by 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.