reposting/regrams/retweets/shares/likes/praises/marketing effots, us 4b and 4c girls are left in the shadows. I don’t consider myself a natural hair blogger. I am a blogger with natural hair. And so, just as I am an advocate for diversity in blogging in general, that also includes adequate representation for those women/men who have the same hair type for me.4c natural hair

I remember a time when my hair was called “carpet hair”. As in, my hair was as rough as a carpet and unmanageable. That hurt me. The thing that grew out of my head was deemed unattractive. It needed to be manipulated in order to be seen as the standard.

My hair is tough. It defies gravity. Has a mind of its own. Unruly. Unbound. I am letting my hair be seen. No longer shying away because of its coarseness. My hair can be manipulated in so many ways. I can rock my afro puff one day, and have a defined twist out the next. Embracing it. Amplifying it. Nurturing it. My kinky coils deserve to be called tresses. They deserve constant love and care. This is my 4C Natural Hair. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Products I Use:

Maui Curling Pudding. This product gives my curls extra definition without causing excessive buildup or flakiness

Gorilla Snot. I use this product generously to lay down my edges

Shea Moisture Shampoo. I’m obsessed with the smell of this product

Shea Moisture Hair Sheen. Adds shine to my hair without weighing it down

Eco Styler Gel with Olive Oil. I use this to define the shorter parts of my hair4c natural hair4c natural hair

I went with a more vintage edit for these photos. I enjoy communicating different emotions and feelings through my pics and this felt right.

Until next time…

All Photography by Tayo Esho 

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