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Natural Hair Typing (1a – 4a, 4b, 4c) – Helpful or Not?

Hair Type 4a 4b 4c Nigeria Kinky Coarse Natural Hair

With the advent of the natural hair community came the realization that rather than just the categories “natural hair” and “relaxed hair”, there was much more to be discovered under the natural hair category. While relaxed hair tends to have almost a uniform texture, natural hair could be very curly, very kinky, wavy, slightly straight and much more.

Little wonder that hair typing systems were developed to try and cover these differences in hair textures.  The hair typing system that is most popular is Andre Walker’s (Oprah Winfrey’s long-time hair stylist) method which depends on factors such as:

  • curl pattern (how tight or loose the curls are)
  • texture (coarse, medium, fine)
  • the shininess of the hair strand

Andre Walker’s hair typing method is available in his book, Andre Talks Hair. His hair typing system has provided us the oft-spoken about 1a – 4c hair types.  It is important to note that, he does not provide any guideline on 3c and 4c hair. It was unofficially added later by others who identified the gap in his hair typing system. Andre Walker’s Hair typing system chart below shows graphical representations of hair types. This helps so that one may determine where one lies within the categories. On the right-hand side of the chart, you will see that certain brands (not all available in Nigeria) are recommended for the each hair type.

hairtyping-system

Source

It needs to be pointed out that this hair typing method is not the only one available. If you do not find your hair type represented within Mr. Walker’s chart, you can try Fia’s Hair Typing System as it is viewed as an unofficial extension of the Andre Walker’s chart. The last method of note is the LOIS hair typing method. Reading up on these three hair typing systems may give more information on your hair type.

What is the importance of hair typing?

Pros

  • Hair regimens have been developed for various hair types.  While this may not work the same way for everyone with the same hair type, it is a more specific guide than most. For instance, it is a well-known fact that Nigerians typically have types 4a, 4b, and 4c hair. That means that most of our regimens are based on something that works for most of us.
  • Some hair product manufacturers make products specifically for a certain hair type.
  • For a newbie to the Natural Hair community, this can be a crash course in learning how best to treat your hair.
  • For the discerning user, it becomes obvious that one’s hair type may change over a course of time. Or that one does not have the same hair type consistently all over one’s head. 4c, 3a and 4b hair, for instance, may make up a whole head of hair.

Cons

  • It does not cover all one needs to understand about one’s hair type. For instance, porosity is not discussed.
  • It can not be used as a definite guide for individualized hair care. For example, it does not take into consideration the weather condition where one lives. For instance, a person living in Lagos, Nigeria where it is usually quite humid may need different advice from one that lives in Abuja, Nigeria where it is not as humid. As a matter of fact, Abuja can be considered to be much hotter and dryer.
  • Some people view hair typing as a political statement. There has been talk about Andre Walker’s hair typing being racially prejudiced because it places kinky hair at the bottom of the scale, making it (in some people’s view) appear to be the worst hair. He has denied this claim.

The last Con here is one of the reasons why a lot of people declare that they are unable to get onboard the hair typing boat.

To end, I would like to point out that Hair Typing is not an isolated thing. Apart from the hair types, skin types also have a scale called the Fitzpatrick scale which is a recognized research tool used by dermatologists looking into human skin pigmentation. Although you may not recognize this skin typing method, it is even the basis of something that a lot of us every day – emojis. Remember that there are now different shades so that racial diversity can be represented? Those shades are based on the Fitzpatrick scale.

Hopefully, after reading this post, you can determine for yourself if Natural Hair Typing is helpful or not.

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You and Your Health by Elizabeth Kafaru

Elizabeth Kafaru was a household name in Nigeria in the 1990s. This was because of her knowledge of healing the body with herbs. Many people followed her teachings with great results.

We offer you her second book, YOU AND YOUR HEALTH. This is a compilation of the articles she wrote for The Guardian from 1994 on healing with herbs.

Please note that we have limited copies and may not be able to restock.

Natural Nigerian™ Flax Seed Gel Twist & Curl Pudding Limited

Information concerning sale (the not so fine print):  This batch is texturally different from the one we usually sell. However, it works exactly the same way. Same great hold, ability to retain moisture and same great smell.   

Natural Nigerian™ Flax Seed Gel Twist & Curl Pudding is a lightweight formula made with generous amounts of Flax Seed Gel that provide maximum hold for hair styles. This scrumptious smelling pudding provides moisture and shine while lending itself to longer lasting hairstyles.

While this is a styling pudding, it leaves hair feeling softer and helps it stay moisturized for longer. A little goes a long way so just one tub will see you through a lot of styles.

Directions: Use for twists by applying a little amount to every twist. Achieve bouncy twist-outs by untwisting after a few days. Can also be used when for braiding, braid-outs and cornrows. For best results, use on dry hair. Can also be used on damp and wet hair.

For other styles, apply to hair and style as usual. It will hold the style once it is set. Works best for 4b – 4c hair.

Completely free of

  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals
  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde releasers
  • Synthethic Fragrances and Dyes

Ingredients: Linum Usitatissimum (Flax Seed) Gel, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Aqua, Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Benzyl Alcohol (and) Salicylic Acid (and) Glycerin (and) Sorbic Acid, D-Panthenol (Vitamin B5)

This product contains natural ingredients which may vary in color and consistency from batch to batch.

Benefits of eating Mangoes – Eat some today!

Mango eating benefit

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a H.U.G.E Mango lover. Probably came from spending Easters in my village (Osumenyi, kwenu!). That is prime Mango season so my siblings, cousins and I would spend hours in and around the massive tree just outside my grandfather’s house. Hours of just picking mangoes and eating mangoes. (more…)

Healing my skin from the inside and out

Brighter, Cleaner, Clearer Skin NigeriaI am feeling pretty proud of myself right now and so decided to write this post real quick. Forgive me if I ramble on a bit.

A few weeks ago, I had to tell myself the truth about my facial skin. It was congested, I had acne and rashes – two things I rarely ever experience. And lastly, my skin was not as bright as it used to be.  (more…)

Bathing Newborn Nigerian Babies

Traditional methods bathe a new Nigerian baby

Recently, while doing my Facebook rounds, I came upon a post by an African American who had posted pictures of her newborn being stretched, hung upside down and so on by a Chiropractor. The more I looked at those pictures, the more familiar the technique appeared to me.

  • Baby held upside down by her ankles.
  • Baby’s head pressed gently in a sort of massaging motion

(more…)

Natural Nigerian™ Herbal Baby Oil

Natural Nigerian™ Herbal Baby Oil is a blend of soothing and healing herbs infused in oil to keep baby’s skin smooth and healthy. massage oil onto moist skin to keep in moisture. Can be used for massages and for the cradle cap.

Red Acalypha has been used for years by Africans to maintain skin health of their babies and children. It has been used by several Nigerian mothers to clear common skin diseases.

Nettle, Calendula, and Chamomile are also known for their superior skin healing and conditioning properties. Together, they make Natural Nigerian™ Herbal Baby Oil an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing powerhouse.

These herbs are liberally used in the formulation of this herbal oil.

Coconut oil is also added to the impressive ingredient line up for its skin conditioning properties.

Directions:

To use, pour a little oil in the palm of your hand, rub both palms together and apply to baby’s skin, delicately. You can also use it after applying Natural Nigerian™ Baby Lotion With Red Acalypha and Nettle.

We know that your baby’s well-being is important to you, so this product has:

Guaranteed

  • No Mineral Oil
  • No Synthetic Fragrances

Ingredients

Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) oil, Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile) Oil, Acalypha Wilkesiana (Red Acalypha) Oil, Urtica Dioica (Stinging Nettle) Oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut Oil), d-alpha tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), Tea Tree Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil

Size: 50ml/1.7oz

Natural Nigerian™ Baby Lotion With Red Acalypha and Nettle

Natural Nigerian™ Herbal Baby Lotion with Red Acalypha and Nettle is a non-greasy lotion made from a blend of soothing and healing herbs. We tapped into our Nigerian traditional medical practices to bring you a product that is designed to keep baby’s skin smooth and healthy.

Want to know more about them? See below:

Red Acalypha has been used for years by Africans to maintain skin health of their babies and children. It has been used by several Nigerian mothers to clear common skin diseases. Nettle and Vervain are also known for their superior skin healing and conditioning properties. These herbs are liberally used in the formulation of this herbal lotion. We have also added export grade Shea Butter from a women’s co-op  to keep skin moisturized for longer. Coconut oil is also added to the impressive ingredient line up for its skin conditioning properties.

Please note that there is absolutely no smell/scent or aroma in this lotion. We did not want to use any essential oils as they may not be safe for all our Natural Nigerian babies.

Directions:

Place some lotion on your palms and massage into baby’s skin after a bath. Use liberally. It can be layered by using Natural Nigerian™ Herbal Baby Oil afterward.

Guaranteed

  • No Mineral Oils
  • No Synthetic Fragrances
  • 100% Natural Ingredients

Ingredients:-  Aqueous infusion of Acalypha Wilkesiana (Red Acalypha) and Urtica Dioica (Stinging Nettle) and Verbana Hastata (Vervain), Cocos nucifera (Coconut Oil), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Emulsifying Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol (and) Salicylic Acid (and) Glycerin (and) Sorbic Acid, Glycerin.

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