Soft hair can represent healthy hair in all textures, including both curly and coarse. As a hairstylist, I hear connotations from all of the time amongst women associating soft hair with weak hair.
That’s not true. If one is elderly or ill with an appearance of soft hair, it’s not unhealthy because of its softness alone, it’s due to the hair’s lack of elasticity, durability, and correlating strength – which of course can be a reflection of other internal health factors.
Photo Courtesy of @CreateHer/ElsaArauz
SOFT, SHINY, & STRONG
Healthy hair is soft, when in combination with being strong and shiny. Just like how a high performing person, or superhero in the case of Wonder Woman, can have a personality mix of being nice and soft with a magnetic glow while exuding power, and never being a pushover that breaks easily – the same applies to our hair.
We want it to be soft and shiny with a lot of pop while being strong without any signs of breakage. Softness is an indicator of moisturized hair and elasticity, which are key factors to achieving healthy hair maintenance. Also keep in mind, soft and weak hair rarely ever shines.
In healthy hair, softness reflects a strength property due to its elasticity – which is the measure of how much a hair will stretch without breaking. Just like a rubber band, stronger and higher performing rubber bands can vary in size and thickness, as long as they have the proper elasticity in relation to its size to stretch without breaking.
However, when that rubber band is crumbly and dry, at any size it loses its ability to stretch without breaking. This is the same with various textures and degrees of fullness, which all can achieve softness, shine, and strength, with proper conditioning.
Coarser textures of hair often require more of a conditioning regimen to achieve its optimal level of softness, shine, and strength. This is because although appearing fuller due to more hairs on the head than other textures, it has a smaller diameter of the individual hairs, which can make it more susceptible to breakage.
Knotting at the end of the hair, and breakage occurs when the hair is not properly conditioned or not properly trimmed. Many are afraid to trim the hair, but keep in mind the best conditioner is sometimes a cut! If that part of the hair is done, it’s best to cut it and move on to a healthier hair state.
Healthy hair is PH balanced. Products that moisturize and condition the hair have a low PH, creating balance. Low PH counters out the effects of the environment that naturally want to raise the PH of the hair.
Moisturizers are so important because they also lower the PH by closing the cuticle, which creates a higher shine by reflecting more light. That’s why soft, shiny and strong goes hand in hand with healthy hair.