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Nicole Ezeh: Tips For Styling 4B/4C Hair And Getting Perfect Results

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nicole ezeh_the first~ the bantu knot-out. the headline_bellanaija

That’s a picture of my natural hair. This was a bantu knot-out and I used only Eco Styler Gel for styling. Before we get started, I have 4b/4c hair like most Nigerians. I don’t live abroad, have never gone abroad, I don’t have a high-paying job yet, I jump in and out of Lagos buses and I actually make most of my stuff so I don’t spend much on products. All it gets is some tender-loving care from yours truly with organic kitchen ingredients.

Before some will start attacking me with stories of how stubborn their hair is and how it can never get soft and shiny, my hair never got relaxed when I was a kid no matter how much my mother tried. It was a comb-breaker, arm toner and got rejected by hair stylists also so much that my inexperienced mother had to be my stylist. My mates cried when they got into secondary school because they were asked to cut their hair. I cut my hair when I was in primary 5. It was solely my idea. I was fed up and my mother finally agreed to let me after years of pleading.

I was loosening my braids, it got tangled (as usual), I went into my mother’s room and got her scissors. She cut my hair off with the braids on (it was ghana braids). I got teased but I’ve always been comfortable in my skin and nobody will massage my cramped neck with Shea Butter (which was a rare commodity then) every two weeks after styling.

In June 2015, I couldn’t hold anyone’s or my hair strands together. My hand co-ordination was zero. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted that bonding time with my daughter where I can be her hair stylist. I felt I was going to depend on professional hair stylists all my life. Fast-forward to July 2016 and I had already mastered bantu knot-outs and perm rod sets. The secret? I was interested and I researched like a crazy person.

Naptural85

Naptural85

My university made me learn how to do that. I saw vloggers on YouTube styling their hair and I rearranged my thinking from “nne, this is impossible” to “I can do this.” It was the end of a deep insecurity of not being female enough (crazy, I know but I was a tomboy). My hand co-ordination went from 0-100 real quick. It’s very possible to style your own hair. All you need is time and patience. Don’t rush it.

I rocked my failed styles with pride for months before it became perfect. I’ve always been hopeless when it comes to anything hair-related so just know that if you are determined to, you can do it.

There is this widespread belief among Nigerian naturals that their twist-outs and protective styles in general cannot look as good as Naptural85‘s or Mini Marley‘s and basically the 3B/3C hair type clan. That is a lie! A huge fallacy! You see a YouTuber or anyone with 4C hair post a picture of her stretched style and a Nigerian confidently and boldly comments that it’s not her hair and that 4C hair can’t be like that.

4C naturals have formed the habit of watching only 3B/3C naturals on YouTube. They use a pinch of leave-in conditioner as a styler for their soft curls and you go ahead to use a pinch of leave-in for your coarse kinks. Of course, that’ll work. What do you hope to gain from them? Wash and go tips? Your focus should be on 4A-4C hair type YouTubers.

Mini Marley

Mini Marley

99% of Nigerian naturals have blatantly refused to wear a satin bonnet or scarf or even an ordinary silk church scarf to bed, deep condition or even moisturize and I’d be fine with it because I can’t force a grown woman to do anything but when they start reaping the fruits of their lack of effort, the complaints are just frustrating because I get to hear it and I’m expected to proffer solutions which is when it becomes my business.

They even go ahead and blame their natural hair and then the overly used phrase, “natural hair is not for everyone” becomes an unofficial anthem. How can your hair not be for you? If you outline the simple things they should do, they give you the excuse, “I don’t have strength jare.” Even if you can’t tie the scarf because it slips off, knot the ends around your pillow to make a pseudo satin pillowcase.

The Indians we see and admire their hair have devised means and ways to take care of their hair with herbs. Good hair doesn’t come about by casting a spell. This isn’t Merlin. If you don’t take care of your hair, it will keep breaking off, looking scraggly, frizzy, feeling dry and hard and boy, does that give the Nigerian natural hair community a bad reputation.

Natural hair does not magically treat itself. Love your hair and it will love you back. 4C hair can be shiny. I can attest to that. There is also nothing wrong with styling your hair in one protective style for three to six months. Perfect a style and move on to the next. Well, that is my modus operandi since I knew literally nothing about styling so I start from scratch. There is no rush, there is no destination in this journey. Calm down, breathe and enjoy your hair.

In my next article, I’ll be sharing tips on how to prepare your hair for styling as a second part of this article on tips for styling 4B/4C hair and getting perfect results. Preparations is just as important as the styling process so watch out for that!

 

18 Comments

  1. oma

    October 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

    We are waiting ….but sis, next time, minimize the shredding of your fellow women on their complaints about the energy it takes to manage natural hair or their inability to do so as well as some other naturalistas. Its not that serious, aiit?

    • Ify

      October 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      As in ehn. This is a very rude writeup.

  2. Naijatalk

    October 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Waiting mode activated

  3. MsChar

    October 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    As a 4b/c natural with midback length hair this chick needs to do us all a favour and rearrange her thinking about other women. Start by not generalising and making sweeping statements about a group of very diverse people.

    So you have achieved some small success and you now think it’s ok to be condescending to those that haven’t?

    Anyway To my fellow 4c naturalistas it is a learning curve. You will make mistakes, you will get it wrong, you will have setbacks, you may even give up. We all go through it. but when you finally get it right it will be liberating and you will have mastered a part of your self you may have thought you never could.

    Have patience, it won’t happen over night, it will be years in the making but keep at it. All the best

  4. Mrs chidukane

    October 23, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    @mschar send in your own tips abeg, I’m waiting for you both cos my hair is a disaster zone and I can’t do anything hair to save my life.

  5. Mahka

    October 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    If you want lushous, healthy,shiny hair, you have to do the work…I didn’t know nothing when I started but now am researching, learning n trying to practice at least. It’s important to do a lil work if you want hair like Naptural85; can’t be running to saloons all the time. DIY.

    Ps: did my ist Bantu knots, it took me 2hours n numbed fingers. Hope it turns out pretty cos I have a big reveal planned…lol.

  6. Ijs

    October 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I’m sure guys just read all this articles and be like waz all dis

  7. Nicole ezeh

    October 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    @ijs, I asked myself the same question. This is the intro of the article. I have no idea what BN’s plan is. I have absolutely no clue as to why I was not informed that the main body of the article was not to be published. I did not mean to sound rude either. I apologize. It was just a rant. I guess I will have to ask them why they published this incoherent piece after I waited for almost three weeks. My sincere apologies again.

    • Mahka

      October 23, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Wait! This is just intro, u say?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Hahahaha! BN can like to formulate drama for the clicks, ehnn….

      Anyway, sister Nky (see how I’ve Igbo-rized ya name)… me kwanu has pulled up a seat to join others in awaiting your f0llow-on feature. 🙂

  8. Annie

    October 23, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    She didn’t even share any tips as the heading suggested. U just came here to insult innocent sisters. I fell for the heading. Mtcheew

  9. editor

    October 24, 2016 at 1:34 am

    really? all that and she shared no tips? What a waste of time. if you are going to criticize, then at least provide real suggestion. What 4b bloggers should we be watching? Names?
    mchew.

    Rubbish

  10. poshilla

    October 24, 2016 at 10:53 am

    STUPID and RUDE write up!
    BN dis girl girl should stop writing here.and may she continue jumping danfo ! nonsense !!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 24, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      She’s explained, na. And even if she didn’t, why will you swear that kind of fate upon the young woman’s head? It’s never that serious, bikonu.

    • Wanderlust _Trekeffect?

      October 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Very tacky and trashy display, getting all worked up over nothing.

    • lol

      October 24, 2016 at 11:06 pm

      Lmao! Take it easy abeg
      I almost fell off my chair laughing

  11. tunmi

    October 26, 2016 at 2:26 am

    I actually like her approach. All the listed are comments that have been left on this same blog when it comes to natural hair.

  12. That-I-May-Fly

    October 26, 2016 at 10:24 am

    So where are the tips? You just yab people here patapata, no tips. Come back and do your job properly. And why do people write like they’re talking? Writing is an art, learn it.

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