When you start your natural hair journey, you want everything to go smoothly so you can achieve your health goals. If you want to stay on the right track, it’s important to learn which natural hair mistakes to avoid. You don’t want to cause a setback in your regimen.
That’s why it’s called a journey though, right? We’re constantly learning new things about our hair and have to figure out what it likes and dislikes.
In this post, I’m sharing 6 common natural hair mistakes to avoid in your routine. If you know what to look out for, then there’s a chance you can prevent a few of these from happening.
Natural Hair Mistakes to Avoid
Not Moisturizing Correctly
I’m sure you’ve heard moisture is key when it comes to taking care of natural hair. That statement is straight facts! I kept seeing the word moisture so much, however, I didn’t take it as seriously until my hair started breaking off and not retaining its length. That’s why one of the first natural hair mistakes to avoid is not moisturizing correctly.
It’s important to learn how to properly add moisture to your hair and retain it. Since I have high porosity hair, I found it difficult to improve moisture retention and didn’t understand what my hair needed.
I had to go through trial and error to figure out what my hair needed on wash day and during the styling process to retain moisture longer. Here are some tips that have helped me combat dryness:
- Deep condition every wash day
- Follow the LOC method when styling
- Use heavier products for my strands
- Refreshing midweek (as needed)
Instead of trying to follow someone else’s routine, I had to pay attention to how my hair responded to certain techniques and products.
One thing that has helped me is keeping a Hair Journal on my phone. This app helps me keep track of texture shots, products I used each wash day, and how my hair turned out. Documenting this has helped me figure out what my hair loves and what I should focus on the most.
You can download the iPhone app here.
Related Post: 5 Ways to Effectively Moisturize Your Natural Hair
Comparing Your Texture
When I did my big chop, I expected my curls to look a certain way, and unfortunately, I ended up disappointed. Another common natural hair mistake most women make on their journey is comparing their texture to someone else’s. This can lead to discouragement.
I watched a lot of YouTube videos while I was transitioning to natural hair and thought my curls would look similar to my favorite creators. It took time for me to realize that my hair is unique and beautiful no matter what. I should confidently embrace it because it’s mine!
All hair textures are beautiful, and it’s important to learn how to properly take care of your curls so you can fall in love with them. Once you start using good quality products and techniques, you’ll see that your hair can flourish.
Remember that your hair doesn’t have to look like someone else’s and it never will. Embrace what grows from your head and remind yourself of how beautiful it is no matter what other people think.
No Patience While Detangling
I know this is another natural hair mistake a lot of us make! Detangling is one step I’ve never looked forward to on wash day. The sore arms and long time standing in the mirror is something I wish I could skip.
As my hair has become thicker and longer, detangling takes more time. Do you know what that means? More patience is needed.
You don’t want to get frustrated or detangle your hair roughly because it can lead to excessive breakage and cause damage. Here are some tips to make detangling easier:
- Make sure your hair is wet and you use a product with SLIP. Don’t detangle on dry hair.
- Divide your hair into small/medium-sized sections to make the process easier.
- Finger detangle first before using a hair tool. This can help you remove bigger tangles and knots.
- Start from the end and work your way up. Also, hold your hair while detangling.
Check out this IG Reel I posted featuring tips on detangling natural hair!
Related Post: Make Detangling Easy and Get Your Life Back
Not Trimming Regularly
Keeping your hair trimmed is important on your journey. There’s no specific schedule to follow because everyone’s hair is different. Some may get their hair trimmed every 3-4 months while others do it twice per year. It depends on your hair!
Here are signs to look out for when it’s time for a fresh trim:
- See-through, rough ends
- Excessive breakage + shedding
- It’s harder to detangle your hair
- You notice more split-ends
- Loss of curl definition/volume
I found a professional stylist in my area to do my trims, however, some choose to do it themselves. It’s up to you and what you’re comfortable with. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to properly trim your natural hair.
In between getting trims, I follow the dusting method. Dusting refers to cutting a small amount off the ends of your hair. This method can reduce breakage, split-ends, and keep your ends looking nice and healthy. Remember, this doesn’t replace your professional trims!
Check out this video for a tutorial on how to dust your natural hair.
Skipping Pre-Poo Treatments
I know many people don’t do this step regularly, however, it has a variety of benefits for natural hair. Whenever I’ve tried skipping a pre-poo treatment, I hated wash day and ended up frustrated.
Doing pre-poo treatments has the following benefits:
- Helps remove tangles/knots + reduce breakage while shampooing
- Protects your curls from being stripped while shampooing
- Adds moisture + combats dryness
If I didn’t pre-poo before wash day, I would end up bald at this point haha. I’d most likely rip out my hair due to frustration. If you haven’t tried this step yet, I highly recommend it because you’ll notice a difference with your curls!
Using Too Many Products
As a natural hair blogger, I’ve tried a variety of products since starting my journey which has been a good and bad thing. Although trying new things can be exciting, your hair may not respond well to different products all of the time.
It’ll be hard to pinpoint what didn’t work if you’re using a bunch of new products at once. Thankfully, I’ve gotten to a point where being a product junkie is no longer a thing for me. I enjoy sticking to what works best and what I know will keep my hair and scalp healthy.
I still try new products here and there, however, it’s nothing compared to how I was in the beginning. Of course, you have to go through trial and error to find what works. However, once you find your staple products, continue to rotate them each wash day.
My scalp doesn’t become as irritated anymore and I don’t experience a lot of product build-up since I know what my hair needs. Once you get to this point in your journey, you’ll understand what I mean!
These are the 6 common natural hair mistakes I’ve made on my journey and it has been an interesting experience. I had a relaxer for 14 years before I transitioned to natural hair. Therefore, it was a journey trying to relearn how to take care of my hair and finding what works.
Don’t get discouraged! Keep going and document your journey. Look back on pictures that you’ve taken and see how much you’ve accomplished. This will give you the motivation you need to move forward and show you that your hard work is paying off.
If you’re newly natural or in the process of returning natural, keep these mistakes in mind and try to focus on the health of your curls. Love what grows from your scalp!