By Christi­na of The Mane Objec­tive

In a world of 4G phone speeds, instant text mes­sag­ing, and light­ning quick infor­ma­tion, it seems that any­thing that takes more than 13.8 sec­onds (and that’s puu­u­ush­ing it) is more cum­ber­some than help­ful. Along my No Heat Challenge/Healthy Hair Jour­ney, I have picked up and refined some prac­tices that require time, patience, deter­mi­na­tion, and resolve. By incor­po­rat­ing the big three into my reg­i­men, my hair has tru­ly begun to live up to its poten­tial — full of body, soft­ness, elas­tic­i­ty, gain­ing thick­ness, and dras­ti­cal­ly decreas­ing in tan­gles, break­age, and mechan­i­cal dam­age. Ready for three secrets to healthy hair? Sit down…this may take a while (not real­ly).

#3: Reading/Researching Your Hair + Products

If you do noth­ing else for your hair, you have to at least invest some time in this one. I don’t care if your hair is kinky, curly, coily, per­med, pur­ple, wavy, two inch­es or ten inch­es long — tak­ing the time out to under­stand what prod­ucts and ingre­di­ents work on your hair can­not be stressed enough. No, it is not enough to assume that because your cousin’s baby’s mama’s best friend uses pro­duct xyz, that it is going to work mir­a­cles for you. By all means, give it a try; but make sure you take the time to pay atten­tion to how cer­tain prod­ucts and ingre­di­ents work in your hair. Each head of hair is as indi­vid­u­al as the per­son it is attached to, and invest­ing the effort in learn­ing your hair has a big­ger pay­off than you would believe. Don’t believe all the hair hype, either. Don’t hop on the “Cone Free” band­wag­on just because. By that same token, don’t go out and buy out the coconut oil stock at Whole Foods because that’s what every­one is using. Last­ly, treat your hair pro­duct pur­chas­es like you would food pur­chas­es. Ide­al­ly, before buy­ing food, you would scope the nutri­tion facts and ingre­di­ents, right? Doesn’t it make sense to do the same for your hair? Peep the ingre­di­ents — check for dry­ing chem­i­cals, scalp irri­tants, and oth­er dam­ag­ing ingre­di­ents.

#2: Section Washing

Let the deep sighs begin. I know I cov­ered sec­tion wash­ing in a pre­vi­ous post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t bring it up again in this post. Sure enough, there are times when I don’t sec­tion wash my hair, and there are times when I do…and I def­i­nite­ly notice a dif­fer­ence. When I loose wash my hair, I end up with those ugly mat­ted tan­gle things, regard­less of whether I pre­vi­ous­ly detan­gled my hair or not. In turn, I spend extra time being extra care­ful, and still break­ing some of my hair because I am fool­ing with it soak­ing wet. When I sec­tion wash, the only thing I may lose are a few shed hairs that I didn’t catch dur­ing my pre-game detan­gle.  Not to men­tion, that my hair is much eas­ier to han­dle and apply pro­duct to after the fact. Time con­sum­ing? Sure. Worth it? Absolute­ly.

#1: Finger Detangling

If you didn’t give a deep sigh for #2, then you def­i­nite­ly will here. Ever since I dis­cov­ered the won­der­ful world of fin­ger detan­gling, I can’t even tell you where my wide tooth comb is. I like to be hon­est, so I will go ahead and ful­ly dis­close this one –fin­ger detan­gling is a pain in the ass. It will put every peace­ful, stead­fast, and patient qual­i­ty you thought you pos­sessed to the test. If you need to learn to prac­tice patience and per­sis­tence (espe­cial­ly in spite of fatigue), this is some­thing you may want to adopt. I learned a lot about myself in fin­ger detan­gling — it almost becomes a metaphor for nav­i­gat­ing life’s tougher sit­u­a­tions. But back to the nit­ty grit­ty. Fin­ger detan­gling, albeit cum­ber­some, offers some great ben­e­fits. I have seen less mechan­i­cal break­age and dam­age to my hair over­all — not just the ends. Plus, I feel like I am get­ting through to my hair more, by being able to work through indi­vid­u­al tan­gles and knots that wide tooth combs are prone to miss­ing.

Does this seem like a lot of work? At the end of the day, it all boils down to ask­ing your­self a few ques­tions:

  • What do you want for you hair (hair goal)?
  • Are your cur­rent prac­tices help­ing or hin­der­ing your hair goal pro­gress?
  • How much time do you spend car­ing for your hair on aver­age? Do your results reflect your time invest­ment?

If you find your­self feel­ing like your hair could use a lit­tle more TLC, then adopt­ing the­se process­es will def­i­nite­ly help your hair bounce back.

Ladies, what time con­sum­ing prac­tices ben­e­fit your hair in the long run?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and liv­ing in Los Ange­les, Christi­na is BGLH’s res­i­dent tran­si­tion­ing expert and pro­duct junkie. In addi­tion to lov­ing all things hair, she is a fit­ness novice and advo­cate of wear­ing san­dals year-round. For more infor­ma­tion on tran­si­tion­ing, nat­u­ral hair, and her own hair jour­ney, vis­it maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

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24 Comments on "3 Time Consuming Natural Hair Practices that are WORTH the Effort"

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kimani

I find part­ing your hair as per­fect­ly as pos­si­ble and fol­low­ing your nat­u­ral parts is time con­sum­ing but nec­ces­sary. Braid­ing or twist­ing you hair in the direc­tion it nat­u­ral­ly lays cre­ates less frizz, tan­gles, and has bet­ter results.

Tina
For me as I am becom­ing more in tune with my nat­u­ral hair thongs that were once time con­sum­ing no longer are. I get through sec­tion wash­ing and con­di­tion­ing my hair. After­ward as I am on a no heat reg­i­men all I have to do is apply my raw organ­ic coconut oil and raw organ­ic Shea but­ter (there are a num­ber of awe­some videos that show u how to make a whipped mois­tur­iz­er using those 2 items and some oth­er essen­tial oils but I find my hair is at its best if I just put the two on sep­a­rate­ly) then… Read more »
Heather
Sec­tion wash­ing is a big help for my tran­si­tion­ing hair. When I first start­ed my tran­si­tion, I could wash my whole head with no prob­lem. When the 6th mon­th of my tran­si­tion rolled around, that prac­tice had become a night­mare! Relaxed ends hang­ing, new growth a knot­ted clumped mess. I’m 8 months into my tran­si­tion, and I have to wash in 6 twists to keep hav­ing to detan­gle mul­ti­ple times. Fin­ger detan­gling isn’t a neces­si­ty for me at this point in my jour­ney. It’s irri­tat­ing to try to do that with 2 diff tex­tures of hair. Break­age dur­ing tran­si­tion­ing is… Read more »
tapiwa

For me its sec­tioned wash­ing. I only fin­ger detan­gle when I’ll be doing my own hair. I use a wide toothed comb grad­u­at­ing to medi­um then fine before see­ing my hair dresser for twist exten­sions. If she tries to comb to detan­gle fur­ther I’m afraid she’ll rip my hair apart…

DeeJ085

I haven’t got­ten into the sec­tion wash­ing because I always thought it was for peo­ple who have a whole lot of hair, my hair is thick, but not that thick. I will try it though.

Candice
I fin­ger detan­gle but it real­ly doesn’t take me that long. I do it while I’m wash­ing and con­di­tion­ing. I’m sure I take a lot of short cuts with my hair (been months since I deep con­di­tioned), but I have to find a bal­ance between doing every­thing by the book and hav­ing time to do things. I own my own busi­ness, I go to the gym, I still try to be social. I think that a lot of wom­en are turned off from going nat­u­ral because the­se sites make it seem so com­pli­cat­ed and time con­sum­ing. I also have to… Read more »
Dee

I don’t real­ly under­stand how to wash in sec­tions. Is there a good youtube video that shows how to do it?

caribbeancurl
I can­not give you a speci­fic site but here are 2 ways it can be done.They are both easy-peasy 1. Part your whole head into 4–6 sec­tions (the kind every lit­tle girl had at some point :)) and hold each sec­tion with a clip, band etc. Then wash and rin­se each sec­tion at a time, focussing on the scalp.If you wash in the show­er and gen­er­al­ly tend to hold your head back then start with the sec­tions at front of head that way by the time you have reach the back you will use way less sham­poo as those will… Read more »
Pashley queen

Hmmm, I’ve been tak­ing the twists out one by one and wash­ing and rins­ing. It seems like your say­ing I don’t need to do and undue each twist, please tell me that’s what you’re say­ing? If so, basi­cal­ly, I love you and I’ll try it tomor­row!

Also, does any­one else do oil rins­es?

caribbeancurl

yup that is cor­rect. Leave the twists in while u sham­poo ( or for the 1st co-wash). Focus on wash­ing scalp, DON“T bunch the hair up like we see in the com­mer­cials. Take them down , IF YOU WANT a more thor­ough clean, at the condioneing/final rin­se stage. For me i at times end up leav­ing the show­er with less twists than I start­ed lol but that is ok. It helps cut down on too much shrink­age as well.

Love ya too :)

caribbeancurl

my bad *conditioning/final rin­se*

mangomadness

Fin­ger-detan­gling and wash­ing in twist­ed sec­tions are a must for my tight­ly coiled hair. Both meth­ods great­ly reduce break­age and make car­ing for my hair eas­ier. They are so worth the effort.

Know­ing about ingre­di­ents is impor­tant as well because it helps me pick which prod­ucts will work best for my hair and for a given hair style.

Adeyinka

Fin­ger detan­gling, I am still work­ing on. I need more patience. It does help.

Also, does any­one else think that the wom­an in the pho­to kind of favors whois­sug­ar from YT?

Alwina
I def­i­nite­ly do all three of the­se with sec­tion wash­ing #1 on my list fol­lowed by Reading/Researching Hair and Prod­ucts and fin­ger detan­gling. I noticed a huge dif­fer­ence when I stopped sec­tion wash­ing; I don’t know why I stopped to begin with. I back on the wag­on when I real­ized I did extra detan­gling in the show­er even when I finger/regular detan­gled pri­or to wash­ing my hair. I’m always read­ing var­i­ous blogs and youtube videos and look­ing at the ingre­di­ents of prod­ucts I pur­chase. And I adopt­ed fin­ger detan­gling “after research­ing hair meth­ods” to provide a bet­ter way to care… Read more »
shiningsolace

I fol­low all of those con­stant­ly. I usu­al­ly pre-poo (put my hair in four sec­tions), sham­poo, oil rin­se (when the oil is in my hair, I fin­ger detan­gle), then I put con­di­tion­er in my hair and use a wide-tooth comb to get any shed hair I missed (fol­lowed by deep con­di­tion­ing and styling). It can be time con­sum­ing, but the results are worth it! 

As far as prod­ucts are con­cerned, I stick to the prod­ucts that work for me (Shea Mois­ture, Qhemet Biologics,and Alikay Nat­u­rals).

Vonnie
Even though my hair is assum­ably below 6″ (I only mea­sure my hair every 6 months) I found sec­tion wash­ing to be EXTREMELY ben­e­fi­cial. After detan­gling my hair, I put my hair in twists, and also wash them in those twists, work­ing the scalp and light­ly coat­ing the twists. This pre­vents me from detan­gling more than once, and also gives me pre-ready made parts for my PS’s. Fin­ger detan­gling, hmmm, I kin­da had to let that go. I found it wasn’t hon­est­ly as effec­tive as using a wide-tooth comb (I know). I do ini­tial­ly light­ly fin­ger rake each ends and… Read more »
Zoopath

I tried with the fin­ger detan­gling and it was an unnec­es­sary time suck for me. How­ev­er, I have nor­mal strand thick­e­ness. I imag­ine if my hair were fine it would be worth the time and effort. Same thing with dry detan­gling, it takes forever but if I detan­gle in the show­er it’s much eas­ier because my kinks clump for the most part.

Landry
I fin­ger detan­gle when I pre­poo, then I wash and detan­gle my hair with a wide tooth comb while it has lots of thick con­di­tion­er in it such as AO Hon­ey­suck­le Rose or White Camel­lia. My train of thought is a wide tooth comb will get all of the shed hairs that my fin­gers don’t catch.  This method has worked for me and detan­gling is rel­a­tive­ly easy. I have very few shed hair lost when I use my wide tooth comb because get I rid of most of them when I detan­gle pri­or. I also wash in sec­tions and I stick… Read more »
Rachel R.

I agree with (1)finger detan­gling and (2)sectioning for those with longer hair, but (3)could still be a prob­lem. Mean­ing even you find prod­ucts that are sul­fate free, sil­i­cone free, and paraben free some­times those prod­ucts still don’t work. So you’re back on the hunt for the per­fect pro­duct for your hair. That would be my only time con­sum­ing prob­lem.

hyspin
Still on the fence with fin­ger detan­gling. Why? Because my abil­i­ty to keep to slow speed and patient through that process is just not there. So I cause more dam­age than good in the end I start rip­ping hair. So I con­sid­er it a “know thy­self” prac­tice, just like some peo­ple who can’t study via read­ing text alone, same goes me with fin­ger detan­gling. I do use it if I am just chang­ing styles rather than wash day pur­pos­es. But I also notic­ing spots not being as thor­ough­ly detan­gled as with a comb since I start­ed with fin­ger detan­gling dur­ing… Read more »
Carla

I real­ly like your points! They are all valid and extreme­ly useful…despite how long it takes for you to do them :) I’ve been fin­ger detan­gling for a fe months now and I def­i­nite­ly see the ben­e­fits despite the fact that I’m curs­ing while I’m doing it. It takes awhile but I’m get­ting much faster.…and much more patient LOL.

Tiffany

I do the sec­tion wash­ing, but that fin­ger detan­gling always gets to me. I always get annoyed at how long it takes me to get through it all. My arms are usu­al­ly hurt­ing and I want to stop but I keep going. 

Peace, Love and Choco­late,
Tiffany

Bernadette

Detan­gling is the most time con­sum­ing activ­i­ty for me — but also the most impor­tant!! Like Christi­na, I too can’t seem to locate my comb (not that I’m even try­ing to). 

I recent­ly did a post on my detan­gling “strate­gies”: http://bit.ly/N2N0Cz

It has helped to detan­gle at dif­fer­ent points in my reg­i­men AND keep­ing my hair in four twist­ed sec­tions. I real­ly take my time to detan­gle my hair. Over the years, as my hair has grown, I have had to reeval­u­ate my prac­tices and make adjust­ments.

Cee Mac

Fin­ger detan­gling mos def! It is time con­sum­ing but worth it for the over­all health of my hair. I feel like I’m more in tune with my hair when I fin­ger detan­gle and it real­ly does teach you patience :) When I use oth­er hair cleansers aside from Ter­ressen­tials Laven­der Gar­den Mud Wash then sec­tion­ing my hair is help­ful.

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