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Image source @4cchronicles

Blogger Ndidi Aliago, better known as 4C Chronicles on Instagram, has a head full of gorgeous, luxurious natural hair. Like most of us in the natural hair care community, we look to bloggers to achieve certain looks, get new hair care routines, and find overall inspiration for that, “what am I going to do with my hair next?” moment. When you find a blogger that has a similar hair texture and defines your hair goals, you want to take notes on all of the techniques she uses. Here at NaturallyCurly, our community of curl-friends are our hair goals. Keep reading as Ndidi spills all the tea on her transition, her go-to techniques and how she cares for her type 4 kinky hair.

Looking at Ndidi’s hair, I automatically feel a sting of envy. Between the length and thickness, it’s safe to assume that she takes great care of her hair. Some women transition from processed to natural to address breakage. That wasn’t an issue for Ndidi. “I’d always had what some would perceive to be 'healthy hair', even when I was texturised. However, I said the day my hair looked noticeably brown in the sun is the day I'd start making plans for my natural hair journey. I ended up transitioning for two years before accidentally big-chopping and here we are three years later!”

Although she’s always had a head full of healthy hair, she does note loving and maintaining it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. “I would say the most challenging thing about my hair journey is consistency. A hair care routine can only really be fruitful if you are consistent, and still, after five years I have my moments! Additionally, I go through periods of absolute admiration and love for my tresses to not being so in love with my hair. Documenting my progress with pictures and reminiscing on good hair moments helps,” she said. I can imagine we’ve all gone through those moments where our twist out looks like trash and we just want to reach for the nearest wig so that all can be well in the world. In the moments that you find an alternative to hiding your hair, you take a step closer to accepting yourself and your style as is. “My most empowering natural hair moment was making the decision to wear my natural hair to graduation. I was adamant that I would be buying 26” bundles and had to take a step back and ask myself why I felt the need to always go for something other than my own natural hair when it came to special occasions. I felt empowered enough to rock my natural hair on an occasion that I initially believed needed something else,” Ndidi recalled.

Through her hair journey, Ndidi adapted a hair technique that produces magical results in stretching and preserving her styles. “I use rubber thread to stretch my hair, which for me, is better for moisture retention compared to normal sewing thread. I first start by thoroughly moisturising my hair using the LOC (leave-in, oil, cream) method and will part my hair depending on the amount of stretch I am trying to achieve; the smaller the parts, the greater the stretch. I double up each threading piece I use and loop it around the base of my hair a few times to ensure it is secure. After winding the threading piece down my hair shaft, I’ll make a knot to secure everything in place. With practice, the technique becomes easier to master and should take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.”

Image source @4cchronicles

Image source @4cchronicles

Threading is one of the many ways that Ndidi manipulates her hair. In order to achieve any of her hairstyles, she has to have a functional list of products that her hair can absorb. So what does she use? “Extra virgin olive oil to pre-poo, hydrating leave-in conditioner by Primal Beauty, Castor oil, Shea butter, and Curly by Nature’s hair repair oil for my edges,” she said.

With these products comes a strict regimen (with room for slacking). Here’s a rundown on what Ndidi’s wash day looks like. “I pre-poo, deep condition and wash my hair about once a month (I'd love to aim for every 2-3 weeks, but life). After this I'll LOC my hair with a combination of products and style as desired until my next wash day. Although tedious, washing my hair in sections, finger detangling and air drying have made wash days a lot more manageable! Using the LOC method consistently (every 3-4 days) and deep conditioning every wash day is my key for moisture retention. If I want to go the extra mile, I LOC my hair just before bed and wrap it up with a silk scarf. This provides a nice warm environment for my hair (almost like a greenhouse) and produces superb results the next day.”

Image source @4cchronicles

If you’re a type 4 curly girl without the right products or regimen, the natural hair lifestyle can be discouraging. I’ve been natural for well over 10 years and I still struggle with fully loving and embracing my hair. Curl friends, we’ve all been there. It’s a process. Ndidi leaves us with some words of encouragement. “I would always recommend that naturalistas struggling to embrace their hair texture follow and interact with hair bloggers that have a similar hair texture. This is because seeing hair that looks like yours and a hair texture that you can relate to helps normalise all hair textures. Representation is so important when it comes to texture love and the onus isn’t just on those struggling to embrace their hair. We all need to do our part to ensure all hair textures are represented and celebrated equally.”

To keep up with Ndidi and her hair care journey, follow her Instagram page, @4CChronicles.

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