No matter how long you’ve been wearing your afro hair naturally, whether you’ve newly transitioned or been rocking afro forever, everyone makes natural hair mistakes. Often, they are hard to spot when you’re used to the same routine.
But, if you’re experiencing a hair funk, switching things up and listening to your hair will help you maintain healthy locks!
Here are nine mistakes most make while managing their natural hair. Take a look and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes!
1. Not Giving Your Curls Enough Moisture
By nature, afro hair is dryer than other textures because natural oils have a harder time traveling down curly and kinky hair shafts than straight hair.
Both type 3 and type 4 hair requires a lot of moisture to stay hydrated, soft and prevent breakage so your curls can stay in great condition. There are a few ways that you can give your curls extra moisture.
The LOC (leave-in, oil and cream) method is a way of layering your products that helps seal in moisture whether you’re styling your curls or wearing a protective style.
Alternatively, hair masks and hot oil treatments can also quench your dry curls.
2. Using Products that Are Wrong for Your Hair Type
There are a lot of different factors to consider when finding the best hair products for your needs. One of the biggest natural hair mistakes is only going by your curl pattern to decide which products you need.
Two people with the same looking hair could in fact have very different needs, so it’s important to understand your hair’s porosity, condition and thickness. Pay attention to how your curls react.
Do they look weighed down? This could be because your products are too heavy. Do you suffer from frizz?
Well, perhaps you need more moisture or a stronger hold. Taking the time to understand your hair can completely transform how it looks and feels.
3. Wearing Styles That Are Too Tight
Protective styles are great and wearing your hair slicked back is a super easy way of styling your curls. However, the constant tension on your hair will take its toll on your edges.
You may notice that your edges become thin and wispy, which is a clear sign that they need a break!
Try not to pull your hair back too tight or breakage is inevitable. Switch up your styles and be gentle on your curls.
4. Going To Bed without Protecting Your Curls
Looking after your curls is a 24-hour commitment. That doesn’t mean it should rule your life, but good nighttime care will increase the longevity of your styles and generally keep your hair in much better condition.
Before going to sleep, wear a satin hair bonnet or scarf to stop your hair from fluffing up that way, it’s much easier to style in the morning. You can also use a satin pillowcase.
Compared to regular cotton pillowcases that can draw moisture out of your skin and hair, satin or silk pillowcases are much gentler.
Spending a few extra minutes looking after your curls at night whether you have box braids, locs or you’re wearing your natural fro will make all the difference.
5. Under or Over-washing hair
You have to strike the right balance between washing your curls enough to keep your scalp healthy while not overwashing it and causing excessive dryness. Listen to your curls.
When they become itchy, it’s probably time to wash your hair, especially when you can see visible signs of product buildup. Quit simply, don’t wash your curls for the sake of it.
Overwashing will strip your hair off of natural oils, making your hair dry and damaged.
Using harsh products when washing also worsens the damage and may even cause hair fall, so be mindful of how often you’re following a washday routine.
6. Using Rough Towels on Your Hair
Another major mistake is using a towel to dry hair after washing. Wet hair is more prone to damage and using a rough towel worsens it.
Avoid unnecessary friction by switching to a simple cotton t-shirt or microfibre towel that will soak up the moisture without damaging your curls.
7. Not Using Heat Protector
Using excessive heat on your hair is incredibly damaging, but people often forget other hot tools such as diffusers.
A common natural hair mistake is not using a heat protector serum or spray when using such styling tools, which naturally causes unnecessary damage such as split ends.
It’s important to remember that even if you aren’t straightening your hair, hair dryers can still cause damage, so protect your hair accordingly.
8. Avoiding Haircuts and Trims
It’s a myth that black hair can’t grow past a certain length. With the proper care and attention, healthy natural hair can grow long and flourish. However, one area where people often go wrong is avoiding hair cuts and trims.
It can be hard to see when your curls need to be trimmed since split ends can often be camouflaged in the curls; however, a good rule of thumb is to get your haircut every 3 months.
This will prevent stunted growth and ensure that your curls aren’t being weighed down by damaged areas, so don’t be afraid of a bit of snip!
9. Comparing Your Natural Hair to Others
Everyone’s curls are different, and that’s the beauty of natural hair. A mistake you want to avoid is comparing your hair journey or hair type to other people, as that won’t get you anywhere!
If you’re achieving different results from someone else using the same products, it just means that you haven’t found the right routine for you just yet, but a little trial and error will get you there.
Never compare your journey to someone else; it only leads to frustration.
Taking care of your hair takes time, but by avoiding these common natural hair mistakes, you’ll avoid a lot of problems along the way!