• Miranda Turner

Natural Hair : Health vs Length

Anyone who has tried growing their natural hair will tell you that the process is a marathon, not a sprint. Achieving healthy and long hair requires time, patience, and diligence. Maintaining excitement about your natural hair journey can be tough; and thanks to shrinkage it’s tough to notice any major growth. However, with natural curly hair I have found that not only grows in length, but in volume. When I look back at old photos I notice how flat my fro was, and how undefined my curls were. Ofcourse, we all want to have long locks down our back; but I have found that healthy hair beats long hair. I used to monitor my natural hair journey by how much it has grown in length; but now I find it most helpful to see how much is has grown in health!

Some signs of healthy hair are:

1.) Shrinkage! I know this tends to be the thorn in many a naturalista's side, including my own. Shrinkage hides our true length; but it is also is one of the best indicators of hair health. The shrinkage means that the structure and integrity of your hair is still in tact. You may dislike your shrinkage, but consider the alternative... long, straggly ends.

2.) Elasticity!

Healthy hair is like a brand new scrunchie. You can stretch it as far as it will go, and it will bounce back into its original form. Hair that lacks elasticity is more prone to breakage, and has difficulty withstanding damage from manipulation. In general, healthy hair should be able to gently tug at a curl, and watch it spring back into place without breaking.

3.) Volume!

Volume or fullness can be the most difficult to measure at times. For starters, full hair will mean different things to different people; because we have varying textures, curl diameters, densities, and thicknesses. Also impacting the perceived fullness of our hair is the amount of hair products we use. Heavy-handed application or use of heavier products will have a condensing effect on the hair, and give the impression that your hair is thinner. The best way to gauge the fullness of your hair is product-free on wash day. (see photos above) This will allow you to see your hair in its truly natural state, and focus on areas that seem thinner, or that have suffered damage.

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Bye with Grace

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