Why Your Hair Hates Your New Place
You decided to move to a new city. Whether it’s to improve your life or to be a caretaker, this move means your life is about to change. That’s all well and good until it negatively affects your hair.
It almost seems as though your hair has a harder time adjusting than you! It’s not like you’re doing anything drastically different, so what’s going on? Here, I’ll tell you possible reasons why your hair is acting up and what you can do about it.
Be Aware Of The Climate
I’ll provide a personal example. I live in Michigan where our climate can be described as continental, specifically humid continental according to the Koppen system. In 2018, I took a family vacation to Cape Town, South Africa. They have a Mediterranean climate according to the Koppen system. Their summers are hot and dry, while the winters are more mild and rainy.
We went in July where it was summer for us and winter for them. July is a time where we get a lot of rain, so I’m used to a high level of humidity. Cape Town was going through a drought at the time due to low rainfall for a few years, so there wasn’t a lot of humidity in the air. Also, the sun felt really harsh, and I believe it contributed to how dry my hair felt.
In a nutshell, my hair wasn’t used to the climate and didn’t act normal. It was always super dry even though I did the LCO method right before I left. I had to moisturize it with water and oil every other day, and that’s not something I usually have to do.
We were only there for 11 days so my hair didn’t have time to get damaged, but you see the point. Always be aware of the climate of your new area before you go, so that way you can adjust your regimen accordingly.
I want you all to notice that I said “climate” and not “weather”. Weather can change every day, but the climate is the consistent weather patterns throughout time. So while the weather will tell you what to expect per day, the climate will tell you what to expect per season.
The moral of the story is that you need to know what you’re dealing with. For example, you might not need a regimen that consists of a lot of conditioning in a really humid environment. All you will do is give yourself moisture overload, and who wants that?
As another example, it’s probably not a good idea to have a natural hair regimen full of humectants if you live in a dry area. They will suck the moisture from your hair instead of from the air. Get accustomed to the climate so that way you can save your hair (and yourself) from a lot of stress!
Unfortunately, this can be a big problem and there’s not always much you can do about it. Pollution can affect an entire city, and you can’t easily get away from it unless you decide to move again. Before you decide to move to an area, research the pollution levels of the city. No city is going to be pollution-free, but you should live in the cleanest area you can afford.
All of the toxins, dirt, and grime isn’t good for your overall health, so it’s not going to be good for your hair either. Heavy and sticky ingredients ( such as our beloved honey and castor oil) can hold on to the dirt and grime that’s in the air. As such things stay in your hair, they weight it down and can penetrate into the scalp.
If dust, dirt, and other unsanitary materials get into the scalp, the end result is not going to be good. Even if it doesn’t get absorbed through the scalp, you could be breathing and drinking in the toxins. That’s even worse because it has a higher chance of affecting your entire body.
If you live in an area with a high level of air pollution, you need to keep your hair covered and stay hydrated. You don’t want it to make contact with your hair and scalp, and you need to flush out whatever you take in.
You should also make sure your home’s air filter is clean and properly maintained. The worst thing you can do is have dirty air circulating through your house because that’s where you’re most vulnerable. Overall, make it difficult for pollution to get inside your body, and make it even harder for it to stay there!
If you live in an area with a high level of water pollution, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself. The best thing for you to do is to kill all of the bacteria and remove all of the extra substances.
We all know how to boil water. However, I will say that boiling water is great for removing a lot of pathogens that could cause serious illnesses. Most bacteria can’t take the heat, so this is an easy defense mechanism.
If you are able to, you can also add chlorine tablets in order to strengthen the defense against bacteria. This is commonly used in pools to keep everybody safe. However, I don’t know how suitable that water would be for consuming, so PLEASE TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS! I am not a water sanitation expert, so I don’t know all of the possible risks involved.
Moving on from boiling, the next step would be distillation. Boiling is good for removing bacteria, but it won’t work against dirt and mineral buildup. In order to get all of the sediment out of your water, you need to distill it. Distillation is when you boil the water but the steam is collected. The steam will eventually turn into water, but all of the sediment is removed. I’m over-simplifying the process, but this is the gist of it.
You can buy distillation systems, or you can do it yourself. If you decide to buy one, then just know that they are expensive and don’t produce very much per day. The largest amount I’ve seen is 12 gallons (45.5 Liters)/ day. If that’s good enough for you and if you have the money, this would be a great investment.
Last but not least, you can invest in a water filter. Price varies depending on how big of a filter you need. You can buy one for a few thousand dollars to filter your whole house, or you can get filtering pitchers or water bottles for $30 or less. Whatever works for you and your budget. Either way, it’s good for getting out sediment and some can even filter out bacteria.
Filtered vs. Distilled
Now you may be wondering about the difference between filtered and distilled water. If you have distilled water, what’s the point of getting a filter or vice versa? That’s an excellent question and I’m glad you asked. If the water is contaminated with something that has a lower boiling point, then distillation won’t remove it.
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, so anything that can boil at a lower temperature will stay. Also, a lot of essential minerals such as magnesium will get removed during the process. Not only does it lead to a bland taste, but it’s also not all that great for your health.
A lot of experts say that filtered water is the best for your health because it allows the essential nutrients to stay while removing all of the unnecessary ones. It can also remove contaminants that have a lower boiling point either due to a specialized filter or extra treatment.
A great type of filter that you can buy that is a micron filter. The cartridges can be cheap (although there are expensive ones), so this is a great investment for those who already have a filter. It removes all of the harmful contaminants while keeping the essential vitamins and minerals.
If you moved and are now experiencing hair problems, try these out! Even if you didn’t move you should still give these a shot and see if it helps. The great thing about these tips is that they can help your overall health and not just your hair.
Having healthy natural hair starts with having a healthy body, so do what you can to stay in the best condition possible. Let me know if you tried any of these and if they worked for you. If you have any other tips on how to fix your hair in a new city, share those too! We’re all about helping each other out.
If you found this article helpful, pin the image below to any natural hair or hair care board on Pinterest by clicking the red “Pinterest save” button that shows when you click or tap on the image. Spread this to anybody you know who’s moving (or just moved) to help them out.