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My 4c Hair Doesn’t Clump

Happy New Year 2023! lol in March 2023. It was a draft I wanted to post a long time ago, but here we are. I can’t believe I made it a year without getting box braids, a hairstyle I grew up with my entire life, a hairstyle I used to get at least once a year.

What is a signature hairstyle you grew up with and it’s hunting your entire adult life?

Don’t get me wrong, I love box braids, extensions, wigs and weaves. But I also love the versatility natural hair gives. It’s totally magic when we comb our hair strands out to create afro hair vibes. No one can tell me the feeling of empowerment going outside than myself. It doesn’t need to be set with more modern styling methods like rollers, flex rods or heat tools. I love that we can wear it in different size of curls and waves by using braiding, twisting and bantu knot methods. And we can just simply wear it protected without extensions by simply twisting and braiding our hair away.

But what about our curls?

Why, when it comes to tight curls, we don’t explore these options more? Why don’t we try to learn more about curl clumping, texture and curl size when it comes to our own hair texture? Many of us have mastered the arts of creating a curl and wave structure, but are totally failing to clump their hair strands naturally.

I feel we’ve been very successful in making the natural hair movement a global phenomenon, but have been sleeping and failing to encourage all textures to get to know their curls. We have side movements like the curly and wavy hair movements and feel misrepresented because we feel there’s no room for us. But let me tell you, you don’t have to be excluded.

Your hair is curly, no matter how you see and wear it.

And just like we see others not only being on their natural hair, but also curly hair journey, you can do it too, if it’s something that is bothering you all these years.

It makes a big impact on self-esteem if you know how to clump, define and hold your hair strands for days. Even if it doesn’t become your main hairstyle. But it also makes a big impact to see your curls for what it is and not to have false expectations.

The density, hair texture: thickness of hair strands (fine, medium, coarse), hair surface in relation to shine (spectrums of silky shiny to cottony low sheen and mat reflections), pattern (straight, zigzag waves, s-shapes, o-shapes) and curl size is a genetical trait. It can’t be altered, unless your hair is irreversible damaged by heat, chemically treated or your body went through sickness/deficiencies or cancer treatments and is growing out different than it was before.

So please don’t expect your hair to clump and dry like your favourite ad girl, influencer and friend. Now this is for my 4c and b naturalistas. Your can never get a silky shiny curl texture if it’s not your genetics. Your hair can’t clump into big or loose curls naturally.

It will always want to clump into pen to needle size springs.

It can look wavy when it’s clumped and stretched with help of holding ingredients, but will always want to shrink back up to 80% in high humidity. It’s the nature of curls, once moisture hits, the internal structure is moving and getting flexible. So please, your 4c hair can never turn into type 3 hair, unless you get a perm, which is a chemical.

When it comes to sharing my natural hair journey and my experience I’ve gathered with 4c curl clumping, I always see a counterpart movement. Naturals who deeply believe this hair type can’t clump naturally. My hair is either manipulated by force or it’s not 4c hair, because their hair is unable to clump. 15 years after me exploring the natural hair movement through hair boards like Long Hair Care Forum for the first time, this stereotype has survived.

How can these spiral hair strands be manipulated to do something unnatural?

Why can’t these 4c hair strands build clusters of hair strands and move into the same direction with the help of gels? Why can’t 4c ladies use styling methods to enhance and hold their curls, when the entire natural and curly hair movement is doing so? It completely doesn’t make sense.

4c or micro curls won’t just clump by themselves. If you’ve trained your hair to do something else for several years and you’ve always combed your hair out to keep it stretched in braids, it will take a lot of time to see those curls clumping. That’s why the Maximum Hydration Method was so popular back in the day.

With the frequent hair washes, detoxes and radical ban of moisture blocking products, these tiny hair strands started to clump and stay naturally.

We’re living in sulfate free, silicone free, mineral oil free, plant based and organic times of hair care brands. Everything is available and there’s no need to play mixtress in the kitchen, if it’s not your passion and hobby. But stop treating your hair like straight hair strands! I’m here for support and will continue to share my thoughts and views on these micro waves and corkscrew curls. If you’re here to not only start or relearn your natural hair journey, but you’re also here for your own individual curl journey, let’s connect and learn from each other!

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