February 10, 2016

How to Determine What Your Natural Hair Needs

by Hadassah of NappilyNigerianGirl

What's up guys?!  I hope your hair care process is going smoother and simpler? Stress-free haircare is the motto for this article... well, for this life!

Today, I'll be sharing some tips to bridge the communication gap between your hair and you.

We've all heard the saying, "Listen to your hair and do what it says"... but how can you listen to it when you don't understand the language it speaks?!

For starters, it doesn't have a visible mouth so we are pretty damn sure it can't talk!

Plants can't talk either but how do you know they are unhealthy?
How do you know they aren't getting the nutrients they need?
You do so by watching out for the signs.
That browning leaf, that withered stem, the failure to thrive... but how do you even know what these signs mean?
There are plants that naturally have brown leaves, there are plants that naturally have disfigured stems, there are plants that are naturally small...

To know, you need to have an idea of what the healthy plant looks and behaves like, that way you can easily tell when there's a problem.

It's the same thing with hair. It doesn't speak but it shows signs. You need to know what the healthy state for your hair type and texture is.

If you have naturally fine hair, you can't conclude that your hair isn't healthy because it is not as thick or as full as that of a naturalista with thicker, denser strands.

If your hair is naturally brown in colour, you can't conclude that it is unhealthy because it is not jet black and super sheeny.

If your curls are naturally tight and dense, you can't conclude that your hair is hard and will be difficult to manage.

The first step to understanding the signs of trouble your hair shows you is to know exactly how your hair behaves in its healthy state.


If you're not a trichologist or a seasoned hair care specialist, it may be difficult to tell off the bat what the healthy state of your hair looks like.

What if your hair is thin? How can you conclude you have naturally thin hair? What if your hair thinned out due to traction alopecia?

Well, here are simple tips to understand the language of your hair.

1. Go to the past.
If you have pictures of your natural hair when you were younger before every thing went downhill, take a look at them. Observe the natural shape of your hairline, observe the natural density of your hair. Yes, other factors such as aging will definitely affect your new crop of hair, but at least it will act as a clue.

I had always battled with my irregular hairline and on more than one occasion had it "sculpted" (shaved off Chinese monk style!) until I came across a picture of me when I was younger and saw that I had never had a defined hairline!

Now, my hairline and I are at peace.

2. Give your hair 1-2 months of tender loving care (TLC).
Improve your water intake, eat healthy (fruits and veggies and all the orishirishi), swap your haircare products for gentler ones, deep condition once a month or more, give your hair a styling break, play the good guy with your haircare and take note of the feel and look of your new growth.
Is it thicker? Is it shinier? Is it darker?

3. Note how it looks and feels on washday
A quick way to know if your hair is happy is how it feels after you've washed, conditioned and deep conditioned it.
Does it feel softer?
Do your curls pop?
What do they look and feel like when wet?
What do they feel like when damp?
What do they feel like when dry?

4. Re-evaluate your regimen.
So you've been protective styling to grow your hair longer. After two months of this regimen, does your hair look and feel better and have you retained any length?

So you've been shampooing weekly? Does your hair feel supple or does it feel drier?

So you've been spraying your oil mix, does your hair feel more hydrated than before you started spraying your oil mix?

Give your routine 3 months and carefully observe if there's a difference. Stop that routine for a month and see if your hair feels the same.

This could help guide you in understanding when your hair has a problem and give you clues to what the solution might be.

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