When Following Popular Curly Hair Advice Goes Wrong

natural hair care advice

We’ve all done it, read article after article, watched video after video, trying to find the best ways to take care of our lovely crown. To figure out what works best for your hair takes trial and error. Well, this post is all about the error.

Mistakes are a natural part of our natural hair journey, but from those mistakes we learn so much and we’re able to use that knowledge to improve the health of our hair. Below I will share some of the ways I tried and failed at using popular natural hair care methods and what I learned from each experience.

Finger Detangling

Many of the natural hair bloggers I follow have perfected the art of finger detangling and use this method exclusively. These bloggers were able to maintain beautiful long hair using this technique and I thought I would be able to do the same. Well, at least I tried.

Finger detangling definitely minimized breakage, but over time some areas of my hair became almost permanently clumped together similar to a dread loc. After months of finger detangling exclusively I had to break out the comb.

Finger detangling is a great way to loosen up tangles and minimize breakage, and I still use this method on wash day. It just doesn’t work for me as the only way to detangle, I always make sure to follow up with a comb.

Coconut Oil

After I went fully natural, one of the first things I purchased was coconut oil. I just knew my wash day was going to be poppin’! I began to pre-poo my hair using coconut oil, and everything started out great.

The coconut oil was gliding through my hair so smoothly and the tangles were just melting away. Then I washed my hair and it became very hard. At this point I was still very new to natural hair, but I knew something had gone very wrong.

Looking back I think this disaster had to do with my hair being a little protein sensitive and I’ve read that coconut oil behaves similar to protein in some cases. This experience taught me early on never to apply something to my entire head of hair that I’ve never used. Now I try things out more gradually, usually testing it out on a small area in the back of my head first.


I’ll admit co-washing made my wash day much easier but I noticed my scalp became slightly itchy. Not willing to change my new found routine, I continued strictly co-washing my hair for at least two months. And then I saw it—scalp build up.

I had made a crucial co-washing mistake. A lot of articles I’ve read sing the praises of co-washing, but they also suggest clarifying at least once a month which I neglected to do. This experience reminded me that the health of my hair and scalp is way more important than having an easier wash-day.

Everyone makes mistakes with their natural hair. I love being open and honest about my natural hair experience because I know it will help someone else, even if it just makes them laugh.

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