Terra D writes:
There is an abundance of natural ladies, sharing their hair, tips and styling secrets with us, through the web, youtube, and various blogs (Shout out to Nikki and the little one!). Though most are very well versed in hair care, many aren’t (to be frank) and many pretend to be.
What criteria do you use to determine which videos, or hair gurus, you may borrow tips from? Or add to your haircare reggie?
CN writes: I’ve been in and around the online curly world for more than 5 years now. When I first hit the scene I was a novice and like a new sponge, absorbed as much information as I could. I made NaturallyCurly.com my home, and read every post, started hundreds of threads, and literally memorized all of the featured scientific articles (I LOVE TONYA). I immediately became a PJ, trying tons and tons of products and of course sharing my results with my fellow members.
I independently researched and cross checked every detail I came across– never taking anything at face value. I had many, many online natural idols (Natakue, Subbrock, NaturalRemedy, Nikstar– all of which are on Fotki), and for me, they were the gurus! Why? Because the proof was in the pudding. Their hair was gorgeous, healthy and their routines, on point! I relentlessly PM’ed (private messaged) them with question after question, knowing that although our hair textures differed, I could hopefully achieve their level of health and beauty.
Then all of a sudden, a new wave of curlies joined NC.com and I became one of the ‘gurus’! It was so strange… ahhhh… the student becomes the teacher. And I loved it! I love sharing the knowledge I’ve amassed, teaching… and (still) learning. That’s why I started this blog!
Clearly, I’m not a cosmetologist, I’m not a trichologist- – everything I’ve learned about natural hair has come from independent study. People who know me in real life know that I’m a researcher. It’s what I do best! Before I do anything, buy anything, visit a new place, I read up on it… extensively, becoming an expert. And I’m even better at synthesizing and presenting it to people in a digestible way.
I said all of that to say this–
- Be your own GURU! – Read, learn and apply as you see fit.
- Don’t jump on every band wagon.
- Do your own research– take nothing at face value. You’ll be surprised at how much BS you come across.
- Don’t try everything at once– live by the 3 week rule, or else you’ll never know what’s working and what isn’t. I need to practice what I preach here 😉
- Learn the ingredients– the ones to avoid and the ones to seek out, as well as the reasons why.
- Remember that every head is different– finding similar heads of hair on line is fun and gives you a starting point (for routines and products), but don’t be afraid to branch out. I’ve received some of the best advice and product recommendations from 2c’s-3a’s! The ‘too heavy…weighed me down…moisture overload’ products they complain about, are the ones I run out to purchase! It means they should hopefully moisturize my situation, LOL.
With that said – I think of myself more as a hair guide.. than a guru – just someone who encourages other women to be better friends and lovers of their hair.
I felt JUST like her on BHM.. All of a sudden – I became a hair idol.. SCARY! But kinda cool – cause it helped me realize that I DID know my stuff.. (even though – I'm still learning).
And also, I totally agree with anonymous, Kimmaytube is really something! She shares so much great information! Gotta appreciate her. That leave in recipe WORKS! I've only been using it a week or so to be honest, but I really see my hair doing well with this long term. Can't agree on the KC Curling Custard though, I still love it lol But maybe I should give it a shot just using the leave in. I believe that it would work just fine alone.
It sort of bugs me to see so many people trying to sell home made products on youtube and whatnot. It feels like opportunism, and most of the time these are things that I can make myself. I appreciate the bloggers and youtubers who are secure enough to just share their ideas IF the idea is something that is not unique and anyone could do it at home. I realize that some ideas are truly unique and I can think of a few homemade hair butters and serums that from blogs or youtube that look truly innovative, but honestly some people are bandwagon jumpers trying to make a buck on the side, and it's really irritating. And you know you're wrong if you don't list ingredients.
I absolutely agree with everyone on the research aspect, and yes Ms. B, simple is better. Right now I have a 4/5 jar of Kinky Curling Custard, because I was not thrilled with how it feels on my hair. I found that I got better results when I mixed either the Knot Today or Giovanni Direct Leave in with oils (castor / jojoba) and aloe vera juice (Kimmay tube's suggestion). I have decided not to try any other lines, and keep using what my hair responds to. One thing that I'm glad I never embraced was the baking soda experiment. I tried it once with my hair in braids and my scalp was not happy. Thanks for all you do Nikki!
Most valuable thing i have learned is that most of these overly expensive creams and gels like KCCC and anything Miss Jessies dnt do more than say Eco Styler or Organic Root Stimulators Smooth N Hold pudding…Being Natural can have you going broke if youre not careful and Its best to keep it simple…coconut oil, glecerin, anything Elasta QP for me works, Hawaiin Silky 14 n 1…YTC..my shea butter mix…gets the job done…anywhoo
Oh I feel so special now, haha! Thanks girl!
"The student becomes the teacher" indeed. I'm always here reading up on your progress and learning new tricks. That's why I love the online natural community. There's so much to share and to learn that everyone can participate, from the newbies to the veterans.
Not many people out there (at least the ones I see) are claiming to be gurus. They just want to share what they've found works. I see YouTube and blogs as answering the age old question "how did you do…" or "how'd you get…like that". I mean, that's what I do on my blog, share what I'm doing and how I did it.
I can feel what Terra says about people who aren't knowledgeable about haircare, but I just don't watch or read those people.
I just went natural about 1 week ago. I had been transitioning for about 9mos and doing all kinds of research. Watching over a gazillion youtube videos on how others do their natural hair. You are so right when you say that you have to experiment on your own. I have learned that my hair needs different types of attention than others. My hair is extremely dry and the use of some well known products only make it worse. Knot today works well with EVOO on my hair. My hair is soft and yet not dry. I spent hundreds of dollars only to find out that EVOO and Knot todays works best.
I am all about research and results. If I find an idea that seems interesting (caramel treatment, henna, acv rinses, etc.) then I research the major forums and some other sites to find out the science behind them. If it seems sound, then I might try it. I also look at the results of the individuals giving advice. Individuals like CN with strong healthy hair are good examples and are clearly doing something right.
Good post CurlyNikki. My approach is to research, research, research; not try anything that dozens of other natural women haven't tried; practice common sense; and be critical. An example, and I hope I don't offend anyone who does this treatment, is the trend I see in baking soda treatments. To each Curly her own, but when my mother pointed out that my father unclogs the drain with baking soda, I realized why would I want to put something so strong on my hair. Again, good post and it is important to be your own guru.
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Thank you for posting on this topic, because I thought my head was going to explode from all the research I have been doing and figuring out how all the information applies to me. I am working diligently to figure out what works best for my hair, because I don't want to damage it after the amount of love and time I have put in thus far. Recently, I have been documenting my natural hair journey to figure out what truly works and giving credit to the people who helped me understand my hair along the way. I don't claim to be a hair guru, because learning how to make adjusts to my hair based on its' needs seems like a life long learning process. At this time, I want to thank you for having this blog, sharing your experiences, and everything you have learned along the way. It helps me embrace the way God made me everyday and for this I am truly grateful. Live, Love, Peace. ~ Sweetsop
P.S. Thank you for all the archived information on proteins and humectants, because it has helped me figure out my current dryness issue with the change in the coastal climate.