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4 Popular Hair Care Bandwagons That Were a Fail for Me

Avatar • Jun 7, 2014

tessa

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Just like there are trends that come and go in the fashion world, there are trends (or bandwagons) in the hair care world that are here today and gone tomorrow. The Brazilian Keratin Treatment for long‐lasting straight hair. The Inversion method for hair growth. Supplements (MSM, biotin, you name it) for increased hair growth. The list is endless.

Though I am not a big fan of trends and tend to do my own thing, I have fallen head first into some hair care bandwagons during this journey. Over the years, I’ve permanently stayed on some of these bandwagons (e.g., pre‐pooing, protective styling) while others have been abandoned after interesting experiences, to say the least. Here are just a few of those bandwagons that were a fail for me:

1. Co‐washing only (no‐poo routine)

I jumped on this bandwagon near the beginning of my natural hair journey because it seemed so… well, the “natural” thing to do. Shampoos received disapproval because they were considered harsh, stripping and “bad” for our natural curls, coils and kinks. Conditioners, on the other hand, were considered to be the perfect moisturizing substitute – hence the term, conditioner washing, or co‐washing.

The idea behind this no‐poo lifestyle was to do away with shampoos and to strictly co‐wash for “clean,” but non‐stripped hair. I tried this routine on and off for a few years. No matter how hard I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t deny that it was a pure fail; I would experience buildup on my hair and scalp within days. The longer I went without a shampoo session, the less effective co‐washing became in restoring moisture to my strands. My hair would eventually become dry and crispy. Consequently, I rarely co‐wash these days, but I will use a cleansing conditioner (conditioners that are formulated to cleanse) when I get the itch to cut back on the shampoo.

2. Castor oil craze

With so many castor oil challenges going on, I thought I had to be missing something amazing. For many naturals, castor oil is the “it” oil for ‘thickening’ the hair, re‐growing the edges/hair and sealing the ends. After a long period of avoiding this craze, I eventually broke down and bought one bottle of castor oil for myself and one to use on my baby niece. What were the results? No noticeable improvement in my niece’s hair growth, and no real difference in my own edges and ends, especially compared to my staple oils. Additionally, I found the oil’s consistency to be unappealing; it was sticky, messy, a magnet for lint, and just too thick for my liking. I’m currently trying to finish my bottle and have no plans to purchase castor oil again.

3. Pineapple method for twist out preservation

The pineapple method is a technique used by many curly naturals to help preserve a wash‐n‐go past day one. Basically, you gather your hair on top of your head, tie a scarf around it leaving the top out (hence, the name ‘pineapple’), go to bed, and just refresh your style with a quick shake or fluff the next morning. The method works well on curly hair with natural hang but not so much on hair with tighter curls and coils.

That being said, I knew right away jumping on this bandwagon for my own wash‐n‐go would be futile. However, since some tighter‐curled naturals were using this technique to preserve twist‐outs and other “curly” sets, I thought I would give it a shot for my own twist‐outs and braid‐outs. Well, my results demonstrated otherwise. The next morning, after removing my scarf, my hair was lopsided and refused to return to its previous shape.

4. Cayenne pepper for hair growth

This was a bandwagon I first saw some years ago, and it has recently been making its way onto the road again. The method with which I am familiar involves creating a mixture of cayenne pepper, water and/or oil, applying it to the scalp, waiting for several minutes to overnight (with a shower cap), and then shampooing and proceeding with your usual wash routine. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is what makes the pepper hot and is said to stimulate hair growth via a sensation on the scalp.

So what was my experience? I hopped onto this bandwagon back when I was transitioning, and I could only manage doing it daily for just a few weeks. The burning sensation was bearable on some days and not so much on other days. In addition to that, the process was messy and smelly. In those few weeks, I didn’t gain any noticeable growth, but I did gain a bit of scalp sensitivity that thankfully went away in time. (Now, there was a study discussing capsaicin – in combination with isoflavones – administered to alopecia patients orally over five months for hair growth. If you go and read this study, you can probably catch a couple things wrong with the particular bandwagon I jumped on. The paper: Harada N, Okajima K, Arai M, Kurihara H, Nakagata N.Administration of capsaicin and isoflavone promotes hair growth by increasing insulin‐like growth factor‐I production in mice and in humans with alopecia. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2007 Oct;17(5):408–15. Epub 2007 Jun 13.).

What bandwagons have you jumped on? Share your experiences below!

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Trisha
Guest
Trisha

Fails: Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Hairfinity, GNC Hair Skin & Nails supplements

Wins: Wild Growth Hair Oil, Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil, The Inversion Method

The inversion method is basically sitting with my head down as if I were painting my toenails for 4 minutes, 7 days in a row. I gained an inch in a week. I plan on doing it once a month for the next 6 months to see if I can truly gain 6 inches by the end of the year.

Ouida Cordell
Guest
Ouida Cordell

The Jamaican Black Castor Oil regrew my edges and got my hair to bra strap length. You have to find what works for you and stick to it.

Angelica
Guest
Angelica

Fails: pineapple method, co‐washing only
The pineapple method only stretched out my curls/coils and did not preserve them. Co‐washing only caused build up on my scalp, but now I co‐wash for 2–3 weeks and shampoo on the 3rd or 4th week.

Wins: JB castor oil (diluted with coconut and olive oil), pre‐poo (sometimes), Eco styler gel

Tried the inversion method, but could not stick to it, so I am not sure if it works for me. Currently trying 2500mg biotin.

Trisha
Guest
Trisha

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to do the inversion method. That’s the only way I remembered to do it.

Deb
Guest
Deb

I only noticed a difference with JBCO not normal castor oil, I’ve also used it to grow/shape my eyebrows. Adding rosemary (Especially) and lavender oil, it becomes MAGICAL. I get crazy growth when i massage with the mix for a few minutes every few days. I’m using it to currently grow and yes, even extend my edges.

Emu oil works better for alot of people and it’s scientifically PROVEN to stimulate hair growth.

Ellipsis
Guest

FAIL: shea butter, Cowashing and ACV
WINS: Light oil mixes for sealing, baking soda washes.

Kenzy
Guest
Kenzy

So glad to read this I thought it was just me. All these years I thought I was doing the pineapple wrong and that’s why it never works. My hair NEVER returns, and sticks straight up like bride of Frankenstein very single time I pineapple, I stopped doing it figuring I would never get it. Glad to read it just doesn’t work for some of us

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

Fails: Wash n’ gos (Still. Tried it again recently, and I think it’s a complete NOPE), mini twists, shea butter, cowashing only, pinappling (my hair just sticks up and laughs at fluffing attempts),baking soda, long‐term protective styling.

Wins: Loose twists, updos, puffs, castor oil (of any kind) mixed with jojoba and avocado oil, scalp massages, ACV, coconut oil, diluted shampoo, glycerin mixed with aloe.

Jumoké
Guest

FAILS: silicones -___‐, grease, 3 hour wash days, protective styling, combs/brushes, constant braiding and retwisting (for what?)
WINS: Curly Girl Method! Cowashing (maybe you used a conditioner with silicones which caused build up because it happened to me as well), finger detangling, wetting my hair everyday, keeping my hair stretched at night by bunning

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

Castor oil has really helped my hair grow, I only apply it to my scalp. I have 3b/3c hair and I HATE the pineapple method. I’ve been natural 3 years and have tried the pineapple method at different hair lengths, its never worked for me. Now I gather my hair into one low banded ponytail at the back of my head and refresh my curls the next day with LRC shake n go, which I first heard about on this website.

eve-audrey
Guest
eve-audrey

Fail: JBCO, aloe vera (my hair HATES it), protective styling for more than ten days to two weeks because my hair knots, tangles and mats like crazy.

Win: washing and detangling my hair every week, olive oil to prepoo and to seal and co washing from time to time

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

Fails: ACV, oil rinses, plain msm, & wash n gos.

Wins: jbco, co‐washing, finger detangling, pineapple, & hairfinity.

la*belle
Guest
la*belle

Epic fail for me — Denman brush.
Major win — Water Only Method and tea rinses.
Keeping it simple and sticking to what works never fails.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

Failed: shea butter, castor oil, mostly oils period, long term protective styles, no regular trimming of ends epic failure

Wins: water and more water, deep conditioning, sulfate free shampoos, hands down good hair milks

African Naturalistas Hair Products
Guest

I think its best to dilute castor oil with two parts of a lighter carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil.

Alo vera was an epic fail for me. Aaaaarrrggghhh

Cygnet
Guest
Cygnet

Fails: Shea butter — I tried to like it, I really did. I don’t. Any kind of castor oil, and particularly JBCO — Smothered my skin, regrew nothing. Wild Growth oil — See comment on castor oil. Pre‐pooing — my hair didn’t get the point, and I want an extra step. Baking soda — Tried it two times. If my hair had a tongue, it would have asked me the first time if I was crazy. The second time, I’m thoroughly convinced it would have thrown down its religion just long enough to cuss me down the country and back… Read more »

Cygnet
Guest
Cygnet

Correction: “Pre‐pooing – my hair didn’t get the point, and I didn’t want an extra step.”

DP
Guest
DP

Wins: Olive oil, Hot six oil, regular multivitamin, oiling and protecting at night

Fails: Washing less than twice/week, co‐washing only

I have had the most growth by oiling and then braiding it back at night. Not brushing and combing a lot and keeping it buns and braids!

Aida
Guest
Aida

FAILS: co‐washing, no shampoo, denman brush, only natural products, tangle teezer

WINS:silicones, grease, finger detangling, long term protective styles, the inversion Method

Caray
Guest
Caray

Co washing was a fail for me also and I definately use silicones it prevents knot & tangles in my hair.

Faith
Guest
Faith

Totally with you on pineappling on tightly curled/coiled hair. When I try to pull my hair up and sleep on it, my curls just get stuck sticking up. Maybe a low bun would work better, but after a cut, I don’t have enough hair for that.

Lola
Guest
Lola

Fails: cowashing only (build up and a smelly scalp), coconut oil
Wins: shea butter mixes, avj w/out water dilution, braid extensions for length

Nappy 4C Rocks
Guest
Nappy 4C Rocks

fails: co‐washing and using coconut oil
I need to find another way to get protein other than coconut oil…hate it on my hair…like it on my skin

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

Have you tried avocado oil? It prevents protein loss from hair like coconut oil, but leaving it in my hair doesn’t make it crunchy and brittle like coconut oil sometimes can for me (I only use EVCO as a prepoo because of this).

silkynaps
Guest
silkynaps

Fails: If I don’t like something, I don’t consider it a fail…more like user error. Maybe I need to revise the technique or product.

Wins: Shampoo rarely. Condition often. Water daily. Finger detangle for naturally defined, low‐frizz coils. No combs, brushes, or direct heat. I haven’t seen a split end since I cut off my relaxed ends. For “wash & go” hair, blow dry with cool air sets my coils and warm air shapes my style.

Caray
Guest
Caray

Fail: Eco Gel hardness and flakes hated it
Fail: Co Washing my hair hated it, I use a sulfate free Shampoo at every wash and my hair is just growing like crazy at only one yr natural

Wins: Giovanni Direct Leave In
Win: Aussie 3 min Deeeeep Conditioner

Bridget J.
Guest
Bridget J.

Co‐washing, the pineapple method and the castor oil craze, were all fails for me as well for the exact same reasons you stated in the article. Never tried the cayenne pepper method to stimulate growth and don’t plan on trying it as it sounds somewhat painful.

idavoyder
Guest
idavoyder

fails: Twisting hair before washing to prevent tangling and losing hair — protective and low manipulation styles‐ conditioner detangling using large tooth combs or tangle teezers or the denman brush, gel and using products to enhance curls. wins: water rinsing daily, my hair has become so moisturized that I don’t get tangles anymore — my hair has become so hydrated that when I separate my hair even after water rinsing that it just parts like the red sea. I finger detangle — I never cared for low manipulation or protective styles, my hair just managed to work itself loose and… Read more »

Dee*
Guest
Dee*

Fail–ANY popular brand that has NO SLIP for MY hair i.e. Sheamoisture and TJ Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
–Coconut oil as anything other than a prepoo (it stanks)
–Naptural85s Best TwistOut Ever (my hair said, nah son)
–Pineapple

Win–ANY product with SLIP for MY hair i.e. generic Paul Mitchells The Conditioner and Kinky Curly Knot Today
–Nap85’s preserving a flexirod set method

buddah
Guest
buddah

Fails: co washing, olive oil, protective styling, skinny twists

Wins: creme of nature detangling moisturizing shampoo, a dime size of pantene clarifying shmpoo, pantene conditioner, grapeseed oil is the best oil ever!
Qhemet biologics AETHIOPIKA Hydrate and Twist butter.
Chunky twists
Scalp massages
And the less product u use.…THE BETTER
Finally, just let your hair be HAIR!

Guest
Guest
Guest

The GHE system was an epic fail. I feel that I lost some hair in the crown because it was so itchy all of the time due to the sweat. I cut that out real quick but my crown has not fully recovered. It just wasn’t for me.

GuestyGuest
Guest
GuestyGuest

Co‐washing: My hair was worse off. It wasn’t any cleaner and to be honest, my hair was losing its body.
Castor Oil: I guess it was okay but I gave my last bottle away. I found castor oil to be quite heavy and for no reason. My hair just didn’t reposnd well.
Pineapple: I’ve had to alter the ‘pineapple’ simply because I still suffer from shrinkage past day one with the ‘traditional’ method.

Amber
Guest
Amber

Co-washing…so much build up! I also switched to sulfate free shampoo. I’m almost done with my bottle and I’m going to try Castiel soap for a little bit (my skin seems to like it, I’m hoping my hair will too). Also pre‐poo treatments don’t change anything for me. I guess for me it’s a step I don’t really need.

Pinappling didn’t work. I tried smaller pinapples, but then it was hard to sleep.

Cherie
Guest
Cherie

Wins: Water only washing, GHE and inversion method. Simplicity is key!

Preshest
Guest
Preshest

Co‐washing was a fail for me too! I kinda hated it. The buildup on my scalp was apparent RIGHT after washing.

Castor oil was also a fail. I like the way it made my roots feel but it made my scalp itch like crazy.

I now use my co‐washes for pre‐poos and my castor oil for my ends only.

Waza
Guest

Fails: no poo,co wash only method, just didn’t work and the build up made my hair look blah. Tresseme naturals as a co wash(but as a leave in its great!). Finger detangling only, though I only comb on wash days WINS: protective styling is the backbone of my regimen, castor oil,shea butter,shampoo(with sulfates ooh scary), honey and coconut oil DC. Dark and Lovely products lol for some reason,my hair just likes them

kia
Guest
kia

fail: denman brush
fail: castor oil
fail: eco styler gel.…ALL OF EM
fail: SM deep treatment masque

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

What actually works for you? I often am the one that nothing ever seems to work for. Just curious.

Ayb
Guest
Ayb

I had trouble with castor oil as well. I didn’t want to throw it away, though. I recently started mixing it with my leave‐in and now I love it! It is very moisturizing, and mixing it with the cream eliminates the sticky texture. I just mix the two in my hand before application. I haven’t noticed changes in growth but the condition of my hair is much improved. It is softer and more moist. If you have any you’re trying to use up, I recommend this method.

Ayb
Guest
Ayb

And my big fail was coconut oil. It didn’t moisturize my hair. Tried using on my body and would be ashy by the end of the day.

memeemers
Guest
memeemers

To preface, my natural hair is colored with permanent hair color, so shampoo is automatically my enemy in terms of fading color. That said, I’ve been cowashing since before I dyed and only used shampoo twice (only on days when I was tending to the dye). I have not noticed any terrible buildup on my scalp or strands as a result of regular cowashing (that is, every week on wash day). I think people having problems with cowashing might just be doing it wrong, honestly. Perhaps altering your method would yield better results. I won’t knock continuing to use shampoo,… Read more »

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

I still can’t believe people are cowashing. I tried that and the next 2 days, something was smelling awfully foul. I realized it was my hair!!! Just NASTY!!!

Talisa Garbo
Guest
Talisa Garbo

Well that’s YOUR hair sweetie. You aren’t “people”. Do what works for you/don’t do what doesn’t. Every single head of hair is different.

Hope Woods
Guest
Hope Woods

Cowashing didn’t work for me. This is my first time hearing about cayenne pepper for growth.

Renee
Guest
Renee

Co washing was probably the worst thing I’ve done so far. My hair has never been so filthy. I tried co washing for a month and when I finally washed my hair with shampoo dear lord jesus, it was like I didn’t do anything to cleanse my hair in over a month. I always heard so many people talk about how great co washing was and how they are never going back to shampoo so I thought it was a great method. Boy was I wrong.

juiceznberries
Guest
juiceznberries

Dont forget Ecostyler gel that is an automated fail especially since it contains protien.

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