Courtesy of NaturallyCurly.com
By: Timi Komonibo
We all want our curly hair to look great every day. But even with the best products in our bags, we can still damage our curls with bad hair habits. Here are a few that are worth breaking!
1. Pulling back your hair too tightly
Protective buns, puffs, and ponytails can be good ways to keep hair out of your face, but they are also a major source of thinning edges. Tightly hair styles can add stress to hair follicles, causing breakage. You should try keep these high-tension styles to a minimum, but if you must do them, do so wisely. Using an elastic hair band or hair band with a metal part can snag on your hair and snatch you bald, yanking out your follicles. Ouch!
But there is a solution to this problem: Try a silk scrunchy, or if you need something more discrete, a Goody Ouchless headband. Ouchless headbands are comfortable and can be stretched out to allow your hair to breathe a little. KCurly of newlynatural.com had a great tip for safely wearing headbands: soak the headband in an oil or moisturizer before putting it on. This is less damaging to your follicles.
2. Being scissor-happy
When I first did my big chop, I was always looking for a reason to “trim” my hair. Many naturals still believe that the more you cut your hair, the more it will grow. This belief has led many astray. While trimming your hair every so often is good, you have to give it time to grow. Cutting it won’t speed up the process. Instead, focus on having a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair growth. So put the scissors down and let your hair grow at its own pace. It will grow eventually if you just let it.
Yes, I know. It’s hot. When it’s hot, you sweat. When you sweat, your scalp is a mess. But before you run off to shampoo your hair after every workout, think about reaching for some conditioner instead. Most shampoos strip your hair of essential oils it needs. Co-washing is less harsh on your scalp. I’m not suggesting you stop shampooing altogether (although some have); I’m simply saying that you can co-wash in between your shampoo days.
4. Breaking off fairy knots
Confession: As I am writing this, I stopped several times to detangle my hair—well, actually to pick at some fairy knots I found on my ends. I already have chronic hand-in-the-hair syndrome, so when you add fairy knots to the equation, it’s a wonder that I ever have a free hand. There’s nothing wrong with loving the feel of your curls under your fingers, but for some of us, hand-in-the-hair syndrome might be hurting our hair more than we realize. Fairy knots are teeny tiny knots that form on the ends of strands of hair. They no stranger to kinky hair. They can appear after the frequent use of styles such braid outs or twist outs. You want resist the urge to pull or break them off; this will only cause more breakage. Instead, grab a pair of scissors and snip the knot. If left unchecked, these fairy knots will tangle your hair and will become a nightmare to deal with. In the long run, your hair will thank you for snipping them off.
5. Roughhousing with your curls
I am guilty of not be gentle enough with my curls, especially when detangling in a rush. Here’s the first tip: slow down and take time to detangle your hair. For me, I know it’s a feat to detangle my whole head of hair. I’m not one of those people who does their hair in sections. I just randomly grab chunks and detangle. I recommend detangling in the shower. Add conditioner and use a wide-toothed comb to loosen and remove any knots. I sometimes bring a paddle brush or use my finger to detangle. But be careful: wet hair is more stretchy, but it breaks just as easily. Even when it’s dry, don’t tug on stubborn knots. Just patiently start detangling from the bottom and work your way up. Be gentle with your hair and make sure you use a moisturizer when you are styling it.
We have been indulging in these bad hair habits for too long. It’s time to cut them out of our routine. It takes 21 days to create a habit. While it will be challenging to rid ourselves of old ones, it’s definitely doable. Are you up for the challenge?