Four years ago, I finally took the plunge and big chopped. It seems like it was just yesterday. And sometimes, I act like it was just yesterday. Although I am well-versed in natural hair, I make mistakes. If you look around on social media, you’ll notice that your favorite natural hair “gurus” make mistakes too. Why, you ask? Because we’re human. [That’s the short answer.] But also, because it is a natural hair journey and you should expect to make mistakes along the way. [That’s how you learn.] You learn how to manage your hair in the midst of personal crisis. You learn how to recover from a bad experience at the hairdresser. And you learn how to better care for your hair as it grows.
With that said, here are the natural hair mistakes even veterans make:
Trimming Your Hair Too Much (or Too Little)
I’ve battled this issue at various points in my natural hair journey. At times, I can be overly critical of my hair and start hacking it at the first sight of split ends — even if it was just trimmed. If you recently trimmed your hair and notice a split end here and there, then you may have just missed it during the trimming process. If this is the case, instead of trimming ALL of your hair, try the search and destroy method. After an overzealous trimming session, I often find that I can be apprehensive to trim again. [Like now.] But if you notice excessive tangling, dry, brittle and broken ends, then you are overdue for a trim. Whether you trim your own hair or seek professional services, you’ll learn where the happy medium lies.
Overly-Confident with Color and Heat
So you’ve colored and/or straightened your hair many times before. You’re an expert now. Your hair was brown, so why not go for blonde? You’ve straightened at 400 degrees, so why not shoot for 425 degrees for the extra straight look? Whenever you decide to up the ante with your hair, you should always strand test your hair first. Ideally, you should test from different parts of your hair (due to different curl patterns.) Not doing so, can result in a natural hair disaster — and irreversible damage to years of growth. ( I learned my lesson the hard way when I tried to get bone straight hair.)
Neglecting Your Hair
As the mom of two toddlers — one who just beat cancer — I am the prime example of a veteran who can neglect her hair. Over time, I have learned how to manage my hair with a busy schedule. The key is to make time for you hair. Put it in your schedule and create a regular hair regimen. If you don’t, weeks will pass and you’ll have dirty, tangled, dry hair. In my current hair regimen, I wash and deep condition every two weeks. For one of my wash sessions, I used bentonite clay. For the other, I use sulfate-free shampoo. In between washes, I co-wash as needed. My regimen may not work for you, but find a regimen that does and stick with it. If you want healthy hair, you have to be consistent.
So there you have it, there natural hair mistakes even veterans make. What natural hair mistakes have you made?