Did I do that?

I was kind of lazy with my hair the last few days. I basically have had it in curly fro. It’s fairly easy. You just put your hair into 6-8 two strand twists, tuck the ends under or use rollers, undo the twists the next day and fluff your hair. I didn’t take pictures this time, but this picture from last summer is representative of the style. It’s one of the few that automatically makes my fine hair seem thick and full. It usually takes at least two days for my hair to appear to have any volume.

Anyway, a post I saw on a hair board got me thinking about some of the things I used to do when I had relaxed hair. In taking this trip down memory lane and reliving some of the things I used to do, even though my hair was damaged, I don’t know how I didn’t end up totally bald. Here are some of the offending things I used to do:

  • After getting a fresh perm, I’d go stretches where I’d use a curling iron every. single. day. On a medium-high setting. I didn’t like bone straight hair so I figured I’d give my flat, limp and lifeless hair some oomph by curling it. The end result was fried hair. And naturally, it would break off.
  • I hardly ever covered my hair up at night unless I wrapped it, which wasn’t often as I never got the hang of it since I was (and still am to a small extent) styling challenged and it would look crazy. I’d lay my uncovered head on my cotton pillowcase. It was not until recently that doing this zaps your hair of moisture. Now, most of the time I cover my hair with a satin scarf or satin bonnet without fail. Silk or satin trap moisture and those materials are less likely to let it evaporate. During those times when I don’t want to use a scarf or a bonnet, I’ll use a satin pillowcase.
  • Going three weeks between washes. There were times I’d go even longer if I wanted to preserve a particular style, because I operated under the common perception that water was bad for my hair as it would just dry it out. Just reading those sentences makes me want to gag (and probably you too). These days, I can’t imagine going more than seven days between washes. I have now learned that it’s not water that dries out your hair. It’s the products you use to wash and style your hair that can dry it out. Once you know what kind of products to use and moisturize your hair regularly, dry hair ceases to be much of an issue.
  • Until I was in college, I’d have my scalp greased with Dax, TCB, etc as it was believed that they’d moisturized my hair. From college until I BC’d, I used Pink Oil to do the same thing. I had major dandruff issues until I went natural. It was worse in childhood, but the problem never was fully resolved until I went natural. It wasn’t until I went fully natural that I learned that mineral oil and petroleum, the main ingredients in Dax, Pink Oil and products of their ilk, do NOT moisturize the hair. At most, they are sealants and are supposed to lock in whatever moisture you put in your hair. Using that stuff without previously adding in any moisturizer only seals in dryness, which in turn can lead to hair breakage. Also, those products can be akin to Saran Wrap on your hair and scalp in that they may not allow either to breathe. Looking back, I’m convinced that those products may have contributed to the dandruff issues I had in that they may have suffocated my hair and scalp. I ditched them when I went natural and I haven’t had dandruff since then either. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
  • Many years ago, I once got a touchup and a semi-permanent color on the same day. As both chemical processes can be damaging to your hair, it is usually suggested that you do not do them both on the same day. It is highly suggested that you do just one chemical process, then wait at least two weeks to do the other. But I was young and definitely not wise then and I had no knowledge of this until much later. The stylist who committed this offense did not care one iota about the health of my hair. She only thought about all those benjamins she’d get after she was done. Within a couple of days, my hair was coming out in clumps and I developed a bald spot on my crown. It took several years to grow back in. Needless to say, I never went back to that heffa.
  • As a child, a fine toothed comb was used on my tender head and the person detangling my hair (usually a friend of the family) would practically rip it out. It was not until recently did I discover that fine tooth combs aren’t big enough for kinky hair to be detangled with. Now I only use wide tooth combs.

All I can say to all these things now is that now that I know better, I do better.

What crazy things did you use to do to your hair?


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