Afro Care 101:
Those of us with Afro hair have one thing in common - Afro Fear - that "thing" you feel in the pit of your stomach at just the thought of wearing your hair in its natural state.
Every other person on earth wears their hair as-is without a second thought. Why are we the only ones who cannot? It's because they have had centuries of undisturbed development and every tool needed always widely available. But we lost our cultural identity and home, then personal care freedom, hair care knowledge and access to tools - THAT was the problem. And continuing to try to use their widely available tools not meant for our hair texture is a huge problem. No wonder we are frustrated. Imagine if the table was turned and our gravity defying lush hair with tiny coils was the standard. Straight and wavy haired folks would be frustrated too.
Afro Fear is our culture's last self-actualizing battle. This fear is the lynch pin embedded deep within our Colorism issues that interferes with the esteem of children, women and men alike, subtly and overtly, consciously and unconsciously, 24/7.
Fears of ridicule and prejudice due to centuries of social grooming coupled with a lack of HowTo knowledge is why we hide our hair, insist on suppressing our coils and wear other-hair as hair styling options - because we are convinced Afro Care is too problematic, too overwhelming and the texture is unattractive. We all carry some level of this burden as an unfortunate & unnecessary anchor on our lives.
My hair journey was no different. But when I started my natural hair journey in 2008 and looked for help there was nothing online and maybe 6 black women on YT attempting natural hair videos. But back then the content wasn't like today. No one was doing it for clout or profit, they were just hobby vlogging and all had "good hair." I don't use that term anymore because I now know my hair is just as good - it just needed different care techniques & tools.
But one woman stood out to me. She had lush jet black hair, just below the shoulder, full sheen with well-defined coils (I wish I remembered her name) and she said her hair type was 4B/C, aka not the "good" stuff. It was hard to believe because I never saw "nappy hair" look like that (I don't use that term anymore either. I deem it the other N-word) so her hair also seemed unattainable. But the beauty of her hair became my hair muse. If nothing else I wanted the same mental ease about my hair too. So I watched all the women, asked questions, tried their methods, failed constantly and almost gave up a few times, but I was determined to figure it out anyway. And I did - eventually.
Once I let go of passed down improvised habits, methods and tools, and resisted my hoodwinked brain, my regimen eased, my hair improved and negative feelings about my Afro diminished. By sharing my ups and downs and eureka moments along the way, I was pleasantly surprised to see ALL positive feedback from women and men who tried my methods with success. And that success gave them confidence to continue. This confirmed my methods were not a fluke nor something that only worked for me. It was the key to the removal of that fear lynch pin for all Afro heads seeking natural hair freedom too.
howto use your hands to groom hair step by step
*fingers provide better control, less breakage
*combs destroy 4B/C definition
what it is & what its not
*aka daily conditioning/grooming phase
*the key to hydrated, defined coils
The good news is with proper HowTo knowledge Afro hair is not only easy to care for - yes I said EASY - it virtually costs nothing in time & money to achieve healthy, hydrated, well-defined Afro coils - even for Afro hair types typically deemed impossible.
More good news: With the money you will save per month/year embracing your natural hair, you could buy a new car, afford better housing, fund education or take a real vacation - just think about that.
TACKLING AFRO KNOTS
proper detangling techniques
*knots are caused by improper detangling
*detangling is best during "cowashing" phase
Skeptical? Of course you are. That fear doesn't go away overnight. It's the hardest part. But it does go away, esp when you see your hair has a curl pattern too. But that "thing" will creep in at times, resisting the new methods with whispers like "... I can't do that ... my hair is different ... I'll just wear a wig until ... I need a texturizer..." This is a totally normal part of the process. Just don't fall for it and if you do, don't dwell in the setbacks. Learn from it and start again. Recognize it's all part of breaking the chains of "fear."
In the first two years of my transition that "thing" tested me too and I relapsed into old habits often, only to kick myself afterwards for not trusting my progress. But that was ok too in the end because it confirmed fears and old habits only caused problems and my hair rebounded when I returned to the right track.
You know the history, you know your DNA isn't a mistake, so start there. Then stop trip'n' on the good vs bad rhetoric and stop self-sabotaging. Saying what won't work for you without even trying, especially if you haven't seen your natural hair since you were a kid nor ever had an occasion to care for it yourself is self-sabotaging.
The fear is like a bad dream. Just always remember it isn't reality. Be encouraged, as I am, to see so many more of us today sporting their Afro hair, whether perfected or not, at least trying to let that fear go. You are not alone. And help is only a key stoke away...
When you get 100% clear about the origins of the fear and are 100% willing to embrace new, proper techniques & let go of well-meaning yet improper practices, your natural Afro hair is guaranteed to THRIVE. My Afro Care methods are doable, practical techniques & regimens anyone can apply, anywhere, on any budget. Stay consistent and you won't be disappointed. Soft, well-defined, easy-to-manage Afro coils is the prize.
SHAMPOOING & CONDITIONING GUIDE
oldie but goody in-shower demos with short hair
*birth of the fingercombing technique
Check out these
(( No affiliation, just a customer ))
TRUE Products Laundry Detergent
LIVE Brand Alkaline Water
YOUR HAIR ISN'T THE PROBLEM
NEGATIVE SOCIAL GROOMING & BAD TECHNIQUES IS THE PROBLEM
HEALTHY AFRO HAIR GROWS FAST AND AS LONG AS YOU DESIRE
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "BAD HAIR"
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "NATURAL HAIR ISN'T PROFESSIONAL"
AND THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "NATURAL HAIR DOESN'T SUIT ME"
AFRO HAIR IS NATURAL BEAUTY TOO
The last two proclamations are completely legitimate concerns. How do you style an Afro beyond a simple 'puff'? That's why I created sprAngz. I started designing and developing tools and accessories specifically for that concern because I had them too. And I made a conscious decision to never design with any intention to "tame" my Afro, but to enhance it and work with its unique characteristics.
Hair care is not my profession - problem solving and design development is. So figuring out what Afro hair really needed evolved naturally out of my skill set and needing to resolve the pitfalls for my own hair. And the positive impact sharing my methods had on others drove the passion to continue and led to building this company. If someone bet me I'd be here 10+ years later, after I cut the last few inches of relaxer and fought back tears most days... life is truly mysterious sometimes.
Whether you are newly natural, transitioning, natural but struggle with a few issues, have no idea where to start or scared to death to try - sprAngz is here to help. I won't just tell you "do this, do that," I'll tell you why. I'll explain why your regimen is problematic and how to fix it. I'll help you work through any mental blocks and discover where it comes from so you can move forward with clarity at your own pace.
sprAngz will launch Afro Care 101 Forum in 2020
The Afro Care 101 Forum will be interactive so you can watch and/or join in, from Q&A symposiums to HowTo Demos via private client sessions. I've been asked often if I will eventually continue my YouTube channel or start a Blog and I decided a taped Live Forum would encompass the best of both worlds and be far more inclusive and info friendly.
I am looking forward to starting this Forum because my time away from vlogging has encouraged many to share my methods (happy to see this) but many have shared them as their own methods (without giving me credit) and worse of all some gave incorrect accompanying information (thank god they didn't mix me with that ish). So the Forum will also be an opportunity for me to correct any misguidance you may have picked up on your natural hair journey.
In the meantime, please be patient (I am only one person after all :-) and use the HowTo videos below as a starting guide. Although these videos were made a few years ago, the information is still 100% viable and is what I still do to this day. Also feel free to browse/watch the archives of videos on the YouTube channel as well. Watch, learn, take notes and don't be afraid to ask questions as often as needed - its the main reason I do this - so don't be shy.
And I know the dates on the last SM posts are really old... please ignore that and add sprAngz anyway because I'll be back very soon!
Afro Care Specialist & sprAngz Creator/Owner