6 mistakes you might be making with your natural hair
While there is nothing more natural than rocking your hair the way it grows out of your head, many women come to it after years of wearing styles that require a different set of rules for upkeep. And despite the dizzying array of blogs out there, it can be hard to know exactly what you should do to keep your hair at its healthy best. The result? Hi there, trial and error! But we have you covered. Here are the most common mistakes that new naturals make and how to bypass them on your way to happy hair.
Focusing on length. If you spend your days worrying about how long your hair is getting and using any means necessary to stretch it out (we’re looking at you blow dryers and flat irons), not only are you potentially damaging your hair, but you’re missing out on the glory that is your hair at all lengths. Each length has its positives—don’t miss them because you can’t appreciate where you hair is right now.
Using the wrong tools. Not all hair tools are created equal. That paddle brush may feel good on your scalp, but there’s a good chance it’s shredding your ends if you’re using it to detangle. Seek out combs and clips that are made for your texture—not someone else’s. The same goes for products. That protein-rich moisturizer might make your homegirl’s tresses feel like silk, but leaves yours straw-like. You don’t have to be a product junkie to discover what works for you, but it is worth it to try different products over time.
Not getting trims. It’s easy—especially if you never straighten your hair—to go months, even years, without getting a proper trim. But the daily rigors of manipulating your hair, from detangling to twisting, can cause damage to your ends. Left alone, the damage can split up the shaft and make things look raggedy up top. How often your hair needs to be trimmed depends on your hair and how you handle it, but every six months is a good rule of thumb.
Overdoing the heat. The versatility of natural hair is one of the best things about it, but applying daily heat is a guaranteed recipe for damage. In fact, many women who use flat irons frequently find that over time, their hair doesn’t curl up quite the way it used to.
Not moisturizing enough. Natural hair has a tendency to be dry. So it’s imperative to impart moisture and seal it in. From your wash-out conditioner to your leave-in to your daily moisturizer to your oil, liberal use of hydrating products (and water itself) will keep your hair elastic and healthy.
Not detangling. Skipping detangling is a recipe for, well, tangled hair. Every time you shampoo, you should apply a slippery conditioner and work a wide-tooth comb (or your fingers, depending on your texture) through your strands. You’ll find that you shed less and your hair is easier to manage throughout the week.
For more natural hair mistakes, go to BET.