When I first went natural I followed the Curly Girl Method religiously. Through time, I drifted away from it and started to try new styling methods. As I’ve gotten older my curl pattern has changed giving me new issues to address which have a lot to do with the weather. My main problem now is curl retention and I attribute it to the first habit on my list.
- Wearing a satin bonnet or silk scarf to sleep.
I used a satin pillow case for about two years before I moved out my parent’s house last year. I then went back to wearing a bonnet to sleep and have found it to be the most useless method ever. My hair gets extremely dry the next morning and always ends up clumped together. I’m planning on going back to a satin pillowcase because I like to leave my hair alone and this dryness causes me to have to restyle frequently.
- The clipping Technique
I learned the clipping technique from the Curly Girl Handbook. The purpose is to help stop your hair from drying flat on the crown area, which commonly happens to longer hair, it helps give you some lift and volume. I didn’t use this method for a long time because I found that whenever I diffused my hair it would get tangled and when pulling out the pins I would also strip off my hair.
- Protective hair styles and braids
When I first transitioned, protective styling was very beneficial. At that time my hair was color treated and extremely thin. As my hair got healthier it became less necessary. I find that when I braid my hair now it sheds excessively. Last year, I asked my mom to French braid my hair with some extensions and despite trying it two different ways, the shedding was inevitable. Although my hair is now healthier, I have much more appreciation for my curls and absolutely love letting them free.
- Finger Detangling
I have absolutely nothing against this, the only reason I stopped doing it is that I am extremely aggressive when it comes to detangling my hair with my fingers. I usually pull out more hair than my head would normally shed. I don’t know if it’s my lack of patience or that I’m just simply not adapting to the idea but I rather use a wide tooth comb and detangle from tips to roots.
- Using Gel
The last Gel that I tried was Bounce curl; I liked it during my first few uses because it didn’t leave my hair feeling dry and smoothed on like a conditioner. But my curls did get very dry and frizzy despite following suggested use. Before that, I used the Deva Curl Light defining Gel, it didn’t make my hair crunchy but it felt too stiff. There is nothing wrong with that but I just like big voluminous round curls and I get those results better without gels.
- Using No poo
I stopped using no poo because I felt that I had a lot of product build up and my scalp wasn’t getting clean. Thinking back to the times that I did use the no poo method (Deva curl No Poo) it was always during the winter time and my hair was never as dry as it is now. It has taken me long to realize that winter and summer styling routines are different and that each season should have its own set of staple products.
- Using a Curling iron to curl and a flat iron to straighten my hair.
I was notorious for curling my hair with a curling iron because I wanted a wavy texture but eventually I started falling in love with my curl pattern when my hair’s health was restored. If I do want a wavy texture I ask my mom to do rollers and straighten my roots instead. I see YouTube videos of people doing this and it makes me CRINGE! This is what thinned out my hair in high school and the thought of it makes my arm hairs raise. I only trust my mother with a flat Iron, she uses a titanium flat iron that is best handled by a professional and doesn’t require multiple passes over the hair. Flat irons apply excessive heat to individual hair strands and it’s likely to cause more damage if done incorrectly after blow frying your hair.
We learn things the hard way through our natural hair journey but remember, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and if it is just toss it out.
What curly hair habits have you retired from? Share in the comments below.