I believe there are two ways to learn from other people. You can learn from what a person has done right and you can also learn from the mistakes they have made.
In this post, I will set out some of the mistakes I’ve made over the years on my hair journey.
Mistakes I’ve Made With Research
I’ve said time and again that I spent 3 months researching before I officially started my hair journey. The key mistake I made at the beginning of my journey was that I ignored some aspects of the research.
For instance, I carried on using sulphate shampoos. I thought that since I would be deep conditioning afterwards, the harshness of the sulphates on my hair would be overridden.
Also I carried on blow drying with heat. I thought surely heat once a week can’t be that bad.
However, I noticed a vast difference in how my hair felt and progressed when I cut out direct heat and switched to sulphate free shampoos.
Mistakes I Made With Technique
I did not review and update my techniques as I progressed on my hair journey.
Up to when I was APL, I could wash my hair without putting it in braids. When my hair got longer, it would tangle badly on wash days. Rather than reviewing my regimen, I would spend hours detangling my hair. However when I started to lose more hair than I was comfortable with I was had to re-evaluate the situation. I realised that the only thing that had changed was the length of my hair.
I did a little research and quickly learned that longer hair tends to tangle more than shorter hair on wash days and that a way to overcome this was to wash it in box braids (calabar). I tried it out and it worked like a charm.
Ladies as you progress on your hair journey, when a product or technique is no longer working for you; review, regroup and carry on.
Mistakes I Made With Products
There are two mistakes I made with hair products.
1)The first is that I did not give some products enough chance. I gave up on them and later realised that I had been using them incorrectly, eg, using too much or too little of the product.
2)The second mistake I made with products is that I gave up on products that worked well on my hair because they contained some ingredients I was trying to avoid like mineral oil and petroleum.
I switched from a conditioner that contained them to one that didn’t. The new one did not seem to work for my hair so I tried other conditioners that didn’t contain petroleum or mineral oil. Again they just didn’t seem to do much for my hair, so I went back to my Motions Moisture Plus which seems to keep my hair happy even though it contains some ingredients I am not too keen on.
My advice when it come to products is this: always try the products that are mineral oil and petroleum free first, if they are not working for you and you have a product that works for you but contains mineral oil/petroleum, you can go back to using it BUT keep an eye out for a better product, ie one that doesn’t contain such ingredients and works well on your hair.
Mistakes I Made With Styling
When my hair was shorter there were so many cute protective styles I could have rocked but didn’t because I was too focused on growing longer hair. Now when try to create some of those styles it doesn’t look quite right.
Mistake I Made About Black Hair
Early on in my hair journey, I thought that when my hair became long and healthy I would be able to do all the things you aren’t supposed to do to black hair.
I thought I would be able to use a curling iron every day, and leave it down all the time and comb it till my hand ached. For some reason I thought being successful on a hair journey would give me a licence to do all these things to my hair.
Healthy black hair is still BLACK HAIR!
Healthy black hair (relaxed or natural) is still delicate, cannot tolerate heat abuse, must still be handled with care and protected. Being on a hair journey will not turn the hair you grow to Brazilian, Peruvian or hair of another race.
The point of hair journey (in my opinion) is that at last, all the myths about black hair can be set aside and we as black women LEARN to give our hair what it needs.
So if you are natural, be aware of what your hair needs and how to take care of it.
If you are relaxed, learn what relaxed hair needs and how to take care of it.
The same applies to ladies with coloured or locked hair.
Off course their are black ladies out there who wash their hair with anything and always wear it down and don’t even deep condition but still have butt length hair. These ladies are exceptions, I think we all no too well what happens to a lot of us when we don’t care for our hair.
I hope you learn something from my mistakes.
Happy hair journey ladies.
Learn | Change | Grow.