Help! These kinks are outta control!

Today, I will tell you one of the many stories about myself and my kinky coily hair. ūüôā

I was raised by parents who held 9 -5 jobs and by my Nan of blessed memory who lived with us while I was growing up…it’s been 7 years since her passing and counting and I still miss her so. My relationship with her¬†as it concerned my hair was a love-hate one. We would ‘fight’ all through the hair care process on hair wash¬†days. There was nothing elaborate about my hair care¬†regimen with her. Any bath soap at her disposal was good enough to get my hair washed, forget about conditioning! Condi-what?? You’ve got to¬†be joking! Of course, with the conditioning phase totally skipped, the styling stage was always a tug of war especially with¬†her handcrafted 3-pronged wooden ‘cutting’ comb slicing through my Nubian kinky amazon.

Wooden cutting comb

Local Styling Comb – idea for line precision.

I dreaded my wash & style days so much so I rebelled against my mother’s instructions. It was one of those days during the long school breaks. Before mother left for work on this fateful day, she left me clear instructions to get my hair washed and plaited before she got back. Of course, Nan had since stopped being my stylist…I was too much for her to handle when it had anything to do with my hair. I remember mother stating the consequence I’d suffer if I didn’t get it done before her return. She had promised to give me the “big chop” if I failed to comply with her instructions.

Did that scare me enough? Of course not! As a matter of fact, I was secretly and happily looking forward to it. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old at that time and I was so ready for my first “big chop”! To mother, that was punishment enough to teach me a lesson but from my point of view, it was F-R-E-E-D-O-M!!! Nan called me several times during the course of the day to stop playing outside and go to the local stylist near home to get my hair sorted. Did I listen? Nah!

As the clock ticked on and the time drew nearer for mother to return, Nan started taunting me with the imminent reality. In her mind, she was taking a jab at me but in my mind, my hour of freedom was drawing closer. At that tender age, I was literally sick and tired of my hair and was so looking forward to getting rid of it.

6:30 pm, mother walked in and on sighting my head of untamed hair, she called for a pair of scissors. Without throwing any tantrum, I sat beneath her and submitted the thick amazon on my head to her service. She didn’t have to restrain¬†me to the chair to get on with the punishment. With each snip my smile grew broader, with every nip I saw dreaded hair care regimen being cut out of my life! I bet she was too tired after her long day to notice I wasn’t upset at all about the punishment.

Yours Truly Post Big Chop! :-)

Evidence – Post Big Chop! ūüôā

Fast forward decades later, here I am loving this same Nubian kinky amazon!

So, what happened?

What changed?

I¬†mentioned in my earlier post ¬†that I did a lot of research before going back to being natural. The common and constant denominator in everything I came across was¬†CONDITIONING. So let’s talk about that.

In my opinion, Conditioning is the holy grail of successfully staying natural. Conditioners are simply awesome for the hair. A well conditioned hair makes for easy detangling. This is a crucial step in caring for your natural hair and this is a step a lot of us do not consider important. I have been to salons before were the ignorant stylist would use more conditioner on a weave than on your natural African kinks. Some of them admittedly said they didn’t know they could use conditioners on natural hair! Duh!!!

So, what exactly is a hair conditioning?

From my point of view, hair conditioning is the process of temporarily changing the texture of your hair by applying to your hair any specialized hair product designed to give your hair maximum softness and slip/glide which leads to an ouch-less detangling experience on wash days.

Not all hair conditioners will work exactly the same way on every hair texture. In other words, a conditioner that works great on my hair could¬†be completely awful for your hair but the thing is – you cannot give up on your quest and search to finding¬†that ideal conditioner for you! I am not advocating for “product junk-ism” but you just have to find that perfect conditioner for your hair!

One of the easier ways of finding the perfect conditioner for your hair without wasting much money on buying products that may not work for you is to research and look out for conditioners that has given fantastic results to people with the same kind of hair type/texture as yours.

Secondly, look up reviews about that particular product recommended and if you decide to give it a try, buy the smallest size available for your trial run. Going by my definition above, if the conditioner on trial gives your hair maximum softness and great slip/glide ultimately allowing you comb through your entire hair within minutes (that is, your comb glides through your hair without any form of resistance) when applied, that is a conditioner to keep! Go back and buy the biggest bottle you can find!

Another point I’d like to touch on is how to use hair conditioners correctly.

Unfortunately, when attempting¬†to condition your Nubian kinks, you have to lose every sense of prudence! Trust me! You see those peas size droplets of conditioner you squeeze on to your palms just wouldn’t cut it. Generosity is the rule of the game here. Conditioners are the products you’d go through the quickest. Outlined below are the steps I follow when conditioning.

STEP 1: I part my freshly shampooed¬†hair into manageable sections…

Sectioned hair

…and make sure to saturate each section from the roots to the tips. I attempt¬†to¬†spread the conditioner evenly across my¬†hair…pretending like I am¬†applying relaxer to my¬†hair… I let it cover every strand. Do note that the thickness of the conditioner and the degree of slip¬†it gives will determine the amount needed for each section. I use either Tresemme Flawless Curls Curl Moisturizing Conditioner or Mane ‘n’ Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioner. They work great for me!

Tresemme & Mane Conditioner

Source: Google Images

 

STEP 2: I let the conditioner sit on my hair for about 2 Р3 minutes then I comb it through my hair in sections using a wide tooth shower comb.

wide tooth comb

Source: Google Images

I start combing from the tips of my hair and gently work my way down to the roots. Never the other way round otherwise my hair will tangle up more and I will suffer unnecessary breakages. This is one of the ways I achieve length retention.

 

STEP 3:¬†I rinse off the conditioner from my hair in sections with a lot of lukewarm water and pat off excess water from the sectioned hair with a clean soft cotton towel. Although some hair gurus advice to use an old T-shirt to get rid of excess water¬†to¬†avoid overly drying out the hair and¬†keep moisture in the hair¬†but I don’t have old T-shirts. So, my soft towel works just fine! If I need extra moisture I simply spray¬†the hair with some water.

STEP 4:¬†¬†I apply a liquid leave-in conditioner to my hair at this point, one section at a time. I simply pour in a spray bottle and tend to be generous with¬†my application. ¬†I have used ApHogee ProVitamin¬†Leave-in Conditioner since my relaxed hair days and I still find it good for my natural hair…it’s a keeper!

Image Source: Amazon.co.uk

Source: Google Images

 

In my next hair post, I will talk about my LOC method. This is basically the next step after shampooing and conditioning my hair on wash days.

I’d love to hear about your wash day routine and personal experiences with conditioning. Also, if you have any questions about this post, you know what to do…hit the comment section below ūüôā

Peace & Love

Nubian Signature

 

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Help! These kinks are outta control!

  1. That cutting comb brings back sweet memories of my childhood, my sister and I used to get our hair beautifully braided on Sunday afternoons by our Igbira hairdresser.

    It also brings back not so sweet memories of her cutting comb slicing through my stubborn “we no go gree” coils.

    It’s not called “ILA-IRUN” for nothing, it divides and conquers ones hair with pain, no?

    • lol!

      You are absolutely right on that last point! That piece of wood is the real “Divide and Conquer” weapon! As a child, sighting that cutting comb sent shivers down my spine!!!

  2. I enjoyed reading this. I really did. And your tug of war with Nanny and your hair was classic. LOL It’s like we had the same battles to fight as kids!! My hair could even break a comb. Even relaxer didn’t even do justice to it. hehe, or maybe the person who added the relaxer didn’t do it well, i dunno. I’ll put the conditioning thing you spoke about in mind. I just cut my hair recently after 8-9 years of being natural (can you imagine) and even contributed on a natural hair blog. I got tired of the hair jare. Still thinking of what to do about it. Now that you’re here to gist us about your journey and I do hope you’ve come to stay, maybe we’ll be comparing notes. wink wink**

    • Awwww 9 years??? Never in my adult life have I have had my natural hair on that long!

      Well, as per come to stay…I hope so too. The plan is to put up a hair related post every week or fortnightly. So help me God! ūüėÄ

  3. Sweetwise says:

    Thanks girl. This fortunately is the exact routine i follow (yayyy!!). Sometimes, I comb a fist-full of shea butter through the hair on the eve of the wash and just leave it in till the next day (makes my pillow a bit greasy, but that’s fine, the pillow case can be changed). Then I wash using this exact method, condition, rinse and still use the leave-in conditioner and rub a little shea butter in the still wet hair before I blow dry. And I never blow very dry. the shea butter ensures I still have a bit of dampness after the little blow dry. Whenever I do this, the combs wouldn’t glide much easier if my hair had been relaxed! I have to style almost immediately though, or else I’ll be back to wincing with each stroke of the comb.

    The real problem I have with my almost 2yrs natural hair is styling it. Most of the styles I see are okay for parties and weekends but not the corporate world. reason why I told you the other time that I’m now tempted to relax again. But don’t mind me…. don’t think I would (at least not for now)!

    • Hey Sweetwise, nice to see you here.:-)

      I understand what you mean by cooperate look. To be honest, I think our kinks are just meant to be exaggerated….lol. There are loads of protective styles that work really well for the office look. Just find that which you are most comfy with and rock it. My idea of protective style is one that doesn’t prevent me from nourishing my hair on a daily basis with moisture. You don’t want to wear something that will make you not attend to your kinks for days or weeks.

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