We all do the best we can to take care of our natural hair, especially here at African Pride. But let’s face it, sometimes we can get lazy. The problem is that it’s dangerously easy to start forming bad hair care habits based on pure laziness. 

It’s why we don’t always take our makeup off before bed or why we throw dirty dishes in the sink and leave them sitting in there for…well way too long. Hey, we’re all busy, we get it! There are always going to be times when you just don’t feel like doing exactly what you know you should. 

It’s perfectly acceptable to be lazy from time to time, even when it comes to your hair. We’ve all had those days when styling our hair takes too much energy and all we can bother to do is throw on a headscarf. 

It’s fine to be lazy about styling your natural hair, but it’s not fine to be lazy about good hair care. You don’t need to be that someone who mixes their own deep conditioner masks at home or actually shampoos twice like the bottles say, but you at least need to quit the bad habits that are actually damaging your hair. 

Sometimes breaking bad habits is as easy as being mindful of how these lazy hair habits are impacting your hair’s overall health. Being busy and taking shortcuts can become commonplace but ingraining the importance of hair care into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth, will help shift your priorities.

Below we’ve outlined five of the most common bad hair habits. But, simply altering your behavior will ensure your natural hair is happier and healthier in the long run. We promise your curls and coils will thank you.

The Bad Habit: Under-Washing Your Natural Hair

Okay we’ll admit it, the dreaded ‘wash day’ is enough to make anyone lazy. Why go through this process more than you have to? It becomes all too easy to keep pushing it off until you’re wondering why your curls are so weighed down and dull. 

With so many natural hair care ‘rules’ floating around the internet you might think it’s better to wash say, once a month. While that may work for some people, every curl is unique and this system may not be what’s best for your hair.

Besides not looking great, an under-washed scalp leads to massive buildup which can clog pores and hair follicles, causing flakes and ultimately, slowing the growth of your hair.

How To Fix It:

Gradually start increasing how often you wash your natural hair. Set rewards for yourself to become more inclined to do it, ie: after you’re done washing treat yourself to a glass of wine or indulgent snack. Shifting the way you think about wash day from a chore to a self-care treat will make the routine less daunting.When you do wash make sure to use a pre-poo, especially if you’re going a longer amount of time in between washes or have just taken out a protective style. African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo detangles, conditions, softens, and protects the hair in preparation for cleansing and styling.

The Bad Habit: Over-Washing Your Natural Hair

On the opposite side of the spectrum, sometimes we can wash our hair too much. It feels normal when you jump in your morning shower to want to wash your hair. Plus with tons of articles and opinions out there about what your hair needs and how often it should be washed it can be confusing to know what’s right for you. 

Every time you wash your hair you’re putting it at risk for breakage and increased dryness. Curly hair is already prone to dryness because the shape of the strand makes it more difficult for moisture to travel down the hair shaft.

Washing too much further dries out the hair because it strips away the natural oils that provide moisture. If you find your scalp often feels dry, tight, or itchy and you’ve been experiencing increased breakage and dullness, it’s safe to say you’re overwashing.

How To Fix It:

Start doing a little experiment. Try washing your hair once every two weeks and see how long it takes for your hair to become frizzy, greasy, or full of buildup. See how your hair looks and feels with different amounts of time in between washes and find the routine that’s most comfortable for you and your curls.  If you live in cold, dry air and notice your scalp regularly feels dry even with less washing, start using our Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils formula to help keep more moisture sealed into the scalp.

The Bad Habit: Skimping On Conditioner

Okay you’re finally doing it, you’re washing your hair the perfect amount! But having healthy, fabulous hair doesn’t stop there. Unfortunately with natural hair, running a few drops of conditioner over your curls doesn’t cut it. 

Washing curls and coils makes strands more susceptible to breakage and can strip hair of much needed moisture. Even if you’re co-washing, your hair (especially your ends) still need that extra dose of hydration.

How To Fix It:

Because your hair is the most delicate and susceptible to damage when it’s wet, always gently handle hair like the precious item it is. Apply African Pride Moisture Miracle Conditioner from roots to ends after washing. While you’re letting your strands soak up all the goodness, complete your next shower task, be it shaving, washing your body, or simply taking a few deep breaths.

Conditioning hair may be an added wash day step, but it will save you time in the long run. You’ll quickly find that in between wash days you don’t need to apply as many oils and creams to add back the moisture you lost while washing.

The Bad Habit: Excessive Heat Styling

When you’re washing your hair, you typically don’t use boiling hot water to rinse right? It seems obvious to carry that logic into your styling routine but when you’re having an off hair day and want to touch up your curls with a wand or blow dry your hair to get to work on time, it’s easy to forget. 

Since textured hair is naturally already more brittle and dry, using excessive heat can cause damage, dryness, breakage, and split ends. Similarly, using too much heat too often can eventually change your hair’s texture and make it more difficult for it to revert back to it’s natural healthy state.

How To Fix It:

Whenever possible, avoid using heat on your natural hair by putting your curls in protective styles and air-drying hair or using a cotton t-shirt to soak up the water. However, we get that this isn’t always a realistic approach. 

Your hair will be stronger when it’s less wet and you won’t have to apply as much heat. Towel or air-dry hair until it’s slightly damp, then blow-dry hair on a low or medium setting. For curling wands or flat irons, make sure hair is completely dry and be sure to keep your heat tools on a low or medium setting, typically never above 350 degrees. 

And don’t forget to always, always, always use a heat protectant spray when applying any heat to the hair. This puts a protective barrier between the heat from the styling tool and your delicate strands.

The Bad Habit: Never Getting It Trimmed

I get that we all want those long hair don’t care inches, but sometimes we need to say bye to those inches to be healthy. If your hair is already growing, getting trims won’t stop the growth, it will just make sure that you’re growing out hair that won’t be so damaged you need to chop it all off down the road. Split ends left untrimmed tend to divide into bigger split ends, causing more of your hair to weaken and thin.

How To Fix It:

Book that appointment girl! Trimming ¼ or ½ of an inch every 6-10 weeks will keep your ends healthy but ask your usual hair stylist what they would recommend based on your actual hair. We also recommend trimming slightly more in the winter months because cold, dry air tends to increase splitting. It might hurt today to see those locks get snipped off, but it will do a lot for your hair health in the long-term.

Get An African Pride Moisture Fix

A lot of work can go into keeping natural hair healthy, moisturized, and styled. You don’t, however, need to do a two-strand updo and a home-made protein treatment every week. These routine changes can definitely take your natural sheen, moisture, and length up a notch. Leaving too many of these bad hair habits unchecked can add up over time to cause some serious damage. African Pride’s Moisture Miracle collection will keep hair healthy and hydrated. So, keep it cute and protect your coils.