It doesn’t matter if you’ve been natural for ten months or ten years. You never stop learning.
For change to take place (with your hair or otherwise), you have to accept the fact that you don’t know it all. You may know some things about your hair but even those are subject to change as your hair changes.
You think you know everything there is to know about keeping your hair moisturized until you start noticing your ends drying out by the end of each day.
You think you know everything there is to know about maintaining length until you realize your hair hasn’t gotten that much longer in the past year.
Seems you don’t know that much after all eh? I can relate.
Back to talking about change…
What doesn’t change is what’s required to see change happen. Three things:
- Be honest with yourself (how you are handling and caring for your hair)
- Stay open to learning
- Commit to seeing change occur
Wow. That’s a lot of talk about change!
After much retrospect, I realized that there are ten
things mistakes that I have been making when it comes to caring for my fine hair. The sad part is I’ve been making these mistakes for the longest kind of time.
Here are the ten things I am immediately ceasing because my hair deserves better (and so does yours):
1. Handling my hair dry when prepping it for styling. Going forward, when separating my hair to style, I will mist my ends with water or a spray moisturizer (Tropical Moringa Daily Restorative Spray) to make sectioning easier and prevent end breakage.
2. Doing wash and go’s year round. I started regularly doing wash and go’s for the MahoganyCurls Healthy Hair Challenge but noticed an increase in tangling at the back of my hair. Unfortunately, what works for her and many other naturals, does not work for me. The wash ‘n go is OK for me in the summer when I don’t have anything for my hair to rub against in the back. In the winter, not so much.
3. Being heavy handed with gel when doing wash and go’s. I’m pretty heavy handed with products in general but I need to make a conscious effort not to use so much gel to set my curls because no matter the gel, too much of it causes my fine hair to dry out faster.
4. Trimming my own hair. Some call it DIY trimming, dusting, search and destroying. Whatever you call it, trimming your own hair can be a huge mistake; Especially if you don’t know what heck you’re really doing. All it takes is using scissors that are just plain inadequate, trimming a little too much or not trimming enough to eliminate residual damage. From now on, I’ll leave the trimming to a real professional every 5-6 months.
5. Pulling on my ends to remove incomplete splits and single strand knots (SSKs). I know I know. I’m ashamed to admit it but I do it and tell myself it’s just one itty bitty hair. The truth is, it’s not what we do to our hair one time that affects it. It’s the repeated actions. I just have to stop. I think that will mean carrying a pair of shears with me at all times but hey, whatever works right?
6. Being inconsistent with scalp massages. Scalp massages have always been a part of my hair regimen. They are very beneficial for hair growth by stimulating blood flow in the scalp. The problem is just like pulling on my ends one time may not have a huge impact on the health of my hair, doing a scalp massage won’t have an impact either. Consistency is key.
7. Finger detangling during the wash cycle. Even if I detangle during the pre-poo, after rinsing out conditioner or while styling, I’d somehow get the urge to run my fingers down through the ends of my hair while shampooing. This is unnecessary stress and I’m probably stretching my hair beyond its limit. It will require a concerted effort to stop but it’s a mistake I don’t want to continue making.
8. Having #HairADD and Hand in Hair syndrome – “Looking” for tangles when hair is loose & fancy free, changing styles mid-week when the intention was to keep them in for a week and always touching my hair are all mistakes that cause unnecessary wear and tear on my already fragile strands. Just leaving my hair alone and keeping my fingers out of my hair also requires a concerted effort but I’ve got goals to reach!
9. Mixing Products from different brands. Brands are manufactured to work together. That’s why it’s best to use products within the same line (ex: Camille Rose Ginger Cleansing Rinse, Algae Renew Deep Conditioner and Aloe Whipped Butter Gel). It’s OK to try new products from time to time but starting in 2017, on wash day I’ll work with products from within the same line.
10. Causing my ends to twist too tightly – Whenever I have to unravel my two strand twists, I inevitably encounter tangles at the ends. I don’t twist to the very end but I did twist/twirl my ends “to encourage the curl” as many in the natural hair community recommend. The is just another thing that’s a no-no for fine hair. Going forward, when I get to that final 1/2 inch of untwisted hair, I’ll smooth and set it on a roller or smooth the remaining hair around my finger. This is a gentler way to treat the ends of the hair and discourages end tangles.
I’m committed to seeing my fine natural hair change in 2017. That’s why I’ve had to be honest with the fact that I’m probably not reaching my hair goals because of these ten mistakes. Hopefully my mistakes won’t be yours.
Are you making any of these hair mistakes that you plan to stop in 2017?
A Prayer for Our Hair:
“God, I come to you in Jesus’ Name knowing that I am not capable of making change on my own. Help me to be diligent with my hair care and empower me to stop doing things that cause my hair harm . Amen”