A few months back we discussed the Natural Hair Debate: Nappy vs. Textured. Today we’re going to discuss good hair and what it really means to have good hair.
For many years a loose curl pattern or “soft” hair has been considered “good hair”. However, a specific texture or pattern does not equate to being better. What determines whether you have good hair is your hair’s overall health. The healthier your hair – the better it is, thus, making it “good”. It is easy to install hair units and/or wear wigs that give the appearance of “good” hair but it can be difficult and time consuming to grow and maintain strong, healthy hair especially over a long period of time.
In the natural hair community the hair typing system has become a huge phenomenon. Women rely on it heavily to categorize themselves and others. Personally I think it’s a great system depending on how it is used. It can be really helpful for selecting [the right] products for your hair and sometimes assist in choosing styling tools and maintenance methods best suited for your pattern.
Of course as with any useful resource, the hair typing system has also been used fnegatively. Many naturals now use the typing system as a form of hierarchy. Some believe that the more kinky and/or coily your hair is the “worse” it is because it’s unmanageable. Many also believe that women who fall on the lower end of the chart (looser curl pattern) or are bi-racial should not be considered “natural”. I strongly disagree; unprocessed or untreated hair can come in any texture and I think these women definitely fall under the “natural” umbrella.
Regardless of our personal opinions, there are definite ways to determine whether hair is “good” or not. Here are some key things to check:
Scalp: Your scalp should be clean and unclogged between washes.
Ends: There should be no visible split ends and your hair overall should be one length (if it’s layered, each layer should be even).
Condition: Your hair should not feel dry or brittle to the touch. Healthy hair feels soft, moisturized and manageable.
Strands: The strands should not show signs of damage from heat or chemicals.
In my picture (above) you can see that my scalp is clean, my ends are even and my hair looks overall shiny (another way to tell if hair is healthy – it has a natural shine). In addition, my edges are full and do not appear to be sparse or thinning (yet another way to determine whether hair is healthy). Please note: I am able to maintain my hair’s health by relying heavily on protective styles.
If you are struggling with any of these categories you should probably tweak your current hair care regimen (or create one). And as Ebony said yesterday – don’t expect your regimen to stay the same. As you continue to observe your hair to make sure it is healthy, you will need to make some adjustments to meet your hair’s current needs. Check back for my next article on how to create a simple hair care regimen on April 17th.
Do you have good hair? How have you achieved and maintained it over time? If you don’t want do you need to work on? Please share and ask questions below.