We’ve all heard about our curl type. It seems to be all that matters. All the conversations online, all the articles, all the videos seem to either focus on or at least mention your curl pattern. But why has the curl pattern become the only thing that is focused on? Maybe it’s because it’s visible, or maybe it’s because it was created as a marketing campaign to sell curly products.
I’ll admit, I started Mello because there was a lack of products designed for 4C hair. Especially natural products. It seemed like everyone was telling me I needed to put chemicals on my head to “manage” my kinks. But I don’t want to “manage” my kinks. I want to embrace them, and help them thrive.
No matter the reason, it’s important that we understand that curl type is not the only thing that we should be thinking about. It’s not even the most important. If you want healthy hair, long hair, thick hair, whatever, there are other factors that you should be focused on.
Start paying attention to these factors whatever your hair health goals and you’ll see progress like you never would if you’re mostly focusing on whether your hair zigs and zags or spirals.
1. Scalp Health
Let’s start from the roots. Your scalp is really important and often neglected when it comes to your hair. Naturalistas need to clean, moisturize, and protect the scalp. If you’re experiencing itchiness, flakiness, or any other scalp problems, it's a sign. You need to show your scalp some TLC.
If you shampoo too often, or with harsh products, you might experience flakes and dandruff. Your scalp might also overcompensate to make up for the over-removal of natural oils. Then it produces extra sebum that will also clog and stunt growth.
If you have a ton of product buildup, it won’t allow your hair to grow. If your hair isn’t growing, you might have some follicles that are inactive and need a little help.
You want to make sure you’re cleansing the scalp without stripping it of the natural oils that it needs. Mello's Soften and Nourish Shampoo is that happy medium. Because we use all-natural ingredients, you can rest easy. Our products work with your body instead of against them.
2. Your Ends
On the other end of the spectrum, we have your ends. Some of us fall into the “length trap.” You might think skipping hair cuts will help you get to your length goal faster. But split ends are the real enemy of growth.
When we allow our ends to split, they pull apart. It’s like a run in your hose, where it’s small one minute but just gets bigger and bigger. You have to get regular trims (about every 12 weeks) if you want length. No matter how well you care for your hair, we all get split ends. The longer you wait between trims, the more the stylist will have to cut to remove the split ends.
There are also things you can do to make sure that the ends of your hair are protected. Protective styles keep the ends of your hair safe. But not all protective styles are created equally.
Be careful using kanekalon hair or other synthetic hair with harsh chemicals. You might be doing more harm than good with your protective styles. The chemicals from the hair will leach into your hair and can cause breakage.
Let’s talk about porosity. It can seem like an overwhelming concept. But think about your hair like a sponge. If the sponge (or your hair) is very porous, that means that moisture can come in through those pores very easily. But it also leaves easily. If it’s low porosity, moisture has a hard time getting in and out.
There are different tests you can do to check your porosity but you can also kind of tell by your hair’s tendencies. If your hair looks super frizzy and dry, you might have high porosity hair. If you have to spend 20 minutes trying to get it completely soaked in the shower. If it takes forever to dry, you might have low porosity hair.
The goal is to have normal porosity hair. You don’t want either extreme. If you have high porosity hair, this means your hair will be super dry and prone to breakage. It could be due to damage from heat or chemicals. That leaves extra holes in the shaft and you'll experience frizziness. If you have low porosity hair, you’ll have a hard time getting the moisture you need.
Paying attention to your hair’s porosity is the first step to fixing it. If you have high porosity hair, lay off the heat and chemicals. If you have low porosity hair, you might need to focus on deep conditioning and steaming.
4. Your Detangling Methods
Your habits and hair care techniques are much more important than your curl pattern. You should focus on what you put in your body. Make sure you’re getting enough water and nutrients and you’ll see a big difference in your hair and skin.
You have to be gentle with your hair. Because society has told us that our natural hair is something we need to “manage” we are often really harsh with it as we detangle. We accept the notion that we should lose large chunks of hair as we detangle. That’s just not true.
When you detangle your hair, make sure that you use a product with slip like a leave-in conditioner. When you shampoo, it’s also important that the product is meant to act as a detangler. Detangle from tip to root and always use a wide-toothed comb. If you’re consciously detangling, you’ll notice much less hair loss.
5. Your Lifestyle
Believe it or not, your habits also have a major impact on your hair. Exercise and sleep both play a part in your hair health. Your diet plays a role in your hair growth and retention.
Eating whole foods is a good way to get the nutrients your hair craves. You can find foods that promote hair growth for any diet. Eggs are a natural source of protein and biotin. Berries, spinach, and sweet potatoes have their hair growth-promoting vitamins. If you can’t get the nutrients you need from diet alone, herbal supplements are also an option.
Don’t neglect your hair at the end of the day. Getting enough sleep is crucial to your body and your hair. You should also make sure that you’re sleeping with a bonnet, a satin scarf, or using a satin pillowcase. This will protect your ends from breakage. It will also preserve your styles for longer.
6. The Ingredient in Your Hair Products
The ingredients in your products matter! As I mentioned before, harsh chemicals will cause all of the issues that prevent hair growth. At Mello Hair, we are all about transparency with our products as well. You’ll never wonder what is in our products or what the words mean. Because they’re all-natural all the time.
Each of our products does something different and specific. We consider all the factors that are important to healthy hair. And it turns out, whether your hair zig zags or spirals, we all need to focus on some of the same things.
These natural products are good for everyone’s hair, no matter the pattern. There are way more similarities between 4C and 2B hair than differences. And there are so many societal messages about what we need to do to care for our hair that is just wrong.
We are sold products that dry out our hair, and then the same company has a product that will restore moisture. We are sold five different curl creams that don’t quite do enough unless you buy all of them. And then they just stop working altogether.
Curly Nikki Why the Health of Your Scalp Matters
Essence Protecting Your Ends from Splitting and Breakage
Mane Addicts 7 Ways to Beat Natural Hair Breakage
Naturally Curly This is Actually More Important Than Your Curl Pattern