ILLUSTRATED BY Brittany Holloway-Brown

We live in such a superficial society that is ruled by the beauty of the month and even if you fall into that particular beauty category today, there is no guarantee it will be still coveted tomorrow.  Airbrushed models in magazines and online get exposed on national news but it continues to happen even after the outcry from activist groups demand for it to stop.  Daily we see in the news how all this beauty hype is affecting our young daughters and as we struggle to keep them feeling as self-confident as they should we can fall victim to the same insecurities. Yea, beauty is big business and despite the fickleness of the industry a woman must be able to feel beautiful inside and out and when you are newly natural and you don’t like your hair that’s a bigger feat than some can master.

Do you have to like your natural hair?  Well, I’ll tell you this much…it certainly helps!  For a newly natural there is an abundance of knowledge that is accessible through blogs, vlogs, books and magazines.  It’s no shortage of how tos, how nots and products that will sell you the world in a bottle, but some things can’t be bought or learned like learning to love your own tresses.  I can sit here all day and try to force you to accept your texture or look but if you truly don’t care for it my words will fall on deaf ears.  It’s not the end of the world because there are ways to learn to love your tresses or at least like them and even if you feel much better covering them up make sure you know what’s going on with your mane and maybe it will change your way of thinking.

Knowledge is power!
A newly natural may be concerned with curl definition, growth and styles but what they need to be concerned with is porosity, scab hair, line of demarcation and moisture retention.  The basics of healthy hair care is knowledge and many newly naturals are unaware of the importance of the terms mentioned above.  The more you know about your tresses the more you can achieve healthy hair and become happier with your hair.

Porosity – Your hair’s ability to soak up moisture.  There are low, normal and high porosity hair types and they all mean just how porous a strand of hair is and the ability for those strands to absorb water into the cuticle.  There are tests to determine your hair’s porosity level that will aid in finding the right products and routines to keep your hair moisturized.

Scab hair – Not a scientific term but describes the newly grown hair that comes in after you have stopped perming your hair.  It’s dry, wiry and unruly.  Your hair’s follicles may have damage from relaxers and will take some time before they are repaired.  Using protein treatments and being gentle with your strands are necessary and this hair is not representative of your hair’s natural texture.

Line of Demarcation – The hair or the point of hair that separates your two textures. (Your relaxed hair and natural or scab hair growing in) This hair is extremely weak and prone to breakage so using the correct tools (wide tooth combs, Denman brush, or your fingers and throw out that rat tailed comb) are great tools to use on your hair.

Moisture retention – Crucial component of healthy hair.  Your hair needs to retain moisture to stay flexible or elastic the older hairs need extra attention (your ends) because they can become easily damage if not properly moisturized and well-cared for.  Hair grows but it needs to retain moisture to retain length.

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