Why is curly hair dry and porous?
We have already mentioned that curly hair is naturally dry which means that your task as caretaker is to avoid dryness at all costs.
One of the most important jobs that our scalp has is providing moisture to our hair in the form of sebum. Put simply Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands on the scalp meant to nourish and moisturize the hair.
On a straight strand the oil travels along the length of the strand with ease during daily grooming and the hair tends to be moisturized easily.
On a curly strand the oil does not travel in a straight line so it is very difficult for it to get to all areas especially the ends of the strand which is why curly hair tends to be dryer than straight hair.
Another thing to consider is porosity. Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and lose moisture and is broken down into three categories: low, normal and high. If your daughter’s hair porosity is low, it simply means it is very difficult for her hair to absorb moisture and when it does absorb moisture it can stay moisturized for long periods of time.
If her porosity is high, she absorbs moisture very quickly but looses it just as quickly so it is very difficult for her hair to go for long periods of time without moisture being applied to her hair. Normal porosity is a delicate balance of both low and high. The porosity test is a good indicator of what category your hair falls into, just drop a strand of clean hair in a glass of water.
If the hair sinks immediately the strand is porous, if the hair floats at the top then her porosity is low, if the hair stays in the middle of the glass of water then her hair is normal.
Now it is time to build a regimen
A regimen is always broken down into three specific categories, cleansing, conditioning and styling, when you do it this way things get easier and we can talk about each category separately.
Before you start the process of wash day, we suggest separating her hair into workable sections (4-6 sections) so that it is easier for you and less stressful for her. You can opt to add a little oil to her hair as a pre treatment, it helps to loosen tangles and if you are using a shampoo that has sulfates, the oil protects the strands from getting too dry.
Keep the sections in her hair from the start of wash day to the end, this will make wash day and absolute breeze.
Your focus on wash day should be getting her scalp clean and making sure you do not further dry out her hair. The best type of shampoo for your little one should be one that is free of sulfates. There are so many options for gentle cleansers on the market these days so you have choices.
Use your cleanser to cleanse her scalp thoroughly, pay attention to her hair but do not rub the strands together in an effort to wash them. This causes friction and tangling, smooth the section in a downward motion to get the shampoo out and use the balls of your fingers to rub her scalp to loosen any debris from her scalp.
Some shampoos will help to detangle her hair enough that you can cleanse and put each completed section into individual twists or clip away.