By Choya Randolph
As naturals, sometimes we don’t feel like dealing with our hair so we put our crown away by wearing wigs or protective hairstyles. After having our hair tucked away for so long, we may lose touch with our hair’s health. For those who are struggling to reconnect with their hair, here are some signs that your hair may be unhealthy.
The way your hair feels is a great indicator of its health. If your hair is feeling dry and brittle, it may be time to show your hair some TLC. Our hair is like a baby who can’t use their words so we have to figure out what our hair is asking for. When struggling with dry hair, your hair may be asking for a change in deep conditioning or something stronger such as a protein treatment.
If you don’t deep condition your natural hair, baby what is you doing? When deep conditioning, try to incorporate heat, especially if you have low porosity hair. The heat will open up your hair cuticles so your deep conditioner can easily penetrate and hydrate your hair. If you’re deep conditioning and your hair is still feeling dry, try making your own deep conditioner or experimenting with the products you use when doing the LOC or LCO method.
If that doesn’t work, it may be time for a protein treatment. Protein treatments are like deep conditioners on steroids. They make your hair stronger and healthier by binding proteins on your hair cuticles. To get scientific, hair is mostly made up of a protein called keratin. If your hair is super dry, your hair may be in need of a protein boost. You can buy protein treatments from your local beauty supply store or make your own. They’re quite easy to make.
Breakage is not a stranger to curly hair. Because of its texture, kinky hair gets tangled easily. That’s why we spend so much time detangling. What sucks about breakage is that if you have breakage then you probably also have split ends. Sometimes we don’t notice breakage in our hair when we’re constantly putting it away. It’s also easy to ignore breakage when wearing your hair in a popular style like a high puff. When putting your hair in a high puff, the puff may hide any noticeable breakage. Plus, hairstyles that are as easy as the high puff make it easier for us to not pay attention to our hair.
If you don’t visibly see breakage, indications of breakage include not retaining length. If you’re taking out your knotless braids and your hair is the same length, you may want to pay attention to what your hair is trying to tell you. Another indication of breakage is curl definition. Lack of curl definition could be because of dryness but it could also be an indication of breakage. If you’re deep conditioning, moisturizing, and even using a gel but still noticing no curl definition, it could be because your hair is battling breakage. This means it’s time for a trim, maybe a protein treatment, and to make sure you’re detangling correctly and regularly.
Noticeable hair thinning
When we take down our protective hairstyles or finally unbraid our hair after wearing our wigs like a hat for a month straight, we’ll of course notice a lot of hair shedding. This is because our hair was tucked away and we’re seeing weeks worth of hair shedding. Because of this, it may be easy to ignore whether your hair is thinning.
Our hair texture also makes it harder for us to notice hair thinning. How can you notice a bald spot when your curls and coils are keeping your scalp a secret? Just because our hair may lean on the thick side doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to the signs. If you notice excessive hair shedding, it may be time to take a look at your scalp. If you notice your hair isn’t as full as it used to be, that could be a sign of unhealthy hair. To combat this, you can talk to a hairstylist or dermatologist. If you’d rather DIY hair thinning, be more patient when detangling and incorporate scalp massages.
If your hair is unhealthy, remember that it’s only hair and unhealthy isn’t permanent. Listening to your hair is the first step to maintaining healthy hair. So next time you’re taking down a protective style, hear what your hair has to say and show your crown some love.