SUITE7beautyTALK

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Texture Talk: My Unpopular Opinion That It Can Change

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The Natural Hair Community is one opinionated group.

As with most things, this can be a good and a bad thing – equally. It’s great to learn about topics like porosity, discover favorite products or how to tackle issues like retention and dryness. BUT the downside to some natural hair forums, Instagram pages and blogs are the overwhelming number of “know-it-alls” so certain of their opinion that they confuse and frustrate transitioners or those who seek advice on how to overcome obstacles that are guaranteed to come up at some point during their journey. One subject that never fails to stir the pot is TEXTURE CHANGE.

  • Is it possible?
  • How does it change?
  • Are there certain products that can promote this change?

First off, let me be clear, my opinion is based on my experience after my texture changed over time. This wasn’t something I set out to accomplish when I decided to go natural, nor was it something I anticipated, because I too believed you get what you get & you don’t pitch a fit. However, it’s definitely something I noticed as I tried different products & techniques in pursuit of the right regimen for me. So of course I can only speak from my experience, but I want to share this because if it happened to me, it can happen for someone else too. I don’t see anyone discussing this on any of the forums I frequent, except to strongly oppose the possibility when the question comes up from a curious newbie. So, to answer the first bullet-point….yes, its possible.

Okay then, how does it change?

A little background: The first time I tried a wash & go, it was a disaster. I’d been transitioning since July 2010 and although I never big chopped, I had my hair cut very short and wore a weave for six-months from Feb – July 2011. (Sidebar – I don’t get all the hype about weaves, it felt like a foreign object on my head & I couldn’t wait to have it removed but anyway…) When I had the weave removed in August 2011, my hair was shorter than I expected, but all the breakage that caused me to need the weave in the first place had grown out so, purpose served. Eventually, I attempted my first wash & go as I got closer & closer to having all the relaxer trimmed off. I was so frustrated with the results! My hair was dry, stiff, easily tangled and the ends were still stringy because they were relaxed while the top half of my hair was thick and kinky & did I mention how dry it was?! Ugh! I had no idea how I would ever manage this natural thing because like sooooooo many other naturals, I’d hoped for more curls than kinks, and that’s another topic that’s often not dealt with honestly. The whole point of relaxing our hair is to achieve silky, bouncy, straighter hair that’s easier to manage than thick, dry, puffy hair. That’s just an honest statement. But when the reality of being natural means having the exact hair texture we’d been relaxing away from all these years, well that’s a huge step in the opposite direction for many, myself included. I think that’s part of the journey, seeing your natural texture, and in some cases, accepting it for what it is. Here’s a few pics of my hair texture at the start of my natural hair journey:

Suite7beautyTalk Textures Shot

My hair is wet in the first and second (counter-clockwise) photo & then dry in the last pic. Most of my hair was tightly coiled, stiff, clumped together, very puffy and frizzed like crazy. The lone curls in the front were the only real defined curls I had. Shrinkage has always been an issue for me and that still hasn’t changed. I wasn’t crazy about my hair texture back then, because it just poofed out and frizzed while forming an odd mushroom shape. Once I started researching products and techniques, I stumbled across the Curly Girl Method by Lorraine Massey. After a few attempts with the new regimen, I noticed my texture started to look more like this:

Suite7beautyTalk - Curly Girl Method

My hair texture before using The Curly Girl Method

My hair texture before using the Curly Girl Method

My hair texture after a few months of using Curly Girl Method

My hair texture after a few months of using the Curly Girl Method

With the Curly Girl Method, I was adding more moisture to my hair by co-washing and leaving a little conditioner behind as opposed to rinsing everything out. I started reading ingredient lists and avoiding sulfates, drying alcohol and coating silicones. Sulfates and certain alcohols can be terribly drying to natural hair, while  cones (silicone properties) temporarily add slip but make it difficult for the hair to retain moisture thus drying the hair out. By researching different regimens, watching more You Tube videos than I can count and Googling the heck out of product reviews, I learned MOISTURE is EVERYTHING for natural hair. Matter of fact, most of the problems that naturals face can often be resolved by ensuring the right amount and type of moisture is added to and remains on the hair. Once I started using the Curly Girl Method, my hair became softer and my tight coils & kinks loosened into slightly defined curls. My roots were coming in softer with a defined wave pattern as opposed to just dry puffiness. This texture change was surprising but there was more to come… I considered the Curly Girl Method a much-needed discovery in my journey.

After three months of following the CG Method, my curl pattern loosened even more, was easier to manage and detangle with reduced wash time – my hair is dry in all three pics:

Suite7beautyTalk Curly Girl Method

Suite7beautyTalk Curly Girl Method

Suite7beautyTalk Curly Girl Method

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, I added my beloved Living Proof Nourishing Cream to my wash & go’s with surprising results. Finally, the frizz was under control but my texture really changed! It consisted of soft, bouncy, coily curls that hung down more so than poofed out. It was only then that I felt comfortable wearing my hair out & about, something I hadn’t done until last summer. The humidity still caused a little fullness (think Cree from A Different World if you’re an  80s kid like me) but just slightly. Overall, much better than before:

Suite7beautyTalk Living Proof Nourishing Cream

Suite7beautyTalk Curls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago, I started detangling my hair with conditioner & water before my shower. Normally, I just do it all during my shower which can not only take a very long time but is a tiring process. Detangling beforehand made a difference in my hair’s slip during wash time, the detangling process was also easier and the shedding less (a lot less). Again, the extra moisture from the water and conditioner resulted in a softer, more controlled and defined texture even without product.

My curl pattern up close, which has changed dramatically from when I first went natural. I think the right regimen and products make a world of difference, because I definitely had more 4C textures in there at the start.

And just yesterday (6/7/14), I decided to try the LOC Method which is something I never thought I’d do because of my refusal to put oil on my hair. But I’ve been battling dryness of the scalp lately and immediately thought I needed more moisture since several weeks of deep conditioning with a new hair mask wasn’t exactly doing the trick. {My hair SOAKS up everything} So, I sectioned my hair into fours, applied lots of TreSemme Conditioner to detangle, followed by a good scalp scrubbing using Essentially Yours Cream Shampoo (it’s just like a co wash product) and then more TreSemme for a deeper conditioning treatment. Then I rinsed out most of the conditioner, applied Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment (LIQUID), Coconut Oil (OIL), Living Proof Nourishing Cream (CREAM) and finally EcoStyler Gel for hold & definition. I’m really surprised by the results. This is the most drastic change that I’ve seen in my texture so far. This is a popular method of layering Liquid (to add moisture, some use water but I wanted to return to Infusium from my relaxer days), Oil (to bind that moisture into the hair & scalp) & Cream (to seal in the moisture). My hair soaked it up and felt softer, super moisturized (even after it dried) and has a looser, longer curl pattern and more movement than ever before and even after it dried.  Once again, I wasn’t expecting such a difference and I’m wondering what the results will be over time using this process. I don’t want to loosen my curl pattern too much as I like my coils, just not frizzy and hard to manage. I’ll keep trying it out before praising it t the high heaven but so far, so good!

So given my experience, I believe that textures and curl patterns can change over time but the key seems to be moisture, moisture, moisture, finding the right regimen/products and being consistent. Layering agreeable products can result in softer, manageable hair and defined curls and coils minus frizz. And that’s my take on it!

There are all types of curl patterns, textures, and thickness amongst naturals and everything doesn’t work for everyone but its important to remain open and considerate of others instead of bashing their preferences, objectives and goals for their hair.  To each his own right?

If this post helps one person that might be curious or confused about this topic, then it was worth writing.

Take care,

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2 comments on “Texture Talk: My Unpopular Opinion That It Can Change

  1. Micey
    June 3, 2016

    Loved this info. Thanks

    • suite7beautytalk
      July 9, 2016

      Thanks for visiting!

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