Updated: May 5, 2021
Often I hear from both men, and women that we are not blessed with good hair that's why wigs, and extensions play a huge role in Nilotic women's hair. They justify this myth by suggesting we should have short hair cuts. However, a new wave of equal representation and love of self in the early 2000's started a natural hair movement to turn this myth narrative around by showcasing waist, and thigh length afro hair. I would look in awe at these women's hair, but I would never connect in my mind, that just as their hair grows, so will mine. Until I decided enough was enough of hiding my damaged 4C Nilotic hair behind wigs, and synthetic extensions for the rest of my life.
(Picture Above: Hair shrinkage after wash)
You see from an early age I never had my edges, they were either pulled out, or broke whilst wearing small braids in secondary school. As you can see from the photo to the left (which is an extremely rare photo I showcase to the outside world).
So I decided to take this seriously, and realised the reason there was no progress, or I wasn't getting anywhere was because I saw this as a quick fix. Pour a bunch of ingredients on my head and the miracle growth would take place, but I was quite wrong, in fact, I was very wrong. Growing long and healthy hair takes time, and has to be incorporated as a part of your lifestyle. African people's hair are different to other types of hair as our curls are tight, and have strong elasticity which can make the appearance shorter (from major shrinking after washing) also the curls can easily become tangled together, and dry, causing breakage. This in turn leaves your hair stagnant at a certain length leading you, and others to believe your hair is not growing, and cannot grow.
The NYIDII Hair products were inspired by these issues as part of a hair care routine.
You can find the products on our shop page, and also read up on the NYIDII hair care routine from our blog page. Here are the ways to handle these three issues i've highlighted:
Shrinkage: The trick I have learned to prevent my shrinkage (because let's face it we cannot successfully fight nature) is to section your hair before washing, and to twist each section you have parted. If you are following the NYIDII hair care routine, you would need to do this anyway as before washing you would need to pre-poo. When you wash your hair we recommend you do not wash your hair altogether as a clump, as by the end of it your hair would shrink to about 90% of your hair length, and the shrinkage just means more entanglements.
So when you wash your hair, you lather each section individually then twist it back up after rinsing before moving on to the next section. Yes I know, it's long. But the time doing this will probably add up to the same time you would have to spend, trying to gently untangle the hairs without breakage, whilst oilying.
In order to to avoid having dry hair you would need to constantly moisturise your hair daily, and when I mean moisturise I do not mean putting oil on your hair and be on your merry way. What I mean is hydrating your hair, and the best and most powerful way to achieve this is misting your hair everyday with water. You would need to get an empty refillable water bottle and hydrate your hair everyday (you can find on our shop page). The way our Creator created all living things, is that we need water to grow and survive, for example plants without water they dry up and die. Just like our hair, without moisture they dry up, and once dry they break and fall off, and you are left with the evidence of all this breakage on your hairbrush.
Once you have moisturised your hair the next thing that is off major importance (otherwise your hair will dry up so fast) is that you must seal that moisture in with an oil. This protects the hair, and also feeds it with some nutrients for nourishment, and promotion of strong, and healthy hair.
When your hair is healthy, it is soft, bouncy and strong. And in order to reach this level of health for your hair it requires your daily dedication and attention. Feeding it with the right nutrients, hydrating it, and protecting it from harsh environments.
That is why I mentioned earlier this will not be a quick fix and go situation, this needs not only time but your commitment. Our hair grows an average of 1 inch a month so retaining that length requires for your hair to not dry out. Also, if you are looking for thigh length afro hair, then patience will have to be a virtue, as most black youtubers who have grown their hair to that length have been doing so for more than five years.
So final thoughts are, the same way we incorporate time for make-up and other grooming activities we must also do the same for our hair, it needs to be incorporated in our daily lifestyle. Whichever is best for you morning, noon, or night you must schedule a time for your hair-care, otherwise you will be left like many others with stagnant length.
For the full NYIDII hair care routine process read our blog on it.