Nobody teaches us how to see if our natural hair is damaged. Our parents just tell us that after so long we must go get it relaxed, washed, or treated. That’s why we stick to those schedules until we have a general idea as to what healthy hair should look like. Which is: thick, bouncy, blows in the wind, and has a healthy sheen.
But what does damaged hair really look like? Your hair is damaged if it has a rough texture when you run your fingers through it. If it is overly spongy it also means it is rigid and dry. Brittle hair that breaks easily, hair that has no elasticity, or hair that becomes spongy and matted when wet. Also, hair that fades or absorbs too rapidly when being coloured or has colour.
We often hear our fellow friends or colleagues in supermarkets speaking about their hair care. Of how much trouble they go through to get it into a certain shape or style. In fact, most middle aged women have something that maybe was once a dry perm. Only now it’s some ashy looking hairstyle and of course, they are unaware that their hair is damaged.
Our mothers have naturally long African hair which is high maintenance. This means it needs product after product to get it a certain shape. Then again product after product to get it into another style.
The split end test is recommended after we trim or cut our hair shorter. If your hair is splitting soon after a cut or trim, then there is something really wrong. Healthy hair does not split easily, it takes a month to eight weeks to split. Furthermore, there is no better way to treat split ends than to cut them off.
And lastly, if your hair is tangled, it shouldn’t take hours to comb out after a wash or shower. Healthy hair is supple and moisturized. Damaged African hair will clump and stick together making it hard to get through. This is true even with the aids of leave-on conditioners and styling products. If your hair sticks and is hard to comb out this could mean it is damaged.
I often see ladies come out of the salon and get home and put on a dook to cover their hair. This is because of the stereotype that it grows faster that way. I’m one person that changes my hair frequently. I’m never afraid to cut it short and start afresh because I understand that hair is a lot of work.
But all in all, ladies let us take good care of our hair. You can do so by researching methods to treat it that work for you and use products that you can afford monthly. With that being said ladies go out there and rock your hair! Remember “Your natural hair is not a trend. It’s simply YOU”!
Written by: Coco Msomi