Most women who transition from relaxed to natural hair haven’t dealt with their unaltered texture since childhood, thus having to learn how to manage their hair from scratch. The task can be daunting especially when one considers the myriad of products available and the lack of adequate natural hair salons. Natural hair bloggers and experts like Afrobella, Curly Nikki and Love Brown Sugar are a great resource but even with instruction, you are bound to make a few mistakes on your journey. We’ve rounded up the top five faux paux that naturals make in caring for their hair and what you can do to avoid them.
Click through to read all 5, Vixens!
1. Avoiding a trim.
When growing out your hair from a big chop, trimming is essential. It will not only strengthen your hair by getting rid of dead ends, it will actually help it grow faster. Because you can’t see split ends as easily on natural kinky/curly hair than straight hair, it’s tempting to go months without cutting off your ends. Trust us, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Get to trimming!
2. Not detangling.
I’ll just come out and say it: detangling sucks. But it is a necessary evil. I’ve seen too many women with glorious afros with hair slowly dreading in the middle to not suffer through a much-needed detangling session. Wide-tooth combs and detangling conditioners like Kinky Curly’s Knot Today will be your best friends.
3. Choosing the wrong products.
Not every natural hair product marketed with a beautiful girl with a kinky fro is worth picking up. Be sure to do an ingredient check for every beauty buy you pick up and be sure to avoid products with alcohol which is drying to the hair. A good rule of thumb is to pass any natural hair product with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
4. Washing your hair too often.
Natural hair is characteristically dry so try to avoid washing your hair too often and stripping it of the moisture it craves. Co-washes (washes with conditioner) are ideal as the lather in shampoo is damaging to your hair but even those need a weekly limit.
5. Using too much heat.
As your hair grows out, it will be tempting to try new styles which may require heat. It’s smart to avoid putting heat on your natural hair as much as possible as heat damage can weaken your hair and alter your texture permanently. Opt for styles like twist outs, braid outs and Bantu knot outs that don’t require it. Curlformers are also a brilliant tool you can use if you desire a head full of curls. You can also adopt protective styles like a top knot (above) that don’t require heat.