By Jc of The Natural Haven
The word healthy hair is used quite widely and means different things to different people. For natural hair, this term can be more treacherous because properties often associated with healthy hair do not apply to normal healthy natural hair. Here are some examples
1. Healthy hair does not break or split easily
Fine, kinky and curly hair has a tendency to break very easily. Scientifically taking a strand of hair and stretching it out to breaking point gives you the force at which the hair should typically break. However, during combing, kinky, curly hair tends to break before that force is reached because it is not just stretching it that matters but also whether it tangles against another strand or forms a knot.
Hair of African origin also has a tendency to break in quite a traumatic fashion. It fibrillates forming a rough edge that is perfect for starting and accelerating split ends. Therefore, even when you are being very careful, if you snap a few strands of hair, you can end up with split ends.
It is difficult or even nearly impossible to be completely damage free. It is indeed possible to greatly reduce breakage and ensure healthy hair. Natural hair will be able to resist combing damage provided it is understood that it is necessary to be gentle
2. Healthy hair is moisturised and not dry
Natural hair has a tendency to be dry. This is not because it is damaged but just a normal property associated with it. How often you moisturise your hair (using proteins, water, humectants and oils) affects how dry it feels. Sometimes dry hair can be an advantage, for example for straighter styles and roller sets. Other times some moisture helps , for example with flexibility during styling and handling.