Mistakes & Lessons I’ve Learned During My Natural Hair Journey
Many women want to have long, healthy, thick hair. For those of you who can rock short, edgy haircuts– that’s awesome too! I wish I could get away with that but I can’t (my head is too big). LOL so I’m going for the other extreme–super long hair.
I haven’t reached my hair length goal yet, but while my hair is stretched/straightened it is about an inch below my bra strap. It took me about 6 years to get here! (Since my big chop in 2007). But I’ve made some majorrr mistakes along the way that have caused it to take so long to get to this length! If it wasn’t for the many mistakes I’ve made, it would be down to my butt! Lol but you live and learn and now I can share with you all to help make your hair journey a lot easier.
I’ve once heard that a wise man learns from his mistakes, but a wiser man learns from others’ mistakes, ha! Wish I was the wiser one– but you guys can be! So here you go!
There are 3 big mistakes I’ve made and I don’t know which ones are worse! Lol so just know they are all equally harmful.
1. Heat Damage
When I first cut my hair, I didn’t appreciate my curl pattern at all. I thought my curls were too tight, frizzy, and I didn’t like the whole afro look. As a result, I straightened it too often and I got a little bit of heat damage. (For those of you who don’t know, heat damage is when you flat iron, curl, or blow dry your hair too often and with too much heat, therefore burning your hair. This ruins your curl pattern and can make it look dry and brittle).
Compared to a lot of women, my heat damage wasn’t super bad because it was only on the ends. Also, everyone’s hair handles heat differently–regardless of your curl pattern or thickness. However it still made my hair really dry. The only way you can get rid of this heat damage is to cut it. So that caused me to go backwards in regards to retaining length.
2. Dying My Hair Too Light & Too Often
I thought that since I didn’t have a relaxer anymore, I could dye my hair as light and as often as I wanted. Boy was I WRONG. I dyed my hair blonde and it made my hair super dry and my curls limp and lifeless (on top of straightening it often). So this also caused me to cut my hair even more. It really wasn’t worth it. Instead you can dye it dark (hence why my hair is jet black–still fun and edgy but healthy!) or you can get extensions or clip-ins to add highlights. Or even a GOOD wig if you want to completely change up your look for a little while. But just make sure your wig looks real and natural–not no crazy looking lace-fronts haha!
3. Too Many “Trims”
I’m sure many of you have heard that in order to grow your hair, you need to trim your hair often. As much as every 6-8 months. Well ladies, this is a big fat LIE. I guess this was told by hair stylist to make more money? To make sure we keep coming back? Who knows, but trimming does NOT make your hair grow.
I think this was the most frustrating mistake I made in regards to my hair. Cause after I realized that I shouldn’t trim my ends that often, I thought about how much hair I had cut for absolutely no reason! At least when I straightened and dyed my hair I got the benefits of dope looking hair! Lol but after cutting my hair I just got short hair *sighs*.
After I stopped dying my hair and straightening it as much (I still did a lot though) about a year ago, I stopped trimming it as well. But I always knew trimming it 6-8 weeks didn’t make sense. Why would you trim your hair so often if you are just cutting off all the hair you just grew? Also everyone has different growing patterns. Your hair grows on an average about a ½ an inch a month. But some months it might grow less or more. Therefore you can’t cut your hair on a set pattern. Plus, if you take care of your hair you shouldn’t get dead or split ends that often. Instead you should only cut your hair when your ends actually need to be trimmed.
Also, be careful who cuts your hair when you do get trims. You can’t go to just anyone. Make sure you trust your hairstylists, they know how to work with curly hair, and that they don’t go scissor happy. The last trim I just got was by my sister, and the trim before that I cut myself!
I hope these simple, yet critical lessons I’ve learned will help you get the hair you desire. Next post I’ll be sharing tips that you should do to make your hair grow longer! 🙂