Monday, October 10, 2011

Hair for Thought -- A New Generation of Hair

               With the assimilation of cultures throughout the world, each individual’s phenotypes are becoming more and more diverse through each generation.  One of these characteristics that many people don’t realize changes is hair.  When you compare the texture of curly hair from a purely African American, or Latino, for example, to a biracial or multiracial individual’s hair (especially one who is of mixed culture with African American or Latino, etc.), there is a paramount difference, not only in texture, but also in shape and formation.  Due to this difference, innovative maintenance procedures have been created in order to keep this new type of hair healthy. 
                One of the main issues with the newer mixed generations has been the ignorance of the parents in knowing how to deal with this new type of hair.  This multiracial hair needs to be treated differently than the way the parent maintains their own hair—it may look similar, or even the same, as the parents’ hair, but this does not mean that the actual composition of each strand is the same.  For example, many cultures have the tradition of washing their hair—shampooing, conditioning, or both—daily, which is unnecessary for an active individual with curly hair.  The recommended amount of times a week to wash curly hair is about 5 days a week in order to prevent over-drying of the hair, which can cause snapping, frizziness, and other unwanted issues.  More importantly to know about maintenance of curly hair is the use of specified products, including shampoos, conditioners, and other styling products.  Many of these products indicated as specified for the use by individuals with curly hair have strong chemicals in them that may feel good when you put it in your hair, but when it is washed out, it leaves your hair drier than it was before you used the product. 
                The differentiation between curly hair and straight hair when viewed under the microscope is that there are ridges that can be seen in the cuticle, and when dry, these ridges separate.  The Healthy Hair Bar has products that moisturize down to the cuticle without changing the texture of the actual hair, healing the separated ridges, preventing snapping, tearing, and frizziness.  The Healthy Hair Bar also has classes available in order to help educate and spread the knowledge of how to maintain healthy multiracially textured hair.  Once learning how to keep and style your hair in ways you enjoy that are healthy, we encourage you to embrace the type of hair you have and help you wear it so you can feel comfortably beautiful in your own natural skin.  

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