If you are new to having natural hair you might find that you have a few basic questions about styling, using heat, and general care. Here we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions regarding caring for natural hair.
How do I do a successful braid/twist out? There are 3 elements to a successful twist or braid out style:
- The size of the twists or braids. If your twists or braids are too big or too small, the style won’t look right. You need to experiment with the size of the sections you use to create the wave or curl pattern that you like best. In general, if the braids or twists are too small you will get a crimpy looking style, if they are too big, you might not get the amount of waves or curls that you were hoping for. A general good size for longer hair is to have a twist or braid that is about 3/4 inch thick.
- The products used. You want to use the proper moisturizing and shine products so that the resulting texture in the curls or waves is shiny and it holds. You will need to experiment with the amount of hair gel or shine serum to use on each braid or twist to achieve the desired result. Straightening serums for flat ironing or blow drying often work very well for these styles even though you aren’t applying heat.
- The dryness of the hair when the braids or twists are removed. Make sure that your hair is completely dry before removing the braids or twists. Its best to set under a bonnet hair dryer to get the hair properly dry. Otherwise you have to allow it to air dry for a significant amount of time.
It’s a good idea to take pictures and note the products and technique that you use every time you try a new style so that you can recall what worked or did not work and duplicate or make adjustments the next time.
How can I finish the ends on my braid/twist out styles? Use a perm rod, pipe cleaner or roller on the ends to give the final look a good polish.
Do I need to twist transitioning or natural hair every day? No. You only need to twist your hair as often as you need to keep it looking as neat as you want it to look. If you wear a curly style where your hair is “out” it is a good idea to re-twist it with some moisturizer to infuse it and keep it moist. You can choose to retwist it every night before you sleep on it to keep the style looking more tidy.
How do I prevent knots in kinky hair? You can prevent knots by avoiding a lot of manipulation of the hair, keeping your hair in protective styles, and keeping your hair moisturized. It also helps to sleep with your hair covered with a satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase. Also, whenever you comb hair blow dryer brush out your hair, make sure to do so when it is wet with conditioner in it. Don’t try to comb through dry hair. This causes breakage which can leads to knots in the frayed ends.
How do I prevent or cure frizzy ends? The best prevention for frizzy ends is proper moisturizing and proper care. Never comb or brush your hair when it is dry. Twisting your hair and then sealing the ends with an oil and moisturizer mix is a great way to tame frizzy ends. Other things to make sure of are to:
- trim or get your hair trimmed on a regular basis (every 6 – 8 weeks)
- avoid too much combing, brushing, and manipulation
- wear protective styles often and be sure to moisturize while your hair is in the style
How do I roll or set my hair without getting frizzy ends? Use end papers to cover the end of the hair before you put it on the roller. Also add a bit more of product to the end of your hair and smooth it out over the roller before you roll it up. This is also a great way of moisturizing and sealing your ends to protect them.
What is the best way to curl kinky hair? The absolute best way to curl kinky hair is doing a twist out style using pipe cleaners to curl the ends. If you want a more straightened look, blow dry the hair then twist and use pipe cleaners.
Are wraps good for transitioning and natural hair? A wrap is when you brush the hair tightly around the head so that it naturally straightens or flattens out to achieve a straightened style. This can be bad for the hair because the process of combing or brushing through your hair in that way could be damaging especially to the delicate line of demarcation where natural hair meets relaxed hair. Also, your kinky/curly hair will probably not submit to the wrapping process as well as you might like. It is better to start getting used to your natural texture and try more textured styles such as braid-out or twist-out styles.