Natural Hairnamix: The Whys of Natural Hair
May 15, 2014 ē By Rossette Allen

Natural hair is puzzling and often leaves those who wear it or consider wearing it in a state of confusion, disillusion, frustration and bewilderment. The unpredictability of the way natural hair behaves leaves naturals in a constant state of questioning. Certain things about natural hair appear to be nothing short of a mystery and I recently saw a comparative pictorial of the transformational power of natural hair being as equivalent to the eighth wonder of the world J. Its ability to transition between curly and straight, shrunken and elongated, is truly a wonder not easily reckoned with.


Three of the most commonly asked questions about how natural hair behaves and why it reacts the way it does are as follows:


1. Why is my hair dry all the time?


Natural hair, by nature, is very dry and this is especially true of textures which are kinkier or coilier in nature. The struggle to keep natural hair moisturized is a daily one. Morning by morning new dryness we see, and there is no magic potion out there that can fix the problem overnight. I have come to realize that a common reason why naturals canít seem to achieve lingering moisture is because we are tapping into the wrong source. Often times I have heard people complain that their efforts to moisturize are futile and when I inquire about the products used, they would proudly inform me that they use only the best oils on the market. Now that may be the very reason why moisture escapes you. Oils donít moisturize. Although oils can be very instrumental in keeping natural hair moisturized by sealing in the moisture, it is water or other water-based products that actually provide hydration. Look for products that list water as the first ingredient and opt for using those or the good ole H2O.


You may find that your hair doesnít readily hold on to moisture so pay attention to your hair and its needs and meet them accordingly. All products are not equal so they wonít all provide the same results. Experiment and determine which works best for your hair and work with those. Be careful, however, not to engage in product overload as this can cause buildup on your hair, weighing it down. If you find that you need moisture more often than usual, then it may be best to use water and seal it with an oil. The age old question of why natural hair is so dry I believe will always exist but as we get to learn our hair and how it operates, we will be better able to address it.



2. Why isnít my hair growing?


The challenge of hair growth is very real, especially for those with Afro-textured hair. From hair growth vitamins, to miracle growth products, the quest to achieve long, natural hair is present.


The effort is somewhat skewed, however, as the emphasis should not be placed on stimulating growth but rather on maintaining the growth. There is a common misconception that black hair doesnít grow or that it grows at a very slow rate. The truth is that our hair does in fact grow, and studies prove that our hair under normal circumstances records growth of between ľ inch and Ĺ inch each month. The problem lies in our inability to retain that growth, mainly due to improper care of natural hair. There are many reasons that can cause us to not retain length, breakage, split ends, single strand knots, shedding, protein damage and a whole host of other possible hair woes that naturals face. If we shift our effort and energy into maintaining healthy hair and avoiding those habits that lead to loss of valuable growth, we will certainly be able to achieve noticeable growth. Hair is fragile and should be handled with care, being careful not to overly or unnecessarily manipulate it. Let me assure you, your hair is growing. As long as you are a breathing, living human being (except in cases of rare illnesses), new growth - however much - will occur on an ongoing basis. My ultimate test is the one which I observed when I used to get relaxers. I know everyone can relate to the fact that every four to six weeks religiously there was the need for a fresh relaxer as new growth would emerge from the roots resulting in two different textures. If our hair failed to grow then there would be no need for frequent relaxers or touch ups.


Take proper care of your hair especially the ends which are the older and more fragile parts. If you are able to preserve your strands then there will be a more visible realization of your growth. Donít forget also that natural hair is usually kinky or coily in nature so it is not as easy to detect growth as it was when it was straightened. Donít despair, your hair is growing and a just a little effort will reap lasting results where length retention is concerned.



3. Why does my hair get tangled all the time?


One of the most dreaded tasks for naturals, especially those with kinky, curly or tightly coiled hair is that of removing tangles. Tangles seem almost inevitable and efforts to totally alleviate them can prove futile. If you sport your hair in its natural state, then chances are you do not comb or brush on a daily basis. This is most often tackled only on wash days as the suggestion and recommendation is to detangle hair only when wet. The tendency to avoid combing usually results in a plethora of tangles, which -if not approached carefully - can lead to hair being pulled out. Another practice that contributes to tangles is failure to protect and cover hair at nights. Friction between strands can cause them to tangle or even form knots. Twisting, braiding or any form of protective style minimizes the instances of tangling. As mentioned above, dryness can plague our natural hair and that in turn creates a platform for matted hair. Be sure to keep those strands tamed and it will definitely reduce the instances of tangling.


The questions about natural hair usually donít have definite right or wrong answers. The answers sometimes lie in oneís willingness to observe, learn and experiment with oneís hair. There are many things that seem to remain a mystery and many questions continue to resonate in the minds of those affected. 



 

Candie's Natural Hairnamix was birthed a few months after Jamaican native Rossette "Candie" Allen began her natural hair journey in May 2010. She gears this column toward naturals, transitioning naturals, aspiring naturals and the naturally curious, sharing experiences, expertise and experiments while celebrating emancipation from chemical slavery.

 


Visitor Comments (1)
Natural Hair
Posted By LOCSURIA61@GMAIL.COM on May 15, 2014
The answer to all these questions regarding your Natural Hair is simple.
Always reach for products free from agents that will remove the natural oils from the scalp. These shampoos acts like using dish washing liquid on your hair.
You can find help by using Locsuria Natural Haircare System. When you use these products, it speaks for itself. You eventually have healthy and gorgeous hair. This is a full-proof statement.
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