Who decides what healthy hair is?
We all know what healthy hair looks like, it obvious; the shine, the glorious luscious soft locks that just beg to be touched. But who decides what the ‘correct’ and ‘healthy’ way is?
We’ve all been told the correct way to look after black hair, co-washes, protective styling, avoiding brushes etc and yet many of us know a lady who wears her hair down every day and who washes her hair only once a month yet she’s got gorgeous long thick hair.
How about the minimal heat rule? I know a lady who gets her natural hair pressed with grease at the salon weekly. Cringing at the thought already? Well she sports waist length hair which she trims back every few months to keep it at the same length. Her hair practically screams health.
On the other hand, there is the natural lady doing all the right things. Daily co-washing, absolutely no heat and aggressive protective styling yet she finds it difficult to retain length.
What many black women try to do to avoid being either extreme is to be smack bang in the middle. Use heat sparingly, use protective styles often and minimize chemical usage. While this is not a bad strategy, are you possibly denying your hair’s full growth potential?
Healthy hair means different things to different people. Some might argue that relaxed hair is never healthy because of the chemical breaking the hair’s bonds. Some may even argue that natural hair that is straightened often is also not healthy. And further still some might argue that fully natural hair with lots of single strand knots is also not healthy.
So how do you come to terms with all these different opinions and form one of your own that is right for your hair? I’m afraid there is no easy answer to this because there are so many variables. What is right for a fine haired 4a will not be right for a coarse haired 3c or a fine haired 4b with protein sensitivity!
Let’s be honest though, some rules are universally true; over processed relaxed hair is unlikely to ever get you the long thick locks you desire and neither will parched hair be it natural or relaxed. However, maybe it’s time to start dispelling some of the hair care rules we have formed and start doing what’s right for our own hair. Let’s start with ‘heat is evil and should be avoided’. See this video about this lady’s hair growth secret and how she used heat as a tool to help her grow her hair long. It’s difficult to deny its healthy lustre.
“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The point is, while it is great to educate yourself on hair care, if you follow rules blindly, your hair may never reach its true potential because you don’t know why you are doing things a certain way. Learn about your own hair and break rules that your hair does not agree with whether it is more heat usage or dare I say it . . . grease!
Originally posted 2010-08-24 00:16:45.