Does this sound familiar? You’ve invested money in buying good quality hair products, but they don’t seem to give you the consistent results you want. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong, and you feel like you’ve tried everything…? Sometimes it’s not the product that’s causing the problem…
Diving into the world of curly hair can quickly get overwhelming and the various methods can often unnecessarily over complicate things. Over the years, I’ve become well known for coming up with some pretty wild analogies in my attempt to make things make sense so my readers, followers and clients feel like they can actually achieve their hair goals.
So my thinking is, how can I relate a hair myth or method to something we’re already familiar with? How can I make things makes sense, so my readers, followers and clients understand what will and won’t work for their hair, and more importantly – why.
Understanding Hair Myths + Methods
This is the second part to Understanding Hair Products + Application Techniques. In this article, I’ll debunk misinformation and hair myths and explain popular methods and what they do. Using my best analogies, comparisons, recommendations, tips and advice.
Understanding hair myths and methods will cut through all the confusion of what methods will and won’t suit your hair. What advice you should be following and what myths you can ignore and disregard. Keeping you on track with your healthy hair goals and helping you achieve the results you want, and knowing what will and won’t work for your hair.
What Works For Your Hair…
If I’ve got a broken leg, I need to wear a cast, because that’s what I need and is best for me right now. But if your leg isn’t broken, then wearing a cast won’t have any benefits for you
Because what’s best for me, may not be best for you. I come across it all the time in Curl Clinics. People are using the wrong products, following wrong routine, using the wrong techniques for their hair and not getting the results they want.
For example, you can have great products made using quality ingredients. But you could use the bowl method and plopping, which are both ways to maximize and boost the moisture and hydration levels in the hair. Perfect if you’ve got really dry, damaged hair.
But if you have fine hair that’s easily weighed down and over-moisturized, you’re never going to get good results. Not because the those methods and techniques are bad, or wrong or don’t work. They’re just not the right ones for your hair.
When You Should Wash Your Hair
Washing your hair is like climbing a mountain. The longer you leave it between washdays, the further back down the mountain you go and you have to start all over again, right from the bottom
This one comes straight from the curly girl method, where the advice is to go as long as 10-14 days without washing your hair. But do you want healthy hair, or to see how long you can go without washing it? Because those are two very different things.
The longer you leave it between washdays, the more knots and tangles, build up, scalp issues, dryness and frizz you have. Meaning when you do eventually wash your hair, it’s going to take much longer. Require more product, patience and energy because you’re starting all the way at the bottom of that mountain.
You want your hair to be in a healthy, hydrated, frizz-free and defined state longer than it’s in a dry, frizzy, knotty and tangled, stretched-out state. That’s the goal! So for most people, my advice is to wash your hair 2-3 times/week for quick and easy washdays that require minimum effort and energy.
Recommended: Washday + Deep Conditioning Masterclass
Refreshing Between Washdays
Don’t try to substitute a spanner with a spoon. AKA, stop refreshing with conditioner, instead refresh with styling products!
This is where so many people make the biggest mistakes and get frustrated with their hair. Not seeing the long-lasting results they want. And another common (curly girl method) mistake is to refresh (too often) using water and conditioner, which leads to scalp issues, build up and over-moisturized hair.
Instead, you need to look at your hair and determine what it’s lacking, what it needs. There’s no point refreshing with conditioner if your hair is lacking hold, because conditioners don’t give hold, they give hydration + moisture.
Recommended: Refresh Cheat Sheet
Saying low porosity hair doesn’t need protein, is like saying short girls don’t need to drink water. We all need to drink water, we are all made of water!
When it comes to hair myths and misinformation, this one probably bugs me the most. We all need protein, our hair is made of protein. There are just some hair types that need more moisture, or more protein than others.
For example, high porosity hair takes a long time to dry, as it holds onto water much longer. Resulting in hair that tends to get easily over-moisturized. Same for fine hair, type 2 wavy and type 3 curly hair.
This means, this hair type needs more protein, or protein-rich products. Whereas low porosity hair, coarse hair or tighter curl patterns such as type 4 coily hair, can often be quite dry and brittle. These hair types need more moisture.
Recommended: Protein Moisture Balance Cheat Sheet
Using a T-Shirt or Towel
You don’t apply a body oil or self tan and then get dressed right away – your clothes will soak it up quicker than your skin will
Likewise, don’t use any kind of t-shirt or towel right after applying your styling products. Because that dry towel or t-shirt will soak up your styling products way quicker than your wet hair will. Resulting in frizzy, undefined waves and curls with no hold.
Once you’ve rinsed out your conditioner, simply use your hands to squeeze out any excess, dripping wet water out of the hair. Then apply your styling products. You want your hair to be wet, but not soaking, dripping wet. Then diffuse your hair as soon as possible, for as long as possible.
If you don’t have time to dry your hair fully, diffuse your hair for however long you can. THEN use a t-shirt or towel to soak up any excess water/wetness. Don’t use a towel first and then blast it with the diffuser when it’s almost dry.
If you’re air drying, then apply your styling products and wait at least 10-15 mins before using a t-shirt or towel. Give your hair a chance to soak up the styling products!
Recommended: Watch my Styling Routine
Up the speed not the heat, you’re trying to dry your hair faster not hotter
Diffusing is the best method to dry wavy and curly hair and will always give you the best shape, definition and volume. Especially if you have fine hair or loose waves and curls that get easily weighed down or over-moisturized.
Diffuse on a medium heat, and medium speed. If you’re in a hurry up the speed, not the heat. And always use a diffuser that has a large, deep bowl. Some diffusers are better for creating volume, others are better for creating definition.
Recommended: Best Hair Dryers + Diffusers for Curly Hair
Having a drink is not the same as getting drunk
Well, not for everyone anyway! The heat damage from diffusing is minimal. And using a thermal heat protectant is optional but not necessary. A hair dryer, with diffused heat from a diffuser, isn’t nearly as hot as a heat styling tool.
Diffusing just doesn’t cause the same kind or level of heat damage. You can hold a diffuser in the same place for 20-30 seconds without your hair or scalp feeling too hot. You can’t even touch a heat styling tool for a second without burning yourself! It’s not the same heat, it’s not the same damage.
Recommended: Damaged Hair Cheat Sheet
Cake is not the same as cocaine
I don’t mean to offend anyone with that analogy, or trigger anyone with a drug addiction. That’s not my intention, but I think that analogy helps to clarify the point I’m trying to make. Adding a pigment or dark colour to your natural or grey hair, isn’t nearly as damaging as getting bleach or highlights!
Grey hair can often come in more dry, coarse, frizzy and wiry. By applying a pigment or darker (than grey) colour to the hair, it can actually soften the hair, add hydration and shine. But if you bleach or highlight your hair, you’re doing much more (irreversible) damage.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t have healthy hair, beautiful waves and defined curls if you bleach or highlight your hair – because you can, and I did. But the damage isn’t the same. And once you understand that, and use the right products, routine and techniques, you can minimise the damage. But you can’t eliminate it.
Recommended: Damaged + Coloured Hair Cheat Sheet
Did you find this post on understanding hair myths and methods helpful? Have my analogies made the tips and advice, myths, methods and techniques make sense and finally click? Make sure you read part one: Understanding Hair Products + Application Techniques
Comment below and let me know which ones became your “ah-ha!” moments, which ones you could never figure out until now. I’d love to know! And…if you’ve got any analogies of your own, please share in the comments!
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