The natural hair care wheel is one that is always spinning with new ideas and information to help us along our journeys. Like all new ideas and opinions, we have to weed through what is and isn’t right for us when it comes to our natural hair.
Unfortunately, some trends from the bad side of the spectrum catch fire and start spreading very fast–leaving tons of women with poor experiences and advice.
Lucky for us, we can always double check everything with other natural women before making any regrettable hair mistakes! Below are 4 natural hair practices that may be hurting your hair more than helping it!
Back To Back Long-Term Protective Styling
By now, we all know that protective styling is the key to growing and maintaining healthy hair. Everything from box braids to weaves* is seen as popular long term protective styles that’ll allow you the versatility without all the manipulation and potential damage.
This is a great way to get the most out of your hair journey, however, going into one protective style after just leaving another is not the best idea. In fact, it could be the cause of some of your hair issues!
A long term protective style is anything you plan on wearing for two or more weeks without taking it out and/or down. During this time, you may not be able to wash, moisturize, seal, or detangle your hair as normal or at all. This is fine because eventually you will take it down and care for your hair underneath, right?
Well imagine only caring for your hair for no longer than a week before you put it right back into a protective style; once again, no regular washing, sealing, or moisturizing.
Not only did your hair not get a chance to breathe, but you are re-introducing high manipulation styles and tension back into the picture way too soon. This can cause thinning, more shedding than normal, chronic dryness, scalp flaking and itching, and a whole host of other problems.
Ultimately, wearing protective styles back to back without breaks in-between to care for your hair and let it breathe can prove to be counterproductive. Wearing multiple protective styles a year is perfectly fine, just make sure this is time (about two or more weeks) in between styles.
Moisture is one of the core factors of healthy hair, period! Nobody wants to have dry hair and scalp, plus all the awful things that come with them like split ends, dandruff, and itching. Because we want to avoid extensive repair and moisturizing, we hydrate and moisturize as much as possible–as we should!
However, it is possible to go just a little overboard with our moisturizing and unfortunately, that comes with its own problems.
Putting too much product in your hair is a hard problem to solve, right? Your hair feels weighed down, limp, stringy, drippy, and becomes very fragile. Sometimes it leads to you waiting hours for your hair to dry, or even worse–you have to wash your hair and start all over.
Now imagine this being the state of your hair all the time; this is exactly what adding too much moisture does to your hair over time. If you suddenly have limp, weighed down hair that is experiencing breakage and a slowdown in growth, you may be moisturizing too often or with too much product.
Remember, moderation is key!