Any hair care, hair health suggestions from someone who is genetically enabled with a good head of hair is going to be inherently ableist. So my apologies if these trigger anyone. To a large extent we are stuck with the skin and the hair we have inherited. Good nutrition and care can alleviate some issues, but that again is class privilege.
In the light of that, my articles are going to be largely about curly/wavy/grey hair care and not about hair health. At least I will try to limit it to that.
Tiny amount of sciency stuff, bear with me:
I bunched up all three types of hair is because all three have similar issues of frizz and dryness and cause the same type of heartburn every time we look at ourselves in the mirror. All three types require similar or same care to keep it healthy and shiny.
Before we launch in hair care, let’s quickly understand why these hair types are prone to drying, frizz and breaking (not falling, falling is an entirely different issue).
The scalp produces natural oils called sebum which travel down the hair shaft coating it, protecting it. With curly hair, the sebum takes a longer time to reach the tip and hence the individual hair strands remain uncoated longer and tends to dry out.
With Grey hair, the pigment cells that produce melanin that protects the hair along with giving it colour, softening it have died. That’s why grey hair is coarse and bristly.
But either way the innate nature of the hair doesn’t change. Essentially what curly/wavy/grey hair needs is more moisturise and protection.
Aside from these several things contribute to loss of moisture and hair damage:
1.Biggest culprit of all is excessive shampooing. Nobody realises this. Shampoos contain surfactants that leach off all the sebum rendering your hair very dry.
- Any chemical/ heat treatment. For straightening, curling, colouring, blow dryers, straighteners.
- And treated hair, whether it’s colouring/dyeing or any other treatment that uses heat or chemicals means that what you have on your head is damaged hair. Not to say that one shouldn’t experiment. Just not too often. And remember, your curly/grey hair is already dry to begin with and you are worsening it with these treatments.
- Sun, wind, pollution. Bad bad for the hair. If you go to a remote place with little or no pollution, where people protect their heads from the sun, you’ll find lots of people with great hair. In sharp contrast, so many people in Mumbai have dry, damaged hair.
I don’t have too many pics of my hair before the curly girl treatment. But in both these pics you can see how hair responds to being exposed to hot sun. First one is obvious. In the second one I have just come back from being out in the afternoon.