A Bouncy Natual Hair Tutorial
I get so many questions about how I style my hair specifically how I get from soppy shrunk up kinks to bouncy full and semi-stretched curls.
The reality is Natural hair routines are quite a bit of work and the results are different from person to person its just about finding what exactly works for you. And that too can change depending on the season, and how your hair is feeling at a particular time. And because I am nothing if not thorough I made a tutorial video for you to follow. If you're more interested in seeing that, here is a link to the Youtube Video:
A brief history of my hair
I've had natural hair for about 4 and a half years (this is an estimate from when I stopped relaxing my hair). And I've been coloring my hair red for the last two years, yes this means I've been using bleach. I'm telling you this because having color treated hair has affected my hair in a lot of different ways and I've definitely had to change the methods I use to take care of it.
On to the tutorial!!
First Step of course is to wash your hair. Sound simple enough; shampoo, conditioner and hop on out. It can vary from 10 minutes to a full 30 in there depending of course on hour long and or thick your hair is. My hair is a lot! It is so dense and so I cant just was all of it at one go. So my tips for washing are:
Section your hair into at least 3 sections (two in the front and one in the back), personally I can even work with 5 sections if I have to. It sounds like a lot of work but your hair is gonna thank you for this because it will ensure you clean and rinse your hair properly and detangling will be so much easier. You can use some clips or just twist them up.
Working on each section individually shampoo and rinse off.
Add conditioner from the tips to the roots and detangle with either your fingers or a wide toothed comb. Be liberal with the conditioner it's going to make it useful. This is where sectioning helps because you can really get at all those little knots and hydrates the ends.
Don't rinse out the conditioner until you have covered all the sections. Leaving the conditioner to sit in your hair for a few minutes somehow helps, I'm not sure about the science behind but it helps (trust me). Use this time to detangle your hair before you rinse it off.
Once you're out of the shower, spray your hair with some water (its best to work with soaking wet hair for this). Work in your leave in conditioner followed by your styling cream/gel of choice. During this step wear a t shirt you don't mind getting soaked in or cover yourself with a towel if you want, its going to get messy!
For max definition smooth the section together with you hands. This allows the product to get in between the individual curls. If you're really extra and your want to do the most you can shingle them with the product, its not necessary for this look but it gives the most defined results.
I used the kinky curly products for this look, their knot today detangler combined with the curling custard gives the perfect amount of slip and coats your curls for the perfect amount of definition.
You're going to want to twist the sections up just so its manageable and so they can stay stretched overnight. I sleep with my hair in a satin bonnet because I don't have a satin pillow case , either one or both works great and seals the moisture in for you as your hair dries.
In the morning, I try to wait until my hair is completely dry, or at least 80% dry in the case of this particular morning. The reason for this is that it will shrink more if its still wet when you open it up and its going to get frizzy if it wasn't already dry. Personally I don't mind the frizz in fact I welcome it because it comes hand in hand with volume.
So I take out the twists and tie my hair back into a pony tail for a few minutes maybe half an hour depending on how long I've got. You're probably wondering, why wont that just ruin the shape? The answer is no. It allows my hair to stretch just a little more especially on the sides and the front because I pulled it back for a bit. I don' t tie it too tight because I'm not tying to form a crease in my hair.
Once enough time has passed or when its time to get out of the house I take the hair band out and fluff out my hair and the results speak for themselves really.
A bonus if you have time is to take a little comb or a tooth brush and slick down your edges. I don't always do this with an afro because my hair is always in my face but that day I pulled some of it to the side so I wanted it to be smooth.
There you have it! A bouncy defined wash day routine that literally can last the whole week.
Some final tips:
Make sure your hair gets at least 80% dry before you open it up, this is where a lot of people mess up and lose definition to the frizz. I know it never fully dries overnight but maybe leave it out of the satin bonnet until you are actually going to sleep so it can breathe and same in the morning for an hour or two before you take out the twists.
Don't be afraid to be liberal with the product. I know their expensive and you don't wanna finish it too quick but if you don't use enough, you're going to have no choice but to do it again in about three days so might as well get a whole week out of it right?
Water is your friend. Your hair is like a flower it needs water everyday. So on day 2 and 3 spritz it with some water to fluff out your curls and get rid of any stiffness from the night.
Have fun with it. It's only going to get bigger and bigger as the days go by. I find that each day the curls get frizzier and my hair is overall thicker so I turn to more styles to tame it a little and just for fun really. Don't be afraid to try new styles with the afro.