I’ve been a part of the natural hair community for a while now, and when I started out as a transitioner there were certain ‘rules’ you were meant to be following if you were to reach your goal of having healthy curly hair. Many of these rules or guidelines still apply today. However, over the years I have noticed that some of these ‘rules’ may prevent natural hair newbies from building a hair routine with their preferred products, techniques and practices. Care to debunk some myths about building your natural hair regimen?
First of all, I’m not saying these rules are wrong or that you shouldn’t follow them. I just want to call your attention to the fact that this journey is yours and you should do what works best for you and your hair. It can be hard to be a newbie and trying to model your hair journey to someone else’s ‘rules of success’ and feeling like you’re struggling to make those ‘rules’ work for you.
Here on the blog, I try to give you access to the best information I can about curly hair and I share what has worked for me so far, but the final decision on what practices or products to choose for your hair regimen will always be yours. This is why being well informed and not a blind follower is so important. Being knowledgeable about a subject lets you make better and more informed decisions for your specific situation.
So let’s get started and look at a few ‘curly hair rules’ myths, shall we?!
Myth #1| You Need Natural Ingredient Products To Have Healthy Hair
It can be shocking to hear that all the products you’ve been using so far are no good to support your goal of healthy natural hair. Everyone will tell you that you need to use products with natural ingredients, and this notion is supported by the growing number of natural hair care brands that use natural ingredients and even by mainstream brands that are capitalising on this too.
It’s a fact that certain ingredients can be harmful to your hair and they hinder your journey’s success. Some are even harmful to your health. However, there are many roads to a destination. When I started my journey I didn’t change all my products for those which had exclusively natural ingredients. In fact, all my products were bought in my local superstore and had synthetic ingredients. I did, however, eliminate drying ingredients from my products.
The debate around natural vs synthetic ingredients is big, and while some only want to see natural ingredients in their products others are more flexible. Natural ingredients have more benefits to offer your hair and they’re better absorbed by our organism, but that doesn’t mean all synthetic ingredients are bad or that you can’t build a natural hair regimen with them or mixture of both types of ingredients (natural and synthetic).
ACTION TIP. I believe you don’t need to eradicate synthetic ingredients to have a good hair routine or achieve hair health. I didn’t! What you need to make sure is that you avoid products that have drying ingredients. If this is not possible or is not a concern to you, then you’ll need to build a more comprehensive hair routine, one takes more preventive measures against breakage and dehydration for instance. Just be aware that you’ll need to be more determined and consistent with your hair regimen to avoid or minimise the effects of all the normal roadblocks in a curly hair journey.
Things like a pre-poo treatment, weekly deep conditioning, regular trims, clarifying and making sure your hair is well moisturised are just some examples. Just be aware that you’ll need to be more determined and consistent with your hair regimen to avoid or minimise the effects of all the normal roadblocks in a curly hair journey.
Myth #2| You Need Daily Moisture
It’s common to see newbies, and even veterans, moisturise their hair daily to avoid dry hair. This is a practice that is perhaps prompted by the fact that curly hair is naturally dry and needs some extra attention or because you can’t tell if your hair is dry or not. Being a newbie, it’s understandable you wanna cover all your bases and you rather be safe than sorry.
Still, by choosing better hair care practices you don’t need to have a complex hair routine that increases hair manipulation, has a higher risk of hair breakage and can possibly bring more stress to your lifestyle by all the daily care.
ACTION TIP. Instead of daily moisture think about adhering to hair methods or practices that support hair moisture such as weekly shampooing and deep conditioning. If you’re an extension, weave or wig girl make sure you are still moisturising your hair regularly
If you still experience dry hair avoid insoluble silicones, mineral oil (and crude oil derivatives) and ingredients that take moisture. Don’t forget to also clarify your hair to remove build up. By doing this you should experience a significant improvement, this is also why I wrote Boost Your Hair Moisture Course, to help you improve hair moisture and the Curly Guide To Deep Conditioning.
Myth #3| Finger Detangling Is The Best Way To Detangle Curly Hair
Finger detangling curly hair is one of those guidelines any newcomer is expected to adopt and is something I promptly adhered to when I started my hair transition. In a way, you almost feel ‘bad’ if you don’t do it as everybody else seems to be doing it or is talking about it. It’s surely not something you quickly get used to doing after years of detangling with a comb or brush.
It took me some time to adjust to this new technique while also getting used to detangling my new hair texture. Though it can be extremely helpful in minimising breakage at the line of demarcation for hair transitioners, it is something that is not essential to be able to have healthy curly hair. After three years of exclusively fingering detangling my hair, I discovered that I need I need a combination of finger detangling and using a wide tooth comb as it is what works best for me.
ACTION TIP. Do what works best for you and your hair whether that is using your hands to detangle or a wide tooth comb. Some people have created hair routines using only a Denman Brush, Tangle Teezer or the Ouidad detangling brush. What matters most here is that the technique you choose is not causing unnecessary hair breakage by creating more tension on your hair.
Myth #4| Weekly Deep Conditioning
How often have you heard this?! I’ve said it several times here on the blog that weekly deep conditioning is desirable, I recommend it because it works for me! In fact, it works for everybody, but do you need to do it every week? The short answer is No and I’ve hinted at this on my lazy wash day post and this one here! When it comes to this practice, it will depend on your goals, how quickly you want to reach them, it will depend on your hair’s health and your practices and your weather conditions may even play a part in this decision.
ACTION TIP. If you have a busy lifestyle, if you want a ‘less layered’ hair regimen or if your hair care isn’t your thing and you want something ‘fuss-free’ then consider your hair health and practices. If your hair is damaged, you use regular heat and/or have dyed or bleach hair then it’s in your best interest to keep this a weekly practice, however, if you do not engage in these behaviours it’s perfectly okay to deep condition every other week.
The same thing applies to weekly pre-pooing and deep conditioning, protective styling and even regular trims. However, you Need to make sure you’re vigilant to your hair’s needs and weaknesses (moisture, dryness, breakage, split ends, etc.) and try to anticipate and prevent them.
Myth #5| Google & YT Can Give You All The Answers
As much as I love Google and YouTube and accept that they have helped me a lot when I started my natural hair journey I have you say they can’t give you all the answers. There is a lot of false, inaccurate and contradicting information online and the sad thing is it gets easily spread without any fact-checking. Sometimes it becomes almost a trend to do, or not do, something.
Co-washing, for instance, became such a big trend when bloggers and YouTubers completely ditched shampooing their hair. However, many of them are now reintroducing it to their hair routine because they witnessed how not doing it negatively affected their hair. I’ve called your attention to this here and here, but you can watch MahoganyCurls testimony below.
It’s important you invest in good education whether it is through the medium of a good book, advice from a professional with credentials in the hair care industry or… someone like me (she says shamelessly 😉 ), who invested in educating themselves and sharing their knowledge.
ACTION STEP. If you’re at a crossroads in your hair journey and desperately need help, this is the time when you need to consider investing in your hair. Don’t think you can find all the answers on Google or YouTube. Many are still struggling after many years trying to find a balance while wasting their money and time following advice on products and hair care practices that don’t work.
If you’re tired of all this and ready to write a new chapter of your hair journey seek you can book a video call with me for tailored advice and guidance (get more info here) or you can work with a good curly hair professional that ‘knows their’.
Building a hair regimen can be complicated hard work and as a newbie since there is a lack of knowledge. Moreover, the information is inaccurate and can lead you in the wrong way. You can potentially be facing years of trial and error attempting to build a hair regimen that works for you, not to mention spending unnecessary money, the setbacks and hair damage.
Yes, it can be frustrating trying to follow ‘rules‘ that don’t seem to fit your situation or don’t work for you. It can take the joy out your natural hair journey experience. However, with the right information and proper help and guidance, you can change all that.