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Curly Nikki

Straight Natural, No Chaser

By January 27th, 202119 Comments
Straight Natural, No Chaserby Dr. Kim

I love YouTube. It’s a great way to research natural hair, learn about hair products, and discover new styling techniques. However, I attended a natural hair meet up event the other day and learned that not all naturals appreciate YouTube. Some naturals see YouTube as a misguided media tool filled with “wanna be” hairstylists that do not have a cosmetology license. I don’t believe that a license is needed to share experiences and helpful tips about natural hair, but there are instances when precautions must be taken to ensure that accurate information is shared with the natural community. When viewing natural hair channels consider the following:

  • Hair Texture Specific Channels – Most of the popular hair channels are very specific about hair texture. The channels often recommend products and techniques based on what works best for a specific type of hair texture. However, there are channels that seem to give the impression that certain products and techniques work for all hair types. This type of presentation is misleading because different curl patterns and textures yield different hair outcomes. Popular styles like braid and twist outs vary by hair type. The styling technique is universal, but the appearance of the style varies by hair texture.
  • Natural YouTube Channels and Sponsors – There are also channels that seem to gravitate toward certain products. For example, the products suggested in some natural hair YouTube videos are also advertised in the video through a third party. There are so many companies jumping on the natural band wagon and it’s imperative that naturals understand that all products are not created equal. Sponsorship is not a bad thing but should be considered in moderation. There are lots of products available to naturals these days and some of these products are very expensive. It’s true that you cannot see the benefits of a product without trying it first, but there is a fine line between testing products versus becoming a product junkie (wink, wink).
  • Product Development/Application – There are also natural channels that demonstrate how to create and use organic hair treatments. However, the side effects associated with the product ingredients may not be clear to the viewer or the presenter. Insufficient knowledge of product ingredients may result in severe side effects and even cause hair loss. The best way to avoid this type of situation is to contact a knowledgeable professional.

In summary, it is important to educate and share hair care techniques, products reviews, and style results, but as consumers we have to be aware of how we apply the information. Most naturals want to grow and maintain healthy hair, so correct and accurate information is important to our success.

19 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    hey dr.kim. I am sixty 60 and salt and pepper gray. i am transitioning from a curl to natural styles. any tips for me? i don't want to ever color my hair again.

  • Lakeisha says:

    Hi Dr. Kim, I was at the same meeting. I actually sat on the same row as you near the wall. I agree with your article. Besides after my experience with a licensed cosmetologist that speacilizes in natural hair I feel that no one will take care of my hair better than me!

  • Sydney Hanks says:

    I agree with Dr. Kim that one shouldn't assume a YT video will be the instant hair magic you've been searching for, but like every natural I've had to face trial and error in regards to styling my 3C hair. One thing I will say is that a resource like YT is invaluable with helping me find new style methods for example I live in a small town where there aren't any stylists who know how to style naturals, many of them won't/can't even try. When I see a video I may or may not try the style shown,either way I'm saavy enough to realize every head of hair is different and what works for one person may not work for me. Also I like trying out new styles 'cuz I get bored easily.

  • Anonymous says:

    Absolutely love this. If I followed all the advice that my subscriptions doled out, I would be a bald eagle. I consider options, but maintain that "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attiude. I keep my products to a minimum and that's about it.

    @MissCurly you're right about the marketing. For the partners every click is a pay check, which I won't begrudge them.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree and disagree.

    Quite frankly, I love YouTube and i think its an amazing resource. You can save money by doing your own hair, and not having to rely on a hairdresser to do your hair.

    Just because you went to cosmetology school doesn't make you an expert on hair, especially natural hair. A lot of times, they don't even know what their talking about. You should still take in account that you know whats best for your hair.

  • Annie L. says:

    Okay, though many professionals aren't too forthcoming or knowledgeable in the least about the effects of certain organic/natural products, which styles will and won't yield advertised results on different hair densities and curl patterns and sometimes mercilessly hawk products I neither want nor need.

  • Pecancurls says:

    I think youtube is great! Just one more resource to use as a reference —- not necessarily the final word. I tried the kimmaytube leave in conditioner and it actually worked pretty well for me.

    Anon @ 1:13, I saw that Argan oil at Sally's too. Have not tried it. Never tried the eco-styler, but I may this weekend.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    I look at it as talking to your homegirl, you don't take everything letter by letter but you get the drift. Wow we are really in the days where everything needs a disclaimer. Don’t bump your head, or spill the coffee etc…. By the way I made Flaxseed gel from a recipe/process I got off of YouTube it is the best thing ever!!!!! And it saved me money. It is so good to have so many willing to share so many ideas freely. Yay for free knowledge.

  • Skinnypeopledo says:

    Great write up Dr. Kim. I agree that we have to be aware of how we apply the information. "Everything ain't for everybody"
    I love going on Youtube to get styling and product ideas but I alway follow it up more research before using anything new.

  • Anonymous says:

    I like going to youtube and viewing different channels, because its basically like a grocery store. You can browse and shop to your hearts content and know how the product will or will not work. Sometimes the youtube can be a pain the butt overall it's definitely been a lifesaver to me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone tried the new product from Sallys called "ECO STYLER MOROCCAN ARGAN OIL GEL"? I saw Africanexport do a review on it, and just wondered if it was better than the Ecostyler Olive Oil Gel.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree that we need to evaluate the information and the source. I don't necessarily think that hair stylists are the answer either because many of them are clueless. I am finding that many of the people on Youtube make the biggest thing about the smallest things. I think they do it because they just want people to watch their channel. I am the expert on my hair, and I gather information from multiple sources and Youtube is one of those sources.

  • KC says:

    I listen to a lot of advice and am able to take it with a grain of salt, using common sense and my better judgment to make decisions for myself. There are so many blogs, websites, and Youtube videos with so much information, it can be overwhelming.

    I don't have anything against YT. It's not that serious. In fact, I don't see why a stylist would be offended by tutorials on YT. There are many licensed stylists (and makeup artists) who post videos all the time. Why shouldn't styling information be available to the public? It's not the same as downloading free music from a file sharing site like Limewire.

    I learned how to do my own kinky twists on YT, and I'm glad. Saved me at least $120 (I did have to pay for the hair anyway).

  • MissCurly says:

    I agree and understand why there may be certain attitudes towards youtube natural channels.I feel that it has turned into a marketing and business development tool. Nothing wrong with but I think it should be in moderation and not constantly trying to promote your product and website versus actually talking about natural hair. However like someone else said you have to discern what is right for you and your hair.

    I watch youtube for the same reasons I visit blogs like this. But at the end of the day I choose what is best for my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    As I say in life, "Recognize your source." I can see why a stylist does not support YouTube videos, however, having healthy hair is MY objective. Where I get the information is irrelvant if it works.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really appreciated this article. I have been wondering about this topic lately. I have always watched you tube for styling tips and advice. I often find that youtube is not always a great reference for an itchy headed natural like myself I have had to go against some of the natural commandments like using certain products that aren't good for every natural. Although I am a youtube fan, and love all of the naturals they don't always know best.

  • Anonymous says:

    So grown women do not know how to discern what is best for their natural hair while watching Youtube videos?

  • Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with this article . . . matter-of-fact Dr. Kim I was at the meet up (I thoought your picture looked familiar) and was really turned off by the strong opinions against YT. Personally my main reason for watching YT is for style ideas and occasionally a product review. I think in everything you should use your best judgement, get to really know your hair and what it likes and doesn't like and then follow the course. After that it's all about patience, patience and more patience. However; everyone is entitled to their own opinion but at the end of the day I decide what's best for me.

    Zo ~

  • Patience says:

    I super agree about how not everything will work for every texture and curl pattern. For example with my hair, anything that promises defines curls on my hair is a waste of money as I have found out, nothing will give me curls, my hair aint like that. I can only get defined style through twistouts.

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