Both relaxed and natural women alike know that washing their hair can be the most important, yet the most tedious part of hair care.
A lot of information and tips regarding shampooing and conditioning has been shared among women, but a good amount of that advice has been quite misleading.
Although we don’t know everything there is to know about wash days and hair care in general, one thing is for certain: All advice isn’t good advice.
From “You wash your hair too much” to “you should deep condition your hair overnight”, we’ll explore the top 5 most commonly said and shared myths and misconceptions about shampooing and conditioning our waves, curls, and coils.
“The longer you deep condition your hair, the better!”
When I first started deep conditioning my hair, I was told that the longer I deep conditioned, the better. I, like a lot of women, eventually started leaving the conditioner in my hair overnight and washing it out in the morning. At first, I noticed that this method made my hair extremely soft-too soft, if we’re being honest.
Following a few months of deep conditioning* overnight, my hair started to shed like crazy; it was far more fragile than it was before because it was a lot softer.
After doing some research, I found out that deep conditioning* for more than an hour not only had minimal benefits, but changed the keratin in my hair-causing it to lose strength. Over-conditioning is the epitome of “too much of a good thing”.
So what is the final verdict? You should always do what is right for your hair, but for the most part, 30 minutes to 1 hour is long enough to reap the benefits of deep conditioning but not too long where it may cause your hair to become limp and prone to breakage.
“Washing your hair too much will stunt its growth”
“Dirty hair grows better” is a widely believed notion when it comes to Black women and hair growth. This idea is not too far fetched because many women do experience a significant amount of hair growth after a few weeks of infrequent hair washing. However, hair growth doesn’t come about because of a dirty scalp; It is actually the result of low manipulation hair care.
Unfortunately, what you think is helping, could actually be doing the opposite-yikes! If you’ve been trying your hardest to skip washes as a method of low manipulation hair care and have not seen any results, you may have clogged scalp pores. Buildup from oil, dirt, and hair products can clog your pores and interrupt your hair growth.
On the other hand, washing your hair too often can strip it of it’s natural oils* and cause it to become dry and brittle. This can be prevented by cutting back on washes, using a sulfate-free shampoo, and doing a pre-poo. Simply put: wash your hair when it needs to be washed and take the proper steps to avoid dryness and breakage.
“Any conditioner with silicone is bad for your hair”
More often than not, the term “sulfate-free” is often accompanied by “silicone-free” which makes people believe that all silicone is bad for your hair-which is not always the case.
Silicone is typically put in hair products because its compounds are usually resistant to chemical attack and insensitive to temperature changes. Sounds great right?
Well, there’s a downside. Some silicones make your hair feel heavy and are hard to wash out, causing buildup. Don’t let a few bad properties steer you away from silicones altogether. Instead, look for silicones that will protect your hair from heat and styling tool damage (i.e. flat irons* and fine tooth combs).
Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone Copolyol are the better quality silicones that allow your conditioner to give you silky, soft hair with a natural shine, and leave you with little to no buildup.
On the other hand, Amodimethicones and Dimethicones are very challenging to wash out and leave your hair with a very heavy coating so you should avoid these at all cost.