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FEATURES Aug 19 2012 10:40PM

How I Learned to Manage My Coils

by Cassidy Blackwell, http://naturalselectionblog.com/
I can hardly go a day without someone asking me, “How do you get your hair to curl like that?!” or “Are those comb coils?” or “You must have spent a lot of time doing teeny twists to do that, didn’t you?”
The fact is, that this is how my hair just grows.  There are many people out there who believe that you must alter or change your natural curl pattern to wear it loose, but I prefer to work with and wear my naturally existing texture.  When I first went natural, I too thought that I had to elongate and reform my texture so wore two strand twists or a twist out almost every single day.  While it was a fun look, I actually never knew my true curl pattern after doing my Big Chop.  After a few months of this, I was finally fed up with the rigorous twisting and retwisting.  It became, not only time consuming, but also expensive to lacquer on styling products every night.  So I decided to stop. 
I turned to the internet to learn how to style a wash’n’go.  While it’s a seemingly simple technique, the key is to find the products and wash’n’go routine that enhances your unique texture.  At first, I was lost and my hair was more hard and helmet-like than loose and free.  Finally after months of experimenting and testing, I coaxed my curl pattern to come out and show itself! 
I discovered that the key to my coils was to train them to act like, well, my coils.  All of the twisting and experimenting with different styles was actually pulling apart my existing fragile coils.  The more I left my hair alone to be it’s own natural texture, the more my curls sprung back to life and retained their unique pattern. 
I learned how to encourage my coils to form by using deep conditioners to infuse moisture into my hair, allowing them to retain a curl pattern more similar to what my hair looks like when it is wet.  I learned than combing and detangling destroyed my curl pattern, so I altered my detangling techniques and frequency.  Most importantly, I stopped doing twist outs and other curl-pattern altering styling techniques because in favor of letting my coils form themselves.
If you want to work to encourage your natural texture, here are a few suggestions:
·      Take a break from heavy routines of curl-pattern manipulating styles such as twisting and braiding.  Give yourself a good three to four wash cycles to see what emerges!
·      Deep condition at least once a week.  The increased hydration will help to enhance your texture.
·      Trim your ends.  Damaged and frayed ends are not doing your coils any good, so get rid of ‘em!
·      Experiment with detangling.  Some people’s curl patterns are encouraged by using combs and brushes, while others’ are broken up by them.  Play around and see how your hair reacts to these tools.
·      Drink water.  Lots of it.  And then some more.  Remember that hydrated hair comes from within, so make sure to drink plenty of water each and every day!


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