Braiding and Twisting: Clean parts
Her daughter is 7 years old and her hair looks like Little B from HGH just denser.
1. Parting takes long
2. Partings are crappy (her description not mine lol!)
3. Tangling is an issue with hair drying up even when secured in sections.
Here is the secret - you need to break some rules. See all that stuff we say about moisture - umm well it goes out of the window just a little bit.
1. Sometimes you want dry hair (well sort of dry)
For type 4 hair , wetting the hair only makes it more curly (wetting includes water based creams or gels). Braiding, twisting or cornrowing is going to be a lot easier with dry hair. However dry to me means freshly washed, detangled and conditioned hair which has been allowed to dry to 80-90% dry. Why the 80-90% mark? A little bit of water helps the hair to be more flexible with some strength compared to fully wet hair which is easy to break.
2. Stretch the hair before and during braiding
As hair gets longer or denser, it is much easier to handle if you can keep it as straight as possible. The heat free method would be to braid the 80-90% dry hair into large braids or twists (noting that braids are usually better than twists) which helps to elongate the hair. Keep the hair in the large braids until you are ready to braid it.
The slightly more involved technique is banding or threading which usually require you to sleep on it before it is effective. As I am African, I will be biased and highlight this video which shows a more traditional technique
3. Salon technique: Blow dry it
The heat method is to do a gentle blow dry with tension. This means section a small portion of 80-90% dry hair (never ever blow dry dripping wet hair, no matter what!!) and then apply medium heat to the hair to stretch it. The salon method is useful for longer hair (6 inches plus) and thicker hair. As always if you can avoid heat, do avoid it. However, weight out the pros and cons and if a small blow dry helps your hair break a little less, then do use it.
Here is a helpful video (Sadly Nikki/Mwedzi who is a type 4 took hers down)
Finally let me also highlight the twist queen Loo who has the most instructive series on twisting and maintenance of twists
Start with this post - http://hairandhealth.blogspot.com/2010/10/twist-series-method-i.html
Then read them all - http://hairandhealth.blogspot.com/search/label/Twist%20Series
Do you have any useful tips for parting?