From Shaving My Head to Loving My Hair: a 4c Love Story - Pretty Real

From Shaving My Head to Loving My Hair: a 4c Love Story

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 After Bantu Knots of coarse and thick 4c Hair with SheaMoisture
I often felt ugly. My hair was short, what I would've called "nappy," and didn't look like any of my friends' hair. Over the years I tried relaxing it, braiding it, a jeri curl (long after they were in style), weaves... you name it. My fall back was relaxing my hair- using expensive and painful chemicals to break down my curls and make my hair straight. Then, I'd love my hair... for about 2 weeks. The next 4 weeks were spent waiting until I could straighten it again. That's no way to live, people. The day I decided to learn to love my natural 4c curls, was nothing short of life changing and I'm not being dramatic. My first attempts at researching great products for extremely coarse 4c natural hair led me straight to SheaMoisture. 

SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil Products at Family Dollar

I use SheaMoisture often but hadn't tried their Red Palm & Cocoa Butter line. Purchasing the products at Family Dollar saved me money and was convenient. It's quick to run in and out without getting stuck in the box store maze. Did you know you can get all the latest beauty and personal care products at Family Dollar? I used to think the products were different- like discount versions. But they're not. They're the same quality beauty products you buy elsewhere, just for less cash. You can even use Family Dollar Smart Coupons to save even more.

SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil Product Review (for 4c Hair!)

Embracing My Natural Curls
The thing I really like about SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter products is that they are made for my hair type. One of the most freeing things about embracing my natural 4c hair is using products formulated to enhance my natural curls, rather than products meant to suppress them. The SheaMoisture red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Hi-Slip Detangling shampoo worked well on my hair. It's sulfate and paraben free and infused with oils and vitamins. The SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Leave-in or Rinse-out Conditioner made it easier to comb through my super tight 4c curls- no easy feat. I also love that you can leave it in or rinse it out so there's no need to buy two separate conditioners. 
SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil Product Review (for 4c Hair!)

Now What?
When my hair started growing back after my big chop, I panicked. The fact that I couldn't just throw my hair in a ponytail or braid, stressed me out. I was tempted to revert back to what was familiar with but I knew I'd regret it. I had to devise a plan! 

From Shaving My Head to Loving My Hair: a 4c Love Story

Soon I discovered Bantu knots and twist out styles-- styles I can wear for a week or two at a time. Enter SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Cocoa Butter Curl Stretch Pudding. After washing and conditioning my hair, I used this product to do a flat twist on my 4c hair. It's a light hold so it's not sticky or stiff like a gel but still smooths the cuticle. My one complaint was that I did experience some flakes once my hair dried. I remedied this by rubbing my hands with oil and then lightly rubbing them over my hair. The SheaMoisture products left my hair feeling soft which I loved. You can see how a flat twist out really looks on thick and coarse 4c hair in the collage below. And you can see what it looked like after Bantu knots in the final image.
Twist out on coarse 4c hair with SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil products

Getting my daily routine down was also important (and something I'm still working on). I typically don't look for stretching products, but as my hair has grown since my big chop, I've been amazed how much it shrinks over the course of the day. When used as part of a hairstyle, it definitely helped to minimize natural shrinkage. Aside from using it in my twist out, I often use it in the morning as part of my daily routine- using the LCO method. I'll spritz my hair with water (liquid), then use the SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Coca Butter Curl Stretch Pudding (cream) to define my curls, and then rub my hands over it with oil. When I want a bit of lift, I simply rub my hands over my hair in a circular motion and then lift with a pick. Raking the SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil & Coca Butter Curl Stretch Pudding through my hair with my fingers and then taking the steps above is a quick way to refresh my hair without a full wash. Figuring out a 'system' with SheaMoisture products has been crucial to my natural hair journey.

Twist out on coarse 4c hair with SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil products

I Am Not My Hair (and neither are you)
I'll end with this- learning to love your natural hair takes time. I still appreciate straightened hair and sometimes miss it. But the ability to feel beautiful wearing the curly hair that naturally grows from my scalp is so freeing. If you're thinking about embracing your natural beauty- whether your curls, your hair color, your curves--whatever, know that it takes time to learn to love that version of yourself. I grew up feeling like I had "bad" hair. To this day, I hold my breath sitting in a new stylist's chair waiting for her to tell me how coarse or unruly my hair is. Waiting for her to notice breakage. Waiting for her to confirm that I have bad hair. During the first visit to one salon, weeks past my relaxer "due date" and before straightening my hair, the stylist said, "You have beautiful hair." My eyes filled with tears. For years I told myself a story that wasn't true and it takes time to undo that. So be patient with yourself. Try products like SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil Shampoo & Cocoa Butter Hi-Slip Detangling Shampoo and Leave-in or Rinse out conditioner- products that enhance your natural beauty- and be encouraged. This is beauty. And you are not your hair. 
Bantu Knots on coarse 4c hair with SheaMoisture Red Palm Oil products

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  1. Hi Tiffany, Thank you for sharing your story it is Beautiful and helpful.
    Janice Perkins

  2. well... I just fell down a bit of a rabbit hole about hair typing which was kind of fascinating! Thanks! Why are we all so inclined to not like what we have especially when it comes to hair? *sigh* Yours looks great!

  3. Oh my gosh, I love this! As someone struggling to embrace my graying 2b hair, I needed to hear this today. I LOVE your look - it's just beautiful!