Texturising Series Part III: Tips
This is my third and final instalment in the texturising series. We’ve covered the texturising products and tools you need in the previous posts. Today we are going to look at some great tips and advice on how to get hair texture right. Once you have all the right gear it’s important to know how to use it and get the most out of it. At the end of the day hair styling and texturising is all about practice and finding rhythms and techniques that work best for your hair and your lifestyle. However, I do have some styling secrets and texturising tips that I’d love to share to help you get
#1 Know Your Texture Type
Did you know that hair textures are divided into distinct categories? Yep, there are a bunch of elements that go into defining hair texture. Now, you can change your texture while you’re styling but it’s important to recognise your natural hair texture too. This way you can choose products and tools based on your texture type and you’ll have a better understanding of how different textures will wear and hold in your hair and the kinds of styles that suit your natural texture best.
Texture profiles are defined primarily by natural curl pattern. We have:
Type 1: Straight, smooth hair that has no curl pattern at all. Such hair is usually shinier because the natural oils and sebum from the scalp transfer all the way down the hair shaft. Type 1 hair is generally flat and when you’re texturising you’ll need a stronghold spray because this texture type doesn’t hold curls too well.
Type 2: Naturally wavy hair, where the strands form a soft, large “S” shape. Think natural, beachy waves. The tightness of the wave can vary from person to person, but such hair is usually not very frizzy and falls somewhere in the middle of the oiliness-dryness spectrum.
Type 3: Curly hair, where the strands form a tighter, smaller “S” shape. This is springier, more coiled hair but there’s still a lot of definition and noticeable difference between the ringlets. This kind of hair texture is prone to dryness since the natural oils don’t transfer down the hair shaft all that well.
Type 4: Extremely coiled, tight ringlets. This kind of hair usually forms a “mass” or “cloud” and lacks the individual characteristic of curls displayed by Type 3 hair. This texture type tends to be very dry and you need to moisturize thoroughly and often to take care of this hair.
Other factors like density, length, width and porosity also determine your texture profile. Take some time to study your hair or get professional typing done if you’re really into understanding how textures work and can be manipulated.
#2 Tricky Texture Transitions
I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge that hair texture changes. There’s always going to be a section of your hair that is smoother or healthier than others. Or conversely, there might be a part that is more damaged than the rest. Similarly, as the weather changes your hair is going to respond in bits and pieces. When you’re texture typing, don’t freak out if your hair isn’t a singular, homogenous type or you don’t know what to do with all the different things that are happening to your hair.
Transitions in texture are normal, and all you need to do is switch up your hair care routine and give your hair a little more TLC! In a few short days you’ll notice that you’re having an easier time with styling and your hair and the effects last longer, and that your hair looks and feels much better than before.
#3 Savvy Straightening
When you’re using a straightening iron do you tend to run the iron over your hair a couple of times? Most people like to do so to ensure that they get a really good finish and a really sleek, straight texture. However, this is a really common mistake because this why hair gets damaged as a result of heat styling. You can actually keep your hair healthy and use a straightening iron fairly often but if repeatedly apply intense heat to the same area without recovery time it’s only going to end up frying your hair.
A pro tip of mine is to make sure that you don’t go over a section more than once: you can get the same finish and texture if you work slowly and meticulously. Running over your hair with a flat iron again and again may seem satisfying but it also does it more damage. Just being careful and holding the flat iron over each section a moment longer will give you flawless results but will reduce the amount of heat and pressure applied to each segment.
#4 Sleep In Style
Spent a lot of time texturising your hair only to find that it’s all gone by the next day? One of the biggest enemies of hair texture is friction. Most people lose texture (natural or styled) when they’re sleeping: when your hair rubs against the pillowcase and bedspread through the night it’s vulnerable to friction. That’s why it’s usually one giant frizzy, fuzzy mess when you wake up. Silk pillowcases and bed sheets are really soft on the hair and won’t chaff the cuticle. You’ll be surprised to find that your texture will last well much longer with just this simple change in routine. And if silk linens aren’t your thing, just wrap a soft silken scarf around your hair when you sleep and you’ll have the same great results.
#5 Make Friends With Foam Rollers
One of the most popular and requested textures is curls: from the loosely wavy variety to the tightly coiled ringlets. A lot of people that I talk to use hot rollers and curling irons and it’s always surprising to me that more folks haven’t zeroed in on the awesome results you can get with foam rollers. Foam rollers are easy to use, they’re really comfortable to sleep with, you can reduce the amount of heat styling you indulge in and they give you really long-lasting curls. If you like to curl your hair often I seriously advise investing in foam rollers.
Just be sure to dampen your hair before you put in the rollers and tie a scarf around your head for comfort once you’re done. This will help you sleep better and you can wake up to gorgeous, springy curls.
#6 Terrycloth And Troubles
As I’ve already mentioned, one of the easiest ways of ruining natural texture or losing styled texture is to let friction and static electricity make your hair frizzy. Whether you want to enhance your natural texture or you’ve got a semi-permanent/ permanent treatment done (like perming, straightening, rebonding etc.) a key tip is to dry your hair with paper or microfiber towels. You could even use a soft, old T-shirt. The sooner you ditch the habit of drying your hair with terrycloth towels the better your hair texture will get.
#7 Boost, Don’t Reuse Products
If you’ve read the previous posts in the series you know how important the right texturising products are. When you’re styling your hair and you want the texture to last over a day it can be tempting to add more products every day. However, there is an easier- and healthier- way to maintain texture without weighing down your hair. Simply flip your hair upside down and run your fingers through it, concentrating on the roots. This will add some lift at the roots and will redistribute some of the accumulated product. Then, take some water in a spray bottle and spritz it all over your hair. You could also use a light-hold hairspray. Doing so will revive the products in your hair and will strengthen the texture.
I hope you enjoyed reading these tips. There’s no end to the things you can do with your hair: this advice will help you get healthier, happier textures. And remember, if you’re confused about your natural texture type or preferences there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s possible- and normal- to have a variety of natural hair textures. Identifying certain patterns does help in creating routines and choosing products and coming up with techniques that work well more often than not, but in no means should any of this limit the fun you have with your hair. Don’t label yourself: love yourself!