Beyond Hair Type

Its kind of like restarting my natural hair journey.  Come with me as I rediscover my natural hair beyond its hair type, and learn how to make it grow!

I discovered (or rather, rediscovered) my hair this weekend.  What do I mean?  Well I was watching videos this weekend to kind of pass the time while my latest YouTube video was uploading, and I stumbled across some very well done video relating science to natural hair care.  I realized that I really don’t know as much about my hair as I should.  You see, when I first went natural, I just cut off my relaxed ends and then I was natural.  There was no YouTube, no natural hair blogs, no abundance of information for caring for your hair.  And I understood that there is indeed a science to the care and growth of healthy natural hair – a science that I once looked at as a bit “extra and ridiculous”, I now see as an absolutely necessity.  I think that the rejection of this science is what has led me to constantly hit natural hair plateaus, resulting in me cutting off my hair and starting over.  Like a vicious cycle.  So now I am on a journey to rediscovering my natural hair, using this science and applying it to my very unique hair.  Because all hair isn’t the same, so we shouldn’t treat it as if it is!  The science, however, is the same and can benefit our uniquely natural strands when applied to its care .

Now I am relearning my natural hair, if you will, finding what I need to know about my hair to make my experience what it needs to be in order to grow my hair healthy and long.  This is more than just hair type – this hair”ology”.

So What Is ‘Beyond Hair Type’?

Well, I want longer hair.  But I want longer healthier hair; and for a long time I haven’t felt as if my hair was as healthy as it could be.  Yes, I have healthy hair practices and I do all the things you’re supposed to do to keep your natural hair healthy and maintain its length, but I always hit a plateau – a growth stopping-point where my hair would thrive, but not grow…

And I had no idea why.  So I would do something drastic – cut, color, new method – to shake it out of it’s slump.  Usually with temporary success, but nothing lasting.  But this time I think I understand what’s going on.  My hair has been trying to speak to me…crying out for me to pay more attention to what it needs.

Hair speaks.  We don’t always listen, but if and when we do, we can hear it talking to us.  We can feel it trying to coax us into awareness, pull us into understanding how it will thrive.  And it rewards us when we bend to its will.

So What Am I Going to do Differently?

scienceScience.  I’ve never been a super-huge fan; but I have always been a quiet spectator – intrigued by the wonder of it all and how it works.  So when I discovered that there existed a ‘science’ to natural hair and to understanding its makeup in order to maintain its health, I initially scoffed at the ridiculous of it all…

I mean, after all, it’s just hair.  You grow it and maintain it the best you can, finding a method that works for you.  It isn’t scientific, it’s common sense, and to make it otherwise is just too much work!

…but after my initial cynicism, I became intrigued; and intrigue turned into curiosity.  Besides, aren’t we always told that anything worth having requires work?

So after over 12 years of having natural hair, I am…again…starting over – learning, or rather RE-learning my natural hair and respecting the science behind it all.

Why?  Because it makes sense.  Nothing else has worked, so why not apply science to my method?  I want to know my natural hair, not just wear my natural hair.  I mean, it is a part of me!

it's science

Bill Nye the Science Guy! Comment below if you watched this show!

Click on the pictures below to go beyond your natural hair type and get to the root of natural hair care:

why I don't type my hair

texture and density

porosity link

pH and natural hair

2 Comments

  • Reply Shannon D. October 23, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    Hello! (Heads up, this is ganna be a long one… >.< )

    Just stumbled onto your page because I've been having a slight issue with finding the right type of oil for my hair. Then I noticed this section, after reading through it, I was like "OMG, this may be the solution!" And this is super helpful! But then I ran into some questions that I hope you could point me in the right direction.

    First thing first, I have fine and thin hair – which after learning I'll try putting my flatpress temp down and and cutting time under the dryer down too and see if I can get away with that.

    I haven't properly checked porosity but I have a feeling it's normal to slightly porous (it dries fairly easily after washing – though it's not the "damaged" high porosity that most naturals claim it to be. I feel as though if it were damaged I would notice a lot more breakage. I think this has to do with my hair being fine – thin strands take less time to dry(?).

    I'm starting a new routine were I straighten in the winter time – wash/deep condition/regular conditioner/leave-in/roller set/straighten (in that order). I don't wash my hair for 3 -4 weeks. I've just purchased the apHogee protein treatment(will do every 8 weeks) since fine hair is more prone to damage.

    I straighten my hair because I reaaaaally don't have time to spray, twist, detangle every night. So straightening is more a convenience than aesthetics.

    All that said porous hair needs thick heavy oils to coat the strands while fine hair needs light oils. However, when I use a thicker oil I look like a wet puppy but when the oils are too light (think serums) my scalp dries out and flakes something fierce!

    So my question is do you have an idea as to what sort of "in between" oils there are? Everywhere I look it's always about heavy or light, these don't work for me.

    Phew! This was basically me responding to all your posts in one message 😀

    – Shannon D.

    • AskMeAboutMyHair
      Reply AskMeAboutMyHair January 31, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      Hi Shannon – wow! I’m not sure how I missed this comment but I apologize for the length of time it has taken to respond. I think I have an answer but let me do a bit more research and then write a post on this – this is very interesting stuff and more naturals may have questions about oils and straightening the hair. I will email you! 🙂 (promise…)

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