Telling the Difference Between Natural Hair that FEELS Dry and IS Dry


By Geniece of Beautifully Made via BlackGirlLongHair

Okay, show of hands. How many of you have ever held a section of your hair and squeezed the ends listening to the crunching sound your hair makes? Well, I have. On the one hand it’s kind of cool to have hair that’s so highly textured that we can actually hear it. On the other hand, that crunching sound can indicate that our hair is dry and that is anything but cool. If you struggle with what feels like perpetually crunchy, dry hair then I hope to give you some insight what might be happening with your hair.

Five years after I went natural I decided that I should actually start caring for my hair instead of complaining that it wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I began to be gentler with my hair, manipulating it only when necessary and using water based products. After my six months of better practices I was thrilled to see what I had not for quite some time–length retention. Still, there was something that puzzled me. One of the things that frustrated me early in my healthy hair journey is that no matter what I did my hair would often feel dry. I would add moisturizing creams, keep my hair pinned up and spritz with water but once the water dried my hair felt dry. At one point I suspected that my hair’s dryness was the reason my hair didn’t retain length but once I realized I was retaining length I had the realization that my hair could feel dry without being brittle and prone to breakage. So, what was going on? One of the greatest epiphanies I’ve had as a natural is this: My hair can feel dry, even look dry, even when adequately moisturized.

Tiffany, KinkyCurlyCoilyMe Author and founder of NaturalHair in the Media

Those of you who constantly buy moisturizing products and still find yourself frustrated can breathe a sigh of relief. If you are adding water to your hair more than likely it is moisturized. However, because of the twists and bends of highly textured hair it may feel rough to the touch but this does not mean that it is brittle or dry. For me, this is an area of my regimen when I have learned to operate in faith. If I’m doing what I’m supposed to, I believe that my hair is moisturized even if it doesn’t always feel that way. This is especially true when my hair is exposed to extreme weather during the heat of summer and frigid cold of winter.

Now I know some of you may still be a bit bummed. After all, who doesn’t enjoy hair that feels soft and supple to the touch? I agree. I definitely prefer my hair to feel moisturized than not. However, being honest about my hair texture allows me to be realistic in terms of the expectations I have for my hair. I have actually become accustomed to “dry” feeling hair and to me it feels normal. In fact I can even tell the difference between my hair when it’s moisturized and feels dry and when it is genuinely in need extra moisture. For me, making this distinction has made my hair journey much smoother.

Ladies, how do you determine when your hair is in need of moisture?