Image Source: @curlyfro_angie
In the burgeoning world of curly hair care, tips, tricks, and advice…it can be confusing to understand what are the mistakes to avoid. As we all tread down the curly path of products and how-to’s, they are a few universal issues all of us curlies want to steer clear from. Whether you are new to your curl journey or perhaps you are a seasoned vet needing a refresher, we can never learn enough about how to improve our routine. Here are 10 curly hair mistakes you want to avoid and a few influencers who are here to share their own curly blunders with us.
Using Too Much Heat
While many of us love to straighten or blow out our curls, there is such a thing as too much heat. Styling with heat tools like a straightener has the ability to permanently change your hair texture and curl pattern. If you decide to straighten or blow out your hair, you always want to make sure you are applying heat protectants that will keep your curls protected and healthy. Heat protectants can prevent the heat from causing permanent damage to your hair and add vital moisture to your curls.
Detangling Your Hair When It’s Dry
To brush or not to brush, that is the question. The rule of the thumb is that you should never brush your curls when they are dry. This can not only cause your hair to break but knots can form which can cause breakage. There are specialized brushes like a denman brush or wide-tooth comb which are created to work the product through your hair while it’s wet or when you’re in the shower. Just remember when you are detangling, you always start from your ends and work your way up to the roots.
Skipping The Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioner is bread and butter to your curly hair routine. What makes leave-in conditioner so important is that it’s designed to give long-lasting moisture to your hair. You should be investing in a lightweight leave-in conditioner for your hair texture and applying it daily. When you skip putting leave-in conditioner in your hair, you’re robbing your curls of the nourishment that can prevent breakage, frizz, and harmful UV rays from damaging your hair. We recommend keeping a leave-in conditioner like Kinky Curly Knot Today nearby for daily use to help detangle your hair.
Over Cleansing Your Hair
There is such a thing as overwashing your hair. Washing your hair you should be kept to a minimum because textured hair needs the natural oils our scalp provides in order to keep healthy curls. When you overwash your hair you can leave your scalp dully and dry which can lead to damage and breakage. You want to use a sulfate-free shampoo like Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo which not only cleanses your hair but is infused with castor oil and shea butter to promote hair growth.
Not Protecting Your Hair When You Sleep At Night
Sleep is just not sleep when you have curls, kinks, coils, and waves. You may have heard of silk bonnets, scarves, and satin pillowcases. These aren’t just fun accessories to keep on your nightstand, they help preserve your curl pattern. Cotton pillowcases or towels can rob your strands of moisture which makes them dully, dry, and frizzy. Your curls are worth caring for and you want to make these investments for long-lasting results that your hair will love.
Skipping Out On Seasonal Trims
No matter how healthy your hair gets, you can never skip out on a visit to the salon. Seasonal trims are important to your hair health because it keeps your curls healthy and growing. You don’t have to get a big chop or anything drastic, but it is essential to get rid of loose, dry ends that could be causing breakage to your curls.
Using Products With Sulfates and Silicones
Sulfates and silicones are the double “S’s” you want to avoid in your curly hair regime. Both of these ingredients tend to weigh your hair down which results in lifeless and limp curls. Sulfates can strip and dehydrate your curls which means double the work for you because then they become lifeless and frizzy. You want to always read the product labels when you are shopping and look for “sulfate-free” on the bottle.
Using The Wrong Towel To Dry Your Hair
Drying your hair can feel like an exercise in itself when you get out of the shower, but you don’t want to dry your hair with the wrong materials. Using a cotton or terry cloth towel fabrics can be too rough on your curls and result in immediate frizz. Using a microfiber turban or t-shirt is a great way to help maintain the form and definition. Several major hair care brands have their own towels, but you can also shop your favorites from our exclusive SHOP of over 200 brands.
Waiting Too Long To Apply Styling Products
Caring for your curls is a process and each step you take can be the difference between
frizz and damage. You always want to apply styling products to your hair when it is damp and before your frizz can set in. Styling products are the finishing touch to your hair care routine and no matter how rushed you feel, you always have to at least apply one before your hair gets frizzy and the weather creates its own style for you.
Touching Your Curls Too Often
While this can seem like a no-brainer, who hasn’t got done styling their beautiful tresses and then started weaving your fingers through your hair? It’s bad enough when a stranger or a friend asks to touch your hair, but you want to avoid frizz and loss of definition by playing or touching your hair. It may be tempting, but just remember your curls will thank you in the long run.
We asked some curl influencers to share their advice as well, and here’s what they had to say:
1. Kelsley Nicole
Make sure your hair is fully dry when doing a twist out or bantu knots.
“I’d say my most memorable hair mistake while being natural was with my first bantu knot. I had an event planned, did a bantu knot on soaking wet hair and applied way too much product. The style was nowhere near dry the next day and I had to quickly find a way to restyle my hair in the short amount of time I had before my event. My top tips are, “If you have thicker hair, try a bantu knot on damp or stretched, dry hair. I’m a little heavy handed for my twist outs and it’s helpful, but for bantu knots, less is more when it comes to product application. Sit under a hooded dryer. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, that can definitely speed up the overall drying times.”
2. Cache’ Brown
Less is More
“I’ve been embracing my natural hair for 2 years now! My most memorable hair mishap has to be when I first started buying products for my hair and would mix several products together before styling. I would end up with horrible product build up and couldn’t understand why I always had flakes in my hair. Well, I did some research and learned that it was because of me applying so many products in my hair that simply don’t mix well with each other. Be sure to test the products on the back of your hand! If they mix smoothly, then it’s a mix! If they don’t mix smoothly, it will clump together and that’s your indication that it’s not a mix!”
3. Dominque Washington
Deep Conditioning is Key
“Make sure you deep condition regularly, at first I did not use a deep conditioner at all. I noticed a big difference in my hair health when I started using a deep conditioner once a week and for maximum hair health I sit under a drier.”
Avoid Heat at ALL Costs
“In order for my hair to recover from the heat damage I had to completely stop using heat all together, when I first went natural I used heat every 6 months as a “treat” for rocking my natural curls. Doing this ruined the progress I made over those 6 months, now that my hair is 100% healthy it has been almost 3 years since I used heat. The biggest “treat” is seeing my curls healthy today.”
4. Natasha Day
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Protect Your Curls While Sleeping
Having naturally curly hair can be a hassle especially if you’re just starting out your journey and you are still trying to get the hang of things. Having PATIENCE is a must, but here are a few things to avoid: “Always sleep with a satin scarf or bonnet: I know we all have our lazy nights, but it’s important to protect our hair. Doing this helps lock in all the moisture and it keeps our hair from breaking. Because of the silkiness of the satin scarf or bonnet it’s much gentler on the hair than a cotton scarf would be.
Don’t Compare Your Curls
“Do not compare yourself to other naturals: I’m a victim to this! As you learn your hair, you will learn what’s best for your hair. Try avoiding comparison because not everyone’s hair is the same and not everyone’s hair grows at the same pace. There’s nothing wrong with noticing that someone’s texture is the same as yours, and you want to try what they use. It will be a trial and error event, but trust your journey!”
Have any common styling mistakes of your own to add? Share them in the comments!