Why Natural Hair is Dehydrated

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Photo by Matheus Henrin.

Read Part Two Here: Why Perms Are Afraid of Water

Read Part One Here: Hair and the Nervous System


Natural hair is actually not as dry as it sometimes looks, but the reason it is typically drier than other styles is all in the hair strand.

There are, for the most part, three kinds of hair strands. There may in fact be more, but let us stick to the basics:

Straight – Rounded Shaft
Wavy – Oval shaft, grows in a slanted direction
Curly, Nappy – Flat or oval shaft that grows more on one side than the other creating a curve. It slants backwards folding over in a tight or loose spiral. Don’t be afraid to refer to your hair as Nappy, it just means curly and is not a bad word.

The human body is quite a creation. Everything about it was created to heal and renew. From the digestive system, that is purposed to clean and purify the body of its toxins and waste etc., to sleep, that is purposed to rejuvenate the body, we’re indeed magnificently made. The body actually already has everything it needs within itself to sustain itself, including hair.

Sebum is a naturally oily substance found in hair. It is secreted by the sebaceous glands that lubricate the hair and skin and gives some protection against bacteria. Straight hair appears shinier because it’s easier for the sebum to travel down the hair shaft.

On the other hand, hair in its natural state is curlier, with bends, curves, and slants that make it more difficult for the sebum to make it down the hair shaft. This is especially true in the case of loc’s when the hair is in a knotted-like state. As a result, I tend to apply oil to the ends of my locs more so than the root, which is naturally oilier because of the sebum. Use of shampoos and conditioners that dry out the hair can also contribute to dry hair.

Natural hair is dehydrated because the Sebum has a hard time getting past all that curl, sometimes never actually making it all the way down the hair shaft. Making natural hair often appear drier than it really is.

For dry hair, apply a mixture of Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or any oil of your choice to the hair and scalp. Africa’s Best Herbal Oil is excellent and inexpensive. You can use it by itself or add it to Shea butter. If your hair accumulates a lot of dandruff or dry flakes, add tea tree oil to your herbal oil for a natural medicated remedy.

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Yecheilyah

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an author, book blogger and poet of black historical fiction and poetry. She also writes inspirational nonfiction and urban fantasy. "I write to restore black historical truth for the freedom of all people." Visit her online at yecheilyahysrayl.com.

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