This post is the last of the Healthy Hair Trinity series and I have been looking forward to putting this up because out of the three factors that have an impact on the state of our hair, external factors are the ones we have the most control over.
I have been involved in the hair care world for almost a decade now and having spoken to hundreds of ladies about their hair, I can say without a doubt that external factors is where the vast majority of us get things so wrong. Science has shown that we are ALL genetically are be able to grow at least 12 inches of hair…emphasis on at least. This is subject to us being healthy of course (internal factors such as ill health can alter this.
Many of us have no medical issue or scalp disorder that is prohibiting or slowing our hair growth. Often, it is what is happening to or what we do to our hair on the outside that causes severe damage and leaves us with hair much less fabulous than it is capable of being. There are several external factors which can be damaging to our hair. Correct hair care is the best way to deal with external factors. In addition to this, we all have different hair types, fine tuning your hair care to meet the specific needs of your hair, is the best way to correctly manage your hair type so that it thrives.
Common External Factors that affects our hair
- Living in a hard water area.
Unfortunately, many of us live in hard water areas and we then use this water to wash our hair on a regular basis. Hard water is known to cause some many problems to hair and skin and I have first-hand experience of this.
I have written detailed posts about hard water and how to combat its effects. You can read the posts by clicking here and here.
- Extreme Weather Conditions
Extreme weather conditions tend to negatively affect the moisture levels in hair and often results in damage and breakage. For example, exposure to very hot weather and UV rays can lead to discoloration and damage to the out layer of hair. Adjustments must be made to how you care for and wear your hair to protect it from environmental damage. Ladies, you know I got you. I have a written post about this which you can find by clicking here.
- Lifestyle – Exercising and Swimming
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise is good for our bodies and is proven to speed up hair growth. Sweat residue however can leave bacteria on your scalp and hair fibres and can also make hair feel brittle when the sweat dries up. Build up of bacteria on the scalp will hinder scalp health and dry brittle hair will break easily.
Chlorine in swimming pools will leave a coating on the hair which will nullify majority your hair care efforts because the build up of mineral on hair will prevent hair products from being absorbed into hair fibres properly. Yup, I have written posts that will help you adjust your hair care to reduce the risk of damage as a result of exercising and swimming. Click here and here to read them.
- Hair Care Practices and Hair Style Choices
What we do or fail to do to our hair has a very significant impact on our hair. Many ladies I have come across who are finding it challenging to keep their hair healthy usually have one or more of the following issues:
A- lack of or irregular hair care
B – regular but incorrect hair care – this includes using protein and moisture products incorrectly, using good hair care products the wrong way, using oils as a moisturiser, using the wrong products or wrong hair care techniques for your hair type, etc.
C – damaging hair styles or incorrect protective styling
Prior to my hair journey I was definitely guilty of all the above. What I and millions of ladies on healthy hair journey did to transform our hair was change what we did to our hair externally.
How do we care for our hair correctly? Its simple,
- – Create and be consistent with a hair regimen that is suitable for your hair type ( look up at the menu bar and read all the contents of the section called How to Care for Black Hair if you don’t have a hair care regimen and would like to create one for yourself)
- – Fine tune or adjust your regimen to be sure that it protects your hair from damage from the external factors listed above ( eg you may need to ensure your products are right for your hair type, tweak your regimen in winter or if you have been swimming or if you move to an area with hard water)
As a bit of a recap of the healthy hair trinity, the point is this, genetics, internal factors and external factors all have a role to play in how each individuals hair will be. External factors, particularly our hair care and hair styling practices are the aspects we have almost total control of. Take advantage of that control!
Good hair care should –
- Sustain and improve scalp health
- Preserve hair fibres so that length can be retained.
I share the throwback pictures of my hair journey above and below with the hope that it encourages more ladies to level up and take better care of their hair. My genetics and internal factors did not change, the improvement in the state of my hair is solely due to me caring for it correctly.
I didn’t stop relaxing my hair I just made sure I did it the correct way and remained consistent with my hair care. I still wear extensions but I make sure it is done in a way that preserves my hair rather than destroy it……and remain consistent with my hair care. I am sure you get the gist by now 🙂 and I hope you have found this Healthy Hair Trinity series to be a worthwhile read.
My next post will be about drying our hair on our wash days. Blow drying, tension blow drying, air drying, roller setting etc. all will be explained along with the pros and cons of each. Don’t miss it!!
Happy Hair Journey