The course of our natural hair journey can be complicated at times, and it is perfectly normal to make natural hair mistakes along the way, however frustrating that can be. But the journey is worth it once you see your natural hair flourishing.
For our natural hair to grow long and healthy it is important to avoid these very common natural hair mistakes:
3.Not conditioning regularly
4.Not trimming your hair
5. Copying natural hair influencers
6. Using close-toothed combs
7. Using a Denman brush as a detangling tool
8. Not being gentle
9. Letting it get dry
10. Focusing too much on curl pattern
11. Wearing protective hairstyles that are not protecting anything
Everyone’s hair is different. Therefore, the idea of under washing your hair will be different for everyone. Some people can go up to 2 weeks without shampooing their hair. Others cannot go more than 3 days.
The below Love Beauty and Planet shampoo are my favorite. It cleans my hair very well without making it feel stripped, it’s affordable, and it’s vegan!
Your wash day routine will all depend on your lifestyle. But it is widely accepted by natural hairstylists that you should not go more than 2 weeks without washing your natural hair.
Underwashing is a very common mistake that a lot of naturals make. Growing up black, we are familiar with the myth that we should not wash our hair too often, because washing it causes dryness, breakage and that shampoo is terrible for our hair.
Then came along the 21st century’s ‘Natural Hair Movement’, which helped to popularize and made information more accessible through social media. And those of us who tuned in, were debunked of such myths.
So wash your hair as frequently as possible. It is always best to do it consistently, such as once a week or every 2 weeks. Whichever routine that works for you, as long as you are incorporating shampoo into your routine.
This is because the only way you’ll really have clean hair is if you use shampoo.
Whether this is a moisturizing shampoo or a clarifying shampoo. Dirty hair is usually dry hair. So incorporate shampoo into your wash day routine, this way you are giving your hair the opportunity to receive proper hydration.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking ‘huh, sis?’. But seriously, whilst some of us don’t wash our hair enough, I know there are some sisters out there, who are washing their natural hair way too often. This is a mistake that often comes from following too closely a natural hair influencer’s routine.
It is good to keep in mind that natural hair influencers constantly review hair products. So they have to wash their kinks and curls more often. So they are able to try and review all the products they are gifted by brands. An everyday customer does not have to go through the same thing.
If you do not work out every week, there is no reason to wash your hair every 2 days. You are also not constantly trying new products, so there is no point in constantly washing your hair if you are literally doing the same routine with the same products!
3.Not conditioning regularly
This one is a tricky one because a lot of stylists that specialize in natural hair, will tell you that deep treatments and hair masks do not restore your hair, they just prevent further damage. Please note that this may not apply to certain bond restoring treatments.
Stylists such as Jennifer Rose (@jenniferrosenyc) on Twitter, really breaks down what your natural hair routine should consist of, and she is also part of the Natural hair movement that has debunked the idea that oils and creams are essential in your natural hair routine.
However, this does not mean that you should neglect your hair completely and not keep up with your hydration methods and treatments.
Avoid the mistake of unintentionally neglecting your hair. Try being more familiar with your hair. Knowing the difference between when your hair is hydrated, and when it is just coated with slippery products such as creams and oils, can immensely help in establishing a healthy hair routine.
By being more familiar with your natural hair, you’d be able to identify what your hair needs! You will also be able to identify which products are just coating your hair, and which ones are actually moisturizing and hydrating your hair.
4.Not trimming your hair
This is another natural hair mistake that I see way too often. And most times, it stems from prioritizing length over the health of your natural kinks and curls. I understand that some people feel anxious over losing a bit of their hair that they work so hard to grow long, especially if this is the longest your hair has been in a long time.
However, it is always better to have long healthy natural hair, over having long natural hair with dry ends that have split. Not trimming your hair correctly can cause your hair to shed more, it will be harder to detangle and you shape might not look so good!
Becareful not to trim your natural hair too often, or have too long of a break between trims. Both can defeat the purpose of trimming.
Trimming your hair too often can make it so that you don’t see hair growth. Because you are trimming all your new growth, and having very fewer trims might cause your split ends to move up your hair shaft. Which means that when you finally go to have your trim, you will have to trim a lot more than you have anticipated.
5. Copying natural hair influencers
Now, I am NOT saying that you should not look towards natural hair influencers for hairstyle inspirations and information on styling techniques. However, it becomes a mistake when you follow every detail of an influencer’s hair routine.
However much you think you your hair is very similar to your favourite natural hair influencers’, let me tell you that it most likely is not. When following an influencer’s routine and technique, you have to keep an open mind to the fact that their lifestyles may differ from yours. Therefore, your routines and hair needs cannot possibly be the exact same.
6.Using a fine-toothed combs
Nothing makes me cringe more than this natural hair mistake. I’m sorry if I sound mean, but I can literally feel the fine-toothed comb ripping through natural hair. Unless your hair has been freshly pressed, using a close-toothed comb is a big natural hair mistake.
7.Using a Denman brush incorrectly
The most common misconception about this great hair tool is that most people assume it can be used to detangle natural hair. However, this is incorrect, and it can cause more harm than good. This a very common natural hair mistake, so don’t feel bad if you have been using it to detangle your curls.
The Denman brush is a styling tool. It is used to clump your curls together during the styling process of a wash-and-go style.
However, if you are a Denman brush connoisseur, then you might disagree with this point. This may because you have knowledge of the different ranges of Denman brushes and there are most likely readily available to you. However, most naturals buy the Denman D3 brush, of which the combs are closer together.
The Denman D3 for naturals with tightly coiled hair is not the best detangling tool, where there is a range of excellent detangling tools that minimize breakage. I personally use mostly my fingers to detangle my hair but I also use the tangleteezer.
The tangleteezer is my favorite detangling tool. It smoothes down my hair cuticles when I detangle and my hair feels free of knots. They also have a range of brushes that are great for different hair densities and textures.
8.Not being gentle
This one is closely linked to the above 2 points. This is because using the wrong tools for your beautiful kinks and curls can be considered as not being gentle enough with your hair.
The best way to remedy this is by perfecting your conditioning routine. This is the conditioner you use after you shampoo your hair. I say this because you are supposed to detangle your natural hair during the conditioning stage. If you are not doing this yet, give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
Your choice of conditioner is important. It needs to have the best slip so that you can avoid being rough with your natural hair. This allows for easy detangling.
9.Letting your hair get dry
Letting your hair get dry is another natural hair mistake, which I see no one talk about. I see a lot of articles, or social media influencers mention how you’ll know it’s time to wash your hair when your hair starts to get dry. But letting your hair get dry before you wash it, defeats the purpose of having a natural hair routine that works for you.
Be flexible with your routine, and wash it according to how your hair feels, or when it is time to refresh your hairstyle. Don’t wait until your hair becomes completely dry to replenish your hair’s hydration.
10.Focusing too much on curl pattern
This is a natural hair mistake that most of us are all too familiar with and most of us made the same mistake of focusing too much on our curl pattern.
This is especially true in the beginning of anyone’s natural hair journey. If you are not educated on hair or are not familiar at all with your natural hair. It can seem like the logical way to educate ourselves is by finding under which label our hair fits into.
But I am here to tell you that the hair typing system causes more harm than good. What our hair needs cannot be established from just knowing our curl type. The texture of your hair (fine or coarse), the density (high, medium, or low), and porosity (high, normal, or low) are much more important details that will help you in your natural hair journey.
11.Wearing protective hairstyles that are not protecting anything
You may be getting a protective hairstyle because maybe you want a break from your hair, you want to actually protect your hair, you want to change your hairstyle, etc… Whatever reason behind you getting a protective hairstyle does not mean that suddenly you can stop taking care of your natural hair whilst in a protective hairstyle.
The biggest natural hair mistake I see a lot of people make when it comes to their protective hairstyle is that their hairstyle is too tight. Some braiders have a strong grip, which means they tend to make braids or twists very tight at the root. This causes a lot of scalp issues. Having tight protective hairstyles defeats the purpose of having protective hairstyles.