How to care for your curly and Afro hair? The big question.
There are millions of products out there, and we are overwhelmed with information, constantly looking for the best way to care for our hair in the most natural way possible. Some products help but have side effects, other products might be organic and promise a lot, but still, we end up with dry and dull hair. So what seems to be the problem?
The first step is to get to know your hair and hair type. We should know what healthy hair looks like and feels like. We should learn and understand what we can and cannot do with our hair. How many times did you go to a salon and insisted on having a specific hair color or look and ended up being disappointed? Maybe the hair color or your hair is not suitable for that style or look.
Know your hair type and texture
Get to know your hair by looking at it closely, touching it and feeling it. Not only will you befriend your hair but gain a sense of how healthy it is. You can try a few things to test your hair structure and condition. Find out if your hair is straight, curly or difficult to manage. Is it wiry, frizzy, hard, soft or smooth? Know the diameter of the hair and size (of the individual strands).
- Gently pull up a strand of your hair.
- Place it between your fingers and slide up and down a strand of your hair.
- If it feels hard and wiry and looks thick then it is most likely coarse.
- If it feels soft, fine and smooth and looks thin, then it is fine.
Hair can also be soft and thick or hard and thin.
Hair needs moisture to survive and stay healthy and shiny. The diameter of the hair strands (thick, medium or fine) determines its ability to absorb moisture or chemicals.
Gently pull down a few strands from your scalp to your face, if it bounces back, it is porous, if it bounces somewhat it is normal and if it bounces up just a little then it is resistant.
Thick hair does not absorb moisture and chemicals for as good as fine hair does. So! the more porous the hair is the more it can get damaged by chemicals and other procedures.
When hair is springy and has a shiny appearance about it, it stretches and bounces back to its natural original size when gently pulled, then it is referred to as having good elasticity.
Gently pull a few stands up or down, if it returns to its original length, then its elasticity is good, if it does not bounce back or breaks, then its elasticity is poor.
Poor elasticity indicates that you are probably overdoing too much washing, wrong product use, chemicals (relaxer, coloring) hair drying, or hair ironing.
Although we tend to think that our hair is there for beauty and to express ourselves. The original purpose of hair is quite different and very simple. It was meant to be there to cover our head, to protect from blows, and to keep our head warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Although we think our hair is adaptable and flexible we should keep in mind that it is also delicate.
Regardless of the type of hair we have, it is composed of a mix of hard chemicals that are processed under our scalp. The hair that we see above the scalp, is the hair shaft or strand. Each strand comes out of a tube-like pit in the skin called a follicle attached to the bottom of what is called the papilla.
The papilla is where the hair’s source of blood, nutrients, and new cells. When the cells in the papilla multiply, they form a single hair made out of three layers. The outer layer of the hair shaft is composed of transparent, overlapping cells that look like the scales of a fish. These scale-like (called cuticle) protect against moisture loss, harmful chemicals from penetrating deep into the core of the hair.
Interesting is! that curly or kinky hair (which is mistaken for strong, adaptable hair) has fewer cuticle (the scale-like) than straight hair, hence they are less protected and prone to more damage than straight hair. Each time we perform excessive hair drying, curling iron or chemical treatment, the hair loses a lot of moisture and breaks, leading to dry hair and hair loss.
To treat hair loss (unless through health problems) we must go to the core of the problem and sometimes need to get professional consulting.
Dose super curly-hair grow
There is a myth, that super curly or extremely curly hair doesn’t grow or grows too slow. Wrong! Hair grows all the time. Normal hair approximately grows an average of one-to-one half-inch per month. The average head has 120,000 strands of hair. We lose an average of between 50 to 100 daily. Over time our hair thins out with age but still grows.
It’s not that the hair doesn’t grow, its the chemical treatments, the wrong tools and the bad nutrition, not to forget stress that cause breakage. Many illnesses affecting our bodies show warning signs in the hair. So! while our hair is still growing we hardly notice it.
Moving towards the basics is step one Get down to the basics. Most hair is delicate. Chemicals, heat overdoing, using the wrong tools can all damage our hair. Healthy and great looking hair should be a daily routine and not just a “sometimes” thing.
Understanding your hair type and addressing its needs will not only make you aware of the treatments your hair needs but will help you select the best styles for your hair. Happy hair makes a happy you.
And it all starts with a simple weekly hair care routine. Check out my Haircare routines on how to shampoo, condition and using the right hair tools.
Please leave a comment, and if you have any questions I will be happy to answer them. Thank you for reading.