You know what’s crazy? none of us have any real concept of physical self. Think about it, when we all got here (regardless of what you believe in) none of us had a book that told us how our body parts worked. Some of it came natural, we knew how to use our legs and arms, we knew we needed food and there are things we do out of instinct that does not require a book.
Over time, we have developed as human beings learning about how things work and what makes us sick versus what makes us healthy. Hair care has always been a traditional and cultural thing, my mom learned how to take care of her hair from her mother and she took care of my hair according to what she knew.
Coupled with that, hair care is also based on what we have conceptually thought was convenient and what we also think is beautiful. After age 13 I had the relaxer I begged my mother to get because I wanted straight long hair like all my friends. This meant that I would now head to the hairdresser every week or every two weeks to get my hair done and cared for.
Still I had no concept about how my hair remained healthy, I put all my faith in the professional, she was the one that had the education, there was no need for me to learn anything or to do any sort of maintenance outside of styling.
Fast forward to the time my hairdresser and my beloved relaxer failed me and I lost my hair. I was then faced with the reality of trying to learn for myself how to take care of my hair so that I can make sure it was healthy for me.
You must admit that great things happen when you have to depend on you. You get to know your hair in ways you have never bothered to entertain in the past. You start to read science-based books and consult with professionals so that you know what to do with your hair and how to develop a routine to keep your strands healthy.
Knowledge of how relaxers can hinder your hairs potential might lead you to make the decision to allow your natural hair to grow out chemical free.
Knowledge of how to keep your hair healthy while wearing a relaxer might also give you the confidence to do your own relaxer at home without the help of a professional to preserve your strands as much as you can.
The point is, as you learn about your hair, you learn about what your healthy hair should look like, you learn the signs of stress and deterioration and finally you learn about what healthy hair is.
So how do you know when your hair is healthy?
1. Minimal to normal shedding
The average human loses approximately 100 hairs per day normally, so if you are losing bundles of hair in the shower or from just touching your hair, something is wrong.
Abnormal shedding can be caused by medication, stress, postpartum symptoms or an allergic reaction, all of which require medical consultation before trying to come up with your own remedy.
2. No breakage
If you notice small broken strands of hair everywhere this is a sure sign that your hair is not strong enough to hold on to parts of itself. Is important to understand the difference between shedding whole strands and breakage which are typically half of the strand or the ends of your hair.
Breakage usually means your hair is weak and you have to figure out what is making your hair weak in order to begin the process of fixing it. It could be your relaxer if you use on, hair color if you use color, dryness, or lack of protein. The more you learn the easier it will be for you to target the source of the problem.
3. Hair that is soft to the touch and naturally shiny
Hair should not feel hard and brittle and rough regardless of the race you are from. The natural composition of hair dictates that it should be soft to the touch and shiny. What makes hair shiny you ask? It is all about the color of your hair and how it reflects light. Light bounces off of dark hair so the darker your hair is
What makes hair shiny you ask? It is all about the color of your hair and how it reflects light. Light bounces off of dark hair so the darker your hair is the more light reflects off of it making your hair appear shiny.
The structure of your strand also dictates how easy light is reflected from it, so if your strand is strong with all the layers intact the more light bounces off. The more depleted and fragile the strand the more light shines through without bouncing off.
Those three things are your basic indicators of hair health and the more you learn the more aware you will be about how your hair works and what keeps your hair healthy.
If you are a new natural or you are just starting your healthy hair journey, give yourself time to figure things out. It took me years to learn what I know now, and I am still learning, the human body will always throw us curve balls that force us to figure things out.
At the end of the day, it keeps us on our toes as we strive for the best health overall. So…. Is your hair healthy? If you do not know, save this post and once you figure it out, come back and let me know!