Just because someone is a licensed stylist or other hair care professional, doesn’t mean they are all knowing when it comes to every hair type and texture.
That statement is not meant to throw shade at hair care professionals – especially those who know their stuff. On the contrary. A really good stylist can guide you in the right direction toward building a solid hair care regimen and even in figuring out what it is that you may or may not be doing to reach your hair goals.
What bothers me is not hair care professionals in general. It’s those who refuse to consider that you may know some things about your hair and how it responds to different techniques that they may not know. What’s interesting to me is the so called well meaning “professionals” that think they can tell you what you should and shouldn’t do to your hair after you’ve figured out what works for your hair.
There are hair care practices I’m about to share that I do to my fine natural hair that many hair care professionals consider a bit unorthodox. That’s OK because it’s what’s working for me. I am not sharing these hair practices to encourage you to do them because you too have to discover what your hair likes and does not like. I’m sharing them so you can see that just because it’s not recommended, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Here are 4 hair practices I do (actually habits now) that professional hair stylists and hair specialists don’t recommend but work quite well for me (and others);
1. Moisturizing daily
Professionals don’t recommend that you moisturize your hair daily. There’s some concern about throwing off the hair’s protein/moisture balance. This is certainly a possibility when over moisturizing take places by doing things like overnight deep conditioning, daily washing or saturating the hair with water daily. This is not what I do to moisturize daily.
My process of daily moisturizing is to simply spritz my hair with a little water (sometimes adding a leave in conditioner) every day, making it about 20% damp. I then apply a light application of jojoba oil (castor oil on the ends on wash day) through out my hair. Why do I do this you wonder? Because I do not ever want my hair to get to a point of drying out. Dry hair leads to breaking hair. My scalp does not, nor has it ever produced enough sebum. Sebum can keep the hair naturally moisturized when produced in abundance. However, really curly hair has difficulty getting the sebum distributed from root to tip. This is why I moisturize daily in this manner and am successful at it.
2. Protein Treating Bi-Weekly
There’s much debate (especially in the natural hair community) surrounding the topic of using protein treatments. I’m done with the debating. It’s already been established that protein is beneficial to fine hair. I don’t think there’s a real professional out there who will deny that.
There are different types of protein treatments (ex: milk, wheat, silk, soy, keratin, animal-collagen). Treatments containing heavy duty hydrolyzed proteins like what you find in products like Aphogee 2-Step, should be used on weak or breaking hair. Every 6-8 weeks is the recommendation. Yet, there are ways to give your hair regular doses of protein that do not cause it to feel hard or fall out of balance with moisture. Many deep conditioners even contain small amounts of protein.
I’ve discovered that my DIY goats milk conditioner recipe keeps my hair strong and healthy. Using it every other week has proven optimal for my fine natural hair. So, while the hair care professionals may frown on the use of protein so regularly, my hair thrives on it.
I was introduced to the use of goat’s milk for strengthening by a fellow fine haired natural, the Creator of Hairscapades. She has used the DIY goats milk protein treatment weekly and currently sports tailbone length hair. Here’s her recipe.
3. Trimming on Wash Day & Twice Yearly
Hair care professionals recommend trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks. I am not sure what professional came up with this rule but it’s very outdated. I think most ladies who are in tune with their crown have figured out that it’s not always necessary to trim hair that often
If you don’t heat style, chemical treat, use hair tools like combs/brushes or handle your hair roughly, the only damage incurred will be through normal wear and tear. Unless you are trying to maintain perfectly even ends, trimming your hair every 6-8 weeks it tantamount to cutting off perfectly healthy hair for no reason at all.
I trim incomplete split ends off individual strands as I come across them on wash day. A couple times per year I will self trim 1/2 of an inch off my ends (usually while in twists) or get a professional trim. This process of trimming helps me to maintain length by only eliminating damage and not healthy hair. It’s not optimal for maintaining a desired shape but it keeps the healthy hair on my head which is one of my most important hair goals.
4. Detangling from root to tip
Being a strict finger detangler, I’ve discovered that the majority of my tangling occurs at the root where my hair begins and less at the ends. When detangling from the ends up toward my roots as recommended by the hair care professionals, the process is longer causing me to repeat the process a couple times.
Gently working from the roots down toward the ends has proven more effective and I never ever use a comb to do it. (Coincidentally, Hairscapades creator detangles in a similar manner). Using my fingers allows me to feel and gently dislodge the tangles starting with where they are in abundance.
The methods I use to care for my fine natural hair may not be orthodox or sanctioned by hair care professionals but I’ve spent many years getting to know my hair and have discovered the hair care practices my hair embraces. I encourage you to do the same for your hair. Don’t just take what the professionals say at face value. Experiment. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but isn’t that how you learn?