In 2016 I opened the first no-heat, no-comb natural hair salon in South Africa. The aim of the salon was to create damage-free™️ services (comb-free, heat-free, braid-free, dye-free), where African-textured hair is celebrated in its most natural form.
A year later some customers started complaining of itchy and scaly scalp from our salon treatments. I had also observed that my children’s hair had different characteristics to mine. The Hairtural brand I had created was more suited for my dry hair than theirs. Handling hair in its natural state at the salon enabled me to see its identity - from 2016 to now, we have done just over 65,000 heads of only natural hair. I conducted client survey research and in combination with discussions with stylists about their observations, I came up with a 3-step hair classification framework I call the Scalp & Hair Profile that helps you understand your hair better. The three steps of this framework are genetics, products, and routine.
Genetics: the first step of the framework is based on scalp genetic characteristics. These characteristics include the follicle opening, size and shape, scalp barrier (consisting of the skin layer, scalp microbiome, and moisture-sebum layer), and sebum secretion. There are 4 profiles based on these characteristics: dry, sensitive, fragile, and oily.
Products: knowing your scalp and hair profile is the most important factor in determining what haircare products will work best for you. This step provides information on the brands and ingredients that match your profile, it further provides ingredients you must avoid. To manage your profile, focus on the five core products that are specifically suited to each profile. These five products are the foundation of any good haircare routine and include a scalp serum, cleanser, conditioner, moisturizer and sealer.
Routine: to get the most from your hair care routine, no matter what your profile, you should start with three simple steps; daily, weekly, and monthly steps. The daily step looks at providing hydration and nourishment for the scalp and hair. The weekly step includes cleansing and conditioning. The monthly step aims to treat and address the different problem areas (hydrate for dry profile, protect for sensitive profile, strengthen the fragile profile, and detox the oily profile).
By investing time in getting to know your profile, you can take control of your haircare journey and enjoy the benefits of healthy, well-nourished and beautiful hair.