Hey Hey, beautiful People,
The wavy, curly and coily hair community seems to evolve around curl & coil definition rather than on proper Hair and Scalp Care. It is often neglected that hair and scalp are 2 different entities that coexist together, therefore, requiring slightly different timing, products, ingredients and techniques to maintain a healthy balance.
Our scalp is active as it is connected to nerves, tissue and blood cells making it pretty much self-sufficient: e.g. it uses a combination of sweat and sebum to create a protective layer called The Acid Mantel. This connection gives it access to oxygen, sulfur and nutrition amongst others from our bodies that makes ongoing hair growth as well as self-repair possible.
Besides the part of the hair bulb that is still attached to the scalp during the Anagen (growth) phase, hair is reactive to what we introduce to it and how we handle it. Meaning that your waves, curls or coils have no act
ive ability to maintain or repair themselves. Sebum is, therefore, the body's means of protecting our hair shaft however as hair grows longer and moves away from the scalp it receives little to no sebum. Does this mean that our hair is just destined to wither off? Of course not, this knowledge allows us to specifically target our hair care practices to either our hair or scalp for maximum result.
Active vs Reactive:
Water, protein and nutri
tional intake as well as exercise to increase oxygen in our blood flow is essential for your scalp to keep protecting itself and grow quality new hair strands. On the flipside, no amount of proteins, omega3, supplements or water consume orally will repair dry, damaged hair because it no longer has access to sebum. It is incumbent to you to use carefully selected products and regimens to protect or manage damage to cuticle layers by sealing in moisture, utilising gentle tools like microfiber towels and bonnets for example.
Hair Growth vs Lenght Retention:
It is pretty clear by now that:
The scalp is responsible for hair growth while Length Retention is largely determined by you.
The amount of care you take while manually handling your coils, waves or curls, selecting the right products, tools and being consistent determines the feel and look of your hair as well as the amount of length you are able to keep (not grow).
Essential Oils vs Carrier Oils:
So far we have established that sebum is an internal part of our natural hair and scalp care, logically we can conclude hair and scalp will greatly benefit from lipids that have a similar composition to sebum when applied topically. Being super concentrated Ess
ential oils are great when applied to the scalp because the terpenes in them penetrate deep into the scalp to activate increased blood flow.
Increased Blood Flow to the Scalp = Quality Hair Growth.
However essential oils may never be used on their own but diluted in a carrier oil to prevent irritations. Essential oils are expensive and only effective on the scalp so it makes sense to save your carrier oil infused essential oil for your scalp as it is wasted on the hair. Carrier, sealing or penetrating oils on the other hand
are amazing for your hair strands when used correctly, they aid in sealing in moisture, lubricating hair strands to prevent friction as well as tangles and add shine.
Teas & Ayurvedic Herbs:
The antiseptic, cleansing and rejuvenation properties of teas and other ayurvedic herbs used for the purpose of hair growth are again more beneficial when concentrated on the scalp whereas plants herbs and spices meant to condition, dye, strengthen or thicken hair strands like Henna & Cassia are best kept away from the scalp and focused on your waves, curls and coils.
Shedding vs Breaking:
Another important distinction between hair and scalp is that shedding occurs from the scalp naturally or due to an imbalance or distress whereas breaking happens along the hair shaft when hair goes through damaging traumatic manual handling.