Nat­u­ral hair blog­gers make mis­takes.

Some folks don’t real­ize that fact, and oth­ers refuse to acknowl­edge it. We have bad hair days. Some­times we make bad pro­duct deci­sions. We may flip-flop on how we feel about cer­tain prod­ucts, styles, and prac­tices. Your favorite blog­gers, vlog­gers, and social media per­son­al­i­ties are all peo­ple, just like you — fal­li­ble and prone to err.

Here is an ode to some tran­si­tion­ing and nat­u­ral hair mis­takes I’ve made on my healthy hair jour­ney:

 

1. Oat Flour

If you google “how to thick­en hair” or “nat­u­ral ways to thick­en hair”, I am will­ing to bet that you will come across web­sites and blog posts tout­ing that the lipids and pro­teins in oat flour will bind to your hair and help thick­en and strength­en it. So me, in all my gullible nat­u­ral-ness, ran out to Sprouts Farmer’s Mar­ket and bought a big ol’ bag of Bob’s Red Mill. Accord­ing to the inter­webs, I was sup­posed to mix it into my con­di­tion­er (ter­ri­ble idea), or into the oils that I was going to put in my hair for a pre-poo or mas­sage (even more ter­ri­ble idea). Despite the fact that the oil was incred­i­bly messy, and the con­di­tion­er always left par­tic­u­late oat mat­ter in my hair, I was dogged­ly deter­mined to make it work. I want­ed thick and unruly curls, and if messy food was the way to go, I was going to grin and bear it.

For­tu­nate­ly, after about 2 months, I got my bear­ings and got my hands on some solid sci­ence that helped me real­ize what I was doing was point­less. Turns out, that in order for pro­teins to work at strength­en­ing and “plump­ing” the hair, they have to be hydrolyzed (made small­er) first. Imag­ine that. Thanks to Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven, I stopped slather­ing oats and oth­er food­stuffs on my hair, and now opt for prod­ucts with hydrolyzed pro­teins high on the ingre­di­ent list for a boost.

 

2. Non BAQ Hen­na

Sim­i­lar to my Oat Flour Fias­co, I dis­cov­ered hen­na online in my quest to thick­en my strug­gling tress­es. There is plen­ty of sci­ence and anec­do­tal evi­dence to prove that hen­na does thick­en the hair by bind­ing to it, so much to my relief, I wasn’t total­ly off base. So where was I dead wrong? When I allowed my impa­tient nature to get the best of me. I couldn’t pos­si­bly fath­om wait­ing for some Body Art Qual­i­ty hen­na to arrive at my doorstep, so I did what any fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants nat­u­ral­is­ta would do: I drove to Whole Foods (and in lat­er months, Sprouts) to pur­chase Light Moun­tain Hen­na for about $7 a box. Now, Light Moun­tain is 100% henna…it’s just not Body Art Qual­i­ty. For those of you that don’t dab­ble in the fun­ny-smelling green stuff, it means that the con­sis­ten­cy of Light Moun­tain hen­na was almost like a jar of Ital­ian sea­son­ing, or dry rub for a slab of ribs. Notice­ably large gran­ules, twigs, the whole nine yards.

Need­less to say, it was a pain to mix, apply, and IMPOSSIBLE to get out. Non-BAQ hen­na doesn’t turn into a smooth pud­ding, it yields run­ny clumps when mixed. Because the water, con­di­tion­er, oils, and hen­na don’t come togeth­er right, it doesn’t go in the hair right. Many nights I found orange water pour­ing down the sides of my head and the back of my neck, while dried clumps of bram­ble tan­gled into my tran­si­tion­ing hair. I wast­ed BOTTLES of con­di­tion­er, just try­ing to work the twigs and gran­ules out of my hair. For­tu­nate for me, after about 4 of the­se night­mare hen­na ses­sions, I smartened up and start­ed order­ing Jami­la brand online. To quell my impa­tience, I order 3–4 box­es at a time. Every step of the way is easy and smooth. The sift is super fine, and I can tell the dif­fer­ence. Every time I mix up a batch of Jami­la, I remem­ber my Light Moun­tain days and won­der, what the heck was I think­ing?!?!?

 

3. Not Test­ing Mix­es

Have you ever been so excit­ed about a new pro­duct, that you just slapped it in your hair, and didn’t stop to think what it may look like inter­mix­ing with your leave-in, or even a few hours lat­er? Yeah, me nei­ther. I’m kid­ding — this is one of those lessons that I have to con­tin­ue to re-learn.…almost every time I grab a new pro­duct. Late­ly, my inner PJ has been act­ing up (if you fol­low me on Insta­gram, then you know). At one point, I was real­ly good about focus­ing on my sta­ples and DIY prod­ucts. But then 2013 hit, and there are nat­u­ral prod­ucts GALORE to choose from…and I just can’t help myself. I’ve been pick­ing up con­di­tion­ers, leave-ins, and styling jel­lies galore — and pay­ing a dear price for it.

When I first began my healthy hair jour­ney, my biggest fail moment came at the hands of EcoStyler Gel. I was so excit­ed to use it, because every nat­u­ral­is­ta I fol­lowed at the time spoke high­ly of it. Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, EcoStyler isn’t a bad pro­duct for a gel, by any means. But what I learned was that it doesn’t play nice with oth­ers, espe­cial­ly leave-ins and con­di­tion­ers. Clumpy white ball city. From that point on, I tried to do my best to mix my ran­dom jel­lies and leave-ins on the back of my hand to see how they go togeth­er. But some­times, my excite­ment gets the best of me…and I end up wash­ing my hair all over again. Even just yes­ter­day, I got besides myself with joy about try­ing a twist-out with a pro­duct I will be review­ing soon. I for­got about the part of the process where I spot test a small sec­tion of my hair, and just spread it every­where. As a result, 15 min­utes lat­er my hair was dry and tri­fil­in’. I had to wash my hair two times (with sham­poo!) after that, just to get the gunk out.

Just to Recap:

I hope this helps you all avoid some of the com­plete fail moves I’ve made along my healthy hair jour­ney. Remem­ber:

  • Some foods are great for your hair, and oth­ers are more of a has­sle than help­ful. Check the sci­ence before you chuck your gro­ceries onto your head.
  • All hen­na ain’t good hen­na. Regard­less of what brand you go with, make sure it’s 100% pure and body art qual­i­ty.
  • Test your prod­ucts before you use them. Either mix them on the back of your hand, or spot test a small dis­crete patch of hair.

Have you had any nat­u­ral hair fail moments? Share!

For more from Christi­na check out her blog, The Mane Objec­tive. You can also find her on Insta­gram and Face­book.

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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13 Comments on "Transitioner & Natural Hair Mistakes: My Top 3 Fail Moments"

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Tisha

I feel bad for laugh­ing at the author’s misfortune.I’ve nev­er done any­thing crazy for my hair (I’ve nev­er even tried hen­na or ben­tonite clay…I know, I know). But since I have acne,I can relate to look­ing for crazy solu­tions on the net…that was until I found black soap.

LAURA

It is real­ly gen­er­ous of you to share this infor­ma­tion with us, and also take the time to explain why the­se prod­ucts do not work.
Thank you.

Gloria
I had the exact same expe­ri­ence with hen­na!!!! I hate to buy hair prod­ucts online, and so I searched every­where local­ly for BAQ hen­na. I couldn’t find any, though, so I fig­ured I would just stop by my local Whole Foods and buy some of their hen­na (it only costs $5 a box here). WORST. IDEA. EVER. It took weeks for me to get the lit­tle twigs out of my hair, and the stain wasn’t that good at all. My greys turned into a nasty yel­low col­or. I was still deter­mined to hen­na, though, so I tried Lush Caca Noir… Read more »
cocoberrie
*sigh* If you ever need a poster child for nat­u­ral hair dis­as­ters, I would glad­ly vol­un­teer. I’ve had my share of nat­u­ral hair fail moments. Some­how I got the “bright” idea to mix amla with my con­di­tion­er. Not the reg­u­lar amla pow­der but I bought dried amla fruit and tried to grind it myself. Well I didn’t grind it fine enough and added to my con­di­tion­er any­ways. I end­ed up with chunks of amla fruit in my hair! Took forever to wash those chunks out! Anoth­er fail? Clog­ging the bath­tub while rins­ing my hen­na mix out. Looked like some­one took… Read more »
Tabatha

Those are good lessons. I’m a pro­duct junky right now try­ing to find prod­ucts that will keep my hair man­agable since i’m in tran­si­tion right now. Not all of them have been suc­cess­ful.

Bijee

I nev­er thought t try mix­ing the prod­ucts in my hand before in my hair. Luck­i­ly, I haven’t real­ly had any episodes yet so that advice was right on time. I will be mak­ing note of it in the notes to self files.

Jetsin

Your answer lifts the inienlt­gel­ce of the debate.

shelikes

well i am a nat­u­ral oils person…except palm oil…bad mis­take. i love the col­or of the oil and fig­ured well good strong col­or meant lots of vit­a­m­in a and e etc. this was years ago, but i still have stains on my bath­room coun­ter that WILL NOT COME OUT and it took me 2 days to wash it out of my hair. what could have pos­sessed me to put that stuff in my hair.

Vanessa

Lol. I made the same mis­take. Red palm oil- while it did make my locks feel soft, the amount of sham­poo­ing and scrub­bing made it very bad for my hair, even though I used less thsn a tea­spoon in my mix. I lost hair from all the wash­ing out, two tow­els and sev­er­al blous­es from just one appli­ca­tion.

Rosie

My worst fail was an attempt at a fresh aloe wash n go a la Lenny Krav­itz. He made it look so sim­ple and sexy. I end­ed up with tons of aloe pulp stuck in my hair for days. It was ter­ri­ble. It turned white when it dried. I looked like I had been rolling around in the dry­er lint catcher or some­thing.

True2u

*CRIES* Couldn’t I have found ur com­ment before mess­ing with fresh aloe? Took me hours just to get it out!!! Then made anoth­er mis­take of using aloe vera gel and Shea but­ter, now I have to rock a wig tomor­row. I’m flak­ing like no oth­er. :( Some­times I think my hair HATES ME. Been nat­u­ral for 3 years and I can LITERALLY count of one hand, how much style was a suc­cess.

J

Wash n go fail for me when I decid­ed to mix my old Herbal Essence which was run­ning out and a brand mew bot­tle with a dif­fer­ent formulation.My hair had white residue when it dried and even my hus­band said I should rewash my hair! LOL

J

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