Want more cautionary tales from our natural hair pros? Read more hair mistakes from our writers here.
1. Product mix left on too long resulting in pH fried strands
One of my top three worst hair mistakes has to be leaving in the cherry Lola treatment in my hair for a few hours longer than I should’ve. I’ve done the treatment before but that one time, I made a terrible mistake. I wanted to do the Cherry Lola treatment right before class that day. I had mastered the art of having a treatment in my hair without anyone noticing by always adorning my plastic cap with a really nice head wrap. So after I quickly mixed (an incorrect proportion) of the ingredients and placed it on my hair, I left it in for the rest of the day until I got back from classes. BIG MISTAKE. When I went to wash my hair, instead of finding smooth coils, my hair felt super rough to the touch. It felt like I had been using a cheap flat iron on it every day for a month without any heat protectants. I didn’t even have enough conditioner to bring my hair back to life that afternoon. The quality of my hair decreased dramatically and only got better after keeping it oiled under a sew in weave for a few weeks. I promised myself since that time, that I would never leave in a treatment for longer than directed, especially a treatment that contains one or more higher than normal pH ingredients like baking soda.
2. Faulty henna treatment that led to tangling and massive breakage
The time when I did a henna mix with coconut cream and and my hair got so tangled it took me a summer to recover from it. Before I developed and started using my henna hack for super moisturized hair, I took a recipe for a henna treatment and tweaked it to the point that it was no longer beneficial to my hair. A treatment that should’ve resulted in smoother, stronger strands turned into a freak accident where my hair because one huge matter mess. If it wasn’t for my husband I would’ve cut all my hair off that night, but instead spent a whole week ripping through my hair with my fingers and suffering tons of hair loss because from the trauma of detangling. I learned quickly that henna is great, but you must have it finely sifted and it’s best to closely follow the directions given for its use by ladies that have been successful in using it.
3. Brassy orange puke-colored hair
The time when I started graduate school in Michigan state and started washing my hair without a filter was another one of my great natural hair mistakes. I was warned about the water in Michigan, but I was young and thought that I could still be successful in my hair regimen even with its use. Well, I was dead wrong. After a few short months, my hair turned a brassy orange color and got so hard to comb. I even remember my white friends commenting on the fact that my hair no longer glistened like it used to. The fact that they noticed my hair had a dull cast on it means that it was worse than I thought. When it got too bad to continue, I started buying distilled water and using that to wash my hair instead. That made a noticeable difference over time.
Ladies, have you made any of these mistakes? Do share!