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5 Essential Hair Practices That Naturals Get Lazy About

Avatar • Sep 19, 2011

Going natural is a process of re-learning how to handle our hair. New practices can be tiring — even monotonous — to incorporate, but it’s important to develop good habits early on in the journey. Here are four essential hair practices that naturals sometimes get lazy about. Are you guilty of any of these?

Detangling

Most naturals detangle, but not all take the time to do it right. Impatiently raking a comb through your hair is not detangling (unless you have a looser curl pattern and this does the trick.) Detangling involves separating strands and identifying & un-doing (or cutting out) knots and depending on how thick your hair is, this might take some time. If you aren’t crazy about detangling try protective styling for a few weeks at a time to delay the inevitable. But ultimately you’ll have to sit down with your fingers (or other hair tool of your choice) and give your tangled head the TLC it needs.

Sealing

Doesn’t your hair feel great after you apply your leave-in conditioner of choice? It’s soft, smooth and supple. But it won’t stay that way for long if you don’t follow up with a heavy oil or butter. It’s tempting to overlook this step if you’re rushing out the door, or you find it messy. But small sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of supple hair. Without sealing moisture will quickly evaporate out of unsealed strands, leaving them dry and difficult to manage. If you don’t like sealing as an extra step try coconut oil. It’s one of the few oils that penetrates the strand, softening and sealing at the same time.

Sleeping with a Satin Bonnet/on a Satin Pillowcase

You know how it is; your satin bonnet slips off your head at night and gets lost beneath your bed. The elastic gets slack and you procrastinate on going to the store to get a new one. But sleeping on a cotton pillow in dry night air will, well, dry your hair out. Remember, your hair’s strength lies in its moisture, so retaining it has got to be a priority. Figure out whether you need a satin bonnet or if you can get away with just sleeping on a satin pillowcase then, make it a part of your nightly regimen.

Spritzing/Moisturizing On a Regular Basis

If there’s one thing all naturals have in common it’s that our hair craves moisture. And it’s important for us to be proactive — even strategic — in providing it. It can be tempting to go days without adding anything to your hair but, as mentioned before, hair’s strength is in its level of moisture. Spritzes are a great, easy way to keep hair moisturized, and you can purchase a pre-made spritz or make your own. Keep a bottle in your purse for emergencies and make a habit of testing your strands for their moisture level.

Keeping Track of “Best Practices”

The tenets of healthy natural haircare are very basic. But how you combine and apply them is unique to your hair. Does your hair like twists as a protective style? Or buns? Does it like to be kept up for 1 week? Or three days? Does it like products that are more liquid? Or products that are stiff/firm? It can be easy to go on haircare autopilot — even when your results are less than stellar. But if you want to get the most out of your hair, take the time to assess what is working and what isn’t. You’d be amazed at what you discover!

Are you guilty of being lazy about any of these hair practices? And do you consider them essential? Which hair practices do you get lazy about?

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Sylkie
9 years ago

I am sooooo guilty!!! 😉

Yirssi
9 years ago

I’ve never done sealing, but I plan to now. Other than that, I do all the other ones on a consistent basis (I actually get annoyed at myself if I fall asleep without a bonnet on).

Rain
Rain
9 years ago

That is a really cute satin bonnet! Does anyone know where to get it/or anything similar?

Misty
Misty
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain

you can get one at walmart

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

Careful detangling is a must, sleeping with a bonnet preserves the style & keeps lint from your hair and keeping track of “best practices” makes the trial-and-error part of going/being natural an easier process. With that said, I rarely seal and I only moisturize on wash days (5–7 days). I don’t consider it lazy at all. Sealing is not necessecary for me because my leave-in conditioner is oil/butter-rich–adding more oil/butter just leads to greasy hair. Re-applying leave-in conditioner every day (or so) would be too much. If I felt the need to moisturize everyday, I’d look for a new leave-in… Read more »

sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

if your leave-ins contain heavy oils and butters which do not penetrate the hair shaft, then you are still, in effect, sealing your strands.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

Exactly. That’s why I don’t need to do “additional” sealing.

deena
deena
9 years ago

I’m still having issues understanding and applying the sealing practice. I really just spray my hair with water when it feels dry. . Keeping notes of best practices is also very important. I remember when ppl would say, you need a full month to see if a product or supplement works for you. Not so with me. My hair talks back to me right away. Thank the Lord. I don’t need to waste any more time using and doing fruitless things to my hair. Keep up the good work BGLH.

Jaz
Jaz
9 years ago

I really think it depends on your hair type when it comes to sealing or spritzing your hair everyday. When my hair is not in a protective style, I usually lightly spray down my hair at night with my own mixture (mostly water and coconut oil mix) and first thing in morning. My hair gets dry quickly, so my hair loves when I do that. I have 4B hair type. I also love sealing as well.

Beneath The Clutter
9 years ago

I’m super lazy when it comes to moisturizing. Probably because my regimen takes me a few minutes to complete. It’s not a quick moisturize and go. I usually section my hair into 4 parts, drench with water, apply the moisturizer, and seal. I like the idea of the spritz though. I used to use a moisturizing spray when I first became natural. I think I need to go back to that for those days where I’m feeling lazy.

merry
merry
9 years ago

i dislike the title of this posting. i wish women would stop thinking about haircare in terms of being lazy. i find that women, particularly black women get on this ‘she’s lazy’ trip — as if you’re supposed to want to dedicate hours upon hours to hair. i don’t think someone who doesn’t spend hours detangling their hair is lazy — the wide tooth comb action is as much time as i’m willing to devote. nor do i believe that not wearing a satin bonnet is a mark of laziness. i do neither. my hair grew past my shoulders with my… Read more »

LBell
LBell
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

THANK YOU for this. While I totally understand the basic gist of this post, what I fear is that newbies in particular may read this and start obsessing over their hair care, and that’s not good especially when you consider that most of us have over 100,000 hairs on our heads. So to help put this in perspective: I’m not being lazy because I don’t separate out every single one of my 100,000+ hairs every time I detangle (I have tight 4b coils! it would take hours!)…or because I refuse to carry a spritz bottle around (makes more sense to carry… Read more »

Karma
Karma
9 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I’m glad you said this… because when I was a newbie… I surely was obsessing over all of this stuff. Now all that fuss and money wasting just made me want to leave my hair alone and it seems to be doing just fine. Wash, condition, coconut oil, plait, hat for a week, repeat!

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

The Denman brush ripped my hair to shreds. It took months to recover. NEVER AGAIN… I also agree that someone who does not spend hours detangling her hair is not lazy. If anything she’s smart for figuring out a faster way to do it. I have long, thick 4b hair and I can detangle my hair in 20 minutes with water, conditioner and my trusty wide toothed comb. Coconut oil is a “lazy” girl’s best friend. Call me lazy, because I only moisturize and seal when I wash my hair. In between wash days, I rub coconut oil through my hair… Read more »

Giovanna
Giovanna
9 years ago
Reply to  merry

you are right on point. when I began my transition i hardly did anything but keep it in two big twists and wash it bi weekly and it grew from chin length to shoulder length, I only started doing more to my hair recently after 8 months because I’ve never seen my true hair texture and I personally would like to learn how to take better care of my natural strands as I’ve never really cared for my hair. So the extra I do is just learning what works and what doesnt work for my hair.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

You guys (BGLH) are on a roll! Keep it up, I’m loving these posts!

Godiva
Godiva
9 years ago

I was guilty of not sealing my hair. I would always wonder why my hair didn’t feel as soft and sheeny as it once was — it was the sealing with HEAVY oils/pomade that did the trick. Now never again, sealing will ALWAYS be a part of my hair step.

amadis
amadis
9 years ago

My hair gets MAJOR shrinkage and the idea of constantly moisturizing or spritzing my hair is just counter to everything I know about my hair. Spritzing means shrinkage, which means more tangling, which means more breakage.I’ve got 4b/4c and I wear stretched styles. Wash and gos result in a big tangled mess. I would never dream of spritzing after spending the time to detangle and stretch my hair. I’d like to hear from some others with similar concerns tell what they think of spritzing/moisturizing.

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
9 years ago
Reply to  amadis

I have mostly 4b hair and spritzing is out of the question for me except on those RARE occassions when I wear an unstretched style, such as a wash and go puff. I stated upthread, I get great results by simply moisturizing with coconut oil as needed.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago
Reply to  amadis

I have super coily hair. I lighlty spritz to work my hair into a bun or when re-braiding my hair at night to preserve a braid out.

Annie L.
Annie L.
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

My hair is super coily too w/wavy and straight parts at crown and nape. Only my coils respond well to spritzing, otherwise it’s a watery, barely penetrative mess for me. What works is working avocado oil through, then pure vegetable glycerin and repeating whenever I feel like it. My hair is SOFT and well-moisturized doing this.

Martini
Martini
9 years ago
Reply to  amadis

I have MAJOR shrinkage too. If my hair gets wet/damp or misted there it goes.….. a hot tangled mess! I can’t do wash and go’s either. I mist or spritz ONLY while it’s braided (and add a lil coconut oil) before going to bed so my crinkles can be deeply defined when I wear my hair lose! For the crazy tangles when I do wash, I have — Hello Hydration conditioner and coconut oil — My miracle workers. I read abot the mixture here on BGLH and I absolutely love it!!! I think I have 4b/4c hair. It’s circles and zigzags… Read more »

LillianMae
9 years ago

Since I am just transitioning, I haven’t had the luxury to get lazy in any area with the exception of styling…I limit my styling to once or twice a week.

My hair would feel awful if I didn’t seal!

jeje1718
jeje1718
9 years ago

I’m most guilty of the satin bonnet. Some nights I just happen to fall asleep before I get to put it on.lol.
Been trying to be more consistent though. :))

Giovanna
Giovanna
9 years ago

I am on hair auto pilot, I’m transitioning with 3 different curly textures plus my relaxed ends. All I do is twist my hair, sometimes my twist out isn’t great but I still do it. And I do get lazy when it comes to moisturizing and sealing sometimes, so I made a distilled water/rosewater/aloe vera gel/coconut, tee tree,lavender, vitamin E oil moisturizing/sealing spritzer for my lazy days.

luvmylocs
luvmylocs
9 years ago

detangling is my nemesis. this is a good article to remind you of what you shouldn’t get lax on. obviously everyone will need to focus on these to various degrees but good reminders nonetheless.

Lin
Lin
9 years ago

I’m guilty of not sealing and spritzing.
I would love to buy something to remedy that, but I’ve so much stuff I want to finish before I go to college, that I really do not need to buy anymore hair products right now. Besides, my hair is short- I’m not too worried about it right now, haha.

Le Le
Le Le
9 years ago

I do all of these things on a regular basis. I definitely can’t go without detangling. And I hate using a comb for the whole process, so I finger detangle, and then lightly detangle with a comb. I moisturize on a daily basis, so I never really spritz anymore, but I may go back to it during the bitter-cold months.

Imani
9 years ago

The last one is my favorite. Just a few days ago, right before I was about to wash my hair, I thought about why my hair looked to much thicker and curlier in pictures from last year than it did now.
I thought back for awhile, and was really frustrated (I even contemplated doing a chop) and then I realized that I used to wash my hair every OTHER week. Not every week, and it was thicker, and curlier because of it.
Now I’m in my second week, and I really want to go three weeks because it’s looking AMAZING!

Kim
Kim
9 years ago

I think lazy is a matter of perception however this article gives some great reminders for moisture especially since winter is right around the corner

Doreen Patterson
Doreen Patterson
9 years ago

I’m from the UK and I’ve never heard of all these different hair types, I just work with my hair and wait for my hair to tell me what it likes and doesn’t like and yes, natural hair can be a pain. In order to moisturise I use a home made mixture of jojoba avocado,carrot,olive and coconut oil. I then use essential oils like rosemary, cedarwood,thyme and west Indian Bay etc Essential oils are excellent for hair like ours.I also use an Australian range called Akin which tries to use as many organic products as possible, they have excellent conditioners… Read more »

Doreen Patterson
Doreen Patterson
9 years ago

Sorry I forgot to add, I do a final rinse with vinegar. All these home made potions, I only need to make up once every couple of months.For me being a black girl( my parents are from Jamaica) with long hair means not just stopping using chemicals in my hair but also also on my skin and in what I eat.
Tip: Many organic beauty companies do samples, so have a go. Although many have not tested their products on black hair, don’t get your knickers in a twist.

Alicia
Alicia
9 years ago

I do not detangle my hair. I just find it a waste of time and precious hairs! Is that wrong? I 99% of the time wear a twist out. By the time my twists have lost all curl, I shampoo. When I shampoo and follow with my detangling leave in, that is the only time I put I comb in my hair. Is that wrong?

DeShanna
DeShanna
9 years ago
Reply to  Alicia

No, you are not alone. I only detangle when I wash my hair after I condition. It works better for me that way.

Ce Ce
Ce Ce
9 years ago

Great advice! I wish I knew all of this when I was a newbie. My hair was EXTRA dry for at least 2 yrs then I discovered Youtube and I was able to develop my own routine. I feel like I have totally different texture hair now because of these hair practices.

Doreen Patterson
Doreen Patterson
9 years ago

Of course not! You are listening to your hair and whatever suits you, you go for it baby!

Doreen Patterson
Doreen Patterson
9 years ago

I understand what you are saying about knowledge and how you had wish had known earlier. Living in Europe is a uphill battle, because there are less of us out here,so there is less knowledge and to give up relaxing or using weave in my hair, people have looked at me like I had taken leave of my senses! Its only because my hair has never looked so good and that its growing is that now my friends are beginning to express an interest.But I just started off just reading loads of books and on the internet on aromatherapy and… Read more »

Valerie
Valerie
9 years ago

I’ve always done the sealing technique before I even knew what it was. One thing I’m really guilty of is not keep track of the methods that my hair really likes. There are times when my hair behaved perfectly but I didnt take note of what products I was using and what I was doing with my hair. I’m working on changing that.
& I keep 2 raggedy hair bonnets for when I lose one. lol

Courtney
9 years ago

wow i never thought about sealing i had long curls got fustraed and cut them off worst mistake of my life now im finally half way back to the way it was before now with these tips my hair will look even better than b4

K Murray
K Murray
8 years ago

Like Valerie, I’m guilty of not writing down my successes. I’m 19 months natural the second time around. And thanks to you Sisters, have the courage to learn and stay natural this time. I am trying to commit to the “moisturizing and sealing” method.

Jets Jewelry
8 years ago

I shouldn’t even comment, but I am getting better at all the suggestions.

Kasey
8 years ago

I get my bonnets from Bonbons Cheveux the elastic stays tight and stays on all night.

Langki
Langki
8 years ago

I find that detangling is unnecessary when you twist your hair (whether flat twists or double stranded twists) after you wash it. I guess the whole twisting process is detangling.

Lex
Lex
8 years ago

Definitely guilty of a couple of these!

Danielle
Danielle
8 years ago

I was always horrible at maintaining my relaxed hair; I’m amazed to see that I’m doing pretty good with my natural hair routine! I have a pretty loose curl pattern, and I wet my hair in the shower every day, detangling with conditioner in my hair every day, as well. (I use shampoo maybe once or twice a week, and I use a deep conditioner for detangling about once a week.) I add leave-in conditioner to my wet hair, and I seal with coconut oil. It sounds like the spritzing/moisturizing is a moot point, since I am moisturizing every day. I… Read more »

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7 years ago

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