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What is a curl pattern?

The shape your hair strands naturally make from wavy to coily. All curl types are beautiful and hair growing out of your scalp should be nurtured. It is normally defined in 3 categories:

Type 2 (a to c) – wavy
Type 3 (a to c) – curly ringlets
Type 4 (a to c) – coily 
A = looser, c = tighter 

What is hair porosity?

The ability of your hair strand to absorb moisture. It is divided into 3 categories namely, low porosity (hair does not absorb moisture easily, medium porosity (normal/balanced absorption) and high porosity (open hair shaft allows more moisture to be absorbed into hair. 

What is hair density?

Simply put, hair density is the number of individual strands per square inch on your scalp. (Fun fact: The average person has approximately 2,200 strands of hair per square inch on their head). Hair thickness/hair volume. 

What is moisture and why is it important for natural hair?

Moisture is simply water, it’s the cheapest moisturizer one can get.  The purpose of moisture is to help hair be more flexible and this is most important during manipulation. If hair lacks moisture the hair becomes brittle and breaks easily. (from the chocolate hair group on Facebook) 

How do you cleanse natural hair?

Shampoo
Shampoo is normally an alkaline detergent that traps dirt and oil from the scalp. Most commercial shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate which is effective but drying for natural hair. The recommendation is to use sulphate free shampoo. 

Co-wash/conditioner
Simply put. Washing hair with conditioner. 

Hair conditioner is made of only a few ingredients but it’s the cationic surfactants that do most of the work. At one end of every cationic surfactant molecule is a positive charge that binds to the negative charge of a hair strand (opposites attract) . The attraction is so strong that the surfactants completely surround the strand and cover the cuticle flakes, like a customized hair envelope. The small amount of acid in the conditioner makes the cuticle flakes fall tightly against each other and hair feels smooth again, even after you rinse the conditioner out. 

In short, the molecules in conditioner coat your hair and sleek it out. Be careful of using conditioner containing silicone, as this builds up on natural hair which will cause dullness. 

What is deep conditioning and why is it important for natural hair?

Deep Conditioning refers to the process of treating (healing/restoring) your hair with a moisturizing or protein-based conditioner. The conditioning product that is applied to your hair might be specially formulated for deep treatment or it might even be simply a “boosted” regular conditioner or even a DIY concoction!! It penetrates the hair Strand and builds hydration from within. 

How do we detangle natural hair?

Natural hair is detangled by using a wide tooth comb or a Denman type detangling brush only when hair is slippery with conditioner (high slip) and very wet. It is preferable for the naturalist to finger detangle first before starting the wash day process. 

What is sealing?

Sealing is the act of applying a thin sheen of (preferably) natural oil to your curls after moisturizing and styling. Common sealants are mango butter, Shea butter, natural oils like argan oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, rosemary oil, avocado oil and coconut oil (tricky oil… Be careful if you have protein sensitive hair).