Sometimes we make natural hair care a bit harder than it has to be. While mastering your hair is certainly a process that takes time, there are some issues that quickly go from molehills to mountains. Check out our list:
1. Not knowing enough “hair science”
On the one hand, it’s good to have a curious mind about your hair, to research the structure of hair, know how key ingredients function, and how hair follicles react to heat, chemicals, water and other stimuli.
On the other hand, hundreds of black women before us (including some of our own mothers and grandmothers) grew full, healthy heads of hair through simple observation and a common sense approach. (Need evidence? Look back at your girlhood pre-relaxer pictures. Many of you had thick, long heads of natural hair courtesy of your mothers’ hair care).
Knowledge is power and it’s important, but you should never become paralyzed by the fear that you don’t know enough or need to know more to master your hair. You can learn a lot from top hair science blogs like The Natural Haven, The Beauty Brains and Hair Liberty, but you are also learning about your hair every time you touch, cleanse and style it.
2. Fairy Knots
Did you know that there are many naturals with long, healthy hair… that is chock full of fairy knots! Okay, maybe not chock full 🙂 But fairy knots are a pretty much inevitable result of having highly textured hair. So why does natural hair thrive despite them? Because depending on the strength and texture of your hair, fairy knots might not be a deterrent to retaining length. If your hair is on the fragile side, fairy knots will create weak points that lead to breakage. But if you have thick/coarse strands or generally strong hair, your follicles will continue retaining inches of hair, even with the pesky knots along for the ride.
3. Not knowing your hair type
Yes, it’s helpful to know your texture classification. It can give you an idea of what styles and styling products work best for you. But honestly, other factors — like hair strength, density, porosity (the ability to absorb moisture) and how tangle-prone your strands are — are far more relevant to building a regimen. Consider this; there are 3c (loose curls) naturals with similar regimens to 4c (tight kinks) naturals because they both have fine hair that needs protection. And 4c naturals who can wash and go like 3c naturals, because they both have strong hair that isn’t tangle prone. Yes, hair type is helpful, but it isn’t everything!
4. Having multiple hair textures
Most naturals have multiple textures on their heads. It’s not uncanny or unusual yet it remains a major point of contention. There are many simple, attractive styles that address multiple textures. We’ve actually dedicated two photo galleries to them: The Best Styles for Hiding Multiple Textures and 5 Styles for Defined Uniform Curls.
5. Figuring out “Protein/Moisture” Balance
According to Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of The Science of Black Hair, protein treatments really aren’t that relevant to natural hair. They are more important for chemically treated hair since relaxers, texturizers and hair dyes break down protein bonds and compromise the structure of the follicle. If you’re natural you don’t need a protein treatment unless you are experiencing excessive shedding and breakage. Otherwise, reach for a non-protein strengthening treatment, like henna or an intensive conditioner, instead.
Alright ladies, what complaints and problems have you heard that are perhaps a bit exaggerated?