Two Faced Honey

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Friday, December 8, 2017

5 Common Natural Hair Mistakes


5 Natural Hair Mistakes



So much information is available on the information highway these days on how to care for and style natural hair, that we can still easily be doing things that don’t necessarily promote healthy hair. Now, we all have #hairgoals but have you ever thought that you may be making mistakes that would hinder instead of helping you reach those goals? Here are 5 Common Natural Hair Mistakes:

NOT USING THE PRODUCT DIRECTIONS
I’ll be the first one to admit that in the same way Cookie Lyons is the breaker of balls, I am a frequent breaker of ‘rules’ and directions but as far as products go, directions are made for maximum product performance. When we decide not to follow the directions sometimes we don’t get the results we desire and then we often want to blame the product for not working properly. As creatures of habit, we’re often heavy-handed with products, but some products tell you to use a certain amount for a reason. There are some products that perform significantly different when hair is dry vs damp hair or even wet. Some in the natural tribe still have a deep mistrust of companies but consider that sometimes they’re right. Just know that companies spend millions of research dollars to test the formulation of their products before any instructions of use are placed on the label. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment. It simply means that sometimes success is as simple as following directions.

DRY HAIR DETANGLING
Ouch! Say it ain't so. Detangling on dry hair is an excellent way to cause and promote mechanical damage and/or breakage. In case I wasn’t clear, that’s a NO, NO! Curly/kinky hair is prone to dryness and tangles. Because of this, the best and most efficient way to detangle our hair is to add moisture, which will help those knots and tangles to “slip” away from each other with less friction. If you've had any exposure to or around the natural hair community, you’ve probably heard the term “slip” used often. Now you should understand why we want products with as much slip as possible for detangling sessions. Whether you detangle with fingers, a comb or brush make sure your hair isn’t completely dry!

USING NOT ENOUGH/TOO MUCH PRODUCT
Guilty as charged! The truth is a lot of natural hair care is trial and error but most don't want to heard that. I can hear Bey singing "I woke up like this, FLAWLESS,"in the background now, but this will never be the case for naturals who don't have a good understanding of their hair. Some of that guesswork can be avoid with an understanding of the thickness, porosity, density of your hair. For example, if your strands are coarse you will need heavier formulations or more product, whereas someone with fine hair, thick butters and creams are going to weigh down the strands. It may sound insignificant, but trust me, it can make all of the difference to the results of your final style. Using too much product will leave your hair feeling weighed down, heavy and greasy, while not using enough product can leave your hair with little to no definition and under moisturized. Also, always consider your specific hair traits, the current condition of your hair (is it dry? wet? already has product?), and the type of product you’re using. It’s always better to start with too little product because you can always add more but its nearly impossible to go backwards.

HAIR TYPES
To keep it brief, these hair typing systems are inconsistent, confusing and at best, provide little to no significant value for actually understanding your hair and what it needs. How we care for our hair and what products we use on it should be driven by variables such as density, porosity, and thickness. for me personally, If I were to divide my hair into 4 sections, you would see that I  have a different thickness, porosity, and density throughout each section.Yikes! I feel pretty confident in stating that most, if not all of us have several hair types throughout our heads. This is why you can see hair that looks like yours but end up frustrated because it behaves differently. The elephant in the room here is that texture discrimination is still a thing and plenty of women still look to identified and covet certain hair types over others #allcurlsmatter. The reality is, there’s nothing any product you buy can to make “4C” (4C and everything between proud!) curls and kinks look and behave like “3B” hair. In my opinion, if we spent more time understanding the fundamentals of our hair instead of trying to give it a letter and a number, we could better nurture it to get the results we want. If History hasn't taught us anything, it should be the impact of grouping individuals by type. But who am I to say? I will have to dust off my psychology degree for that topic.

OVER MANIPULATION
Who doesn’t love a well-defined twist/braid out? Over manipulation can be challenging because of this need. Second and third-day hair is generally bigger (and with natural hair lovers, bigger is better), but it can be a struggle to strike a balance between getting volume and keeping definition–especially if pineappling of no use for you, such as with a TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro). With all of that said, constant manipulation is to be avoided. For us, less is more. What exactly does this mean? Never detangle dry, no fine-toothed tools, keep the pulling and tugging to a minimum, scale back on the hand to hair syndrome. And for Heavens sake, chill on re-twisting or re-braiding your hair every night. To put it simply, over manipulation can lead to damage and breakage. Breakage is unfavorable to retention and growth, so if length is a part of your #hairgoals, then keep your hands out of your head.

CARE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
We so often connect our hair’s health and behavior to what we do to it on the outside instead of how we nourish it from the inside. This is perhaps the largest mistake and oversight of them all, because the condition of our hair is so much more than the products we use and how we style it. Ultimately our hair growth is directly affected by how we take care of our bodies from the inside out. This means maintaining a healthy diet and body. So consider the moments where your hair is damaged and not responding to a good hair care routine, this could mean there may be a deeper issue that can be remedied only by a doctor. I encourage you to seek medical help, if your hair and scalp issues worsen. By the way, who knew, Trichology is the study of human hair structure, function, and disease. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. So, drink your water, eat your greens, sweat to the Oldies a couple times a week, and mind your hair business and your hair will thank you!

What natural hair mistakes have you commit the most? Let me know in the comments!