ALFS 30-Day Go-All-Organic Challenge
Week #1: Checking your hair’s vital signs
I know. You can’t wait to put on your apron, transform your kitchen into a cosmetic chemistry lab and cook up homemade hair miracles that will turn your lifeless locks into springy coils.
Well, before you indulge your inner mad scientist, you first need to understand your subject: your hair.
Remember, your hair and skin are part of your whole body. So your hair’s health is a reflection of your body’s health. Therefore you’re not just putting stuff on your hair. You’re feeding your hair. In order to feed your hair, you have to determine what it needs for a balanced, healthy hair diet.
Think of it this way. Before you go on a weight-loss diet, doctors recommend you get a health assessment. You may take a week or so recording your eating habits — what you eat, when you eat it and how you feel.
The same goes for your hair. You can’t feed your hair unless you know what it’s hungry for. So, let’s spend this week observing and testing your hair.
Observing and testing for what, you ask? This week, you’ll need to determine your hair type, it’s protein/moisture balance, porosity and reaction to your overall health. This information will give you an idea of what your hair is hungry for and how to plan a balanced hair diet.
Most people don’t realize there are three basic systems of categorizing human hair. Several of these hair typing systems categorize hair based on the various range of textures — from bone straight to kinky. Other traditional systems categorize hair type based on hair density — fine or coarse.
Bare in mind, hair typing is subjective. The brilliant stylists who came up with the systems may be experienced but they appear to make sweeping generalities. Then again, that’s the beauty industry for you. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.
Nonetheless, knowing your hair’s characteristics and tendencies is invaluable and, for that reason, these typing systems have real merit. Without basic knowledge you’re just shootin’ in the dark with your home hair care.
Hair is primarily protein. Just as our bodies need daily servings from the major food groups, your hair needs daily and weekly servings from two main food groups: protein and water. All hair types and textures need them but in different ways and different proportions.
Curly, kinky and coily hair types are more fragile than straight and wavy types. Maintaining the dietary balance of protein and water in textured hair requires more diligence. If you don’t learn to keep your hair fed with a protein/moisture balanced diet, your hair may break or fall out.
Hair porosity is it’s capacity to retain moisture. That’s important since textured hair typically suffers from relentless dryness and straight and wavy types are dogged by oiliness. Your hair’s porosity is also a symptom of it’s overall health or damage.
Your Health and Hair
Medications, treatments, diet, exercise, hormones and stress all impact your hair’s health. Chemotherapy and certain medications can cause significant hair loss. So can poor diet or a hormonal imbalance. It’s common for women in abusive relationships to experience hair fall out.
No topical hair product– whether you buy it or make it — can prevent or cure how your hair reacts to your body’s overall health. But, there are certain botanicals or recipes that can give your hair maximum support to weather those health events.
Consider your homemade hair care routine an extension of an alternative approach to your health.