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 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. Tight hair styles can add stress to hair follicles, causing hair 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 people 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 trimming only when needed and 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 if you just let it.
MORE: Do You Need a Mini Chop?
Yes, I know. You have to exercise. When you workout, you sweat. When you sweat, you may feel like 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 that is a realistic option for many curlies; 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 (or single-strand 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, especially highly textured hair. They can appear after frequent manipulation from styling and even sometimes from constantly doing wash-and-go's. Resist the urge to pull or break them off as this will only cause more breakage. Instead, grab a pair of scissors and snip the knot. If left unchecked, these fairy knots could cause more tangles and then become a nightmare to deal with. In the long run, your curls will thank you for trimming them off.
5. Being rough with your curls
I am guilty of not be gentle enough with my curls, especially when I am detangling in a rush. Here are some tips about how to be gentle with your curls.
- 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 detangling comb to loosen and remove any knots. I sometimes use a detangling brush or use my fingers to detangle.
- Be careful! Wet hair has more elasticity, but it can still stretch and break just like dry hair. Even when it’s dry, don’t tug on stubborn knots. Just patiently start detangling from the ends and work your way up.
- Be gentle with your hair during cleansing and styling too making sure to 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?