Fro' Care, General, Highlight

Fro’ Friday: Natural hair profile

Even when it comes to our natural hair… Let’s do better

Welcome back to the blog family! Today is Fro’ care day, so you know we’re about to grow in our knowledge and understanding of natural hair. All this so that when we look back a year from now, we can boldly say that we’ve both grown healthy hair and maintained the growth.

For the gentlemen who are here, but aren’t exactly here to learn how to grow their hair, I haven’t forgotten about you. This post is, however, a great way to learn something about the crowns of the women around you. It never hurts to learn something new everyday. Moreover, you could always share this post with them.

As mentioned in our first #FroFriday post for the year, we’ll be learning about the science behind natural hair, curl patterns, as well as why some products work on our hair and others don’t. This is among other things that have been suggested.

I’ve been on this natural hair journey for a little under 7 years, and during that time there’s been so much trial and error with my hair. I’ve made SO MANY mistakes when it comes to caring for my hair. To the point where I was on the verge of chopping it off at the beginning of last month because of how much damage my carelessness from last year resulted in.

One of my biggest mistakes has been trying to take someone’s hair regimen and copying & pasting it onto my hair without understanding the intricacies of how my hair differs to theirs. And what this means in terms of just how well their chosen products and regimen would work for my hair in particular. Very recently I discovered that there’s actually something called a Natural Hair Profile, and drawing up this profile helps lay a solid foundation when trying to understand one’s natural hair. As you learn how to navigate your profile, it also helps you determine what products and processes are a no go, and why.

What makes up the natural hair profile?
natural hair profile
This is my Personal hair profile, as of February 2020

Our profiles are made up of 6 different categories, and where your hair lies within each category will either put you at an advantage or a slight disadvantage when it comes to how well you are able to retain length as your hair grows.

Today, I’ll briefly go over what each category is/entails. As well as how to know where to class your own hair within each category.

The Categories
  1. Texture – This is how thin or thick each hair strand is. This is where you determine whether you’ve got fine hair or coarser textured hair.
    • The way to figure it out: Try this with hair strands in several places around your head. Place a hair strand between your thumb and index finger, and rub your two fingers back and forth against each other. This will roll the strand back and forth between your fingers. If you can barely feel your strand, high chance you have fine hair. If your strands feel thicker and you can distinctly feel them as they roll, then you’re sitting in the moderate to thick hair strand category.

  1. Density – This is how much hair you actually have on your scalp. Its a result of the spacing between the hair strands on your scalp. The larger the spaces, the lower your hair density, and vice versa.
    • I find this quit easy to figure out when I look at braided hair. Often, people with lower density hair tend to have wider parts when they get their hair braided when compared to people with higher density hair.

  1. Cuticle surface – Your cuticle surface is described as either smooth or raised/rough.
    • The way to figure it out: Again, place a hair strand between your thumb and index finger, except this time you are to slide your fingers down the shaft (length) of your hair.
A microscopic view of the cuticle surface.
  1. Curl Diameter – This is what is also known as your curl pattern. I actually did an in depth post about this some time ago. Click here to read the post. Bear in mind that you can have anywhere between 1 and 3 curl patterns at once, and that’s okay.

  1. Elasticity – This your hair’s ability to bounce back/curl back up either after you pull it taught or add moisture to it (after its been stretched by braids or a blow dry). If you’ve got head damage, colour damage, or you’re in the middle of transitioning and still have relaxed ends, you’ll find that your hair strands remain rather limp even in the presence of moisture (water).

  1. Porosity – This is your hair’s ability to both absorb and lose moisture as a result of how porous your hair strands are. High porosity hair easily absorbs moisture, but it also easily loses it. On the opposite end, low porosity hair takes a lot more effort for moisture to enter the hair cuticle, and is thus prone to drying out. Medium porosity hair both easily absorbs and retains moisture.
Microscopic image of hair cuticles & strand porosity.

  • How to test your hair’s porosity.: There’s something called a porosity strand test, and all it requires is that you place a few single strands of hair in a cup/container filled with water. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and then check the position of the strands.

In the coming weeks, I’ll expand a bit more on each category. How each determines what products/ingredients in certain products work for or against your hair. We’ll also get into tips and tricks that will contribute to you having happy, healthy hair.

With that said, what are your thoughts on the concept of a Natural Hair profile? And are you keen on trying it out when it comes to your natural hair journey? Do let me know in the comment section. 🙂

Got any thoughts/questions on today's post?