For the longest time, I was confused if I was doing the right things with my natural hair or not. I really did not know if my hair was healthy or if any of the treatments I was doing were actually benefiting me. I was watching and reading countless things on the internet regarding natural hair but I was still confused if I was on the right lines or not.
Sure my hair was growing but I did not know if it was healthy. This was a big thing for me as this was my second time going natural and I wanted to make sure I was doing it the right way.
You might be in the same boat as I was back then so today I have put together a list of some easy telltale signs of healthy natural hair. Let’s jump straight in.
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5 Signs Of Healthy Natural Hair
Most people that I know hate shrinkage and I can understand why that is. We spend so long trying to get long hair that when we start to see some growth naturally we want to show it off.
Shrinkage can feel like a huge problem especially when some people are seeing up to 75% shrinkage after washing their hair.
The truth is that having shrinkage is a good thing. When your hair shrinks it means that your hair is satisfied and that it is fully moisturised as the hair has reverted to its natural state.
Believe me, the day that your hair doesn’t revert after being washed you will wish that it did. Embrace your shrinkage because it is actually a very good sign that you have healthy natural hair.
Healthy curls should be able to stretch and bounce back without a problem. You can test this by simply pulling on a small section of your curls and watching as it springs back.
If your hair springs back without an issue that’s a really good sign of good health. If on the other hand your hair doesn’t it means that there is a problem. Natural hair that does not have good elasticity will stretch but find it difficult to take its former shape back on or snap easily. This could be because of previously damaged hair or because your hair needs a protein treatment.
Protein treatments are great for giving your hair strength. Your hair is made up of a protein called Keratin and its this protein that helps to keep your hair strong and in shape.
If you lack adequate protein levels then your hair will look limp and weak in appearance. You can learn about why it’s important to have a healthy balance in protein and moisture here.
I think it’s important to address the fact that in some hair types shine can be more apparent than in others. So if you are not seeing as much shine in your hair as the next person it is not fully conclusive that your natural hair is not healthy.
There are many ways that you can “manufacture” shine in your hair and that is not the kind of shine we are talking about today. Oils and leave-in conditioners can do that but we want real shine that proves healthy hair.
The best way to test the shine in your hair is to look at your hair after you have just washed it when it is technically “naked”. Naked meaning that there are no oils or product on it at all.
When your hair shows shine it is basically the light that is bouncing off your hair giving the appearance of shine.
Too much product buildup can hinder the visibility of shine in your hair as well so bear that in mind.
An apple cider vinegar rinse can be a great way to help you get some natural shine into your hair as well as rinsing with lukewarm water instead of hot water.
Some of the results you get will also depend on the porosity of your hair. If you haven’t already checked on your porosity level yet. You should take a look at why hair porosity matters.
4. Minimal Shedding
Taking note of how much your hair is shedding is another great way to see the health of your hair. The average person sheds roughly 150 hairs a day. If you notice that you are losing a lot more than this then you could have a problem.
Stress and other things can factor into you losing hair more excessively so make sure that you keep an eye on your stress levels.
If you do suspect excess lost hair the first thing you need to do is to check that what you have is actually shedding and not breakage.
An easy way to tell this is to look at a strand of hair that has fallen. If that hair is the full length of your hair and it has a small bobble on the end that is likely shedding. If the hair is short and broken then it is more likely breakage. You can read more about the differences in shedding and breakage here.
5. Retains moisture
Moisture is a huge factor in natural hair as without it our hair can become very dull and dry looking. When natural hair is dry we can experience breakage. All of this leads to unhealthy natural hair.
Hair reacts to moisture in different ways depending on your porosity level. We have touched on this slightly above but if you haven’t already you should read more about how porosity makes a difference in how you should moisturise your hair here.
If your hair is in an unhealthy state then it could make it more difficult to get and to retain moisture.
Final Thoughts On The Signs Of Healthy Natural Hair
If you are seeing a few of these healthy natural hair signs with your own hair then you are on the right track. If not then there is always space for you to improve on the health of your hair now that you know what to look out for.