At some point in time, we’ve all grappled with frustration over our hair as we’ve stumbled through product after product; trying to find the holy grail of concoctions for our stubborn curls. For those who just joined #teamnatural, embrace the transition period as a series of trial and error. But first and foremost, feel how your hair responds to certain products, regiments, styles and climates. The key to sticking with your natural look is agility, be flexible and willing to change your regimen if it’s not working after a steady grace period of 5-8 weeks.
How do you know when to switch it up? Here are 3 signs that your regimen is not working:
1. Little C’s on Your Floor
I know I’m experiencing steady breakage when my bathroom floor is littered with C’s. Yes, tiny little coils of my hair that have broken off to form a small ringlet or C shape. Naturally Curly hair is notoriously drier than straighter hair types because the scalp’s natural sebum takes longer to travel from root to tip. Our scalp’s natural oils are nutritious for our strands, although too much of something is rarely a good thing! The longer travel time leaves the ends of our hair most vulnerable to breakage. Many confuse oil as a moisturizer, but in fact it’s sole purpose is to lock in moisture. If you’re not giving enough attention to the ends of your hair, you’ll see the evidence around you.
Solution: Keep the ends of your hair well moisturized. Read our blog post 3 Tips that Will Change Your Wash Day Forever for regimen inspiration.
2. Hair that Crunches to the Touch
When your hair is dry you’ll not only feel it but you’ll hear it. Remember, your hair will speak to you so make sure to pay attention! If when you run your hands through your hair you can feel and hear the sound of dryness, it’s a good indication that the products you use are not properly penetrating your hair’s shaft despite frequent efforts.
Solution: If you’ve done everything you can imagine and your hair experiences chronic dryness you may have low porosity hair. Low porosity hair means that your strands do not easily absorb moisture as someone with high porosity. Consider products with molecules tiny enough enough to snuggle under the shaft, such as a liquid leave in conditioner.
Read Naturally Curly's Top 10 Water-based Leave In Conditioners
3. When You Got That Soul Glo
If you deem Coming to America a classic like we do, you’ll get the reference. Yes, your hair needs moisture and nutrients but when we over do it the evidence shows. Residue left on your fingertips, bedding and clothing could be signs of product build up. Product build up reverse engineers the product’s ability to promote healthy hair. Instead, it sits like layers of coating on your hair refusing entry to the kindest of elements (yes, even water!).
Solution: Clarify your scalp and hair often with a sulfate-free shampoo. How often? For me it depends on the season. During winter seasons, the atmosphere is drier therefore I use more product to keep my hair healthy. This includes weekly mud washes or co-washes. As a result, I have to clarify at least every other week. During the Spring and Summer seasons, the climate is more humid and my hair soaks up the air’s moisture. I can get away with one wash day every 3 weeks, but it depends on how your hair speaks to you.
Natural hair maintenance can be a daunting and rigorous regimen - but no challenge is presented to you that you cannot conquer! Tell us what works for you. Join in the conversation, leave a comment below.