Beauty, Lookbook

5 natural hair lessons I definitely learned the hard way

Keep. Your Hair. Moisturized.

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I’ve had my naturally curly hair now for nearly a year. Yay me!

My hair has improved so much from this year of keeping it natural. In the first months after cutting my hair, it was healthy and growing fast, but somewhere along the way my growth began to slow. Looking at pictures of other naturals’ one year photos, I don’t think my hair is where it should be, and I think it’s because I made some mistakes in my first year of being natural.

I've had natural hair for almost year! Yay me! Click To Tweet

Here are some things I did wrong that stifled my hair growth.

1. I washed too often with shampoo

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Quite a while into my natural hair journey, I was still washing my hair every week. Which is perfectly fine for your hair, especially when you’re putting styling products in it throughout the week. But, what I was doing wrong was washing every week with shampoo. Shampoo dries out natural hair.

Naturals should try to only do a complete wash with shampoo once a month. Instead, it’s best to co-wash, which means to wash with conditioner.

2. I didn’t cover my hair every night

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Moisture retention is the most important part of maintaining natural hair. Keep. Your Hair. Moisturized. Because natural hair can get dry quickly, and brittle curls break. That is why wrapping your hair with a silk or satin scarf or covering it with a bonnet is very important. The cotton fabric of pillows dries out hair and can cause it to break. You don’t want to see little pieces of broken off hair on your pillows.

Keep. Your Hair. Moisturized. Because natural hair can get dry quickly, and curls break. Click To Tweet

If you can’t get your scarf or bonnet to stay on, silk or satin pillowcases are also an option.

3. I didn’t adjust moisture intake to accommodate color treated hair

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Once my hair got to a length where I could no longer “wash-n-go”, I decided to have my hair colored. A lot of natural women dye their hair during the awkward stage to add some kind of style to their look. I didn’t use a pre-bleaching method. Instead, I used Loreal Hi-Color Intense Red, which I thought would be a lot better for my hair than bleaching. But obviously, there has to be some lifting agents in the product to turn dark hair a vibrant red.

My mistake wasn't changing my hair regime to meet my new hair needs. Click To Tweet

Even with the little bleach that I did put in my hair, my hair still did dry out. My mistake wasn’t changing my hair regime to meet my new hair needs. Doing deep-conditioning treatments and using leave-in conditioner daily would’ve helped my hair retain extra moisture.

4. I didn’t trim correctly

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In order for your hair to grow nicely, trimming is necessary every 3-4 months. My mistake was trimming my own hair. At six months. I used the two strand twist method while my hair was wet. You’re supposed to cut along the bend of the curl. I didn’t really grasp that concept all too well on my first try. My hair came out very uneven.

My mistake was trimming my own hair. Myself. Click To Tweet

While the two strand twist method is fine if you plan on wearing your hair curly all the time, but if you plan to straighten your hair at some point, the blow out method is best. If you want your hair to be even, trim your hair after blowing and stretching your hair out completely.

5. I straightened my hair

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There was a point where I was tired of curly and I wanted to see how much my hair had really grown, so I got it straightened. It came out great. My mistake was getting it straightened in the summer time, which was stupid, because humidity and sweating always made my hair frizz. To try to make it last longer, I would re-straighten it way too often. I ended up getting only two weeks out of my style.

I noticed that it took a while to get my curls back after my hair had been straightened. The curl pattern was loosened for a while after that. Ladies, if you’re going to straighten your hair, do it in the winter months so that you can get more wear out of your hairstyle.

I learned a lot in this first year of natural godesshood. Click To Tweet

I learned a lot in this first year of natural goddesshood, mostly by trial and error. To my natural queens out there, keep learning about your hair and how to take care of it. It really is a journey. I’m so excited for year two!

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Stephanie Scott

Stephanie Scott

Stephanie Scott is studying Fashion Merchandising & Apparel Design and a minor in Journalism at Georgia Southern University.

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