By Jc of The Natural Haven
Our guess is that if you have Afro textured hair, you’ve probably asked yourself this question a couple of times before...
A common frustration that we all share is that Afro textured hair has a natural tendency to dry out. Seasoned hair professionals often classify Afro textured hair within a range of 1 to 4 – with coily and kinky hair being classified as a “4”. These categories are good to know, but due to all the subcategories (3b, 4a and 4b), it is confusing trying to decipher into which class your hair belongs and what it actually means.
To simplify it for you all, Afro hair is at the end of the "class system" and has the tightest kinks of all categories. This makes Afro hair strands very fragile. If your hair coils up and forms a teeny-weeny Afro when wet, collect your number and take a seat - this series is for you.
As we learnt from our last blog series, “Introduction to Hair”, hair is made of three layers. The core layer is the medulla. The layer above the medulla is the cortex which is the powerhouse of the hair system and controls hair characteristics such as colour and shape. Finally, the third outer layer is the cuticle, a transparent layer that protects the 2 inner layers.
So you're probably still wondering why Afro hair has a tendency to dry out? The cause of this dryness is your hair’s kinkiness. Let me explain. Our scalps have glands that connect to your hair's root, these glands secrete natural oils that are meant to flow along your hair's shaft all the way to the tip of your hair. These natural oils are meant to condition and protect your hair. You might have noticed, that those with straight hair usually complain about the excessive oiliness of their hair, as the natural oils flow right down to their hair tips. On the contrary, natural oils are not able to easily navigate through the kinks in Afro textured hair. Usually, they don’t reach the tips of your hair which then causes your hair to become dry and your hair's ends to split.
So, what can we possibly do about this? Applying natural penetrative oils to your hair will help to condition your hair and compensate for its lack of natural oils. The top three natural penetrative oils are Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil and Olive Oil. These penetrative oils are best used as hot oil treatments or as ingredients to your hair conditioner.
Before we wrap up, using these natural and penetrative oils is still not sufficient to properly take care of your hair. So, in our next blog post we will discuss and share our complete hair care regime that you can follow to adequately take care of your hair.
See you next week!