By Hadassah Agbaps - July 13, 2020

I've mastered the art of being unbothered with my natural hair. 

Don't get me wrong, it isn't the easiest hair to live with. 
The pictures on my Instagram doesn't fully explain my reality. 
Thus, this post is an insight into what living with my fine type 4 natural hair is like.

🌼My hair is soft to touch. 

This is a good thing in most naturalistas' book.
The reality hair feels soft because my strands are thin (fine textured). 
My porosity is high and my hair can't withstand styling. 

For this reason, my IG feed does not show a lot of styles....and I'm still wondering why I started a YouTube channel sef.
It may be boring but it's either I accept that or deal with breakage. So, I focus more on hair health.

🌼. My scalp easily gets inflammed...thanks to allergies 🙄. 

The wrong ingredient and my hair would fall out. It's scary!

I inherited this from my mother's side of the family. It would have been a recessive trait which I may not have inherited if only my dad didn't also have allergies.

 This is why it bugs me when salons put products into unlabeled bottles and why I'm so fascinated with ingredient lists. I need to avoid any triggers. 
This is my reality. 

🌼My hair is light and fluffy.

 Some people will say, 'Oh that's great!'.... but it isn't so great when I see my scalp at the same time I'm watching naturalistas with thicker hair rock big twist outs!

The good thing though is I don't have a lot of hair to handle. It's easy to slick down and it absorbs products quickly (high porosity things). 

Nigerian type 4 natural hair African threading
Can all your hair be packed into a bun like this? See how small the base of the bun is. That's the magic of fine natural hair.

🌼 My hair grows slowly. 

My sisters tease me a lot about this 😂 but you would never believe this reality because my hair is long. 
I grew it by focusing on retaining length rather than trying to speed up my growth rate.
 It's a longer process but "it doesn't matter how you start, how long you take but if you get there". 

🌼My hair gets dry easily. 

Again, it's all back to the fine textured, high porosity thingy. 
If I use heavy products, it's difficult for my hair to absorb moisture. This is why I use a light hand when applying butters.

 If I use light products, my hair absorbs it like a sponge and asks for more.

So I have to maintain a sweet point between heavy products and light products when trying to moisturise my hair. Most times, I just settle for lotions.
This method has also helped my hair retain moisture better.

🌼 My hair reverts quickly 

Same reason as above. Strands and porosity. 
This is why I don't consider twistouts, braidouts etc as protective styles.
What's protective about a style that will revert as soon as I step out the door?
What's protective about a style I will have to redo every night?
I'm really happy for those who can live in twistouts, braidouts, bantu knot outs must be nice.

🌼My hair tangles so easily. 

...and not because I need a trim!
It does this because my strands are fine and there's a lot of it!
For this reason, I can't afford the 'luxury of an afro'. I need to keep my ends organized phone charger cables.
I do this by keeping my hair in twists or in a wash'n'go. Twists and the gel cast keep my coils in place.Left on their own, they form knots and tangles.
Stretching also help prevent tangling BUT since my hair reverts quickly, it means I would be manipulating my hair often to keep it stretched.
Also, remember my strands are fine....this means more breakage due to more manipulation. 
A real catch 22 situation right???
To avoid stress, I just embrace my shrinkage. 

Natural nigerian with long type 4 natural hair
In this picture, my hair was stretched in a braid out. By evening, it had shrunk up to chin length. Is this what I'll be doing everyday biko?

I could go on and on.

This post is not about me complaining. 
It's about me letting you in to see that my hair and I aren't perfect by the general natural hair community standards. 

As someone who has been natural all her life, my best advice when it comes to caring for your hair is:

Stick with what works for your hair in terms of products, styling and regimen. 
Also, your hair does not need to be like anyone else's but YOURS. 
The little clips on IG or YouTube never tells the whole story.

🌈 So let's get real....what are the realities of caring for your hair?

P.S. If you need help figuring out how to work with your hair so you can achieve your hair goals, you can chat with me on WhatsApp here.

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