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There is no denying that dealing with natural hair can be a bit of an adjustment, but it’s definitely worth exploring. Whether you’re a newbie or have been working with your natural hair for quite some time, mistakes can happen. From learning the best way to care for transitioning natural hair to using the maximum hydration method for long-lasting moisture, giving your strands the TLC they need comes with some trial and error. However, once you understand how to keep your natural tresses in tip-top shape, you can move past those mishaps. Keep reading for 11 natural hair mistakes you should avoid for a healthy and hydrated mane!
While we understand that some hairstyles call for heat-styling tools, we’d advise against using too much heat on your mane. Rocking your natural hair is all about embracing your texture, and when you apply heat consistently, you run the risk of losing your natural curl pattern. Not to mention, excessive heat usage can damage your strands. Instead, use hair care products that work hand in hand with air drying like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle CURVE IT Elastic Curl Mousse. Simply apply an egg-sized amount to your strands, scrunch, and let hair air dry. Once dry, style your mane as usual.
For those days when you just can’t resist your blow-dryer or hair straightener, keep in mind that you should always protect your strands with heat protectant before applying. Spritz your strands with the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray, which helps to calm frizz, condition your hair, and protect against heat damage.
Co-washing your hair comes with many benefits, such as helping your strands retain their shape and keeping frizz at bay. However, a cleansing conditioner can only go so far as to give your hair the attention it deserves. Now, we’re not saying that you should avoid co-washing altogether, but you need to use a cleansing shampoo to get rid of product buildup, dirt, and debris on your scalp and hair. Consider using a sulfate-free shampoo for gentle cleansing.
As much as you may love high ponytail hairstyles and tight buns, these high-tension styles can wreak havoc on your mane—especially your edges. Stay ahead of the game by experimenting with low-tension hairstyles like box braids, twist outs, and other protective styles that can help keep your edges safe. After all, you don’t want to lose—or damage—your baby hairs!
Detangling is a crucial part of natural hair care, but using the wrong tools can break your hair and cause split ends. Instead of using just any comb to detangle your tresses, always use a wide-tooth comb for a smooth detangling process.
As scary as it may be to lose your length, you need to visit your stylist to get regular trims. Trimming your hair gets rid of split ends, keeps breakage at bay, and minimizes damage to help your tresses grow healthy and strong. Consider booking appointments with your stylist for every six to eight weeks and just get a little bit trimmed off your ends each time.
If you’ve been towel-drying your hair, consider this your sign to stop! Towel-drying wet hair can lead to breakage and hair loss, which is the opposite of what you want. Opt for air-drying, using a blow-dryer on the cold setting, or soaking up excess water with a soft T-shirt to keep your strands intact.
Using only oils on your hair is not enough to keep your mane moisturized for the long haul. Since it’s hard for natural hair to maintain moisture, you need to add a few more steps to your routine to get the job done. Try out the LOC method or the LCO method to seal your strands with long-lasting moisture.
Speaking of moisture, deep conditioning should be a key part of your natural hair care routine. While some hair textures only need a deep conditioner once every two weeks, some can benefit from using one once a week—it’s all about finding what works for you. The best way to figure out your deep conditioning schedule is to pay attention to your hair.
One of the biggest natural hair mistakes you can make is using too much product. Not only can this cause your strands to sport a stiff look with a weighed down feel, but too much product can also offset your moisture levels and cause harm to your hair. Be sure to follow the instructions on your products when applying them to remain in the clear.
Since natural hair breaks easily, you always want to handle your hair with care. Instead of dry combing your hair, which can cause breakage and split ends, stick to detangling your strands during your hair care routine.
There is something about defined curls that makes you want to play around with different styles. And some of those styles necessitate manipulating your hair quite a bit, but touching your hair too much can lead to dry strands, breakage, frizz, and product buildup. Of course, this all can take a toll on your hair growth progress. Try to keep your hair healthy by opting for styles that don’t require a lot of pulling or combing to achieve.
Next up: Now that you’re well-versed on natural hair mistakes to avoid, why not get a refresher on another relevant topic: How to Stretch Natural Hair.
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