By Imani of Tribe Called Curl
The joy of being a Lazy Natural comes from doing the least possible to maintain healthy, vibrant curls, coils and kinks. All hair involves work, and of course we’re not advocating that you skip out on a basic hair care regimen. But, the endless hours dedicated to practices with questionable benefits? In the words of the iconic Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Instead of being chained to your mane, we want you to be outside playing, reading, drinking, partying, and living your life to the fullest. Plus, the easier you make caring for your natural hair, the more likely you are to steer clear of the creamy crack.
Here are three common natural hair practices we believe you can do without, and still have amazing tresses.
3. Re-twisting Hair Nightly
You love the sculpted texture look of a twist out, but dread refreshing it at night, which can take hours depending on your hair’s length and density. Instead of re-twisting it daily, extend the set by tying your hair down with a satin scarf at night. If you have longer hair, place loosely on top of your head in a satin scrunchie first (also known as the pineapple technique). In the morning, mist with shower steam, fluff and go. Shorter hair can be misted with a water-based leave in conditioner, then tightly braided into 4–6 plaits to maintain the hair’s elongated state, then placed in a satin bonnet or scarf. Or, try Youtuber LovelyAnneka‘s big twist technique below.
Many naturals swear by the thickening, strengthening and coloring properties of henna, and we’re not knocking the usage for people with special issues like fine, thin hair or folks looking to color naturally. But, for the rest of us, there are easier, faster, less involved ways for most people to achieve great natural hair. Henna represents a huge time investment with varying results. A thorough routine can take half a day, as in 12 hours. Yeah, no.
That’s not including time for deep conditioning afterwards. In addition to time, henna heads have to carefully select the brand they use in order to avoid turning their hair into a dry, tangled mess. And, let’s not forget henna adds a reddish hue to strands. Outcomes range from copper to auburn. And, as Youtuber and Alikay Naturals Owner BlackOnyx’s video below demonstrates, even experienced naturalistas can get it wrong. We’ll pass.
1. Deep Conditioning Overnight
This is our number one no-no. Leaving a deep conditioner in well beyond the recommended time is not only unhelpful, it could be damaging to your precious tresses in the long term. Over conditioning can upset your hair’s protein/moisture balance, leaving you with weak, mushy strands that snap easily, a nightmare that Shelli of Hairscapades discusses here. According to Scientist JC of The Natural Haven, the maximum benefit from conditioning comes between 20–30 minutes, at 33° Celsius (95° F). So, do your hair, and your significant other a favor, and stop wearing a shower cap to bed. For the most moisturizing bang for your buck, invest in a steamer (We stand by our Huetiful) for your conditioning treatments.
Ladies, what do you think? Are these natural hair practices a waste of time or worth it?