Do you remem­ber back in the 1990s when it was en vogue for young wom­en to wear over-sized male cloth­ing? Pop­u­lar singing group, TLC man­aged to do so while appear­ing crazy, sexy and cool. Some of us (points to myself) didn’t do such a great job imi­tat­ing the look i.e. wear­ing our moth­ers tapered legs jeans (yes, mom jeans) and our father’s dis­card­ed Char­ter Club work shirts. Not every­thing is for every­body, and when it comes to hair, this nuance couldn’t be more true.

One thing that I’ve learned over the course of my hair jour­ney is the fact that no one (not even the vlog­gers with lus­cious­ly thick, long hair) has “per­fect” hair. Some styles and meth­ods sim­ply don’t work and I want to encour­age those of you who may be in the ear­ly stages of your hair jour­ney. Even when you have waist length coils and curls like I do, your hair still may not “act right” and that’s just fine.

Roller sets

6th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon

When I had relaxed hair I wore roller sets count­less times, so I thought I would have no prob­lem wear­ing this style once my hair was nat­u­ral. In gen­er­al, roller sets are prefer­able to direct heat meth­ods, such as flat irons or blow dry­ing because you place less heat stress on your hair. There­fore, I was  pret­ty dis­ap­point­ed when I real­ized that after over an hour of roller set­ting my nat­u­ral hair then 2 hours of dry­ing, my hair looked like the after­math of com­plet­ing a Tae­bo work­out in a wind storm. Some sec­tions were straight, some curled, while some of my hair man­aged to remain in tight coils. I would love the Joan-from–Girl­friends boun­cy and full roller set, but alas it doesn’t work for me. If I want to achieve that look I have blow dry my hair, then roller set, which essen­tial­ly defeats the pur­pose of avoid­ing direct heat.

Wash n’Gos


Style Icon Bre­an­na

There was a time when I would sim­ply say this style didn’t work for my hair because of the nature of my hair tex­ture. How­ev­er, two years ago, I sam­pled a pro­duct that allowed me to achieve a pret­ty decent wash n’go. The prob­lem was that in order to sub­due my thick hair into coils and curls I had to painstak­ing­ly apply the thick pro­duct to every sec­tion of my hair. To me, if a wash n’ go requires an hour just to apply the pro­duct, then anoth­er 30 min­utes to dif­fuse the hair, the pur­pose of the style is lost. More­over, my hair was so coat­ed with pro­duct that I knew that after a day or two my hair would be dry and brit­tle and require a thor­ough cleanse so that my hair could be prop­er­ly mois­tur­ized.  Just because I can achieve a style doesn’t mean it nec­es­sar­i­ly works for my hair. If the health of my hair is com­pro­mised in the process of styling, then ulti­mate­ly the style is a hair fail.

Twist Outs


I have a love-hate rela­tion­ship with twist outs. On the rare occa­sion when I wear mini twists (it takes about 12 hours to twist my hair), I absolute­ly LOVE the result­ing twist out that I have after a few weeks. The tra­di­tion­al twist out, usu­al­ly styled with 20–40 twists, on the oth­er hand, has nev­er lived up to its hype for me. While my braid outs are defined, my twist outs often seem frizzy and last for only a few hours. Recent­ly, how­ev­er, I decid­ed to wear what I felt was a rather failed attempt at a twist out because I wasn’t in the mood to care. To my great sur­prise a few wom­en com­pli­ment­ed my hair. So per­haps, there are a few healthy styling hair fails that are only viewed as unsuc­cess­ful because they don’t meet my high stan­dards. That’s prob­a­bly the same for you.

What are some healthy styling meth­ods that do not work for your hair?


Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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48 Comments on "3 Popular Natural Hair Styles That Don’t Work For Me"

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Tanya B

None of the­se work for me yet. I am new­ly nat­u­ral and going through the tri­als of find­ing prod­ucts and regimes that work for my hair. I think I’m a 4a/4b in the crown.

It seems like every sin­gle nat­u­ral hair style I try is a no go. The only half decent style has been an afro an now my hair is too long for it. Fur­ther­more because my hair grows out, but not down I can’t just comb it down. At this point I don’t know what to do oth­er than to spend $190–275 every three months to get it braid­ed, which is unsus­tain­able and eco­nom­i­cal­ly stu­pid. I can VERY occa­sion­al­ly get some even curl def­i­n­i­tion, but Most times it ends up frizzy. I can’t use many prod­ucts because I get build up… Read more »

I haven’t tried to roller set my hair. But I can’t do wash and gos or twist outs. My hair looks the best after a braid out and I stuck with that. Some­times I pull it up in a pony tail but I prefer to wear my hair out most of the time.


I love the dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of nat­u­ral hair­styles! Try­ing them all out is a must.
For those who want to check out some thoughts about black wom­en and the bat­tle between nat­u­ral vs. straight, read, com­ment and share my blog. Here’s the link:


Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

“out” styles rarely work for me too. This is why I’ve come to per­fect my flat twists and updo skills. Though I recent­ly noticed that rope twists gives more def­i­n­i­tion.


I don’t like wash n go’s. I dis­like using a lot of gel on my hair and I don’t like that my hair is usu­al­ly crunchy and hard. I stay away from them besides I feel that my twist outs look just as good as a wash n go!


Roller sets and wash-n-gos. The last time I did a wash-n-go, it did­nt look any­thing like it used to when I did them all the time. may­be I just need a good clar­i­fy­ing wash to remove resid­u­al pro­duct that may be stick­ing around. My roller sets nev­er turn out like the ones I see on YouTube. they still have a sig­nif­i­cant amount of kink to them and are nev­er smooth and boun­cy.


Wash and goes nev­er last for me, so they’ve become a no-go.



Me and my hair don’t like ban­tu-knot outs, wash and go’s, straw sets, and un-stretched fros. The tan­gles, dam­age, break­age, and heartache aren’t worth it for me. I have 4c type too, but I can do rollers sets and twist outs with good results if I use the right prod­ucts.


None so far for me. I have fine, half 4c, some 4a and some a mix­ture of 4b/c with a few straight and a few wavy strands. I always end up pick­ing it out into a fro as the 4c sec­tions refuse to look any­thing like the rest. Regard­less of my braid­ing, twist­ing, etc.


Here, here. Though I love Wash n Gos, roller­sets and twist outs do not work for me. My hair works bet­ter in braid outs.


none of the­se styles work for my hair. I have medi­um fine hair in a medi­um fine den­si­ty that is 4c. noth­ing gives my hair def­i­n­i­tion that lasts more than a day except for mini braid outs done with a creamy pro­duct (but no glyc­er­in) and left in for 10+ days. Fine hair is eas­i­ly frizzed, and 4c hair doesn’t like to take a curl pat­tern. I kin­da just gave up on defined hair all togeth­er real­ly.


I’m still work­ing on my twist outs and my wash and goes are kind of a no go cause I have to dry it. My hair will stay wet until the evening. I haven’t done a roller set since I was lit­tle.

So what does work for you?

Truth Hurts

Hair that nev­er drys could be from the use of too many prod­ucts or too much of one pro­duct.


It could be, but my hair has a hard time dry­ing quick­ly, and I rarely use more than water and oil. Everyone’s dif­fer­ent.

Truth Hurts

Im sur­prised at the num­ber of nat­u­ral­is­tas who cant wear/do twist or braid outs! I guess because I have it down pack I thought every­one else did or I just nev­er thought about it.
I think the rea­son they work for me is because as soon as pro­duct or water hits my hair it forms an “S” pat­tern and twist/braids only pre­serves the look.
What does­nt work for me is wash no go…too much shrink­age!


Roller sets omg lol I can’t do that thing for noth­ing but this post actu­al­ly inspired me to try it out again & wash n go’s I just haven’t mas­tered it.

Check Out http://www.curlskinksfashion.con
For Fash­ion & Nat­u­ral Hair
And check us out on Insta­gram @curlskinksfashion

Jamie Freedman
A lot of styles require manip­u­la­tion to work for my 4c. I tend not to use a comb reg­u­lar­ly but have start­ed to since roller set­ting. Fol­low­ing NaturalHairnSkincare’s method, I’ve man­aged to achieve good roller sets but it is time con­sum­ing and puts more stress on the hair than a twist set. If i do not style on detan­gled stretched hair, I can­not achieve the­se styles. Braid outs and twist outs have nev­er looked nice. I think I would also need some kind of set­ting styler and a bit more hair length to make them look good. Roller sets just… Read more »

defin­tion is a waste of time for me. I do braid outs, as in that’s what i’ll do to stretch my hair before i wear an “afro” because i dont have defin­tion and i dont care about def­i­n­i­tion. It’s kind of fun­ny the old gen­er­a­tion things twist outs, braid outs, look like uncombed hair, while our gen­er­a­tion is all about defin­tion. shows you the arbi­trari­ness of it all.


Your last sen­tence is so true and inter­est­ing. When I do a twist out or braid out and it comes out defined, which rarely hap­pens, my moth­er says it looks uncombed. But when I pick it out and wear an “afro” she is all for it.


I have not tried the wash ‘n go hair­style because I can tell you my shrink­age is real and while my tex­ture is 3c/4a, it’ll frizz up in a min­ute. I’m not risk­ing the time and ener­gy for a big mess! Also, braid outs can work for me. But, there are not as defined for me as twist outs. So, once again, the time and effort isn’t worth it.


Lol, that is not a flat­ter­ing pic of Tracee.
But I digress.
I can relate, braid­outs and twistouts nev­er seem to work for me no mat­ter how hard I try. I final­ly had to give up on them.
Ban­tu knots are my best friend.


I can not not not do braid outs! They tan­gle my hair real­ly hor­ri­bly at the root for some rea­son. I love the bit of stretch they give me vs. twist outs but Lord almighty, the amount of extra detan­gling nec­es­sary on wash day is not worth it.


Twist outs and braid outs aren’t for me.These styles make my hair almost straight and the twists always unrav­el. That’s not the look that I’m going for.

After rock­in’ Locs for 20+ years, I decid­ed to cut my Locs but remain nat­u­ral. While I don’t regret my deci­sion, I must say that I’ve come to real­ize that nat­u­ral for me sim­ply means no relax­er. Unless I decide to wear a TWA, I will spend the next 20+ years manip­u­lat­ing my hair so that it rep­re­sents who I am per­son­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. I love when peo­ple say, my hair must be so easy to take care of. LOCS were easy to take care. There is noth­ing “nat­u­ral” about my hair when it takes 4–5 hours a week for… Read more »
Jojo Satoes

Girl!!!!!!!!!!! I had locs too for 10 years and that’s my life­time regret, cut­ting them for loose nat­u­ral hair in 2012. Just went through my 2nd big chop and think I’ll grow a short fro like Des­tiny Godley’s cur­rent style and call it a day! I hate pro­tec­tive styling so I just got to keep a fro n don’t exceed 3–4 inch­es :)


Isn’t Des­tiny God­ley sim­ply THE cat’s meow?!! Just beau­ti­ful, inside and out!

Nappy 4C Rocks

I still can’t style my hair:( twists or mini-twists is all I can do


I’m sure your twist/mini-twists look fab­u­lous!

TBQH, I’ve tried var­i­ous styles, but given my active lifestyle and mul­ti­ple tex­tures, 99% of the time I’m in a bun com­posed of twists b/c min­i­mal manip­u­la­tion works best for me. There’s noth­ing wrong w/ twists and mini twists if they are work­ing for you. I’m a 4abc lady too btw.

Hon­est­ly, I’ve found that late­ly styling my hair is more about main­te­nance than aes­thet­ic. My hair does the “shrink in sev­er­al stages” thing that April said upthread. Because one of my hair goals is length reten­tion, I have to keep it stretched most time to avoid night­mar­ish knots. That makes wash and go’s a once a blue moon thing for me. My hair takes a lonnnng time to ful­ly dry if it’s wet and then com­pact­ed. Ban­tu knots? Only if I have a day for them to set. Braids? Sure, if I want wet hair for 2 days (I don’t).… Read more »
Some styles come nat­u­ral­ly for some hair types. Some styles require a cer­tain tech­nique or pro­duct. I think any hair style is pos­si­ble on any type of hair…if you’re will­ing to do the work. I think hair style suc­cess can be achieved by 90% tech­nique, 5% pro­duct, 5% hair type. I’ve used mag­net­ic rollers to achieve every­thing from curly afro’s to straight hair on both relaxed and vir­gin hair. Now, if you don’t love the way your hair looks as it grows out of your scalp, I don’t see how you can achieve a true wash & go…but if you’re will… Read more »

Well wash and goes are a no! I’ve tried so many ways and so many prod­ucts and because my hair holds water like no oth­er, it doesn’t dry fast enough and my hair shrinks too much if I do a “Wash and go” its not real­ly one because I use my blow dry­er with my dif­fuser. I take it with me to work because I have to be on the road by a par­tic­u­lar time or its bumper to bumper, so I get to work ear­ly and then I blow dry my hair.


Wash & go is the ter­mi­nol­o­gy for wear­ing our hair in its nat­u­ral state. Coily, zig-zag­gy, afro…whatever nat­u­ral state you have.

There’s no law again­st using a blow dry­er. I alter­nate wash & go’s with a wash & puff. Either way, I blow dry my hair on a cool set­ting until it’s, at least, 85% dry because I am not the one to be walk­ing around with sog­gy hair. My hair can be unpre­dictable, but the blow dry­er allows me to deter­mine how it will fall. Not only that, but it also pre­vents ssk’s that accom­pa­ny uncon­trolled shrink­age.

Hope that helps.

I agreed Silk. When I went on YouTube it was to learn the tech­nique, and pro­duct. When I did the style I accept­ed the way my hair came out, not com­pared to the you tuber. Some­times I found that anoth­er pro­duct worked bet­ter. I have great twist outs “for my hair type”. I don’t com­pare, or judge a per­son twist out suc­cess again­st mine as if it’s the “mas­ter print”. I love nat­u­ral hair so much I think I see the best in everyone’s hair. It’s like nat­u­ral hair can do no wrong to me. For exam­ple: I was in… Read more »
THANK YOU! I com­plete­ly agree with both you and silky­naps. Tech­ni­cal­ly all of the styles that Geniece says don’t “work” for her do work for me because I’ve found ways to make them work that are real­is­tic for my par­tic­u­lar hair tex­ture and what­ev­er length it is at a given time. The way they come out, also, is real­is­tic for my par­tic­u­lar hair tex­ture and length. Using Jess, aka Mahogany­Curls, as an exam­ple (because peo­ple know who she is and her hair tex­ture is dras­ti­cal­ly dif­fer­ent from mine): I could get my hair to *look* like hers does in its… Read more »
I can’t do braid outs because I can nev­er get any good def­i­n­i­tion, plus anoth­er major rea­son is the rea­son for why I can’t do twistouts, my hair goes through mul­ti­ple stages of shrink­ing. If I twist on wet hair, my hair is going to shrink as it dries, then it’s going to shrink after one night of being in twists. Then, it’s going to shrink once I undo my twists for a twist out. All of my “out” styles shrink and con­tin­ue to shrink as long as my hair is left out.  Wash and gos are a no-no for the… Read more »

When I’ve done roller sets my hair didn’t shrink because my hair was curled and tight.


I just KNEW I was going to rock twists when I was tran­si­tion­ing. I love the look on oth­ers but its not the busi­ness for me!

oh that’s absolute­ly ban­tu knot-outs for me. my hair just will not come out right when i attempt this style, so i’ve closed the door on that par­tic­u­lar chap­ter. i used to say WNGs didn’t work for me but i fig­ured out how to do them cor­rect­ly. i agree, if it’s tak­ing upwards of an hour to do a WNG, the point of the style is a lil lost. late­ly i’ve been doing twisouts because they give me pre­dictable results. :) and my hair comes out look­ing the same as if i WNG’d it any­way after i fluff it out.… Read more »
Good arti­cle! Even as a child I dis­liked my hair heat straight­ened, blown out. It always looked forced. Like a stiffer, ironed-out, kinky-straight imi­ta­tion of the nat­u­ral­ly straight hair I’d nev­er have. I like look­ing authen­tic and effort­less, even when I put a lot of time into it, Lol! One point: ‘in order to SUBDUE my thick hair into coils and curls I had to painstak­ing­ly apply the thick pro­duct to every sec­tion of my hair’ I thought a wash-and-go was your NATURAL hair fresh out of the show­er — what­ev­er it looked like. Coils, curls, kinks, wurls, straight strands, right angles,… Read more »

LOL @ Elle!! “Coils, curls, kinks, wurls, straight strands, right angles, jagged edges, bro­ken strands, what­ev­er” And I’ve got all of them! =)

Yes-com­plete accep­tance IS the only key to open doors of sat­is­fac­tion.


So much truth to this. It’s nice to know it’s some­one out there this sharp


“Styles that don’t work for you?” Who cares?


Greet­ings Scooto­va (cute screen name btw), 

You must be new here, wel­come. This site cre­ates a safe, nur­tur­ing, and edu­ca­tion­al envi­ron­ment for those with nat­u­ral­ly high­ly tex­tured hair. I’m cer­tain you will find it doesn’t hurt to enter with that ‘spir­it’ in mind. In fact, you may just pick up a few help­ful tid­bits along the way which will no doubt cat­a­pult your hair jour­ney to new heights.


I thought it was refresh­ing that the focus was on the writer and what does or doesn’t work for her hair. The most prac­ti­cal approach is to describe your expe­ri­ence and if some­one relates great, if not…then it’s just for infor­ma­tion­al pur­pos­es only. Unless the blog­ger is a hair styl­ist with exten­sive expe­ri­ence, it’s impos­si­ble to provide real­is­tic solu­tions to nat­u­rals with dif­fer­ent hair types.


The arti­cle is not nec­es­sar­i­ly about her. It’s to show that every­thing does not always work for every­one which can open a dis­cus­sion among the read­ers who can also relate to this. This way, view­ers can share their ideas and tips to suc­cess­ful­ly achieve the­se hair styles or share new hair styles ideas since the­se may not work. It is a hair site so when their is any top­ic con­cern­ing hair, there is always some­one else who cares. You don’t have to like every arti­cle but was that com­ment nec­es­sary?


I have 3b-c, 4a hair so I thought WNG would be my beau, how­ev­er at this point in my hair jour­ney (TWA)I’m gonna say no. What I don’t like is wet hair, and hard hair. I ride and die for my TOs. Lol.


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