(photo: instagram - @naturally_zeze)
Natural hair doesn't have to be difficult. After all the hair diagnosing and typing, trialand error with products and techniques, you just want to know if its all working, right? Here a few signs to let you know your head of hair is off to the right curl!
I know shrinkage can hide our hair's true length, but there is some good to it I promise. Hair health is not all length. Even though many have deem shrinkage as something negative or an inevitable con of natural hair, its a clear indication of a healthy head of hair.
Moisture is the key with shrinkage. Shrinkage indicates your hair is well moisturized as it coils to its natural and true structure. How it works is that your curls has its own unique structure, whether its kinky, curly, or kinky, curly, coily, your hair has a structure that is most defined & healthy when moisturized properly AND it will SHRINK as it becomes more defined. Therefore, if your hair appears lifeless and subject to breakage when touched, you want to re-evaluate your moisture method and regimen.
Try adopting the LCO method and adding moisture rich products in your regimen. Moisture rich products include water (or aloe vera juice, rose water) as the top ingredient. Understanding your hair porosity is major to properly moisturizing so make sure you do a porosity test so you can learn how to moisturize your hair.
2. Easier Detangling Sessions.
Detangling is not as simple as pie, but healthy hair makes detangling 20x easier than the first time you attempted it. If your hair is healthy and benefiting from your deep condition sessions, detangling should not consist of many major knots or tangles, slip easily through your fingers, and drastically reduce in time.
On a healthy strand on hair, your conditioner doesn't works so hard to give you slip. It basically coats your strands providing moisture, reconstructing if necessary, and tackling smalls knots from clumping curls. Therefore, your detangling session can reduce from 45 minutes to 15-20 minutes depending upon your method, length, etc.
On the other hand, if your hair is not so healthy which can be indicated by dryness, easy to mat and tangle, excessive shedding etc, your facing more tangles and knots due to breakage, lifeless hair which tangles easier as well as limp hair takes longer to revive.
How to get better detangling sessions, try sectioning your hair for deep conditioning, start finger detangling while shampooing and keeping your sections in twists when not manipulation to prevent hair tangling again, and deep conditioning regularly. Deep conditioning regularly can help so much that you wouldn't need to detangle after washing.
Healthy curls and kinks bounce back....literally. If you are able to gently pull one of your curls, it's ability to pop back into place versus being limp, lifeless, and breaks easily is a clear indication of healthy hair. Elasticity ties into shrinkage in this department and place a major role hair health. Elasticity is the reflection of construction of your hair strand. If your hair is lacking keratin (which is a protein), it can lack elasticity.
This applies for during or after deep conditioning or styling. So next wash day after your DC session, pull a few strands of your hair and watch how well it bounces back. If your hair appears to not have the "spring back" you may want to consider adding ingredients that contribute to the reconstruct your hair, i.e. protein treatments. Also, olive oil has amazing effects on elasticity.
4. Ready. Set. Shine.
Naturally shiny hair demonstrates hair that is well moisturized and retaining its moisture. So if moisturized hair is shiny, then dry and damaged hair is dull. Check you hair shine factor after washing and conditioning. Take a small section or a few strand, dry with a towel or t-shirt and check for shine or dullness. If you hair is dull, make sure your hair isn't being overloaded with products such as heavy butters (which can seal in dryness if you don't moisture before). Hot oil treatments on top of a deep condition session boosts shine almost immediately as well as rinsing your hair with cold water after conditioning. Try using Shedavi's Hair & Scalp Elixir for your hot oil treatments.
5. Consistent, Steady Shedding.
If you don't know by now, hair sheds regularly. Excessive shedding is defined by a larger amount of shedding as a result of an additional cause. Excessive shedding can be the result of many things, but regardless its not an indicator of healthy hair. When check for extra shedding, consider how much hair you lose during wash day or as you go out your regular day.
If you are experiencing more shedding than normal, consider you scalp's health, any stressors in your life, or possibly visiting a dermatologist or trichologist (scalp specialist). keep in mind your regular amount of shedding hair varies for several reasons. So my normal amount of shedding will be different from your amount.
What does healthy curls look like to you?