We all know the natural hair journey isn’t necessarily the easiest, but it’s a path worth traveling. Everyone has to take the time to learn their own hair, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get a little heads up first. Understanding a few natural hair care mistakes and learning how to avoid them will save you time, stress and your hair!
1. Hand-in-Head Syndrome
You’re finally natural, congratulations! “Hand-in-Head” syndrome is one big mistake that’s so easy to make, and half the time you don’t even realize it! It’s such a good feeling to know what your natural hair actually feels like, but you want to exercise some restraint. Although you may want to play in your hair, keeping your styling simple will leave you with happier, healthier hair.
Tips to appreciate your natural hair, rather than touching it!
Low manipulation styles help with healthy hair.
Avoid too tight styles, especially around the hairline.
Use the proper tools when styling.
2. Keeping Up With the Joneses
I think at some point in life we’ve all experienced the urge to compare ourselves with someone else and maybe even compete with them. Let me tell you, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! This especially pertains to natural hair. It’s so easy to want what someone else has, to compare or even covet another person’s length or texture, or take someone’s word as the end all be all. We all have our moments, but learning to love your own hair will allow you to appreciate other curlies without getting caught up in the “their hair is better than my hair” complex.
Natural hair care tips for YOUR hair:
Be healthy hair focused, not length obsessed.
Learn the beauty in your own curls.
Don’t let someone else dictate what you do or don’t do with your hair.
3. Playing it Safe
Going natural gives you a certain amount of freedom with your hair, and often times a new style too. It’s important to remember that no one else has hair like yours, so don’t be afraid to try new styles and products. You never know how you will look with a curly hairstyle if you don’t try it, and you’ll never know how a certain curly hair product will work with your locks if you don’t give it a shot. Don’t be shy with your hair, be confident!
Tips to help you experiment with your own hair.
Try a couple new products at a time. No, you don’t have to be a product junkie!
Give your products an opportunity to work (2-3 weeks usage, at least).
Look to social media for new style ideas & tutorials.
4. Kick the Habit
We all have bad habits — dealing with your natural hair is no different. This is not to say these habits are absolutely terrible and should never be done; it’s just a note to be more aware. Most of the time you may not even realize it, but the potential to cause unwanted damage can be increased. Fight the urge and your hair will appreciate you for it!
Natural hair care tips to avoid bad styling habits:
Keep your detangling sessions short and simple.
Don’t skip out on the deep conditioning (once or twice a week!).
Avoid keeping styles in for too long.
Put the heat on hold!
5. Don’t Believe the Hype
As more and more people come to be aware of what they put in their bodies, naturally that can transition to what you put on your hair as well. Back in the day when our mothers and grandmothers did our hair, they didn’t have nearly a fraction of the products available on the market geared towards “natural hair”. What goes on your hair and scalp is important, but sometimes this can be exploited by companies trying to make a profit at your expense. Everything that glitters isn’t gold!
Tips to be an informed consumer:
Do your own research!
If you have a concern, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Be aware of ingredients, but don’t trash products that have worked for you.
At The End Of The Day…
Natural hair is not a fad! I repeat, natural hair is NOT a fad! We all with have trials and tribulations when it comes to dealing with our hair, but don’t let that discourage you. Be secure in yourself and confident in your hair. Yes, we all will make mistakes but they should be an opportunity to expand learning and grow along this journey. In fact, share your bloopers with other naturals and you’ll really get a good laugh!