I don’t think I have ever fully understood my hair. Ever. Even now that I have grown to understand most things about my head of tresses there are still so many things that usually slip by. I still don’t understand why after watching tons of youtube videos by CharyJay, I CANNOT do a cute protective style. Or, why is it that my wash and go’s don’t last as long as my favorite youtuber Elle? Appreciating what is on your head and either loving it or learning how to deal with it is in my opinion what makes ‘understanding’ your hair.
Whether your hair is colored, locked, chemically relaxed or in its natural state there are certain things everyone should be aware of; if your desire is to appreciate your hair . And no, you do not have to go natural to understand your hair. My curls are lye free but bleached to a pretty sunshine blond I totally love. Because I understand my hair, I am able to take such risks and still maintain a healthy mane. Let’s consider a few basic things everyone should know about his/her hair.
Some people say that texture doesn’t really matter but if you really want to know what makes your hair pop, everything should matter. Texture basically refers to whether you have fine, medium or coarse strands of hair. Most people don’t realise that they might have many different textures on various sections of hair. This means that different strands may require a different kind of care. The front of my hair has finer strands while the back of my hair has coarser strands and while I can always finger detangle (using my fingers and conditioner only) the front of my hair, I have to use a comb to detangle the back. In order to determine the texture of your hair strands, you can simply compare it to a piece of thread.
- Thicker than thread= Coarse Hair
- Thinner than thread = Fine Hair
- Same as thread= Medium Hair
Whether or not your hair is porous can signal the extent to how easily moisture penetrates your hair strands. Your hair can either have low, medium or high porosity. In order to test which category your hair falls into you will need a glass of water and a strand or two of your hair. Place the strand(s) into the glass of water and note whether it sinks or floats. If it sinks your hair is high porosity and if it just floats on the top it is probably low porosity. However, this might not work for everyone and is NOT scientifically proven. I therefore suggest you give your hair some time and listen to what it needs. I have decided that my hair is low porosity as it takes forever to ‘drink’ in moisture, conditioners etc. and does not take to dying unless I bleach it (bleaching makes my strands more porous).
Hair density is how thick or thin your hair is. In order to determine if you have thin or thick hair, you can examine your hair when it is styled. For example when your hair is pulled back in a puff or ponytail do you notice your scalp showing at the sides? If it is, chances are you have thin hair. Density can be tricky to determine as it is the number of hair follicles that are in a particular section of hair. The more strands present, the higher the density.
OTHER ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Understanding your hair will hopefully lead to healthier hair. Your hair should be a statement of confidence and of who you are. Look at the way your hair responds to hair products, is it constantly dry or easily moisturized? Are you able to retain length or have you been stuck at the same length for years?
Because my hair is colored, I have to ensure I do a protein treatment once a week and follow up with deep conditioning. Maintaining a balance between the two is key for me. When that balance is achieved my hair is soft to the touch. If my hair has too much protein it tends to have a straw like texture. Too much moisture results in a gummy, limp appearance.
When it comes to my edges, I have to constantly apply castor oil (which has been working for me thus far) to ensure it doesn’t become too thin. I rarely use brushes on my edges but I am always pulling my hair back and hence castor oil is a must for my edges. Some people wear their hair loose a lot and may not see the need for castor oil. Understanding YOUR hair is key!
I was never one to use protective styling on my hair but as of late I have been doing so at least three times a week and have definitely noticed some differences in the amount of hair I have retained. I was only able to retain this length because I tried something new, looked at how it responded and stuck to what worked.
Listen to your hair! It’s a part of you and despite the countless hair blogs, videos and “gurus” out there only one person can fully help you understand whats on your crown: YOU. Try different things and when you find what works stick with it. Develop a regimen, test it and if it works, well stick with it. Is there anything special about your hair that you would like to share? What makes understanding your hair easier? Leave your comments below and until next time be you and be free!