Do you find your hair is straighter and oilier on the crown of your head, and more wavy/curly yet drier in the lengths? Welcome to the club of so-called NORMAL.
(Can't say I'm a bit fan of the word "normal" when it comes to hair... more on that later).
It's actually more rare to have one single type of hair throughout your whole head. Most people have multiple hair type / pattern / wave style, which creates different needs for treating it properly to make it healthier-looking.
Some of the things that can affect the wave and curl pattern on your hair include:
the scalp effect
Let's dissect each one a bit:
We're made up from a cocktail of different people. Grandma may have been known to have red, curly hair, while Uncle John may have straight, black hair. You were thinking you may inherit ONE of their hair styles? Nope.
Some people are born with white blond hair and as they age it turns to a dark brown colour. Just as it happens with skin, as later we notice we have the same eczema that a sibling had, or millia thanks to a grandfather's genes. The hair is constantly changing and adapting to our environment, hormones too – even medications can change the curl pattern, and our hair treatment can change its porosity!
Did you really think you would have the same hair type for the rest of your life?
Naturally, the weather can have an effect on our hair. Besides ruining all the work you put into styling it today, the effects of climate change can also have an effect on both hair and scalp: Hair absorbs pollution from the atmosphere, is dampened with more acidic rain, it gets burned with hotter, more damaging rays of sunshine, it gets drier with the same sun and dryer air. It happens, and we must learn to adjust and look after our scalp so it's stronger and more resilient (more on this later).
All that crap we put on our scalp, plus everything we do to our hair has an effect on its health, affecting its curl pattern and porosity. More porous hair will behave differently than its less-porous neighbour – it may look frizzier, more dry, thicker and more wiry, with perhaps more volume too, but it may be harder to tame.
Hair health can be affected drastically, by:
If you use tools to blow dry it, straighten it, curl it or tease it, then you're physically changing its natural pattern by breaking the various bonds that keep it healthy in the first place.
If you're using mainstream styling products such as hairspray, mousse, leave-ins, gels and also using not-too-great cleansers and conditioners, then chances are you're overly drying it and then covering it with sillicones, which can damage both skin (scalp) and hair length over time
If you're colouring it – even temporarily with those wash-out colourants, you're forcing the hair cuticle to open in order to deposit some of the hair colour deep within, causing damage.
If you're unnecessarily washing it daily, you're removing some of the scalp and the hair's natural protectants, leaving it more susceptible to damage.
It could also be the products you're using, as some leave-ins and conditioners can make your hair look straighter if the product is heavier. Or frizzy if the product is too light and your hair is lacking hydration.
Hair does age, you know. It becomes weaker as it gets longer – especially the more you do to it and the less you protect it. While the hair nearest the scalp can be 1 month old, your 6" tresses can be anywhere between 3-4 years old! That's a lot of brushing, washing, pulling, highlighting, stretching and braiding.
Back to the scalp for a minute: It makes the most beautiful, natural, protective oils that your hair needs. It actually makes oils that are SPECIFIC to YOUR HAIR TYPE. They often say this about a Mother's breastmilk too: She will make milk specific to her baby and not anyone else's (it's brilliant, really). But the problem is that the more you wash these oils off – either by shampooing, brushing, straightening or what not – the more oils the scalp will feel it needs to make. It's exhausting!
So the length of your hair that is 6" long, or 12" long for example – will it get the benefit of those hair oils? The longer the hair then the farthest away from this personalized oil nutrition, resulting in more dry hair. This dry hair will LOOK, FEEL, ABSORB, SHINE and CURL differently than its healthier counterpart.
(psst: If you want healthier long hair, then protect it well! Try our Nourishing Hair Elixir for shiny, protected hair!)
People with any bit of wave or curl pattern in their hair will also experience the way their waves/curls look depending on the length of the hair. Hair is quite heavy, and naturally, the longer the hair, the less it will curl/wave – especially if your hair is thick. If it's quite long and looking drab and pokey, then maybe a little trim would help it bounce back.
THE SCALP EFFECT
Your scalp and your hair tresses have different needs.
This is the basis behind having a separate shampoo than a conditioner:
Shampoo pH is made specifically for the scalp, while conditioner pH is made specifically for the hair length, the tresses, and not recommended to go on the scalp as it can be irritating and damaging to the scalp itself.
The scalp is, by nature, hotter in temperature. Air will not flow through as easily. The hair nearest to the scalp will therefore be more susceptible to absorbing the oils your scalp produces, and these oils will more easily run down your hair, than through the lengths of your hair.
This is also why people with fine and straighter hair seem to have that shiny hair those with with more wavy / curly / coily hair often envy. But it's also why they will more often complain about having "greasy hair".
The length of your hair is dryer which can make it look frizzier as it doesn't have immediate access to moisture and hydration. Especially because we're washing it too often, removing all those protective natural oils. And this is also one of the reasons why we don't recommend washing the lengths of your hair as often as you would the scalp – where most oils, sweat, old skin and dust/dirt would be trapped.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE YOUR HAIR MORE 'NORMAL'?
Okay, let's talk about that word please: NORMAL... It drives me cRaZy because nobody has "normal" hair. There is no such thing as normal hair (Check out our TikTok Reel [HERE]). I don't care who says it, it's not a word that jives with hair, sorry.
Your hair is YOURS – nobody else's hair is like yours. Don't get stuck on a hairstyle that another person has – find your own and OWN IT.
There are some things you can do to counteract the issues you may have with your hair porosity, which will undoubtedly regulate the amount of oil your scalp produces, how dry it gets, how shiny it may look, or frizzy, and balance out the look of your hair overall.
Wash it less often. This protects your scalp, regulates oil production, makes hair shinier, promotes a healthier scalp microbiome (read more on that [HERE]).
Trim it monthly (you can learn to do this yourself if you have long hair. It's not that difficult)
Switch to more natural hair cleansing and styling products (we got you! SHOP). There's a reason why they're so excellent for the health of your scalp and hair.
Style it less, colour it less often, save your hair and scalp now before it's too late!
Visit a good hairstylist who can show you a style that you will like and that is best suited for your hair type, length, facial framing, and lifestyle.
What is your hair like? Do you find there are different wave, curl, and porosity patterns that form throughout? Comment below, we'd love to know!
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