Type 4b Tightly Curled Hair with a Cottony Texture


All About My Hair

My Journey [1999-2004]


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Main > About My Hair

My Hair Stats

Texture: "4b", cottony; "o" curl pattern

Length: Medium, shoulder-length, 9"

Color: dark brown

Thickness: fine, relatively thin

Sheen: high when hair is stretched or twisted

Shine: none

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What I've Learned (through experience)

Heat: My hair has not been able to take heat very well.  
Blow drying drys out my hair, along with pressing.
If I press it with low heat, my hair will not straighten any more than it would with just a blow dryer, and will revert to tight curls hours later.  If it is pressed at the salon with a free-hand pressing comb, my hair will straighten a bit more but will last one day, or until it gets into contact with humidity or sweat (i.e. dancing).  If pressed using a high temperature (i.e. kitchen stove), my hair will straighten very well and will bounce, blow with the wind, and shine.  Afterwards, my hair will tangle and may not revert back to its original curl pattern.

Blow drying only has even damaged the structure of my hair--I learned this early 2003.  When I started taking care of my hair by growing it out and keeping it healthy by using no heat on it, I noticed how much silkier my hair was compared to the damaged half of the hair.  When I styled in twists, the healthy part of the hair (top half) was shinier and smoother than the damaged part of my hair, which looked really frizzy and shine-free.  A head of healthy natural hair looks very different from a head of unhealthy natural hair of the same texture.

Products: My hair appreciates moisturizing products.  So far, this means shampoos and conditioners that don't contain drying ingredients and also have more natural ingredients than chemicals.  Leave-in's that moisturize my hair are the creamy-type and they contain mostly natural ingredients.  Products containing such ingredients as Alcohol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate will dry my hair.  I avoid products with Mineral Oil, Petrolium, or Petrolatum because from what I've read they clog the pores on the hair and scalp.  I now make sure that the first product listed is Water.  Most products work best when applied to wet hair.  I've found that even a mostly natural product containing beeswax will make my hair feel greasy or sticky, and will draw a lot of dust to it (which is really disgusting).  As for gels, my hair is too thin/fine to take well to them.  I have to apply glops lot of gel to my hair and tie it down with a scarf for me to see the slightest change in shine and waves.  It gets hard easily, and depending on the brand, it may start to flake off if I try to manipulate it like scratching my head or even as my curls are trying to breaking loose to expand.  I'm currently experimenting with gels to find the right one for my hair.  

Manipulating: I use a wide-tooth hard plastic comb for combing my hair on a regular basis.  I brush my hair with a hard plastic bristled brush for smoothing the hair.  Additionally, I use boar hair bristled brushes to flatten the hair and eliminate fly-aways.  The safest way for me to manipulate my hair is when it's wet, or if it's dry it must be very moisturized.





Last Updated: Friday, 11/17/2006 by CottonNappy || © Cottony Hair Journey 2006.  All Rights Reserved.