Mixed-race & clueless

Im mixed race and my 4a hair is sooooo tightly curled the only way i can handle it is by braiding it. Otherwise my 'middle of the back' hair barely reaches the bottom of my neck.

It seems as Ive grown older the texture has changed as not even the braids stay neat anymore plus spending 8 hours braiding every 3-4 weeks is getting real boring as Ive had my hair this way for as long as I can remember.

Ive had my black and my white friends alike claiming to kno how to handle my hair but half the time not even the hairdressers can handle it. (Its still recovering from a bad blowdry incident) So Im on here to see what options I have and how others manage to cope with it natural ... or not.

I just want to wear my hair out ... so Im considering the Keratin Complex treatment even though it costs a fortune and isnt permanent. Im also considering getting a curly perm instead to set my hair in a more manageable curl pattern. But id love a pixie cut like rhianna. I dont kno whats best ... im confused! Please help!
Im mixed race and my 4a hair is sooooo tightly curled the only way i can handle it is by braiding it. Otherwise my 'middle of the back' hair barely reaches the bottom of my neck.

It seems as Ive grown older the texture has changed as not even the braids stay neat anymore plus spending 8 hours braiding every 3-4 weeks is getting real boring as Ive had my hair this way for as long as I can remember.

Ive had my black and my white friends alike claiming to kno how to handle my hair but half the time not even the hairdressers can handle it. (Its still recovering from a bad blowdry incident) So Im on here to see what options I have and how others manage to cope with it natural ... or not.

I just want to wear my hair out ... so Im considering the Keratin Complex treatment even though it costs a fortune and isnt permanent. Im also considering getting a curly perm instead to set my hair in a more manageable curl pattern. But id love a pixie cut like rhianna. I dont kno whats best ... im confused! Please help!
Originally Posted by baileys_truffle
Hi! Welcome to NC! My hair isn't as curly as yours, but if you check out the 4 a/b/c boards I'm sure you'll find some great suggestions. Good luck
Fine, very porous 3a
Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal

I'm mixed raced and got a few clues (not enough to finish the puzzle, but more than I started with)

I found that before my hair was healthy enough to actually hold a curl, the best way to define my curls was to do a twist out.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...al.html?cat=69

Since you're defining it with oil, twisting is (effective as hair curlers for natural hair) and put a scarf over them at night (it allows oil to soak into the hair, and the heat trapped from the scalp makes hair softer) they usually hold their length and shape.

It's a good little fix until you get into a few months of curly girl and your hair starts doing that on its own

Good luck!
Hi, welcome! This is a great place to find information.
I agree with checking out the 4a boards as well. Also if your hair is damaged it is important to start treating it better so it can repair, and maybe get a trim?
I am multi-racial as well but as I've found here on this site, race doesn't have a ton to do with hair necessarily. I know girls from all backgrounds with similar and different hair types.
It will be important to determine your hairs texture and porosity to ensure you are taking care of it properly (this is something I still struggle with).
You can learn more about it at www.livecurlylivefree.com and also on the getting started boards here.
It can all be a bit overwhelming at times, that's for sure but I think you'll find everyone here is very supportive and helpful. You may also want to check out some of the girls blogs as they have a lot of information on product reviews and hair care.

3b/c mix; mixture of fine, med. and coarse texture with med-high porosity


Current HG routine: Tresemme Naturals conditioner; AG Fast Food LI; AG Recoil; CJ CIAB = no crunch, lots of body and awesome definition


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Hi and welcome to NC.

I am mixed also, and while I agree with crazyculrz21 that race has nothing to do with hair texture, porosity, etc, I do think that in general mixed raced hair has peculiar issues of its own.

---------

baileys, In general I do want to recommend that you truly find out what hair texture, porosity, elasticity etc you have, if you haven't already done so. You say your hair texture has changed, but you will need to know exactly what the texture is. This and the other info will help to determine how to manage and define you curls.

Ex: my hubby and I are both mixed. He has fine low porosity and tight pencil curls (which used to be a big undefined dry frizzy mess before I started him on CG) while I have mixed textures, high porosity and lose curls and waves. We cannot use the same products in the same way. We both need intense moisture but have to come up with different methods of getting it. First we had to know our hair before we could determine the method.

I also want to recommend not to use too much oil in your hair. Many ethinic products contain them and many oils are good for the hair, but until you know your hair, oils might not be a good way of providing moisture. They are emoollients but also antihumectants and if you don't need this then you are actually sealing your hair off from moisture instead of getting it into your hair. This can produce dry hair that is frizzy with undefined curls.

So let us know your texture and porosity and we will try to offer some more advice. The 4a/b boards may help, but you will still need to know your hair texture and porosity levels to truly get your hair on its way to recovery and defined curls.
~belasuna
3a/b, very dry, fine/med-coarse, high porosity
CG since 7/27/09
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CW: protein free-cleansing creme
CO: protein free MRcondish
Styler: FSG + protein free LI Elixir, Gellie, Shine & Seal Serum
Lady of Elixir, Keeper of the Secret Blend, in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
Welcome! You've come to the right place. If you have any larger photos of your hair out (or even in braids) that would be helpful. Sometimes the way describe our hair can be interpreted so many ways, whereas a photo cannot be.

I also agree with the advice not to use oil in styling. Oil can break up texture and on its own is not really moisturizing. Used correctly it can be a good thing. I just know that when I started out on my natural journey, I couldn't use oil or even butters much at all, except for castor oil mixed into conditioner.. As my hair became more hydrated it began to tolerate oils and butters so much better.
My blog - http://suburbanbushbabe.wordpress.com/
My FOTKI - http://whatsnew.fotki.com/suburbanbushbabe/


Playing with my hair is a hobby. Fluffy, fine natural 4a. Goal= Healthy, beautiful hair that retains its length.
Quote:
Hear that crash? It's me falling off the CG wagon.

Last edited by Suburbanbushbabe; 10-06-2009 at 05:12 PM.
Baileys! Welcome! I have been there with the hair issue! I'm also mixed and I have never been able to get advice from my fam members either. My mom is white with 2A hair and my dad has about 4B hair but has no clue! The other women on my mom's side all have straight to slightly wavy hair. On my dad's side, they seem to range from 3B-4B but haven't seen anyone with hair quite like mine.

All this being said, it has often felt like the reason my hair defies categories is b/c I'm mixed. But I no longer think that is really the case. Esp since I've been on this site. I have learned that there are many women from many ethnic backgrounds who have hair similar to mine.

I think the biggest issue for me was that, they just didn't have hair like mine in my family. It can feel isolating and its esp difficult growing up. Nobody knew what to do with my hair as a little girl. The "ethnic" products seemed to heavy, the non ethnic ones seemed too light! But nowadays, there are so many options for curly/kinky hair. NC is a fantastic place to start.

Have you been viewing Fotkis? You may even find a hair twin. That would be a great way to learn more about what products/methods to use. In the meantime, try not to stress. You have beautiful hair, it just doesn't come with a manual
aw, mixedupcurlychick. I'm very much in the same boat. Though mixed, I look white (a girl once asked me if I was mix--with greek. Because I was to pale to pass for greek). So my mother always treated it like her hair (constant shampooing, paddle brushes, no product). And while there is other people with my hair type, it's either straightened, braided, cut off or left to its own frizzy devices.

Which is why I'm really happy for finding this site, because before I was shooting in the dark at a fruit fly.
Awww im so glad to have found some fellow mixed-race chicks!

Its true, i think when you grow up in a multiracial family you miss out on the advice and the techniques you need to manage your own hair when youre older.

My mum is mixed race too however her hair is a totally different texture to mine and although my dad is black its not like he'd ever have much interest in doin growing his hair long in order to advise me on how to deal with mine. Plus my sisters altho having the same parents all have different hair and i got the short straw.

So i grew up with my hair braided in small splaits 80% of the time and when it was out it was in girly styles (plaited ponytails) or relaxed which led to breakage which led to me promising never to relax again.

But youre right .. natural hair sure doesnt come with a manual and altho im learning alot by reading up on everything, ive never been so good with the practical side of things!
Embrace Your Curls!

Type: 4a
Texture: Fine/medium
Porosity: Medium/high
Routine: None as yet
Natural for: 7+ years

Aim: To have long luscious healthy curls instead of the dry ones I've become accustomed to!
Is there a reason why you don't want to wear your natural texture out (maybe because as you mentioned your other family members have different hair from you)?

There's a ton of gorgeous tightly coiled ladies out there who can advise you. Maybe you can begin experimenting with conditioner washing first and see where that leads..

As for a Rihanna cut, you would have to straighten your hair to get that style.
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)
Yeah Baileys...I was wondering that too. Does ur hair get tangled a lot b/c of the length? If my hair was as long as urs, I'd def wear it out all the time lol.

Also, u are doing better than u think...I just read ur sig and u seem to know a lot. I still don't know about my porosity and I've been natural for almost 2 yrs. Idk even know how to figure that out lol
Baileys, how often do u cut or trim ur hair btw? Just curious...
Also, since you have a problem with shrinkage (mine shrinks about 5 inches when dry, but your seems to be 7 or up)you could try something heavier to weigh down your curls. Careful though, it's a slippery slope, and can get producty.
Got that right! My hair has trouble absorbing products more than I ever knew when I was perming.

Funny thing is, the hair dressers always threw grease on me. So I thought black people's hair was *supposed* to be greasy for a long time. I never tried to find products that simply moisturized my hair without the greasiness b/c I thought that was impossible!

Granted, I'm still trying to find those...now I think it *is* possible lol.

Also, since you have a problem with shrinkage (mine shrinks about 5 inches when dry, but your seems to be 7 or up)you could try something heavier to weigh down your curls. Careful though, it's a slippery slope, and can get producty.
Originally Posted by MysticSpiral
Is there a reason why you don't want to wear your natural texture out (maybe because as you mentioned your other family members have different hair from you)?

There's a ton of gorgeous tightly coiled ladies out there who can advise you. Maybe you can begin experimenting with conditioner washing first and see where that leads..
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
Hey bekkapoo, I just mean there was never really a black influence in my immediate family to advise me on my hair. Me n my sisters all have similar hair but mine seems to be the curliest, thickest of the bunch and so after a while all my mum could do with it to manage it on a daily basis was to braid it. Except now ive decided to embrace my natural hair a lil more and give it a proper rest from braids to see how i get on...
Embrace Your Curls!

Type: 4a
Texture: Fine/medium
Porosity: Medium/high
Routine: None as yet
Natural for: 7+ years

Aim: To have long luscious healthy curls instead of the dry ones I've become accustomed to!
Yeah Baileys...I was wondering that too. Does ur hair get tangled a lot b/c of the length? If my hair was as long as urs, I'd def wear it out all the time lol.

Also, u are doing better than u think...I just read ur sig and u seem to know a lot. I still don't know about my porosity and I've been natural for almost 2 yrs. Idk even know how to figure that out lol
Originally Posted by MixedUpCurlyChick
All that stuff i learnt over the past week or so, i was literally clueless before. My porosity is quite high- i think it would be unusual to have a low porosity with hair as coiled as 4a. I tried the float test but half the strands curl would sink before the other so i gave up. lol

I used to think my hair was coarse before as well but i realised that hair can be dense regardless of the texture and looking at my hair the strands are quite fine ... dont worry, you seem to be getting on fine so youll pick up everything about your hair as you go!

I always thought 'black peoples hair' was kinda meant to be greasy too which was always a put off so its nice to know there are sooo many alternative products that provide soft hair without the yucky feel. Well i assume there are ... lol

I also try to trim every month or so, but i cant really cut too much off otherwise my braids wont curl at the ends and stay done up! I still have quite a few split ends tho as my hair is still recovering from a bad hair blow-dry incident at the hair dressers two years back!

My hair does get tangled quite easily too, even the smallest amount of hair left to its own devices for a second results in me fighting with it with a comb over again! I like your avatar tho MUCC ... your hair looks lovely!
Embrace Your Curls!

Type: 4a
Texture: Fine/medium
Porosity: Medium/high
Routine: None as yet
Natural for: 7+ years

Aim: To have long luscious healthy curls instead of the dry ones I've become accustomed to!

Last edited by baileys_truffle; 10-11-2009 at 09:39 AM. Reason: I had to change the wording
Hello,
I am not mixed race, but I have 4a hair that has changed texture over the years. As everyone else has stated check out the 4a boards. Also check out this website by a lady who is mixed race: http://www.tightlycurly.com/technique/curlyprimer/. I have always had long hair and gave up the perm about 6 years ago. I still have good and bad days, but I refuse to be a slave to chemicals anymore. When I get tired of my natural hair (this is about every 3 months), I usually blow dry and flat iron. There has to be a black hair styler somewhere who can help with your hair. Patience has taken me a long way with my hair. It is now about an inch below my bra strap when straightened but at my shoulders when natural. Shrinkage is a part of the deal, and I am still learning to deal with it. Good luck.

Im mixed race and my 4a hair is sooooo tightly curled the only way i can handle it is by braiding it. Otherwise my 'middle of the back' hair barely reaches the bottom of my neck.

It seems as Ive grown older the texture has changed as not even the braids stay neat anymore plus spending 8 hours braiding every 3-4 weeks is getting real boring as Ive had my hair this way for as long as I can remember.

Ive had my black and my white friends alike claiming to kno how to handle my hair but half the time not even the hairdressers can handle it. (Its still recovering from a bad blowdry incident) So Im on here to see what options I have and how others manage to cope with it natural ... or not.

I just want to wear my hair out ... so Im considering the Keratin Complex treatment even though it costs a fortune and isnt permanent. Im also considering getting a curly perm instead to set my hair in a more manageable curl pattern. But id love a pixie cut like rhianna. I dont kno whats best ... im confused! Please help!
Originally Posted by baileys_truffle
Is there a reason why you don't want to wear your natural texture out (maybe because as you mentioned your other family members have different hair from you)?

There's a ton of gorgeous tightly coiled ladies out there who can advise you. Maybe you can begin experimenting with conditioner washing first and see where that leads..
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
Hey bekkapoo, I just mean there was never really a black influence in my immediate family to advise me on my hair. Me n my sisters all have similar hair but mine seems to be the curliest, thickest of the bunch and so after a while all my mum could do with it to manage it on a daily basis was to braid it. Except now ive decided to embrace my natural hair a lil more and give it a proper rest from braids to see how i get on...
Originally Posted by baileys_truffle
I can totally relate to that as well. I mean I had black aunts and female cousins that I would see occasionally, but with them I would have been greased and pressed with a hot comb, or permed to death. Same in the black salons, or with black women my mother befriended and asked for advice.. no one knew what to do with my natural hair except to braid it up or cut it off.

Seems that not many people can figure out curly hair, black or white, so it's really a learning process that you might have to go through on your own (with our help of course).

I have a blog post about my hair story if you'd like to check it out (link in my sig).
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)
Is there a reason why you don't want to wear your natural texture out (maybe because as you mentioned your other family members have different hair from you)?

There's a ton of gorgeous tightly coiled ladies out there who can advise you. Maybe you can begin experimenting with conditioner washing first and see where that leads..
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
Hey bekkapoo, I just mean there was never really a black influence in my immediate family to advise me on my hair. Me n my sisters all have similar hair but mine seems to be the curliest, thickest of the bunch and so after a while all my mum could do with it to manage it on a daily basis was to braid it. Except now ive decided to embrace my natural hair a lil more and give it a proper rest from braids to see how i get on...
Originally Posted by baileys_truffle
I can totally relate to that as well. I mean I had black aunts and female cousins that I would see occasionally, but with them I would have been greased and pressed with a hot comb, or permed to death. Same in the black salons, or with black women my mother befriended and asked for advice.. no one knew what to do with my natural hair except to braid it up or cut it off.

Seems that not many people can figure out curly hair, black or white, so it's really a learning process that you might have to go through on your own (with our help of course).

I have a blog post about my hair story if you'd like to check it out (link in my sig).
Originally Posted by BekkaPoo
Exactly, other family members always had their own idea of how to do their hair but ive never really felt comfortable putting my hair in their hands. I think black and white people seem to think that they can handle natural curly hair easily what they dont know is our needs a certain understanding to be able to handle it.

I checked out your blog tho bekkapoo .. i love it! Your hair looks gorgeous and youre so talented, ill def be listening to some of your advice ... well everyones advice.

Im so glad to have found this site, everyone has provided me with so much vital information already. I feel much more positive about the whole thing now.
Embrace Your Curls!

Type: 4a
Texture: Fine/medium
Porosity: Medium/high
Routine: None as yet
Natural for: 7+ years

Aim: To have long luscious healthy curls instead of the dry ones I've become accustomed to!
Thanks for the compliment, Bailey's.. glad you liked it. Actually you'll find that a lot of the members here have blogs, so you can find advice here and through our individual blogs.
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)

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