Many of us do think we are treating our hair gently but quite often we really aren't. In truth we would treat a beautiful wool dress much better than our hair. Examples:
1. Would you turn your iron on to the highest heat and iron your cashmere sweater?This is unthinkable, you know that you will scorch the fibre but somehow when it comes to hair, smoking hot flat irons do not seem to carry the same fear. In truth cashmere is made up the same protein that hair is made from- keratin. Yes it is dyed and processed which makes it weaker than unprocessed natural hair but the basic keratin structure is quite similar. Think twice before you use heat, make sure that you have protected your hair adequately and aim to use as little heat as possible for the least time as possible. Whenever possible opt for a heat free hairstyle.
2. Would you wash your cashmere sweater in the washing machine?No you would not! You would be (or should be) terrified of the machine rubbing against the fabric. I personally handwash with a mild detergent. Transfer this principle to hair and think about how you should handle the hair when washing. Don't scrub or scratch unnecessarily, check your finger nails before placing them in your hair and never pile your hair when washing.
3. Would you pull your cashmere sweater when it is wet?Ideally you would avoid stretching it at all because it can loose shape (i.e fibres stretch beyond the elastic point and therefore cannot return to the correct shape) . Hair is weakest when wet, it can stretch a lot and easily get to breaking point. Avoid handling wet hair as much as is possible. My recommendation is not to begin styling your hair until it is around 80-90% dry. It does not have to be fully dry because natural hair has a tendency (in my opinion) to be much less flexible at 100% dry. Some water is useful but there is a huge difference between a slight wetting for flexibility and a soaking wet head.
In short, I am saying think before you touch your hair.
1. Would you pull your favorite wool dress like you would do to your hair?
2. Would you rub a towel on your cashmere sweater or would you just pat it dry?
Treat your hair like a fine piece of fabric!
*Note: I can't remember when I went natural.....I am guessing it was 10 years ago