More Scalp than Hair: Styling Solutions for Fine &/or Thin Hair

Hey beauts!

I feel particularly close to what I have chosen to write about today. One of the things I remember not liking about being relaxed (apart from the scalp burns and hurt that came with retouching) was that my hair always laid so flat on my head. It just never had the kind of body that everyone else I know seemed to have. So for 3 years before I began my transition back to natural, I stopped using relaxers and began texturising my hair. It definitely made a difference, but still, styling my hair to my liking was always an issue. I just always felt like at certain times and from certain angles, I looked like I had no hair.

Apart from getting excited about having my real hair texture on my head, going back to natural for me, was a chance to rock a full head of hair. I had dreams, people, of walking around with a big ass afro that will block doorways. It was a no-brainer: natural hair = thick afro, right? WRONG!

It took me getting heat damage, combined with attempting mini twists to come to the realisation that, some of us have fine and/or thin hair. And I’m here to tell you that ain’t nothing wrong about that! Well, I’m here to tell this to you after spending a week sulking and searching for something that will tell me otherwise. AB is in complete disagreement that I fall in this category, but babe ain’t never seen my hair eye to eye. One day, I will sit down and she will attempt to install mini twists for me and then she’ll see what I’ve been talking about all this time. Luh you boo!

The thing is, when you begin your natural hair journey, chances are that you might not know that you have fine or low density hair until you attain a certain length and are on course to begin enjoying some hangtime. But fear not! There are ways to style your hair in order to create an illusion of volume.

DO…

1. Bantu Knot-outs

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This is number one on my list, because I have rocked this look a couple of times and it has fooled even me. There are two methods I know that can be used for bantu-knot outs. One is where you roll the hair tight between your fingers and then continue into the bantu knot. The other is where you start off with a twist and then roll the twist into a bantu knot. I have tried both methods and I very much prefer the look and definition that I got with the ‘twist first’ method. One reason why this is number one on my list is that unlike the other styles I will mention, you don’t necessarily have to separate the curls you get in order to achieve a volumised look. The style in itself automatically does that for you, and so more often than not, you could separate the curls a little bit and then fluff the roots with an afro pick and you are good to go.

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2. Flat Twist-Out

I am yet to try this out. However, while I have no personal testimony, I have seen the results on other people with similar hair. It looks great and will definitely be the next style I try out. The sort of results I like best are those where the end of the twist are either put in bantu knots or curled with perm rods. Jouelzy has a really good video tutorial that gives you a visual of what I mean.

3. Rod Sets

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If you can tell already, there is a pattern here. Most of the styles that create the illusion of volume for this hair type are styles where the hair is curled upon itself. So these are not styles that stretch the hair and show off length. Personally, I will take volume over length any day. I am currently rocking a rod set that I had done at a natural hair salon in NYC called Mixx Beauty Bar. Erica Watson, the stylist and owner of the salon, was my hero today and I shall dedicate another post to reviewing my experience here. The process of installing these rods by myself, at home, looks daunting to me. But I know that one day when I have enough time, I will try it out.

 

Can Do…

4. Braid-outs & Twist-outs

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Sometimes, you want to show off your length and say “to hell with scalpiness (or lack of body)”. I say go for it. But always always remember to separate your curls, carefully. Separating them will create that desired volumising effect.

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5. Loose Twists

For those with longer hair, you might want to give this a try. The rationale behind this is that the twists should be loose enough not to make your hair look scanty, thereby giving more body to each twist and indeed, to the entire head of hair.

 

6. Pompadours & Buns

Also for sisters with longer hair. Stretching by threading has been reported to be a great way to add volume to hair while also keeping it stretched. So your hair is stretched and you are looking for how to style and create that volume illusion? Go for a pompadour. Go for a bun.

Bun Tutorial

Pompadour tutorial

Do Not…

7. Mini Twists

I have attempted to do this twice and have abandoned them quarter of the way because they literally looked like thread. Unfortunately, I have no picture of my hair to show you, but I will allow you imagine by comparing a picture of AB’s mini twists (Up) to a picture of my bed-time ‘chunky’ twists (Down).

photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5) See what I mean?

 

8. Chunky Braid-outs & Twists-outs

The longer your hair, the easier it becomes to put your hair in chunky twists. However, this hair type cannot really enjoy the luxury of a chunky twist-out as is. What do I mean? Well you cannot just unravel your chunky twists and be on your merry way. You still have to separate those curls to enjoy the beauty of the twist out.

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This is a chunky braid-out on AB’s hair and as you can see, the curls are in tact with little or no curl separation done. This would not necessarily be the result on my hair.

 

And if all else fails…

9. Trusty Ol’ Shrunken Fro

Yup. Like I mentioned earlier, the longer the hair, the more apparent the texture/density. I find that I can always find solace in the loving arms of my shrunken fro (or even a combed out, or no-comb fro). You can wear it as a glorious halo above your head; pin up one side; as a fro-hawk; or even as an afro puff.

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So there you have it. Do you have fine and/or thin hair? What are your go-to styles? Any tips are welcome!

I hope all is well with you! Biko, you people should send some sun and warmth my way. I don tire for this oyinbo cold abeg.

Love all that is you today and always!

– Mee Mee

xx.

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For An Optimist, I Can Be Pretty Pessimistic

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Hellurrr!

As you know, I’m wearing Finger coils at the moment and I love them! This is a little funny because I was SO ready to give up on all of my three attempts. I started on Saturday as I watched Pocahontas. At the end of the movie, I hadn’t achieved much :/

Sunday, I loosened Saturday’s work because I wanted to wet my whole head. I figured spraying would be too much work when I could just rinse it. But guess what? My roommate made jollof rice and I ate too much and couldn’t achieve much after that.

My negative goggles were proper thick last weekend shaaaa! I just couldn’t see any good coming out of what I was doing. To my eyes, my coils were too poofy, too rough, not pretty. The hair itself was looking dull to me, like it wasn’t dark enough, like it had no shine. I was whining, wondering if all the stress was worth it, but my roommate kept encouraging me (thank you, F!!) So Monday I stayed home and finally finished the work.

On Tuesday when I woke up, I actually wasn’t sure I could make it to work (real vain, I know), but after a while, I decided I would risk it, pulling out my makeup bag for morale support. Who else does this? I don’t usually wear makeup to work, it’s much too hot! But I stepped into the light (literally), looked in the mirror, and saw that I didn’t NEED makeup to pick me up. My hair was cute, not bad at all for a first attempt, I was good to go! AND my hair was dark and lovely and shiny!

Up close

Yes indeed!

How did I not see that? I really wonder what was happening over the weekend!

I’m happy I kept going. One more style I like, one more style I’ve learnt to do!! Yay!

Today’s lesson, kids: Don’t let doubt and negativity hold you back from trying something new in life or hair. Don’t obsess about being perfect, just keep going, Keep Moving Forward!! 🙂

Yours truly was featured on Queen of Kinks over at NenoNatural this week! Please go check it out here, thank you 🙂

Love & Lots of Positivity,

AB

xx

And oh, just in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new page on the blog- Need Help? FAQs. I’d like to know your thoughts, please and thank you. 🙂

Styling Adventures: Finger Coils!

Hey guys!

Have you entered the Natural Nigerian Product Giveaway? If you haven’t, see this post.

Today I’m sharing my current hair style: Finger coils!

Simply put, a Finger coil is achieved by twirling and twirling a section of hair with, and round your finger. Stay with me.

What You NEED:

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  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Gel [I used Pink EcoStyler]
  • Wide tooth comb + Denman brush + Rat tail comb

I Also Used:

  • CeCees Curls Whipped Shea Butter
  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil (Sunny Isle) from The Kinky Apothecary. 

Considering how humid these parts are, I was advised by twitter curlfriend @PharmNikki, to avoid products with glycerine. Glycerine is a humectant, it draws moisture into your hair which is mostly a good thing, except when you’re trying to avoid frizz.

The only gel I have (Eco Styler) contains glycerine, so I didn’t want to use any of my humectant-packed leave-ins. My hair was freshly hydrated and well conditioned after Washday, so as I put the wet hair in sections, I sealed with the Whipped Shea Butter.

This style took me over 4 hours to do (I’m quite the snail it seems), so to do each section, I:

  • Undid the chunky twists
  • Sprayed water
  • Rubbed a little JBCO to aid detangling
  • Got to work.

The Main the Main: How To Do Your Coils

You need to see a video to really get it, so here’s this one from MyNaturalSistas:

For a coil to hold, it’s best to work on wet hair, with the aid of some styling gel.

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You are advised to detangle hair very very thoroughly before you get a-twirling, so that take-down isn’t a nightmare. Which was why I detangled in this order: Fingers, Wide-tooth comb, Denman brush and finally Tail comb. I’ll let you know if all the combing was worth it when I take this down.

Long story short: Wet hair- Apply Gel- Thoroughly detangle- Twirl.

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In other news, my hair isn't longer than it was in September :(

In other news, my hair isn’t longer than it was in September 😦

tayaaad.

tayaaad.

look at that belly well well! It won't be here in 3 months!!

look at that belly well well! It won’t be here in 3 months!!

Front

Front

Back/side

Back/side

Aerial view LOL from the top

Aerial view LOL from the top

Up close

Up close

Signing out with a pout. Peace.

Signing out with a pout. Peace!!

Maintenance

So far, I spritz with plain water when it feels dry. Then I rub oil on my palms and just spread it over to seal. And I tie it down with a scarf at night, to prevent the coils from taking awkward positions.

A Warning

Can you see how this style looks similar to dreadlocks? It’s very easy for hair to matt and start loc’ing in this state, so you are advised not to leave it in for long- i.e. not more than 2, 3 weeks.

Finger Coils, Are They Worth It?

Yes my roots are quite poofy but Lord knows I tried. Like I always say, A for Effort!! 🙂 I trust I’ll get better with time. This hair took a lot of time to do (5-6 hours in total), and I haven’t detangled like that in ages! I kept thinking about my comb avoidance policy, but if this lasts me 2 weeks, I think the effort would be well justified & I’d definitely do this again. *fingers crossed*

Why Finger Coils Rock

In addition to being cute, one thing to note about Finger Coils is that this style looks great on high and low density hair alike. I think it’s even an advantage with low density hair (that is, hair that isn’t very full). You could go see Black Zulu’s pretty Finger coils over at her blog here.

Styling short natural hair can be a conundrum. This style looks cute on all lengths, but it’s better for us shorties cos we don’t have as much hair to work with.

And I think Finger Coils look even cuter on Tapered hair cuts (this is you if your hair is shorter at the back and in the sides)

So luvvies. What do you think? Have you ever Finger coiled? Would you try? What style are you wearing right now?

Love,

AB

xx

P.S. You can get EcoStyler for 1000 naira from The Kinky Apothecary. Contact information for both the Apothecary and CeCees Curls is in the Where To Find Directory.