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How to Style Nappy Hair

Updated on July 1, 2014

How To Style Nappy Hair

Ok did I say Nappy? Well really there is Nappy
and then there is NAPPY!!!happyandnappy

But for the most part our hair is manageable to the point of making it presentable.

As African Americans our genetic makeup can have an effect on the type of hair we develop. When we are babies we are born with soft, straight or sometimes curly hair. Over time and with exposure to harsh chemicals and heat, our hair may become dryer, and more brittle. The term "nappy" has usually been addressed with negative connotations but really all it means is tightly coiled hair. This is hair of strength, hair to be proud of. There are so many things you can do with our hair which can make other people jealous. The fantastic, unique and creative designs that "nappy hair" can produce are amazing. The styling techniques are endless from braids, to dreads, to twists, afros and so much more. Learn how to style nappy hair using the following techniques.

Living with Natural Hair

Hard, Nappy, Kinky, Woolly, whatever you want to call it, our tightly coiled hair is wonderful.

Even in today's society, african american people are still facing challenges in the workplace on what is "acceptable" as a hairstyle. Companies are introducing policies on what they consider tolerable and what is considered extreme.

It was hard at first breaking the cycle of imitating European Society. The long silky flowing hair that splashed over the covers of all magazines, the dolls we were given to play with, the beautiful models on the runway tossing their hair from side to side. I had to learn to love what the creator had given me and learn to love myself, just the way I am.

My hair has been natural since 2000 and I couldn't be happier. At first it was hard trying to comb out my dry, tough, hair and very time consuming.

I felt like

some days. As time went by it became easier and easier and I found new methods to cope with some of the challenges I was facing.

Finding Hair Products

I love wearing my hair natural but it is so difficult to find the products that I want here in Vancouver, BC. The products are limited and if you do find what you want it is usually very expensive. I usually source out my hair products at the Sallys Beauty Supply store in Bellingham Washington which is about 1 hr away from home or I buy my products on amazon and have them sent to my USA postal box which is right at the Canadian and American border crossing 45 minutes from home.

Funny Hair Video


Let me ask you a question...

In your daily routine, what do you pay the most attention to?

Your hair?Nails?Skin?Teeth?

You should be giving great care to all these areas and when it comes to your hair you need to treat it just as well as you would anything else you take with great care. That means stop brushing it with a coarse brush, combing with a fine tooth comb, and fighting with your hair pulling it out strand by strand. Your hair does grow about 1/2 inch a month but you probably don't notice because you are busy breaking it off by drying it out with heat, harsh chemicals, or pulling it out in strands with your hair brush or comb.

Be gentle with your hair, love it and care for it.

If you braid your hair don't make it too tight. You may end up suffering from thinning and breaking hair resulting in traction alopecia.

Comb it with a wide tooth comb when it is wet or well moisturized. Pay attention to the ends of your hair shaft and give it good moisture. Give your scalp a nice massage regularly. Eat healthy foods and exercise daily.

You will be amazed what will happen when you treat yourself well from the inside out and give your hair a chance. I never thought my hair would grow but with the right care you will see the results very quickly.

The Truth about Lye

Many household products contain lye, the chemical sodium hydroxide. Lye is a caustic, alkaline chemical.Lye is used in products such as drain cleaner, laundry detergent,soap and pool chemicals. Many people who receive chemical relaxer treatment usually suffer from one of the following:

Hair Breakage

Hair Thinning

Scalp Irritation

Lack of Hair Growth

Scalp burns


Lung Irritation

Nowadays you can find relaxers labeled as "no-lye" conditioners. The lye is replaced with a chemical called Guanidine Hydroxide. This label can be misleading to some consumers. There are still strong chemicals applied to change the molecular structure of your hair.

Check here for more information on toxic products

What is in your products?

Find out how toxic the products you ingest, put on your hair, face, and brush your teeth with, really are. See example below.

Chris Rock Movie-"Good Hair"

Are You Going To Watch Chris Rock's Movie "Good Hair"? What are your thoughts about the movie?

Yes I will watch it

Yes I will watch it

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    • AskPat 4 years ago

      I saw the movie and fully support it.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      saw it and thought it was very informative and well done

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I saw it and LOVED it. I then chose to go natural a few months later. It's been a little over a year now. I'm so happy and free. It's hard styling sometimes. I'm getting micro braids for growth in a couple of weeks. My edges never break. I was made beautiful. God made no error with my healthy hair. No one will ever dictate beauty to me again.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      i love black hair

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      good hair is the hair you are born with

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      well i hope the movie is good and tells u more things about hair. my hair gets on my nerve and i can't figure out anything 2 do with it.....................

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      i was just about 2 get a relaxer the otha day...2

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      muy muy interesante

    • Baricus701 7 years ago

      The movie was actually very informative.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      i saw. had me lls!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      I have seen it. It is a great eye opener for those who want to put harsh chemicals in there hair and the huge price to pay to look like other people.

    • Midnytefire LM 7 years ago

      I hope that will happen for you Marlington. You will love natural hair once you get used to it.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      Haven't seen it, but I think it would open up my mother's eyes.

      And she would hopefully let me go natural.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      yea sure but i've never heard of it until recently :S :P

    No I would never support this movie

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      • VspaBotanicals 5 years ago


      • otherlleft 6 years ago

        As soon as I hear Chris Rock's distinctive whine, I start casting about for an ice pick with which to puncture my eardrums. Sure there's a better spokesmodel for this hair type?

      Removing Relaxer From Your Hair

      It is not easy to remove relaxer from your hair. When the hair is chemically processed the bonds in the hair are destroyed. The best way to renew your hair to it's natural state is to cut off the relaxed portion. Sometime people are more comfortable cutting a little bit at a time until their hair is at their desired length. Just think of how good it will be to have no more scalp burns, no more balding, and no more double textured hair.

      Tip#1-Use a good shampoo and conditioner. Try a hydrating shampoo. Avoid shampoos that contain harsh ingredients such as those with alcohol. Use a deep conditioner at least once a month. Washing your hair every week or 10 days should suffice. Anything less will make your hair dry and brittle.

      Tip#2-Comb your hair while it is still moist.Use an Afro Pick or a large plastic comb. I found that saved me lots of time.

      Tip#3-Cover your hair with a silk scarf at night and cover your head with a shower cap when you take a bath or shower.

      Tip#4-Stop using grease. Grease clogs your pores and stunts hair growth. Avoid products that contain mineral oil or petroleum. Coconut oil or shea butter is great for moisturizing the scalp.

      Tip#5-Steam Treat your hair with a good conditioning cap. A heat cap is good for deep conditioning your hair and restoring damaged hair.

      Nappy Hair Styles-5 Ways to Style Natural Hair

      There are so many ways you can style hair in its natural state but the most common styles without the use of a relaxer are:






      Each style can give you a unique look and assist in managing and maintaining your natural hair. Nappy hair styles can be beautiful, because we are beautiful.

      Natural Hair Representation In Society

      What Are Your Thoughts On Natural Hair

      I love my natural hair and wear it proudly

      I love my natural hair and wear it proudly

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        • AskPat 4 years ago

          I absolutely love my natural hair. I am happy to be nappy and no, nappy is not a bad word.

        • VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

          I think natural hair is beautiful

        • aoinspire 5 years ago

          I've been natural twice now and this time I know I won't be relaxing again.

        • anonymous 5 years ago

          Love natural hair, have natural hair

        • anonymous 5 years ago

          Going natural was the best thing I ever did for my hair. I love the way my hair feels and looks. I sorry it took me so long to appreciate my natural hair texture.

        • anonymous 5 years ago

          Of course our hair is beautiful, but why does nappy hair have to be soooo hard to manage!!! It is not only rough, but it takes FOREVER AND A YEAR to grow. It wouldn't be such an issue if it grew faster!!!

        • mich1908 6 years ago

          Being Asian I don't have nappy hair but I don't have completely straight hair either. It's part frizzy and wavy. I've straighten them numerous times but now I just do hair treatment regularly and hope for the best! No, actually having a good hairdo helps a lot.

        • anonymous 6 years ago

          natural hair is a beautiful thing

        • naturallylonghair 7 years ago

          I had relaxers ever since I was a child. Then I went natural with Sisterlocks five years ago and I love it, love it, love it! I can do pretty much every thing I did with my relaxed hair with a lot less work. So no worries about looking professional at work either. I no longer have bad hair days and I can walk in the rain without fear! :-) I've always had long hair (right below shoulders), but Sisterlocks has made my hair longer than ever! For the first time, I had to get a hair cut because my hair was TOO LONG! :-D Imagine that?!

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          I am only 12 but I have already made the choice that I should go natural. I have been getting perms since I was 4 and they always leave me with burns, blisters,and breakage. My mother thinks it's a bad idea because my napps were really hard to manage,but she also said that she is proud of me for wanting to embrace this God-given gift of ours. I am transitioning right now and I love how my tiny coils feel and look! I used to love having straight hair, but now I envy those who have healthy nappy hair. Soon, I will be among those black women keep this look close to their hearts as it connects us to our past in so many ways.

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          I love and will always love my hair.I can put my hair into lots of styles that many people can't do because they don't have the type of hair black ladies have.I have to live with it so why not love it. sometimes I do tend to relax my hair but sometimes I love the way it look natural.

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          I have no idea of how to style my natural hair, i am getting a perm in January but people keep telling me " NO DON'T DO IT, YOU'LL LOSE ALL YOUR HAIR!! " but i hav no idea if tht wil happen to me or if EVERYONES hair breaks offf when you get a perm so :S unsureeeee. :S

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          I'm in the process of growing out my perm because I want to get back to my "roots." I have my jair braided until I figure out how to properly take care of my natural hair.

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          I don't have a problem with natural hair, my hair is always natural. problem is styling it :(

          i always use hair mayo, but i don't know if that's any good

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          im 10 and i have nappy hair in the front and back but i believe that us being black women we should love our hair the way it is so you could style your hair do whatever but some times my mom flat irons my hair and its real long and scince i have napppy hair i sometimes cry when my mom does my hair

        • anonymous 7 years ago

          help my nappy hair is out of control, i have been trying to grown my hair back with out the perms but i am lose i don't know really what to do i am good at briads but its hard to barid my own, i find find any thing that will help me ithurts to comb cuz it is so nappy please help me

        • anonymous 8 years ago

          I've worn natural hair off and on since 1978. My hair is super thick and coarse with a very dry flaky scalp. Braids and cornrolls as well as chemicals damaged the skin on my scalp. So what works best for me is natural two strand twists, then every four months I switch back to straightening with the hot comb method for a few weeks. I will never do a chemical again but I do like the flexibility of changing styles that I get with straight hair.

        • Midnytefire LM 8 years ago

          You got that right Joan

        • Joan Hall 8 years ago from Los Angeles

          God did NOT give me this hair as a punishment; He gave it to me as a gift!

        • Midnytefire LM 8 years ago

          There is not enough representation to model from and not enough magazines to get ideas.

        Relaxed Hair is more accepted in society

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          • kelsieilesha 6 years ago

            I'm white but my hair is EXTREMELY dry and frizzy.

            I take after my aunt in that department.

            I always joke around that I have a 'white girl afro'. lol

            My hair isn't curly, and it isn't straight... to be honest, I don't really know what it is.... other than poof.

            When I'm out in public with my normal hair people stare. It's like they don't think white women can have nappy hair... like it's only left for colored women. :/

            It also seems like when I straighten it, it has no life.

            It just sort of sits there. :/

            me personally... I prefer relaxed hair.

            but I've seen many women who like natural.

          • Deeishere 8 years ago

            I don't have a problem with natural hair. I am actually thinking about going back to natural and getting my perm removed. Love your tips. I have learned a lot and will be passing this on. Would also love to learn how to braid hair.

          Nappy Hair Solutions

          Sorry for the delay in answering your questions.

          Congratulations Jae on going natural. That is fantastic! Braiding your hair is a great way to keep your hair manageable and maintenance free for a longer period of time. There are many great braided styles and twists that look fabulous. Two strand twists, cornrows, and twist outs look very nice for natural hairstyles.

          Terri-I know styling natural hair can be a challenge at times but it is well worth the patience. Many people have their own personal preference to specific hair products that serve them well but just be aware of some of the chemicals that these products contain which can be harmful to your health. Check out this cosmetic database in regards to the chemicals in products (includes commercial grade hair mayonnaise). A natural conditioner you might like to try is a coconut oil deep conditioning. After you shampoo your hair, while it is still damp apply a few table spoons of coconut oil to the hair and shaft, then wrap your hair in a moist towel or plastic cap and leave on for about 20 minutes then rinse. Coconut oil softens and strengthens the hair along with conditioning the scalp, preventing dandruff.

          Lin I am glad to hear at your age you can appreciate the beauty of natural hair. Just be aware that all types of heat remove moisture from your hair and cause breakage. If you must straighten your hair with a hair straightening or heated appliance look for products that provide heat protection to minimize damage.

          losein thenapps normal hair growth is about 4-6 inches a year unless you are suffering from illness or taking medication. The issue is that hair that lacks moisture will result in breakage so that hair growth is sometimes less noticeable. To help promote hair growth you can supplement your diet with Vitamins such as Biotin, B12, B3, Vitamin C and E which help increase blood circulation and stimulate hair growth. A good multi-vitamin can provide enough nutrients. When you are shampooing your hair, take the time to do a good scalp massage which will also increase blood flow to the scalp. Try to eliminate hair products with carcinogenic ingredients and harmful irritants. You can see a list of ingredients and what affect they might have on your health at The Cure For All Diseases. Combing your hair with a wide-toothed comb while it is still moist will make it much easier to work with. Hair twists are a bit easier to do yourself or you can try braiding your hair in big plats while it is still moist iand letting it out after it dries for a nice wavy style.

          Millepat, how wonderful to hear that you have had natural hair for so long. A good product for dry flaky scalp is a good apple cider vinegar rinse which is 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water rinsed through hair after shampooing then a deep condition with coconut oil. Avoid hair products with harmful chemicals. Research the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner.

          Shenae-I encourage you to research all the chemicals that are going to seep into your hair. It is not good for you and you might want to explore your options further before making that final decision.

          Natural Ingredients for Natural Hair

          Some hair products have a lot of ingredients in them. Some of these products are not good for your hair and can clog your pores. Some terrific natural ingredients that can give you just as good a result as commercial products are Aloe and Flax Seeds. You can make a great gel for twists out of brown or golden flax seeds and a touch of Aloe Vera Gel

          Your hair will keep its style and shine for many days.

          How to Make Flax Seed Gel

          I Colored My Hair With Henna.

          I love Henna. Henna is a natural dye from a flowering plant which is commonly known for its use as a temporary body art. Henna has many other uses such as to dye hair, fabrics, and skin. I love how henna has conditioned my hair. It is so soft, silky and healthy. If you find your hair to be tough to work with, look for a good natural henna. My twists last so much longer and my hair is so manageable, the effects are just wonderful. Please do your research before applying henna to your hair. Some people have allergic reactions to henna and it does not do well with chemically treated hair.

          The things I did not like about applying henna is that it is messy!! Protect your bathroom and clothes when applying it because it gets everywhere. The other thing is that the powder is really grainy. You will notice when you wash it out that is very gritty and you will need quite a bit of conditioner to wash it out.

          I needed at least 100 grams to get full coverage of the color. The box of henna that I purchased was only 60 grams and it didn't seem to make a difference. I tried a few weeks later with 2 boxes of henna and that worked perfectly. I left the henna on overnight. You have to wrap your head really well with plastic wrap and then put on a shower cap and even a scarf to keep the henna from getting all over your sheets and pillows.

          I am sure once you try it you will love the way your hair feels. You have to let me know the results you achieved with it.

          Sesame Street Features Black Hair

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            • AskPat profile image

              AskPat 4 years ago

              I really enjoyed this lens! Very informative! Thank you for sharing!

            • VspaBotanicals profile image

              VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

              Great info!

            • profile image

              aoinspire 5 years ago

              This is a great lens....

            • Midnytefire LM profile image

              Midnytefire LM 5 years ago

              @Nole81: I hope it changes your mind about relaxed hair. I see you discuss it in your lenses.

            • Nole81 profile image

              Nole81 5 years ago

              Wow, wonderful lens and really happy I found it:)

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              Nice lens

            • CrucialCulture LM profile image

              CrucialCulture LM 5 years ago

              Great Lens.. Thanks

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              Great information.

            • curtis62 profile image

              curtis62 6 years ago

              Lot of great info on hair. Good Job

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              anonymous 7 years ago

              Thanks for the advice ill try it and report back again thank you

            • Midnytefire LM profile image

              Midnytefire LM 7 years ago

              @anonymous: Congratulations on your transition to natural hair. That is great! You see how much healthier your hair can be when you stop using chemicals. You will be fine if you follow the advice in this blog. What I usually do is apply natural moisturizers to my hair before I go to bed such as shea butter, olive oil or coconut oil. My hair is kept in twists but I make two big plats out of my twists and put a silk scarf on my head. In the morning i undo the twists and my hair stays nice and moisturized all day. I find that drinking lots of water daily also seems to have an affect on the state of my hair. Try some of these tips, also consider checking out this book Secrets to Growing Black Hair Long and let me know if you are having any progress. At first it will seem difficult dealing with natural hair but you will realize over time that is the best thing you could have ever done. All the best to you on your new hair journey.

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              productreviews7 7 years ago

              Thanks so much for the great lens, I especially like your tips on how to manage hair. sedu flat iron

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              anonymous 7 years ago

              i have had my hair relaxed ever since i was 12 now im 30 and i did the big chop as everyone calls it fact is my hair has grown and is growing and i don't have a clue of what to do with it its nice and manageable when its wet but as soon as it dry its hard and coily almost curls yes i don't know what to do with it help please

            • profile image

              anonymous 8 years ago

              You can add extensions in a different colour to your hair for a different look or blow dry it.

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              anonymous 8 years ago

              I have been locking for five 1/2 years. I'd like to know how I could roll my locs to get a different more fluffy style. Can you recommend something?

            • Midnytefire LM profile image

              Midnytefire LM 8 years ago

              [in reply to Shaneice] Thanks Shaneice and Happy Birthday! It is my birthday too! (April 15th). Anyway, I found that I am able to keep my hair moist by braiding it in big plats when I go to bed along with covering it with a silk scarf. It seems to look in the moisture. I can understand in your region that it might be a bit more difficult to retain the moisture, but if it helps, spritz it with a bit of water (you can add a bit of olive oil to the water as well), make a few big braids (plats) an hour before you go out for the day and see if that helps. It will also make your hair a bit wavy which might give the new style you are seeking. If you decide to dye your hair, try a natural henna for color.

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              anonymous 8 years ago

              I'm 20 years old and my hair is natural and I've never done anything with it except twist. Where I'm from (Trinidad and Tobago), the majority of women relax their hair. I'm tired of people constantly insisting that I relax my hair also. I love my natural hair but it dries out too much. In three days, I will be celebrating my golden birthday (21yrs on the 21st April) and I want a change without relaxing or starting dreads. My hair naturally has the look of dreads already so I'm looking for a change. Maybe I'll just try adding some colour. Thanks for the tips on hair treatment and good products.