OK you are probably thinking that ‘sabotage’ is a bit too extreme a word to use when referring to something as basic and ordinary as hair care. But trust me this term is relatively appropriate because of the damaging effects some of this practices have and when I consider it a way of sabotaging one’s efforts unknowingly.
Some of the practices I have observed and personally ‘suffered’ from are precipitated from instructions and guidance proposed on the internet and based on inadequate proof or reliable testing. Of course you are welcome to disagree with my observations but you can be sure they are very relevant and can be helpful for you in your natural hair journey.
The first sabotaging practice I would like to mention is the ‘water syndrome’: Water syndrome is a term I use to describe the constant hype about the importance of water for natural hair. We all know that water plays a very crucial cleansing role for the scalp and hair, helping to clear product build up and invigorating and stimulating the scalp. But constant application of water to the hair can be counterproductive and can dry out Afro hair.
Unfortunately, this is a very common practice as seen on various social media. You find people constantly spraying water on their hair all day long and constantly complaining of dryness and inability of their hair to retain moisture whereas they are indirectly causing the dryness due to ignorance. In order to achieve and retain a significant amount of moisture in your hair you should moisturize thoroughly with a water based moisturizer and lock in with a butter or oil. It is important to ensure that your hair is not dripping water when you apply the water based moisturizer. Some people in an attempt to lock in as much moisture as possible, go ahead to style their hair when wet. Unfortunately your hair may seem moisturized at the time but if your hair is not relatively dry before you apply your moisturizer, your hair will not remain moisturized when dry as water evaporates. This is even more important for high porosity hair which already has a hard time retaining moisture.
Another significant sabotaging practice involves the practice of applying all sorts of chemicals on the scalp for hair growth without taking into account the fact that the scalp is basically skin. Not judging anyone but the so called ‘naturals’ still end up using different variations of chemical products on their hair. So from relaxers to a different kind of unhealthy practice. The only difference is the fact that the hair is not permanently straightened. In most cases though, it is permanently damaged. Some people even go ahead to use fungicides on their hair because of the untested claims of resulting hair growth. These practices are not beneficial for natural Afro hair and should be discouraged because they are not helping.
Tags: Natural African American Hair