Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Game Changer: Resistant or Non-pliable Hair

So I decided to use an "edge gel" on my hairline to give my lock styling a more polished appearance.

Within two hours, my hairline was no longer "laid."  Wow!  So the "edge gel" is NO match for my resistant curl pattern.  So with that said, I formally introduce another category of hair to the "natural community" - resistant or non-resistant hair.  In Sisterlocks terminology, the category would be non-pliable or pliable hair respectively.

So you can be a Type 3 or even a Type 4c as far as curl pattern or texture is concerned, but whether or not your hair is resistant is going to be another factor in your hair regimen.

Resistance equals shrinkage.  Some people relate to the term "shrinkage" better than "resistance."

If your curl pattern's behavior is resistant to elongation (i.e. extremely quick shrinkage speeds), then the relaxers must work longer and harder to soften the hair strand to allow for permanent straightening. Upon successful relaxation of the resistant hair strands, the hair strands will undoubtedly be weaker than someone who gets their less resistant hair relaxed.

The curl pattern actually is less relevant because the resistance level becomes the factor in determining whether the "relaxer" takes as well.

So where am I going with this train of thought?  I strongly feel that those with extremely "resistant" hair should consider controlling their curl pattern by locking it versus using chemicals to control it.

Am I trying to get everyone to lock their hair?  NO.  Definitely not.  I have some clients with gorgeous, moderate to low resistant hair that are doing superb with relaxers.  They are growing long into mid-back lengths.  I would not dare encourage these clients to go natural because the relaxer systems WORK for them.

However, I have encountered and seen many Black women in public that should give up the relaxers.  It's not that they have "bad hair."  It's not that they don't "take care" of their hair.  It's not the relaxer system that they are using is inferior.  What it is . . . their hair needs a regimen that works with their curl pattern versus against it.  That regimen will more than likely be traditional locking of the hair by coiling or twisting.

I do NOT suggest interlocking or Sisterlock'ing resistant hair that falls into a Type 4 curl pattern.  I actually ran into yet another lady with long micro-locks.  She actually started twisting her hair in lieu of interlocking because (like me) the interlocking method with the tool was damaging her hair in her opinion.

On the flip side, I definitely have run into women who have spent a lot of money and time trying to coil and twist their hair, only to discover that their hair will NOT stay coiled.  These women would benefit from the interlocking method (such as Sisterlocks) for maintaining locks.

I hope that my message in this article is not sounding redundant, so let me suggest to those ready for a change:

1) Learn your curl pattern type, texture, resistance/pliability level.

2) Choose the path that works for your own unique hair type.

You may be asking - how do I learn my hair type, etc.?  My answer is simply this:

1) If your current hair care regimen IS working for you, then do NOT change a thing.  You do not need to discover your natural curl pattern unless you want to join the "curly" movement.

2) However, if your hair is constantly consuming your life and quality of life about every month trying to control the new growth, then discontinue what has NOT been working and consider protective styling for about two or three months.  This will allow your virgin hair to grow in at your root area.

3) When you achieve your two or three months of hot iron-free and chemical-free hair, start studying your new inch or inch and a half of new growth.  Study the elongation and shrinkage speeds. Study how it coils.

4) Decide on your new path for your hair before performing a "big chop."

Need help with this evaluation?  And you are in the Charlotte, NC area?  Contact me at Applebaum Salon.  (  We anticipate expansion within the coming year.

1 comment:

  1. Good news! The Affirm Control Normal relaxer works well to straighten resistant hair with being over-aggressive to the scalp. Please see separate blog review on the Control formula.