I think it’s safe to say taking care of natural hair properly is an art form. There is so much to consider and many of us do not have the luxury of slacking off. It’s because the strands of our hair get more fragile the tighter it curls. We all have different methods and different standards of care but there are five very important mistakes most curlies are making that are ruining their natural hair. Check down below to see if you are guilty of any.
Not Detangling or Detangling Incorrectly
You don’t have to admit to this, I know some of you aren’t detangling your hair and you can’t see it but I’m raising my hand too. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it. Or if you’re like me and it’s thick, it’s 4C, it’s prone to dryness it just… feels like a lot but that’s exactly why you should do it. Or I should do it. We should do it.
There is also such a thing as detangling incorrectly. We do this by not detangling from the ends to our roots. This is particularly important for type 4 curls. This mistake could cause tangles which may result in you losing a few strands if it gets bad enough since curly strands tend to wrap around on each other.
Another mistake that’s ruining your natural hair is not sectioning your hair before you begin. Doing your hair in sections will help you prevent knots from forming in the hair. Which as we noted can lead to breakage. Not using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers is a really big one. Finger detangling is one of the best ways to separate your strands and prevent damage.
Remember to always detangle the hair before a wash and during your conditioning. Part the hair in four, six, or eight sections and begin with either a wide-tooth comb or your fingers from the ends to the roots. Doing this will make your wash-day go by so much smoother.
-Sidebar- Has anyone heard of The REVAIR Air dryer? It’s basically a new-aged blow dryer that dries the hair in seconds. Seconds. I’ve been using it for two thousand…I want to say nineteen? It’s amazing. It saves so much time and is super easy to use. Plus, it doesn’t cause heat damage. This product is a bit pricey so I would suggest listing this as a Christmas present for someone who really likes you but I promise you’ll never go back to a regular blow dryer again. Plus, it probably saves you more money and heartache in the long run. Since I started using it, I have noticed a dramatic increase in tangles and breakage. You can check it out here. Learn more here.
Okay, back to the post.
Putting Off Your Wash Day
Putting off your wash day is another curl sin of mine and I’m sure others as well that is ruining your curls. I hate washing my hair. I love to style it but… man, do I hate washing it. Granted, it doesn’t take me as long as it did when I first went natural however, I am not fond of the process. I have to make sure I have my microfiber towel, my comb, my products.
–Sidebar– Make sure you pick a good microfiber towel. Some of them are not authentic and will ruin your hair. I found mine some time ago and I absolutely love it. You can find the one I use here.
Alright, moving on.
I have to remember if this is a protein wash day where I use mostly protein-based products or if I need more hydration. I have to wash, deep condition, sit for a while, rinse. It stresses me out just thinking about it which is why I try to hold this day off for as long as I can.
It has been recommended that type 4 curlies with longer strands try stretching out their wash days to two weeks. This is because too much washing can dry out already dry-prone hair. However, going longer than your hair can stand is not what I would suggest hair needs moisture to maintain its plasticity. Without it, the hair becomes brittle opening the door to fragility, tangles, knots, splitting, and eventually breakage.
My rule of thumb for curlies is at least once every two weeks but not more than twice a week.
Applying Too Much Product
For some curlies, product build-up is a real concern and this is where knowing your hair’s characteristics comes into play. What may be suitable for one curly, simply may not work for you. When I first went natural, I bought this really nice scent, popular product and I would slather it all through my hair to the point where I could literally squeeze the excess product in my hand.
My hair looked shiny and moisturized but I began to notice my hair was splitting near the ends and breaking off a lot. I couldn’t figure out why? Product build-up. If you apply too much product on your strands, it will create a layer of residue which can act as a blockade to incoming moisture. In other words, the LCO and LOC Methods don’t work for everybody.
So, if your strands aren’t getting moisture but you keep applying the product the strand will become dry and we know what happens then. Knowing your hair type, density, texture, and porosity level will help you steer clear of this mistake.
Skipping Out on Trim Day
I don’t have this problem. I will cut inches off my hair because I prefer my ends to look neat over them looking long. My problem is, I might trim too much off but there are some that don’t cut at all. I know people who have not gotten a trim in years.
Literally years! It is very tempting to avoid trim day especially if you prioritize length but ridding yourself of damaged ends can only help your hair grow more effectively. When I was growing up, I used to hear that you’ll stunt your hair’s growth if you don’t cut it. It took me a long time to learn that this bit of information wasn’t actually true.
Your decision not to trim your ends has no effect on hair growth, however, it can prevent tangling, knots, and split ends. This will improve the functionality, appearance, and length retention of your strands. Trimming the hair once every three months is a good average.
If you want to learn how to trim your own hair it’s easy. Check out this post!
Leaving Hair Exposed
Everyone’s done this one. Heck, I’m doing it right now. I really should learn to take my own advice. Leaving your hair exposed to the elements is a fast and loose game. Moisture is the foundation of our regimens. Our hair will not thrive without it. No one’s hair can, actually but ours in particular.
Going outside without a head covering will expose your hair to the harmful effects of the air and sun. Allowing your hair to rub against different kinds of fabric or furniture will all absorb the hair of precious moisture. Again, this leads to tangles, knots, splits, and breakage.
So, the moral of the post is to avoid these pitfalls and your hair will grow long and healthy. That was fun. If you have any comments or questions leave them down below. Or you can message me on my contact page. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more help with hair tips and I’m out.
Until next time!