A Guide to Enhancing The Natural Hair Texture you ALREADY have.
What Makes Hair Curl Naturally?
An interesting fact: did you know that the shape of your hair follicle determines your hair texture? Oval and asymmetrical follicles usually result in wavy and curly hair.
Hair, like a magnificent tree, boasts intricate layers that give it strength, form, and function. Each strand of hair typically comprises three layers: the medulla, cortex, and cuticle.
1. The Medulla: At the heart of the hair strand is the medulla. Like the soft pith at the centre of a tree trunk that retains moisture, the medulla serves as the innermost core. Interestingly, only some people possess this fragile layer in their hair strands. It's predominantly found in those with thick or coarse hair, while individuals with finer or blond hair may not have it at all.
2. The Cortex: Surrounding the medulla is the cortex. This vital layer consists of spiralled protein molecules arranged in cylindrical patterns. The configuration of these patterns is directed by the hair follicle – a tiny pore on our skin where the hair sprouts. A straight follicle gives rise to straight hair, while a curved one results in curls. The distribution of the protein structures further dictates the degree of curliness, with genetics also playing a pivotal role in determining hair's shape and thickness.
3. The Cuticle: Enveloping the cortex is the hair's protective shield - the cuticle. This layer is thicker, and its primary role is to shield the cortex. However thick, it's a delicate layer, vulnerable to various external aggressions like heat, chemicals, or even vigorous brushing. When our hair's cuticle is compromised, the cortex is exposed, making it prone to moisture imbalances, fraying, and breakage, leading to common issues like split ends. These disturbances collectively influence the appearance and health of our hair.
Essentially, each strand of our hair is structured meticulously to withstand daily challenges while showcasing our unique beauty. It's essential to understand and care for our hair's intricate design, and with the right techniques, your natural curls can look bouncy, big and beautiful.
The Power of Technique
Tips and tricks for how to style your naturally curly hair.
Drying naturally: If time permits, allow your hair to air dry. If you need to use a blow dryer, use a diffuser attachment to distribute the heat evenly and retain your curl's shape.
Protective styling: Braids, buns, and updos are not just stylish but can also keep your hair protected from environmental factors, reducing damage.
Styling with intention: Styling curls can take a bit more time, and it's worth being intentional about how you want your hair to look. If voluminous structured curls are the look that you are aiming for, being intentional about your styling routine is key.
Find the right technique for your hair type: This is SUPER important. Knowing your HAIR type is critical to rocking your best curls. You wouldn't set off on an adventure without having a roadmap, would you? (well, some would, but it's certainly not advisable!)
Knowing your curl type is like having a roadmap for your hair; this will help you know which products to lean towards and which to steer clear of.
"I don't have curly hair. I have a crown full of endless, enviable options."
Products are Key
Deep conditioning: This should be part of your regular hair care routine. Curly hair tends to be more porous, which makes it prone to dryness. Deep conditioning replenishes and retains moisture.
Use curl enhancers: These products are formulated to define and enhance the natural curl pattern, making them more pronounced and bouncy.
Curly Hair Facts That Might Surprise You
#2 It has its own 'golden ratio'. Experts suggest the perfect moisture-protein balance is the golden ticket to perfect curls. This balance can be achieved through a combination of hydrating and protein-enriched products.
#3 Curly hair grows just as fast as straight hair: It just seems slower because of its spiral structure, which makes it appear shorter.
The Journey to Embracing Your Natural Curls
"People will stare; make it worth their while." - Harry Winston.