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Curly Nikki

Stop the Insanity!- Natural Hair Routines

By January 27th, 202129 Comments

Stop the Insanity!- Natural Hair Routines
Vonnie of Socialite Dreams writes:

The definition of insanity… doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Most of us know this and yet continue on, even though the results aren’t always what we want. Whether it’s going out with the same type of guy and then wondering why it never works out, wearing a hairstyle that causes breakage yet expecting growth, using a hair product that’s raved about and knowing it doesn’t work for YOUR hair yet still using it, not working out yet expecting to drop pounds, etc.

One of mine is the wearing of cornrows. My scalp hates them and yet I just recently took out a sew in that needed cornrows and wore them as a protective style on multiple occasions. I try to excuse away the obvious irritation to my scalp– “Oh, well maybe I wasn’t cleaning them right or applying enough moisture”, “maybe if they weren’t so back heavy they wouldn’t hurt”, “maybe it’s just product buildup that caused my scalp to break out.” Sound familiar? The excuses to continue something that you know isn’t working? All because I wanted something “easy” that I didn’t have to bother with or a cute new style via the sew in. Needless to say, I’ve finally caught on that THEY DON’T WORK FOR ME and I’ll have to opt for other styles.

So what is something that you repeatedly do even though you know it isn’t working?

Any hair product that you can’t seem to kick out of the regimen even though it’s useless?

Always go for the same color even though you KNOW it’s unflattering to you?

Come on, spill the deets!

CN Responds:

After reading rave reviews about the Denman D3 brush, I had to have one. I used it on and off for two years with ‘okay’ results. On wash&gos, it provided excellent, clumpy little ringlets on the ends, but somehow left the roots puffy and undefined. I found it to be one of the best tools for detangling and smoothing prior to twisting– giving me the best sets in the world.

After a while, I noticed that I seemed to be loosing more hair after styling sessions with the Denman, but I chalked it up to my fingers not being quite as effective at removing shed hair. I also began noticing lots of split ends and needle hole splits in my strands around the time I was using the brush regularly. I always blamed the damage on drying products or my technique. I finally gave it up, and actually threw it out due to my compulsive behavior and need to revisit things. For me, that brush was the devil… it shredded my fine strands.

I recently received the Denman Paddle brush from I’m still using the Ouidad Double Detangler for detangling, but plan to experiment with the Denman 83 for smoothing prior to twisting. I’ll report back!


  • Anonymous says:

    Thus far there isn't anything that my hair doesn't like. I haven't tried henna yet and I'm kinda nervous. I'm praying I get the same results as all the other henna heads that love it so much especially because I have a fine texture and really want my hair to thicken up. Yeah, I haven't found a conditioner yet that my hair doesn't like. My hair never liked oils and butters when relaxed but it LOVES them now. I haven't tried honey yet but plan to do so soon. I did just try the Trader Joes Tea Tree condish today and the jury is still out on that one. Not really sure how my hair feels about it yet. I don't think I can use it as a leave in or to style because after using it my hair felt somewhat dry I think and my hair is NEVER dry. I followed up by putting Suave Coconut in as a leave in and my hair is soft as all get out so I may just use the Trader Joes to co-wash only. I'm still planning to try so many other products so only time will tell. Keeping my fingers crossed…so far so good. Now if I can just master the twist out!!!

  • HomegirlKG says:

    No matter what I do to tweak it, my hair hates anything with honey. It turns stiff and dry, very hard to manage. I tried mixing with olive oil (which my hair loves) and avocado, but I continue to get the same results. I guess I'll give u trying now. My hair also doesn't like HE HH…gives me the same results as the honey :-/

  • Anonymous says:

    I started doing mini twists as a protective style at the beginning of the year as a protective style. Right after I'd twist my hair, my scalp would itch and become really sore at the crown of my hair. I'd end up scratching my scalp, and my hair broke off just in that area. I kept doing the mini twists thinking my head itched because of the product I used, or maybe my scalp wasn't used to being exposed (ridiculous). Not only did my hair break off, but wearing the mini twists meant wearing my hair down and out, and so my ends started splitting and I got pinhole splits in my hair shaft. Now I know better. I'm done with that.

  • Destiny says:

    I had a similar issue with the denman. Wood bristol brushes work much better for me. I got one from whole foods, but it disformed after a short while, I guess with all the water idk. So I switched to conair's bamboo brush, which is very similar, and has been holding its shape much better.

  • Tasha says:

    OK….so sometimes when I'm in between twists and other styles I may wear a puff, but anything that I use to hold the puff in place gives me a headache by mid day. Any suggestions?

  • drmsd says:

    I don't know what I would do without my Denman. I lose the same amount of hair as I did with my Jibere, but I felt as though the Denman treated my hair better. We'll see how it does when my hair gets longer (full SL and longer), but I'll definitely keep the Ouidad comb in mind.

    I know everyone raves about V05 and Suave conditioners, but my hair can't STAND those conditioners! I think my hair is offended when I try to use them.

  • skillsgill says:

    Anonymous at 1:14, I am a DevaCare One fan, but know it's not for everyone. Why don't you mix some olive oil and honey in it and see if that ups the slip and moisture factor? I really respect that you are not just throwing it under the sink to collect dust, but you could perhaps get some bang for your buck by souping it up with some oils and honey. I find that those two ingredients make EVERY conditioner better, at least when it comes to my hair=). Just a suggestion that I thought might work for you.


  • Anonymous says:

    Well, first of all, and this will seem like a "sacrilige", but, my scalp hates water! I know we curlies are advised that natural hair needs and likes water. My hair does but my scalp hates it, LOL! – can't do water by itself! I have EXTREMELY dry skin so taking the advise of spritzing my hair every 2-3 days with "just" water results in itchy, itchy, itchy scalp! I couldn't understand what was going on at first, but my skin is so dry (like when you shower but don't "lotion up" afterwards that the result is dry ashy skin. The scalp is skin so too (duh!!!) so I figured out that I have to either follow up with a conditioner/oil or mix condish and/or oil in the water spritz to keep the itchies away. But, sometimes I still moisturize with just water and my scalp makes me pay with the itchies! Why do I still do it periodically? Because I get in a hurry in the mornings on my way to work and forget! The thing that my hair doesn't care for very much is – DevaCurl One Conditioner! I splurged and purchased it because of the rave reviews from so many people but my 4b/c/d/e/f (whatever)hair doesn't respond to it at all! It's too light and doesn't render any of the results that I've read other curlies get from using it. Why do I continue to use it? Because I paid to much money for it to just throw it out! I'm going to use up my current supply and then never purchase again – 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    For a long time I used Aubrey's Organics HoneySuckle Rose and GPB because everyone liked them especially the Honeysuckle and I didn't get ill effects from them so decided they must be good. I have recently dumped both and replaced the HSR with My Honey Child Olive You Deep but it took me a long time to realise that the Aubrey's line does nothing for me, has questionable slip and it smells awful to boot.

    I'd love to quit twists (cause tangles and dry out quickly) but 4b and out styles don't necessarily go together. The happy medium could be twist outs but I'm not sure how wise they are with the onset of winter?!

  • Timmik says:

    I am like shelli my hair loves protein, for a long time I was running away from it because of reading online that it breaks the hair off. the product I keep returning to knowing it wont work is miss jessies products my hair does not like mineral oil, but everytime I see someone with a fly twist out and ask them what they use they say miss jessies, and I am still considering trying it again this time moisterize and seal my hair before trying to see if this works, my hair looks beautiful with the Kinky curling custard but I am refusing to buy another jar cause of the price, and I need to get a satin bonnet so my twistouts will last but I always put it back

  • Skillsgill says:

    I was mixing amla in my henna to try to preserve my fine 3b/3c curl pattern, which seemed to be turning into 3a with henna alone. In April, I slept with an amla mix in my hair overnight (my first time with amla) and the back of my head itched most of the night (I patted for hours, then finally got up at, like, 3 am and washed it out). So, then I decided my head just didn't like it overnight, so I mixed it with my henna. My head would only itch slightly, but I would get a slight rash near my hairline next to my ears. I also noticed my hair started shedding like crazy. Why did I keep mixing amla in my henna for months? And I tried to henna at least once every two weeks. My hair kept shedding like crazy. But, I researched to try and find others with amla allergies and didn't see anything. I don't tend to be allergic to much, so kept thinking maybe the shedding was normal (tried looking at old pics to see if my hair looked thinnger too) So then, I decide to make an amla/yogurt facial based on reading Mop Top Maven's skin routine that included bentonite clay and sour cream. I didn't have those, so I mixed amla and old yogurt. Yeah, I know. Why did my face swell up like a blowfish and become slightly pink? That's when I finally accepted the fact that my skin doesn't like amla and my hair was shedding because I was probably getting a rash on my scalp from it! The last time I used amla with my henna was at the end of August and I've noticed my shedding decrease dramatically. I feel like an absolute idiot because my hair is so healthy but I'm sure my density is compromised. I don't think I did permanent damage, but wondering what my hair will look like as new hairs grow. It's about an inch longer than BSL now. But, I suspect if my shedding was really excessive, I might have to cut it so that I don't have thin looking ends once new hairs demonstrate significant growth. Live and learn.


  • Anonymous says:

    i cant wear my hair in wash n gos too often. my ends thin out and i lose a lot of hair! Kudos to you women who can, cuz i had no progress when i rocked them all year last year. Now im a fully fledged bunner and my ends are thanking me 🙂

    another thing, my hair likes protein more than moisture. it's more springy and bouncy when i do protein treatments and leave-ins. i'm still trying to get the balance right tho…!

  • Anonymous says:

    For me, its henna. I hennaed my hair monthly for seven months before I had to throw in the towel and cut my hair. The henna left my hair dry, rough, and prone to split ends. I kept creating different henna glosses sure they would work, but no matter how much oil or conditioner I added to the henna, no matter how long I deep conditioned my hair, my hair remained as dry as the Sahara. I had to face facts: henna is not for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    for me it was the denman and butters. life got SO much easier without them. I insisted for almost 2 years though, as I couldn't believe they were the enemy.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can't co-wash… Sad because I generally have to deep treat after I shampoo (which is of course time consuming)but when I want to just clean and go, I again and again try to co-wash and I scalp without fail falkes. No matter what condish I use, or oils to seal in moisture my scalp will flake! And yet if I'm in a rush I will co-wash and go…

  • NikN says:

    I don't stick with anything long enough to see whether it works or not. Talk about insanity. My hair routine is flaky at best and schizophrenic at worst.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wanted Jane Carter Solutions products to work on my hair so bad, but they just don't. I might as well be washing my hair with dish washing liquid. I kept trying the shampoo and conditioner, figuring that I must be doing something wrong. No, the products just don't work for me. The Nourish and Shine is too heavy for my hair.

    Then, I kept reading about people using cheap conditioners to detangle. I bought a cheap conditioner that people had been raving about. Well, apparently, my hair is a snob…"she" HATES cheap conditioner. As soon as I put the pricier stuff back in for damage control, my hair was happy again.

    I will not be getting a Denman Brush. I can look at that thing and tell that it would cause problems. But then, it is expensive, so maybe my hair would give it a chance. LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    Kinky Curly Custard – I have never mastered getting this product to work, yet like some kinda love-hate relationship I like to keep a small bottle on hand. I keep it on hand just in case????

  • Naptural_ray1 says:

    my hair and skin hates shea butter!! and for 2months i use shea butter and products with shea face started breaking out bad because of shea butter and it just sit on my hair and gives my that greasy took my awhile to figure all this out but now i use ghemet AOHC as heavy moisturizer and i loooooove doesnt contain shea butter and i think it work better then that stuff

  • Anonymous says:

    Now that I have really incorporated moisture and conditioner in my routine, I can no longer use Organic Root Stimulator Lock and Twist Gel in my hair. It really dries up my ends and takes away the shine. Also, it takes my hair several days to recover from usage after I wash it out. But for many, many years it was my goto as it was the most affordable and easily available product out there. Even though I don't use it and haven't since 2009, I keep containers of it under my sink JUST IN CASE. This weekend, I'm going to clear it out and share it with friends. Thanks for this reminder!


  • Anonymous says:

    Well, see this is why I decided to be natural…for years I denied my hair and scalp's reaction to both relaxers and braids. It was a vicious cycle. When my hair would become damaged and weak from the perm and heat styling, I would say, oh, it just needs a break so I'll braid it. Then once the braids were in, my scalp would itch like crazy and become sore no matter what "braid" product I would use to stop the itching. Then finally, it hit me…why don't I just nuture my natural hair? I'm lucky I still have any at all…lol.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    Sounds like you have REALLY sensitive skin, Vonnie! I'm just at the beginning of learning my hair, so right now my hair is pretty cool with the daily co-wash and go.

  • socialitedreams says:

    something else that I tried for a few months KNOWING that it wasn't working was conditioner washing (cowashing). OMG my scalp hates it! no matter what conditioner, my scalp breaks out and hurts. I'll massage it well, work to get all product build up, scalp WASN'T having it lol. So I still shampoo once a week, just buffer with olive oil like I saw in Kimmaytube's video. Scalp is way more happy with me 🙂

    Thanks for featuring my piece, Nikki!


  • Anonymous says:

    My hair doesn't like serums at all; even if I use a little bit. My hair starts off soft and manageable and then it becomes dry,hard and frizzy. I'm currently transitioning (4 months post relaxer) and I know that I should ditch them, but I'm always hopeful that I find that one serum that would work for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I must admit I am a gluton for punishment and constantly go to cornrows as a protective styles. I immediately start patting my head as my scalp burns like crazy. Even though it wasn't itching the three hours before I got it braided. I have them in now and as I type it (typing) is the only thing keeping me from beating myself in the head! This will be my first winter on the East Coast with natural hair so I have to find another protective style for my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    As much as I try to use all natural products whether it's making them or purchasing them my hair HATES most of them. It becomes dry, brittle and unmanageable; it really shows its distain for most all natural products. I've added some products with cones back into the mix.

  • Anonymous says:

    Latrice (my hair) does not like coconut oil. I don't know why but it just sits on my hair. I've tried it alone and in a mix and it doesn't work for us.

  • Anonymous says:

    For me (although it was while I was relaxed) it was using grease and Luster's pink lotion. I even contemplated it after I went natural. Even now people ask: "how often do you grease your scalp?" I've learned to ignore the strange looks that I get when I tell them I don't.

  • Ms. Overproof says:

    Its the weirdest thing but my hair hates any style that requires my it to be pulled back with clips or pins or sometimes even tight braiding. My scalp goes into a hissy fit but I continue to do it cause I think it makes me look cute (sadistic). I finally had to come to terms with the fact that for me those slicked or smoothed back looks although beautiful would cause me to much suffering and Im learning to rock styles that require minimal accessories.

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