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, so we stick to those schedules until we have a general idea as to how healthy hair should look like: 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, overly spongy meaning it is dry, rigid and dry, brittle hair that breaks easily, hair that has no elasticity, or hair that becomes spongy and matted when wet and 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 of how much trouble they go through to get it to a certain shape or style. In fact most middle aged woman have something that maybe was once a dry perm but now it’s some ashy looking hair style and of course they are unaware that their hair is damaged. Our mothers have naturally long African hair which is high maintenance, product after product to get it a certain shape and again product after product to get it to another style.
Pay close attention to the hairs you see: are they breaking from the roots or do you see broken off hairs all over the floor or sink? This means that your hair is damaged at various points on the strand.
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, because healthy hair does not split easily it takes a month to eight weeks to split, furthermore there is no way to treat split ends than to cut them off.
And lastly if your hair is tangled, healthy hair is supple and moisturized, so it shouldn’t be hairs to comb out after a wash or shower. Damaged African hair will clump and stick together making it hard to get through, 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.
But all in all ladies let us take good care of our hair, 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 simple: YOU”
Written by: Coco Msomi