I recently had someone ask me what was my least favourite thing about wearing my hair natural. I've had a few hair-related struggles over the past 3 years, but the most annoying thing about wearing my hair natural? Having to deal with multiple textures. Ugh. I remember back when I used to relax my hair, my stylist would always comment on a patch of hair in the back of my head (aka "the kitchen") that would seem shorter, more coarse, and more fragile than the rest of my head. She gave me all kinds of lotions, potions, and mixtures to apply to the "damaged area" in hopes that I would "fix" whatever I did to it, and have it behave like the rest of my hair. It wasn't until I grew out the relaxer and wore my hair naturally that I realized - this is just how my hair is!
The reality is, our heads are not generally made up of uniform texture. You can have patches of loose waves, tight kinks, and big clumpy corkscrew curls on the same head - which is what I have. The question then becomes, how do you work with all those textures to get the look and style you want?
For me, the easiest thing to do is stretched styles. Braid-outs, twist-outs, and Bantu knots help me to blend my multiple textures. I always have to remember that the same "kitchen" area takes longer to dry than everywhere else. There's nothing worse than doing a nice set of Bantu knots, unraveling them, and having that kinky kitchen part be damp...just means it's going to shrink up like nobody's business as the day goes on! For my braid and twist-outs, I usually pull them into a bun for a day or two...once I undo them, they're fully dry and stretched - but then I have to be careful of my front and back portions...if I'm not careful, those parts will be TOO loose! Sigh. A sista can't win. I've pretty much mastered the style to get the look I want, but everyday is a bit different.
The bane of my natural haired existence would have to be the wash n' go. If the hair gods smile down on me, a properly diffused wash n' go will come out looking wild and wonderful...but if not, I get that supreme ugly reverse mullet. With a not-so-great wash n' go, or not-fully-dry twist out, I pull out clips and bobby pins and get to work! I can usually create a cool bouffant style and keep it movin'.
For all my natural-haired sistas, did you discover that you also had multiple textures? How do yours work together? What tips and tricks do you have to blend your kinks and curls?