It’s a new year! It’s the time of the year for new beginnings, fresh starts and new habits! Here are some bad habits that you need to stop practicing for your hair to become healthy and look more nourished. 

Stop tying tight buns and ponytails. Traction alopecia is a thing and it sucks. Constantly putting tension on your hair and wearing your hair tightly all day will make you lose your hair. I say it all the time, you shouldn’t experience any type of discomfort when your hair is done. Taking painkillers after getting your hair done is not okay. If you feel pain, then you should be concerned.

Replace this by talking to your stylist or changing your stylist. Wear your hair down more often and massage your scalp.

Following ‘social media experts’ blindly. A lot of us like to say that we are not easily influenced but these social media influencers know their job and know it well. Most times, the hair products or techniques that work well for people you watch on social media would probably not work well for you. 

Replace this habit by doing your own research to find what works and stick to it. Listen to your hair gurus and experts but don’t take their word as the bible truth. 

Using hair tools incorrectly. There are a lot of new inventions and more efficient tools to improve the entire black hair experience. This is very commendable but it is important to know that whatever tools you are buying and using in your hair routine can literally make or break your hair. For example, using a Denman brush on dry 4c hair with no products will break your hair off. 

Replace this habit by understanding your hair and what it needs to thrive. Don’t buy everything that is marketed to you as ‘black hair care’. Again DO YOUR RESEARCH and stick to what works!

Switching up your protective hairstyles too often. Protective hairstyles are great! They help to retain length by tucking the ends of your hair away. They also help to keep your hand away from your hair for a while. One mistake that we make with protective hairstyles is wearing them for a very short period of time. Protective hairstyles are not necessarily low manipulation hairstyles so constantly taking down and manipulating your hair will be putting it under too much stress. You sit down for 6 hours to get your box braids done and after two weeks, you’re taking it down? Don’t do that! The average expiry date for some protective hairstyles like box braids and knotless braids is about 6-8 weeks.

Replace this by wearing your protective hairstyles longer or wear low manipulation hairstyles that you can take down with little to no damage to your edges!

Washing your hair too often or not often enough. Hygienically, it is important to wash your hair. However there is a debate on how often you should wash your hair. There is no prescribed time frame for washing your hair because it depends on your hair type, texture or condition. It’s kinda hard to know how often you should be washing your hair so you can end up washing too often or not often enough. If you don’t wash enough, excess dirt and oils build up and irritation or itching is bound to happen. If you wash too often, you’ll be stripping your hair of its oils and making your hair look dull and dry.

Replace this by documenting your personal activity levels, your hair type to help you figure out a wash day routine and how often to wash your hair.