5 Habits You Should Stop Doing to Help Your Hair

Over the years, I’ve witnessed some of the people around me –– friends, family and acquaintances –– commit some serious hair no-no’s. I’ve done everything on this list for many years too, and I wish I would’ve realized how bad these habits were sooner. I’m telling you, your hair will be happier (and healthier) if you break these habits.

 

1. Shampooing everyday

I know, I know. Some people find it gross to not wash their hair on a daily basis because their hair gets “so greasy.” Well, it’s so greasy because you keep stripping your hair of it’s natural oils to the point where your hair feels like it needs to produce more. It’ll take time to get over the greasiness you’re used to experiencing after not washing your hair for a day. But trust me, washing your hair every other day or every two days is a good place to start. And for those who are wondering, “Does that mean I can’t shower every other day or every two days?” (People have asked me this). Yes, yes you can shower. If you don’t want to get your hair wet, get a shower cap or take a plastic grocery bag and put it over your head. It’s that simple.

Image result for shampooing
 Source: https://www.instyle.com/hair/asked-and-answered-how-long-should-it-take-shampoo-your-hair

 

2. Brushing or combing hair from the roots first

I literally cringe when I see people brush or comb from their roots first. And I start shaking my head when they start saying, “Ow!” and create bigger tangles and knots than what they started with. It’s much easier to start brushing or combing from the ends of your hair and working your way up. For those who have curlier hair, I suggest sectioning off your hair and then brushing or combing from the ends. Curly hair gets tangled easier than straight hair does. Sectioning your hair helps make sure you get every tangle and knot that might be hidden in your curly mane. You won’t be saying, “Ow!” or ripping out strands that could’ve stayed on your scalp anymore.

Image result for painful hair brushing
Source: https://www.vogue.com/article/why-does-hair-hurt-pain-shampoo-conditioner

 

3. Using an unnecessarily high heat setting for your hair type

I knew a girl with 1c hair (a hair type that’s pretty straight, but has a bit of a wave) who would straighten her hair at 450 degrees Fahrenheit… That’s so unnecessary. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason she kept her hair at shoulder length was because her ends needed to be cut due to all of the heat damage. You can determine what heat setting you should be using by your hair type. If your hair has slight waves, is thin or already damaged, you shouldn’t be using a heat setting over 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hair has medium thickness or is wavy to kind of curly, you can use heat between 300 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hair is unbelievably thick or in the 4 hair type category (kinky curls), your heat setting is probably going to be around or above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. For those of you under this hair type, I suggest you try to find the lowest heat setting you can use that gives you the results you’re looking for. Don’t add heat that doesn’t need to be added.

Image result for straightening iron fashion Source: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2-in-1-Hair-Curler-Curling-Iron-Fashion-Salon-Curling-Straightening-Iron-Hair-Curler-Flat-Iron/32854661813.html

 

4. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase

It’s sad to hear that the pillowcases that come as a matching set with your bedding is actually drying out your hair. Yes, those cheap cotton pillowcases that come in a variety of colors are not that great for your hair. But you know what else is cheap and is actually good for your hair? A satin pillowcase. You can find one at your local beauty supply store or even at a Meijer for only $2 to $3 dollars. Another alternative is a satin scarf to put on your hair before you go to bed. This can also be found at a local beauty supply store or a store like Walmart.

Related image

 Source: https://www.skinonline.co.za/beauty/satin-pillowcases/

 

5. Pulling your hair back tightly often

Those tight, slicked back high ponytails and buns look real cute, don’t they? Well, if you do them a lot, don’t be surprised when your hairline starts receding. You heard me. Your baby hairs and edges will be no more if you do tight hairstyles seven days a week. No, I’m not telling you to stop doing them completely. I’m just saying you should let your hair down or try looser hairstyles throughout the week. The same goes for those who wear wigs and weaves. Your hair needs to breathe and be free every now and then. I suggest you break this habit before you start noticing bald patches, not after.

Source: http://www.itsarkeedah.com/2013/09/harlems-fashion-row-sponsored-by-dark.html

 

These habits are pretty hard to break, but I believe you can do it. For your hair’s sake, please take my suggestions under consideration. Help your hair be healthy!

Interested in Wearing Wigs? Here Are 6 Tips to Get You Started

Hair dying and straightening used to be an obsession of mine, but it damaged my hair to the point that I had to chop it all off and start over. I chopped my hair off three times before already. I needed a hair alternative that would prevent me from falling into my old habit of dying and straightening. That’s when I entered the world of wigs.

                                                                        My first wig 

It all made sense. I could pick any color, style, texture and length of hair I wanted without the damage of actually coloring or putting heat on my hair and the regret I’d feel from cutting it. Getting started isn’t really hard, but I figured you could use some tips anyway.

My second wig

  1. Try to buy your first wig in person

    Online wig shopping is great, but if you’ve never bought a wig before, I suggest going to a beauty supply store first. You can actually see what textures you think you like and most beauty supply stores let you try on multiple wigs to see what looks best on you. There are also many different types of wigs in terms of how the hair moves on your head. Some wigs will let you part your hair any way you want and give you the ability to do different hairstyles, while others can’t and won’t. It’s best to find what you’re looking for in person so you know for sure what you want and know what to look for online.

 

  1. Watch a lot of Youtube videos

    There are a lot of beauty gurus who know about hair, and there are plenty who know about wigs. This is your fast track to learning about wig maintenance, how to make a cheap wig look realistic, how to create baby hairs with the wig, how to put the wig on, how to take the wig off and so on. Most YouTubers make the videos entertaining so you’ll most likely absorb all of the information you need and want to know.

 

  1. Learn how to cornrow your hair

    Most people can’t throw on a wig without braiding it down first, and if you plan to wear wigs pretty often you’re going to need to know how to cornrow your hair by yourself. Once again, YouTube it or if you have a friend who knows how to do it, ask them to teach you –– real friends will want to help you with your hair.

    

  1. Get a wig cap

    I’m mainly speaking to those who aren’t good at braiding hair or those who have thick or long hair. Get a wig cap! You can stuff all of your hair in it so your braids won’t stick out from underneath your wig. Also, if your hair is thick, the wig cap will flatten it down so your wig can actually fit over your head.

 

  1. Take care of your natural hair

    Just because you’re wearing a wig now doesn’t mean you can neglect your natural hair. You should wash, condition and deep condition it just as much as you did before.

 

  1. Take off the wig

    Cornrows take some time to do, and they don’t always look cute after you just got done wearing a wig. I understand that you don’t want to redo them or wear them out in public. It’s tempting to keep the wig on at all times, but please let your scalp breath. Take the wig off at the end of the night. Every now and then, take the cornrows out and let your hair be free.

My third wig

Wigs are a fun and easy alternative for those who are trying to avoid damaging their natural hair or want to try a new look. It’s a 10 out of 10 –– I recommend.

The Many Times I’ve “Big Chopped”

The “Big Chop” –– the time in every curly girl’s life when they realize they want to cut off the damage and regrow their natural locks to their full potential. Sadly, that moment in my life has happened four times already.

Hair length has never been a problem for me, but texture and health has.

Before seventh grade, I honestly couldn’t remember a time when I had curly hair. For years, my mom had been straightening my hair every other day before school. She would use a thick straightening iron to cover as many strands as she could and would do one quick swipe for each chunk of hair. She’d then put my hair in a ponytail. My hair still wasn’t straight and didn’t actually need to be straightened.

I had gotten used to hopping out of the shower with no curls or waves in sight. I started to think my natural hair was a frizzy poof, and that was that. But in seventh or eighth grade, me and my brother were looking through old photo albums. We found pictures of ourselves when we were 4 years old and younger, and I had really curly hair. I was surprised and wanted to see if I could get those back.

I started YouTubing a lot of alternative, heatless hairstyles and did them once in a while, but it just wasn’t doing the job fast enough. That’s when I found out about the “big chop.” I decided to take the leap in eighth grade, but I didn’t see curls come back quick enough, and fell back into the pattern of straightening my hair. (Keep in mind, I never put in leave-in conditioners or deep conditioners. Honestly, at this time I probably used the dreaded 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners.)

I decided to try it again in tenth grade, but I had gotten into the habit of straightening and dying my hair. I loved to dye and straighten my hair. I had been straightening my hair every one or two weeks. That’s about 26 to 52 times a year that I’d straighten my hair. And I was really into switching my hair color from burgundy to brown to black and back again.

I sucked at leaving my hair alone.

I did the “big chop” again my senior year right before prom and graduation, but I bleached and dyed my hair three times, then straightened and curled it for those events in a two-day span.

My natural hair, senior year of high school

I managed to leave my hair alone a lot more when I started my freshmen year of college. When I’d get out of the shower, I’d have waves. When it dried, the waves actually stayed. But my old habits wouldn’t die out completely. I still dyed and straightened my hair on occasion.

My natural hair, sophmore year of college

The summer before junior year, I “big chopped” again.This time was different. In the past, I would cut my hair up to my shoulders. It may not be considered a big chop to some, but my hair would be down to my belly button when I’d chop it off. This time I chopped my hair an inch below the nape of my neck. I had never cut my hair that short.

My last big chop, junior year of college

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve done that. I haven’t dyed my hair at all and I’ve only straightened my hair 4 times since then. I’ve found alternatives in wigs, braids and other heatless hairstyles. I’ve also been doing more deep conditioning and using products geared toward wavy and curly hair. I have actual curls now. They’re still not exactly where I want them to be, but I’ve made huge progress compared to the hair I had in eighth grade.

I still have a long way to go.

Three Hair Tips I Took Too Literally

From middle school to high school, I was ignorant in life and extra ignorant when it came to hair. My mom did my hair up until my eighth grade year –– that was when I took over. But I didn’t know what to do with anyone’s hair, let alone my own. I was completely clueless. So clueless that I can remember –– pretty easily –– three things I did to my hair that I’m sure no one would’ve thought to do.

  1. Scrunch your hair to get better waves/curls

    I had a friend in the eighth grade who’d come to school with her hair a little damp. After a class period or two, she’d have pretty, wavy hair. I asked her what she did to get her hair like that, and she replied, “After I get out of the shower, I just scrunch my hair.” The only thing I knew that had the word “scrunch” in it was a scrunchie.

     So, I thought to myself, “Oh, I just have to put scrunchies in my hair and it’ll be curly.” The next time my mom and I went to Meijer, I convinced her to buy me like six or seven scrunchies. I went home, wet my hair, stuck the scrunchies in my hair –– imagine six or seven ponytails on my head –– and went to bed. I was confused and salty that I didn’t get the results my friend got (big shocker).

    I honestly don’t think I figured out that scrunching is when you flip your hair over and push the ends of your hair towards your scalp until a couple of years after my friend gave me that advice.

Image result for scrunchies

Photo from: urbanoutfitters.com

 

  1. If you have dark hair, you’ll have to bleach it in order to get lighter hair

    I started thinking about lightening my hair in the eighth grade, but didn’t actually decide to do it until the summer before ninth grade. My mom wouldn’t let me dye my hair and I didn’t have the balls to defy her by buying the hair dye while we shopped together at Meijer. So, I tried to YouTube alternatives to box dye, and a few YouTubers mentioned bleach.

    I had bleach. While my mom was gone, I went into the laundry room and grabbed the bleach off of the dryer and ran back upstairs to my room. I grabbed an empty plastic bin that we used to keep toys in and poured the bleach in. I started dipping my ends into the bleach and waited for the color to change. It didn’t.

    I kind of knew before I grabbed the laundry bleach that that wasn’t the bleach they were talking about, but it was worth a try in my eyes.

 

Image result for pouring clorox bleach

Photo from: momtastic.com

  1. Make a ponytail at the highest point on your head, then cut to create layers

    The summer before junior year of college, I decided I wanted to cut my hair short. Every two years I always decided to cut my hair “short,” but only really cut it to a medium length. For years I had been using the ponytail method. It gave me the layers I wanted and was quick and easy to do. I figured that method worked for me in the past, so why not now?

    Well, the ponytail method, especially when you place the ponytail at the highest point on your head, isn’t a good way to go when you’re cutting your hair short. And I was actually cutting my hair short this time. Since I cut close to the hair tie that was at the top of my head, the top of my hair had very short layers –– I’m talking 4 inches long. Luckily, my hair was so big that it wasn’t a very noticeable problem. I just felt ashamed in secret.

    Some people say the best way to learn is by making mistakes, and if that’s the case, I have learned a lot about hair over the years.