Welcome back, Lovelies!
At this point, I have damage-free curls and the overall health of my curls is booming, so I wanted to share with you five of the most obvious signs that you’ve got naturally, healthy curls!
If you’re still transitioning from damaged to healthy curls, don’t worry, hang in there! The process and length of time it takes to get through might seem strenuous, but never-the-less it’s well worth the wait!
Keep reading below for a full breakdown of each sign!
Elasticity is defined by the bounce of your curls. The more “bounce” there is, the healthier your curls are! If you’re transitioning, you may experience the root of your curls and the ends of your curls with two varying patterns. The root is slightly more defined and the other, a little straggly. This is because the ends are still damaged and over time as you care for your curls, use products suited to your curl texture and trim the ends, your curls will become more defined!
The beauty of curly hair is that our curls’ elasticity varies dependent on the area of the scalp that it’s on. For example, the elasticity of my curls behind my ears and towards the back of my head are much more defined and would appear to be healthier as they are less exposed, whereas my curl pattern is slightly looser at the front of my scalp as it’s more vulnerable to damage and manipulation. This is all totally normal, and totally healthy!
Shrinkage is literally your hair shrinking from one length to another, and this tends to occur when your curls transition from wet to curly. When your curls are wet or damp, they hold more weight. When your curls dry, your curl pattern is tighter making your curls seem shorter in appearance.
You might experience further shrinkage dependent on the kinds of products you use, for example, I personally find I experience more shrinkage when I use defining products in comparison to when I use a cream product which creates weight rather than definition. Shrinkage is totally normal and the amount of shrinkage you experience depends on the natural curl pattern within your hair, so don’t be alarmed if someone with slightly tighter curls experiences more shrinkage and vice versa!
If you’re not a massive fan of shrinkage, which is totally fine, you can manipulate your curls naturally by stretching them, which creates length that might have been disguised previously. Although stretching is something which is non-harmful to our hairs health, I’d recommend that you don’t manipulate your curl pattern too regularly as a curly hair pattern, whether loose or tight, is more prone to breakage and sensitivity.
No matter how much growth, no matter how noticeable it is, growth is health!
To gradually increase the growth of your curls, here are some suggestions:
- Use products which your curls respond to and require.
- Incorporate natural growth oils, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, into your hair routine.
- Cleanse your scalp and deep condition as much or as little as your curls require.
- Increase your water consumption and maintain a healthy diet… Similar to how our skin breaks out when we don’t drink water or binge eat on crappy foods, our hair follicles respond in the same manner which can stunt our hair’s growth.
- Try not to over manipulate or use excessive heat on your curls, especially whilst transitioning, as your curls are the most vulnerable to breakage during this time!
- Make sure the tools you use (i.e combs & hairbands) don’t damage your curls!
Understanding the porosity level of your curls will determine how healthy your curls are. Low porosity curls are harder to penetrate with moisture and are most resistant to protein-rich products. High porosity curls absorb moisture quickly however releases it quickly, making your curls appear dry and brittle. A lot of Curlies within the transitioning phase who have damaged or over-processed curls tend to have high porosity curls. Medium porosity curls are considered the healthiest curl type as they manage to receive and maintain a balanced amount of moisture throughout the day.
Hydrating your curls using products which hydrate your curl texture is essential! What works for some might not work for all, so try out products for yourself. Learning what your curls require is all trial and error.
I personally find that my hair appears the most hydrated when I use products which seal the moisture in my curls. There are three kinds of products I use which do this:
- Leave-In Conditioners
- Protein infused products (not suitable for low porosity curls)
- Gels as “Curl Sealers” which protect the hydration and moisture already maintained through previous styling products.
Before applying any product to your curls, there are a few things you need to be aware of prior to styling; If you apply product to damp curls, once your curls have dried they may appear less hydrated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your hair isn’t. Be mindful of both over-applying product, which drowns your curls and makes them appear greasy, as well as under-applying product, which creates frizz. Frizz, like shrinkage, is not a bad thing and our curls can be naturally frizzy in texture, however excessive frizz could be the cause of lack of hydration.
Fullness suggests health, although this shouldn’t be misinterpreted for thickness. I personally don’t have thick hair, however my scalp is full and that’s because I maintain the health of my curls through my hair routine. Thickness is dependent on a number of things, genetics being one of them.
Having full hair suggests you’re maintaining the health of your curls through the products you use and your regular routine, which includes how you care for your curls during the night as well as throughout the day (silk scarfs or bonnets Ladies, thank me later!)
During the transition stages, you might find your curls are a little limp and your scalp isn’t blooming with heaps of strands. Don’t worry – with time and care, your curls will be full and thriving which can only improve along the journey!
So there you have it, those are my top five signs for healthy curls! There are plenty of other ways to tell if your curls are healthy, a lot of which are subject to your own journey!
If you’re embarking on a journey to naturally, healthy curly hair, a lot of the above points might take longer than some. Just hold tight, your curls will be POPPIN’ in no time!
As always, feel free to drop me a message, share some of the signs you might have experienced on your own journey to healthy curls, and let me know your thoughts on the above!