Hello dear reader. How is your hair coming along in 2015? Have you made changes to your diet and tried out some new foods? We hope you have. Today I thought we ought to discuss an invaluable element, product (call it what you will) that we need to embrace as women. WATER! WATER! WATER!
I am not being over dramatic ladies but WATER is a must-have to be added and appreciated whatever our hair goals. Remember the article on Hair Goals? Read it Here.
Why do we need water for textured hair care I hear you ask? Well let’s answer that question.
1) Our bodies are 60-80% water. Being well hydrated means being more alert, less stressed and promotes efficient bodily functions (your kidneys will appreciate it)
2) Water helps the blood carry all that yummy goodness you eat and oxygen to your cells, helping them to repair your body. Your follicles need feeding too which results in HAIR GROWTH and HEALTHY HAIR.
3) Drinking enough water is great news for your scalp health and the roots of your hair. Being dehydrated means your roots become dry resulting in brittle hair which slows down HAIR GROWTH and leads to breakage.
Now number 3) is a big one for women of colour because our hair is already thirsty due to its structure so not only do we need to drink enough water but we need to be adding water and giving our curly strands a drink regularly. This is where hair washing (shampooing ) comes into play.
We will discuss shampoos in a separate post but for now let’s get that Afro hair requires regular washing. Ultimately your lifestyle dictates what is best for you however going for weeks on end without washing along with using suffocating products (petroleum based) and then using a drying shampoo creates a vicious cycle of breakage.
Note: it is not the water that leads to breakage. Water is the only true moisturiser so there is no way it can be the cause of breakage. ( there are ways of dealing with hard water problems which we will cover another time)
So we are drinking water and shampooing but what to do on non wash days? If your hair is relaxed a good moisturiser should be applied often. Make sure it lists water as its main ingredient. For naturals, having a spray bottle with water in it is a must. Depending on the length of your hair you may choose to let your hair drink up some water while you shower in warmer weather. Wash and go’s are also a popular.
Now regardless of whether your hair is relaxed or natural if you have a ‘protective style’ like braids or a weave and even a wig that hasn’t been glued down, try ensuring that you spray your hair regularly. Daily if you have braids as this keeps your tresses well hydrated. And always, ALWAYS, spray your hair when removing braids (drying is not an issue for braids but could be for weaves. No one wants a musty smelling weave). Again go for braid sprays that list water as a main ingredient. Or be adventurous and make your own sprays.
Then next big issue is ‘sealing’ or locking the moisture into your tresses. Natural oils and butters are best used for this as they help to slow down the loss of water your hair absorbs. Coconut oil, Shea butter, almond oil (whatever oils work for you !!) will help keep your hair moisturised. Please note that water does the main moisturising the oils keep the water there for longer, so they are best applied to damp hair. Keep the spray bottles to hand ladies and gents. (I’ve seen some amazing ‘fros on bros). Regular deep conditioning treatments are also advisable for relaxed and natural hair. Relaxed hair requires extra care when wet. In some studies carried out in America ‘relaxed hair only has 60% of the tensile strength of natural hair’. That means whilst natural hair is best detangled whilst wet because it stretches better, relaxed hair reaches snapping point much quicker. Be gentle and make sure your stylist is too. Healthy hair cannot be left to chance.
So ladies I hope you will see water as an essential friend to healthy hair and drink more of it, spray more of it on your hair and wash your hair regularly.
Till the next time happy hair loving.
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Afrotility is the founder of blieq.com , her focus is on natural hair care and styling. She is Passionate about afro hair in all its different degrees of curliness, and believes that “understanding your hair is the key to enjoying it and loving every single curly strand”. She also insists that “no styling without consultation” should be the new standard
(Image by Madame Noire)