This article is a practical guide for those of us living in short coily, curly hair hell.
M-ImagePhotography --- iStock
In February 2017, Cultural Critic and Image Activist Michaela angela Davis was on a mission to illuminate the lives of textured women and men of the African Diaspora through her texture-positive conversation project: MAD Free. Sparked by the community of women Davis calls friends, family, and sisters, the conversation still holds sway in contemporary culture. When we last spoke, Davis shared this proclamation with me that still rings true:
As a woman of color, you are a textured person, you have layers and dimension your hair is a reflection of that. You were not made to be flat and take life lying down. Only textured hair can shapeshift - it is special, magical and real, as are you. - Michaela angela Davis
This statement is compelling, especially for those of us who are on the front lines of texture shaming, a social phenomenon that is easily seen and felt in cultures around the world. This shaming can result in 4C hair hatred, and self-defeating thoughts about natural hair texture and coils, kinks, and zig-zags. This struggle is laborious, and one that all Naturalistas end up combing their way through at some point in during on the curl journey.
If you are in the 'Will my natural hair ever be long and pretty? Ugggh! These curls are so ugly like this… I want to relax it!' stage of the journey, please save this article to your bookmarks and your Pinterest. Listed below are five key things you need to do to never give up on nor disparage your gorgeous coily hair ever again. Take note, my friend!
What To Do When You Hate Your 4C Hair
1 - Understand your hair and why it acts the way that it does.
Type 4 coily hair is fine and thin or wiry and coarse, with densely packed coils. Coily hair may seem robust, but it's actually the most fragile hair texture because it has the fewest cuticle layers to protect it from dryness. Its top concerns are maintaining moisture, avoiding tangles and counteracting shrinkage.
If you have ever felt frustrated with your ends being dry no matter how many time you coat them with coconut oil, or have tried every curl stretching protective style known to woman, you need to keep the information mentioned above in mind. Knowing that your delicate curls have a difficult time maintaining moisture and will most likely shrink in the blink of an eye is half the battle, so getting comfortable with that fact. This is the first real step you can take to shedding the hate you have for your coils.
2 - Prevent 'Curl Envy' by dedicating yourself to healthy curly hair maintenance, not #lengthgoals.
Coily hair length checks are nothing new, and most likely, are not going away anytime soon. As the temptation to berate your hair for not growing * ahem * grows, it is important for you to remember that there are other key texture-specific factors involved in learning to love your short, 4C coils. Check out a few helpful articles about curly hair length, products for Type 4C coily hair, and healthy hair care tips:
- Dealing with "Hard Hair" and Other FAQs about 4C Hair
- Do's and Don'ts of 4C Hair, According to Your Favorite YouTubers
- "My Hair Always Looks Dry" - Here's How to Make it Moisturized & Shiny
3 - Accessorize with headwraps, big hats, and fingercoils.
Even if you are not having a bad coily hair day, but a bad 4C day-week-month-life, you need to watch this video:
4 - Play with makeup!!!
Admittedly, this is something that I am just now delving into thanks to the push by wordsmith extraordinaire April Bingham. Since she and my NaturallyCurly colleagues have been getting more glammed up for video shoots these days, I decided to get my glam on, too! Here are my three go-tos for my #glowup:
- Face: Fenty Beauty - Having short curly hair is the perfect excuse to wear the most intriguing colors in the makeup industry, especially when they are provided to you by the Dancehall Queen Rihanna! For serious contouring, cheekbone highlighting, and Wakanda-esque glow, you need her Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Trio. I use the Conceal: Truffle, Contour: Caramel, Highlight: Rum and I LOVE IT.
- Lip: Cheeky Physique Sublime Lips - Not one to wallow in insecurity, I will admit that my lips are a feature that I would change (with magic, not plastic surgery) if I could. Fortunately, there is a lip plumper on the market that makes me believe in magic, again! It's Sublime Lips: Manuka Honey Lip Plumper by Cheeky Physique! From the first application, I was hooked because I could feel a slight tingle as I glossed it onto my bottom lip. Now, it's been several weeks and my lips are feeling and looking poutier when I wear my favorite glosses and wear-all-day lipstick. Yes! Thank you, Cheeky Physique 💋💖💯
- Eyes: Wet 'n Wild - Although I will definitely dive into a beauty counter and sift through premium label cosmetics and colors, I have to keep it real with myself on a weekly basis and hit the $1 bins. My favorite mascara is one that I can rely on everyday. It is called MegaVolume Mascara by Wet 'n Wild, and for just $3 my lashes look long and strong, all day long!
5 - Follow Type 4C IG 📸 Sensations for Encouragement and #inspo
It's easy to slip into the abysmal tunnel of hair hate, especially when scrolling on our most treasured social app: Instagram. It as if every IG Influencer woke up fully coated in cocoa butter, unicorn highlighter, 'yes, these are my 3" lashes', and dazzling pearly whites... and let's not even bother talking about those loose, springy, perfectly highlighted Type 3 curls.
Now, I am not one to throw shade on any woman because that's not cute, or apart of my philosophy. However, I do find it disheartening that women that share my hair type are not showing up in my IG feed. So, you know what... that's all changing right now with the following IG 4C Stars, recommended to me by my colleague Alexandra Wilson:
- Chelsea Mikael Frazier: Black Feminist Ecocritic
- Dayna Bolden: Inspiring women to do all things w/ Love, Passion & STYLE
- authentically.b: Bold Style Inspo For The Everyday Girl
- There are so many more inspirational 4Cs to follow, my friend! Just click this link to follow them all: #Team4CNatural
Share your 4C Curly Hair Love tips with the community!
We are in this together, friend. If you like this 4C coily, curly hair love-based tips that we Type 4s all over the world can embrace, share this post with your curl friends and family!