Natural Hair Problems: Defining Curls and Two-Strand Twists
So, you've decided to go natural or are new to natural hair. Wherever you are in your hair journey, you will find there's much more to taking your hair back to its natural state than just relaxing it and moving forward. If you're like most African-American women who spent most of their lives learning to care for relaxed hair, natural hair is a mystery and even more, what to use in natural hair is a mysterious, exciting, scary, and frustrating adventure. That's why the best advice for newer naturals is to try, try, and try products again.
As with personalities, no two heads of hair are alike, meaning the products one head can get away with using, another can't. That doesn't mean a product is no good. And if you're not into researching, mixing and matching an array of oils and butters to create a personalized hair care wardrobe, then you may want to heed this review of one styling product called As I Am.
From the makers of products like KeraCare, As I Am is a product line inspired by hair care specialist Dr. Ali Syed. Dr. Syed realized that although a product like KeraCare is used in salons, many natural-haired women wouldn't dare subject their hair to chemically-based products. So, Dr. Syed introduced As I Am for women who desire effective hair products solutions without the problem of damaging already fragile strands by using products not designed with the fragility of natural hair in mind.
Inconsistent and Unmanageable Hair Strands
For instance, hair on the crown is straight and is difficult to braid or twist with or without product (especially if short). People with a head full of hair with different patterns is not uncommon. For those who do, the issue of a product that works the varying patterns for one uniform after effect doesn't seem easily solvable. So, those of us, especially the natural hair newbies, struggling to find a home for our hair's future go on a product search tougher than Ed McMahon's job.
As I Am Twist Defining Cream
The cream is a miracle for difficult hair. Unless you're an obsessive perfectionist, this cream will do just fine taming those crazy straights, keeping them closed enough to give you the best twist-out style you'll probably ever see with a reasonably priced product. What you will definitely experience for your straight strands is a creamy (please feel free to use the Zohan voice here) silky smooth hold that gives your hair days of shine and softness. At the end of your twisted days, untwist that still soft mane for a few more days of an awesomely defined twist out. Yes, even the straight parts that may not have responded to other products are now nicely coiled with As I Am Twist Defining Cream.
Two Strand Twist using As I Am Twist Defining Cream
Twist Out Result
Comparison to Other Products
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Shea Moisture is a product line growing in popularity, being found in everyday places like Walgreens and Target. Similar to As I Am Twist Defining Cream, Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie is creamy and less messy. Unlike As I Am, the smoothie doesn't appear to have the victory over the more difficult parts of the hair, i.e., the straight hairs. Additionally, in comparison to As I Am, the cream is not silky in texture and doesn't leave the hair feeling soft and shiny for days after application. It is still a good product and works for defining curls.
Stray Hair That Won't Lay or Stay
You've gone to YouTube and found an array of videos showing you how to style and care for your natural hair only to find you're having the most difficult time getting your hair to comply. Your hair won't lie down with this product. It won't come together with that product. Another product is not in your budget. You're trying and trying but to no avail. You've tried flat twisting on wet and dry hair with gels, creams, and oils yet they never look fresh. Now what? Stop trying? Go to a professional? Not yet. Try this first.
As I Am Curling Jelly
Talk about saving grace. As I Am Curling Jelly is just that for the amateur trying to learn her own natural hair and how to style it. Not only does the curling jelly do wonders on stopping those stray hairs from running away from being styled, but the jelly also leaves the hair shiny and smooth for days after application. It probably works best on hair that is slightly damp or dry but it's not completely ineffective on wetter hair.
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Kinky Curly is a very popular natural hair product. If you've never tried the custard, the best description of its consistency can be compared to the "hair gel" scene from the movie There's Something About Mary. It's sticky, it's gooey, but it works (without giving you the stiff hair look of course). The custard's consistency leaves your hands extremely sticky and easy to attract dirt and other particles while you style your hair. As I Am's Curling Jelly is thinner than the custard, but thicker than gel. With one use, you should be pleasantly pleased with your styling progress, ease, and clean up.
When you're new to taking your hair back to its natural texture, you have to understand a few things quickly.
- You cannot waste your days comparing your hair to anyone else.
- You must give your hair time to tell you what it likes.
- Finding the right product is a test of enduring trial and error.
- What works for most, may not work for you at all.
- You cannot allow yourself to get caught up in the natural hair craze.
- Your hair loves you and will show its appreciation for you taking time to love it back.
Those things being said, styling natural hair can be fun, frustrating, and exciting. Most of all, it's a process. Just like everything in life that's a process, having someone to help you through can make a big difference in your success. As I Am is one of the few products actually designed to help you through a less strenuous process of learning to style your natural hair.
Have You Found a Great Styling Product?
My most difficult hair is on my crown, and every product I use is measured by its ability to control the seemingly uncontrollable top of my mane. Because of the straightness of the crown of my hair, flat twists are my secret to the best-defined curls but are impossible to do on short hair without product help. Until I tried As I Am, my flat twists never looked neat or fresh and were difficult to complete while keeping my parts straight. As I Am was a breath of fresh air after spending two years trying many products for styling my hair and finally doing a second big chop. The only warning I have is not mixing the product with any other, as doing so caused my hair to flake. As I Am promises no flaking, so mixing products doesn't give the product's promise fair advantage.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Keneesha M Hodge