5 Hair Blogger Falsehoods, Debunked by a Professional Cosmetologist

 

I love what the natural hair movement has done for us in terms of empowerment and self-validation, entrepreneurship and inspiration. Future generations of women with natural hair now have an industry of products made for us, and a bounty of information offering advice and insight on handling our hair texture. We have ignited an online revolution and transformed the mainstream standard of beauty.

I love the natural hair community and I love so many natural hair blogs. But one of the things I don’t love, is the misinformation and negativity, and the criticism of others for their choices that can exist within our space. It does concern me that some in the natural hair communities seem to value the opinion of amateurs over hair care professionals. It can create a kind of confusion in the community. When most people are sharing the techniques that work for them, then how do you truly know what will work for you? What if the techniques that every blogger and vlogger are raving about, turns out to be detrimental to the health of your hair? How do you really know you’re following a sensible hair regimen, if it isn’t rooted in hair science and acquired education?

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 Hair photo via Shutterstock

Recently I noticed natural hair professionals complaining about this on Twitter, but in a much more informed way. So I wanted to share that voice of experience, and reach out to someone who can critique from a place of knowledge and love.

Meet Camille E. Reed, the creator of Noire Design Concepts salon in Silver Spring, MD. She’s a genius with natural hair and an expert in hair color. She is licensed, she is professional, and she is frustrated with some of the misinformation that’s proliferating on the internet.

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Camille sees it on an ongoing basis – the women who come into her salon with hair damage resulting from following bad advice they found from an unprofessional source. She’s here to debunk what she sees as the top 5 hair blogger falsehoods. Take it away, Camille!

Hi everyone, my name is Camille E. Reed. I am an educator, licensed cosmetologist and natural hair stylist of 14 years and also the owner of Noire Salon in Silver Spring, MD. During the course of my career, I have estimated that around 17,000-26,000 heads of hair have sat underneath my hands and have been scrupulously tended by them. So it’s a bit startling to hear some of the natural hair bloggers spreading misinformation about hair care. I am sure they meant no harm. However, what most stylist and pros know cannot be Googled or passed down as second-hand information, without a great deal of both practical wisdom and a keen understanding of cosmetic chemistry. Here I am going to assist many of you back on to the right path. My concern is that some of this misinformation will cause your strands to behave in a way that causes your home hair care to become troublesome, over time. There have been terms that the hair bloggers are using or have created, that are neither scientifically sound or are what professionals use (and have been using) since the onset of Modern Cosmetology in the 19th and early 20th century.

1. Co-washing:

This is where bloggers and vloggers are instructing readers and subscribers to forgo using shampoo and “wash” their hair with conditioner.

The problem with this method is that it promotes the misuse of product. Within Cosmetic chemistry, certain products have certain roles. The shampoo, with either its surfactants or saponins, opens up the hair cuticle in an alkaline state to release dust, dirt, lipids (fats) and other products from the strand. The cleaners are molecularly attracted to these items and adhere. Water comes in as a solvent and removes both the shampoo and residue. Conditioners come in at an acidic state to relax the cuticle and bring pH balance back to the skin. Commercial conditioners (the ones people are using for these co-washes) contain an additional number of mild chemical sealants to add a bit more protection to the hair strand. It is designed to mimic the natural fat that comes from our scalp, called Sebum (also slightly acidic).

Misuse of conditioner leaves several layers of film on the strands that, after a few months, will start to retard the cuticle from opening properly to allow the strand to swell with water. The result is a low-porosity strand that becomes increasingly fragile and starts to break.

The good thing for ladies in this current hair care market is that companies are making sulfate free shampoos and organic shampoos that contain saponins (natural, non chemical cleansers) that will get your hair clean WITHOUT over-stripping. Understand that all of these other methodologies need to be carefully scrutinized and compared to actual cosmetic science before they are co-opted.

2. Dusting (aka trims):

I see more bloggers and vloggers instructing young ladies not to cut or trim their hair, showing off what they deem to be fabulously long hair without having been cut in multiple months or years.

The ends of your hair are the oldest and weakest part of your hair fiber. Yes, hair is a fiber and like most fibers, it has a shelf life. The ends are nearing the end of their shelf life and no amount of product will revive or repair fiber that is old and weather or style beaten. It just simply needs to be removed in small, but regular increments throughout the year.

I stick to the rule that 6 micro trims (read ¼” to ½”) every two months, will leave you with more than enough healthy hair to work with, especially since most healthy women average about an inch of growth in an 8 week time period.

A trim is not something easily done at home. Take the leap, do the research, find a pro. If you can’t find one in your area, contact me @Noireboss1 on Twitter and I will help you! I have pro friends all over the country that are ready and willing to help.

3. Permanent Hair Color at Home:

I have been a licensed Cosmetologist for several years. The more that I learn about color, the more I realize how dangerous these chemicals can be in the wrong hands. Here, chemicals are being re-arranged and keratin (the chemical protein that makes up the hair) is being affected. There are some kinds of color that can be done safely at home, such as semi permanent or water-based rinses. I see the worst compound damage occur when sisters are trying to blonde or bleach blonde themselves at home. Going blonder removes protein from the hair. Most natural sandy colored and blondes have very sparse, fragile hair. Structurally it is not very strong. So imagine this, if your natural color is a very dark brown…lifting 4-6 (or more) levels is going to severely weaken your hair!

Save yourself the heartache of watching your hair break and deteriorate. Call a pro! Make sure said pro is a licensed professional with color experience (and images to prove it!).

p.s. Coloring your hair also means you must change your shampoos to being sulfate free. Even if it’s “all natural.”

4. The Green House Effect (aka Deep Conditioning w/Cap)

This term really tickles me because most professionals call this a “deep conditioning treatment with a cap.” That’s all this is. No magic. Heat opens the cuticles slightly. If your conditioner contains some organic oils or other materials that the fiber can absorb…then this is wonderful. Otherwise, if your conditioning product isn’t doing its job in 20 minutes, then it is a cheaply made conditioner and a huge waste of your time.

5. Shampooing Once a Week:

I have gotten a ton of new clients in 2012, and their chief complaint is that “my hair is dry!” I will then ask them about their routine; what they are using and how frequent their shampoo & conditioner rhythm is. Most ladies are simply washing too frequently.

Commercial shampoos contain surfactants (chemically designed cleansers) that are designed to attach to dust and oil molecules and then be removed by water. There are glands in your skin that respond to this rhythm by producing a lipid (fat) called Sebum (pH of 4.5). In a healthy head of hair, the glands take about 3-5 days to reproduce this sebum at a rate that will not only calm the skin, but condition the hair closest to your scalp (within a half-inch or so). If you are washing every 7 days, you are telling those glands to increase the supply of this lipid to your scalp and skin. Some people’s scalp responds accordingly, mainly those who are using more organic shampoos that are created with saponins (natural, non lab created cleansers).

However, those who are using chemical detergents (yes, even of the sulfate free variety) will still end up stripping away too much of the Sebum before it has a chance to adequately calm the skin and hair. What I have found is irritated and itchy scalps, flare ups for my eczema clients, and overly dry ends for everyone! Rinse your hair as often as you want, but save the actual use of chemical shampoo for every 10 days or so. You will see vitality and suppleness return to your strands right away.”

Camille Reed Noireboss1

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Camille! You can follow Camille E. Reed – owner of the Noire Salon on Twitter & Instagram as @Noireboss1, and as Noire Salon on Facebook.

Have you followed any of this advice and had adverse effects before? Do you prefer to get your hair done by a licensed professional, or do you do your hair yourself and follow the advice of bloggers and online experts? Tell me what you’re going through!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I generally shampoo my hair once weekly but this issue of co-washing is eye-opening. I have been co-washing for several years now. So, should we just rinse our hair rather than shampoo in between? I have noticed that I am shedding hair and I can’t figure out if it’s age or vitamin deficiency or something else…

  2. Great post! There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the web I blog also but I frequently heed the advice of my stylist and scientific-based hair blogs like beauty brains & the natural haven.

    Initially, I followed the curly girl method and my hair hated it. Its so coarse and thick that I can’t always use conditioners that fine haired women can use. It was tangled and matted and constantly breaking. Now, I shampoo, use protein treatments and henna and my hair is thriving!

    • I’ve been natural for over a year and never co-wash. Conditioners are made to provide moisture to our hair not clean it and like she said you can over condition your hair.

  3. AfrosNBabyHair says:

    I absolutely love this! Thanks for always being the voice of reason in this department Bella. Your blog is and has always been balanced in the sharing of information regarding best the practices for natural hair care. These are the conversations we should be having behind the chair as well.

    You go Camille! Educate the people! :-)

  4. I never thought that co-washing was a good option for ME. But, I know people that it works wonders for. The ones that I know personally, co-wash several times a month and use shampoo (and ACV) once a month.

    I also found in the past (from going to visit different stylists) that hair trims 4-times a year is not right for me either. I get trims done twice a year and that works better.

    I said all this to say that I appreciate this post, but it has the same “THESE ARE THE ONLY RULES OF NATURAL HAIR-CARE” tone that most natural blogs have without taking into consideration that we’re all genetically different and that not all rigid rules work for everyone all the time.

    • Thanks for saying this. This is just what the bloggers do and while the general structure growth rate if hair is the same for everyone, there are so many other factors that someone hi ha never touched you hair can speak on.

    • I agree with Karis – it does have that same “this is the one true way” tone that hair bloggers/vloggers sometimes get. It’s always great to present information, but in a way that also respects that we are all different and we may have different needs.
      Shampoo causes my hair to mat together – I have no idea why, but it does. So I use it very rarely. My hair responds very well to some “misuse” of product, and I’m okay with that. It’s me. And that’s fine. =p

    • AGREED!!! NO ONE HAS TO FOLLOW HER RULES JUST BECAUSE SHE IS CONSIDERED A PROFESSIONAL. NOT EVERY THING WORKS FOR EVERYONE

    • THIS CRACKS ME UP. THIS HAIRDRESSER ALWAYS HAS SOMETHING NASTY TO SAY ON TWITTER. ABOUT NATURALS THAT AREN’T IN THE SALON AND YOUTUBERS IN GENERAL. THE SAME THINGS SHE SAYS THEY ARE DOING WRONG WORKS FOR THEM AND OTHERS INCLUDING MYSELF. WHY SHOULD I TRIM SO OFTEN??? WHY DO I NEED TO GO TO A SHOP AND LET THEM CUT MORE THEN NEEDED. WHY CONSTANTLY SHAMPOO WHEN I CAN FIND A GOOD CONDITIONER ( CONDITIONER HAS A DEGREE OF CLEANSING AGENTS THEMSELVES BUT SHE LEFT THAT SCIENTIFIC PART OUT) YOU CAN COWASH AND CLARIFY ONCE A MONTH IF NEED BE. IF YOU HANDLE YOUR HAIR CORRECTLY THERE’S NO NEED TO TRIM CONSTANTLY. I’VE RETAIN MORE LENGTH THEN EVER BY STAYING OUT OF THE SHOP. THERE ARE MANY YOUTUBERS THAT USE SCIENCE IN THEIR REGIMEN… IF A YOUTUBER METHODS WORK FOR SOMEONE WHY BE UPSET. CAMILLE IS LOSING MONEY AND SHE’S MAD. I GUESS WE SHOULD FOLLOW HER RULES AND NO ONE ELSE’S. MAYBE HER CLIENTS HAVE MESSED UP HAIR BECAUSE THEY’RE SEEING HER. OR MABYE THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CLUELESS TO HAIR CARE, AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU TELL THEM THEY DON’T GET IT RIGHT. THAT’S NOT A YOUTUBER FAULT, ITS CALLED COMMON SENSE

    • Hear, hear

  5. Great information! I never really paid much attention to my shampoo or how often I wash my hair, but now I will.

  6. This is a very refreshing article and being the manager of a Trichology clinic that specialises particularly in Afro hair, I could not agree more with the need to get the facts straight and prevent further misinformation and ultimately, damage to more hair.
    Afro hair is a little more tricky than European hair to maintain, but that doesn’t mean it can’t grow long and healthy. Quick miracle treatments are not what we need. We need patience and the right education to understand how to love and care for our hair.

    If you are a reader and looking for more information of hair care or scalp problems and are based in England, give our clinic a call on +44207731 6695 or visit our website http://www.fulhamscalphairclinic.com and find us on twitter @fulhamscalphair

    • alethea says:

      How did I not know about your clinic? My mum lives in Fulham and I’ve been having scalp problems since I’ve been 11, I may have to scrap my student pennies together and roll down to Munster road.

  7. About a year after I went natural, I briefly dated someone who was a licensed hair stylist, trained in natural hair. We actually met because I was outside and he came up to me saying he’d love to do my hair (at first I’m thinking either this is a corny pick up line, or he’ll be a new gay bff to add to the bunch). When I told him I did my hair myself he said ” I hope you’re not following those Youtube liars”…. A harsh way to say it but he basically was saying what was in this article. While I don’t agree completely (because no matter how much training someone has, only I really understand the needs of my hair since I’m like, with it 24/7), I do think people may rush to mimic what their favorite blogger/vlogger says to do. I’m a fan of co-washing, and I have done this before I went chemical free, and will continue to do so. But, I also use some awesome shampoos when I feel my hair needs a good cleaning. I will however try to cut back on the amount of times per week I do it. I went from every day to once a week but I still add water to it daily.

    • I find all this discussin interesting, I started relaxing in my 20s and the only issues I’ve ever had with my hair where incidents with stylists. I’ve never relaxed, colored, or done any knd of chemical service at home. I have also not done as much trimming as apparently stylists prefer to do. I finally went back to natural (the state I was prior to relaxing) in the last 3 years. I assumed this would be an easier route, no chemicals, no stress, etc. I was wrong, it seems that all stylists see is damage, no matter how happy you are with your hair. It appears there is an endless list of things they feel must be done. I am simply wearing 2-strand twists to allow my hair to continue to grow out to a lenght Im comfortable with and can then cut into my preferred style – whatever that is as I haven’t figured it out. But the twists I figures would be low maintenance, and protective. But going to the salon for my natural hair care is as stressful as getting braids for my relaxer to natural transition, and as stress as relaxing in the years prior to going natural. Since I relaxed for many years I can’t help wondering whehter there has simply been a change in stylist attitudes and professionalism – and not for the better.

  8. Great article. I can’t go 10 days since I’m almost always constantly training for a half marathon, so I wash once a week. I agree that non professionals words should be taken as just that, however hair stylist aren’t the end all be all of hair knowledge unless you are a nurse practitioner or dermatologist or a hair care professional that has more than cosmetology certification which only goes so far in the actual study of hair then their words too should be taken with a grain of salt. The person who knows the most about ones hair is that person and probably their long time hairdresser. Just my two cents

  9. Our article isn’t mere propoganda & vague testimonial, a method of marketing being used on many via YouTube. I’ve seen these results in over 13 years of styling. This is, quite simply, cosmetic science. The pro’s who commented will let you know. Everything ive mentioned can be backed up in any coscosmetology textbook, cosmetic chemistry textbook or by any dermatologic practitioner.
    The ultra sad part is that people have become jaded to the truth because its not as mystifying as some less researching bloggers would have you to believe. The pro’s who value knowledge & their clients take the time and resources to share this info. There are tons of them out there (several have responded to this very blog). For those who want real methods, tested on thousandths of heads of hair…research a pro and ask constructive questions. No blind trust, ask for what you want & then let your wisdom and intuition guide you from there

    • I really appreciate the article. As a Registered Nurse working in dialysis I try to educate patients on what’s good for them with the science that I’ve studied to back me up, but I hear patients tell me everyday “I know my body” And yes I understand that patient’s “know their bodies” but there are some things that are a no no for any body but unfortunately and fortunate for some it make take years to show the damage. It’s always good to hear a professionals opinion…it’s great food for thought.

      • Erin,
        Please don’t even get us started on the advice people are given by medical professionals. People die and are maimed every day from the tools that are prescribed and the treatments dealt out. Obviously these things were not good for thier body given the results. The response you are getting probably have more to do with the roller coaster ride people have suffered at the hands of the medical industry or things like poverty, abuse, denied education and opportunities – all those things that go into maximally developing a human being, that we like to deny (in this society) to the masses. But, yes, I’m sure you can relate to the endless confusion of your customers just like the confusion of the salon customers.

    • I would love to know if you relax people’s hair? What does Science say about the harmfulness of that? It seems these comments may not have the full interest of the customers in view as much as it does “The Industry” and the money being lost.

  10. Thanks for the post. I know there are a number of ladies who just don’t have time for their hair so any info they get they will run with it. It takes time to know your hair and understand everyone’s hair is not the same.

    Thanks to Camille and other pros like Felicia Leatherwood who are dedicated to natural education. But not all pros are pros and you should ask them questions.

  11. Still has the air of “this is the only way to do it” like another commenter had said. I don’t, and have never had the money to go to a specialist. My mother has (and still does) box perms on herself and my little sister without much real care…

    Since being the only natural I know, it’s hard to find anyone who can do my hair, let alone professionally. I don’t trust anyone with my hair any more. To many horror stories of not being told what is being used on you, treatments/cuts you didn’t ask for, etc. I put too much love and time into myself to let that happen.

    Thanks for scientifically clearing things up, but I’m stinking to the dIY life style, and looking for colors that are both vibrant and eco friendly. (the stylists in my area LAUGH at this notion for some reason.)

  12. I prefer going to a salon for my trims, but my last 2 experiences have left me trimming at home.

    -1st stylist said I can trim my hair myself–why did I come to you then, lady?!

    -2nd stylist did a Ouidad cut and I don’t like the after-effect I’m still dealing with a year later.

    Keep sharing your experience & knowledge–it only helps us all!

  13. Informative article with the scientific information; however, I am offended by hair stylist who take a cookie cutter approach to hair and dog out you tube vloggers. Hair stylist seem to have sour grapes because they have been pushing African American women to get relaxers and came into the “natural hair” game late(from a financial stand point).

    You tube vloggers show their audience what works or do not work for their hair. It is up to us as the audience to consider to use those methods. It is also up to the audience to do the research. From experience, I trim as needed not four times a year and my hair grows. I did the research and know that trimming will not make my hair grow. My hair always grows.

    Hair stylist are losing business and money because African American women are doing their own hair…just my observation as a consumer.

    • Cookie Cutter approach is exactly what she said and guess what….The writer of the Curly Handbook who says to stay away from shampoos or sulfates, and silicones is a hairstylist too!!! Everything the author of this piece claimed was bad for our hair under the cowashing section was what Lorraine Massey touts as correct. Who is to say the author is the know all of all natural hair? There is some resentment from a lot of stylist who have lost tons of clients to natural haired women.

  14. I’m glad that Ms. Reed is willing to share her knowledge with us, but I think what this article is lacking is why so many naturals prefer bloggers and vloggers than actual cosmetologists. The cosmetic industry has only recently started catering to people with kinks and curls. Part of the reason I went natural was so I no longer had to deal with stylists that didn’t know how to take care of my hair and worse, didn’t care to know. It was blogs, vlogs, and message boards that created the natural hair community as we know it today (I’m aware that people have been wearing their hair natural, for much longer than the internet has been around, but I’m referring specifically to the online community). So while I appreciate the professional knowledge, I don’t appreciate the snobbery, as it was Ms. Reed’s industry that pushed people to the internet instead of welcoming them into their salons.

  15. While I think this information is great, I certainly do not agree with the title as a natural hair blogger/vlogger. I don’t promote any of the above practices (ex. I definitely do not wash my hair with conditioner) and I’ve always told people to not do everything I do (like color at home, which I mainly do b/c I feel better about messing up my own hair than going to the salon and having it messed up). This widens the divide and dissonance between bloggers and cosmetologists…we shouldn’t be working against one another but have the same goal in mind – promoting healthy hair practices, even if it’s trial by error for some.

  16. I love to read different perspectives on hair care whether it’s from a professional stylist, a scientist a blogger or a friend or coworker. Ultimately, I always try different things and do what works best for my hair to get the results I want. I don’t think there’s one set of rules. However, there are so many bloggers, youtubers and resources online that the disclaimer should always be made that the advice given is from that person’s perspective and what they’ve found to work for their hair specifically.

  17. As a natural hair blogger & product formulator of my own hair product line, TLC Naturals, I have to agree & confirm a lot of what she said.
    I have personally experienced the devastation that cowashing did to my hair. As I learnt more about the science of natural hair & its hair care, I knew cowashing was not such a great thing for long term use. Of course, I had a few nay sayers who lambasted my blog post for daring to say that cowashing just ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    It is truly a relief to see another fellow professional echo what I have said for years now.

    I also echo what she.said about d GHE. Once again, I had a few readers who wanted to argue that they knew best. Thankfully, the few that did take my advice benefitted a great deal from it, recommended it to their friends and that post is still one of the top viewed posts on my blog.

    My products & results seen from users really speak for itself.

    This article was really interesting & it was so refreshing to see another professional confirm a few things that I had blogged about

  18. People ride or die for their favorite bloggers and bloggers and that’s fine. However, its time to ask some of them (not all, because many like Afrobella seek the right info, confirmed by multiple sources.

    You don’t have the follow the rules. Toss em out of the window. If its working for you, that’s cool, then THIS article isn’t for you. If you were doing the aforementioned and had problems with it, then that’s who this article is for.

    People want to get rude, that’s cool. What’s in the heart comes roaring out of the mouth. It only makes you look sickly and poisoned. Once the vapor is gone, it will make me and Afrobella talk about it SOME MORE!

    Buckle up!

    • I have never dealt with a hair blog/vloger who did not use the disclaimer “this is what works for MY hair”. This headline to this story was inflamatory and classless. Stylists are losing money and one has to wonder if that’s the real issue. For every ONE woman who can say that co-washing didn’t work for her, 5 can give you horror stories about professional stylists who have royally screwed up their hair. So let’s be real, I have been harmed by MANY more stylists than natural hair bloggers/vloggers….divisive, jealous, and petty…these are the words that come to mind every time I see articles such as this one….especially with titles such as this one. SMH

      • CO SIGN!!!! Nothing wrong with more professional tips but get outta here with this idea that droves of womens hair is being ruined by info from yt!! Lmbo If anything we are rising up to take our hair in our hands and youre losing money. Point blank and the period.

  19. Hello and thanks so much for posting this much needed article! Ms. Reed is so correct in stating that there is so much misinformation out there regarding hair. When I saw these 5 tips, it immediately brought back memories from Cosmetology school back in 2001. I was like…Girl…I know what you mean about the products having a specific purpose and over-shampooing your hair. It’s sad how so many women fail to do their own research or even ask questions from a professional. I can still hear my instructor, Ms. Rapp, screaming…”Seal those cuticles!” She was referring to the conditioning process that softens the cuticles. She’d also mention the fact that over-shampooing can strip the hair of its natural moisture.

    So, again, thanks for sharing this information.

    Kiseler R. Brumfield
    Life is a journey. Enjoy the scenery! :)

  20. I found this aarticle to be exactly what it is,true and informative! There are good and bad ways for ALL hair types and there is nothing wrong from gaining information from the ones who have experience(and clients) from all walks of life. I have the “been there done that” in my own life. I went from weaved and relaxed,to licensed cosmetologist,and now locK’d with natural hair clients. I was a vlogger/blogger before becoming professional and I’m still doing it.Sometimes you learn through books but the best way is through experience. (As we all know)The author has experience and only wants to share her knowledge. What’s wrong with that?#confused.

    • Great comment @naturaleehappee! I’m a hairstylist also and found this info informative! Nothing at all wrong with what she has said…….people get so defensive, then post negative comments, when professionals are only trying to help! This is not about us losing money because people are going natural!! I had 90% “relaxed clientele before this movement, I now have 60% relaxed and 40% natural, with more and more clients coming to me who want to make the transition from relaxed to natural, or whom are already natural! Why do they come?? Because they see that I have the knowledge, expertise, and skills to take care of their hair (some people/want need the extra help with their hair, hence come to a salon/ or natural hair specialist) or turn to YouTube. However, there are some things from a scientific standpoint that bloggers/vloggers may not know and that’s where the professional steps in. It saddens me that some would belittle us hairstylist as though are job means nothing. It’s a “career”, we are certified, and the good ones make a hell of a lot of money. I am truly glad the my clients, form relaxed, who transitioned to natural, and new naturals, value my opinion, knowledge and respect my career. I love bloggers/vloggers and have def learned a lot from them as well………but ladies there is nothing wrong with professional advice. Shameless plug! :) Visit my page C N HAIRLOFT on Facebook

  21. I really enjoyed reading Camille’s article. It was educational. Many people have to attend classes and pay for this kind information and Camille has decided to give it to us freely. I very much appreciate what she has done.

    I think many people are missing the point of this article. Camille wrote this article to educate & not bash youtubers/bloggers. She was pretty much saying in a nutshell, BE CAREFUL for the misinformation that is all over the web. Just because someone has a whole lot of followers doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. As much as I love Youtube, it is nothing more than a popularity contest. So don’t think by a long shot that when a hair video is created, you the viewer is the motivation behind the video However money & popularity is.

    I have seen people pay for online consultations from a particular Youtuber who does not have a hair care license in Natural Hair Care or Cosmetology. Because this young lady is popular, she can get away with that. Yet Camille, a real educator gets bashed online for expressing her concerns and is trying to inform the misinformed.

    For this very reason is why I stay away from this online natural hair stuff. I network with like minded people, attend events, enjoy to read mom blogger, and chat with nice people online. I stay my distance from this kind of community because the truth isn’t well received. Plus I’ve seen so many people try to destroy stylist & business people reputations online by posting lies & unnecessary commentary. This online community has gotten bad. I commend Camille for her boldness.

  22. Thank you for going out of your way to present truth in a factual and thoughtful way

  23. Good article. I have a question about the co-washes, what about the ones that have natural cleaning agents in them? For example, the as I am clarifying co wash or the Pantene Au naturale cleaning co wash. Are these just as good as non-sulfate shampoos?

    • I was wondering the same thing about the As I am co-wash. I also want to say thank you to Camille Reed also on her blog post. I do have a natural hair stylist that I go to, but also am wanting to learn more about my hair for myself as well. Her article for me at least, was enlightening and I appreciate it.

    • lilkunta says:

      camille, thank you for your words and insight. i’m not too far from MD, how much do you charge for a consultation?

      So co washing is bad? what is a good product set you reccommend that is reasonable is price? a shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, deep conditioner?

      I have temple dandruff tha wont go away.. I have used denorax and head and shoulders but still dandruff. What do I do?

      I have 4d hair–yes 4d. It is super tightly coiled.
      Thank You.

  24. This was great information for natural hair. Thank you for setting the rumors straight!

  25. Jesus-in-the-City says:

    I liked a few things about this article because specific things resonated for my hair and me, but at the end of the day, I know everyone is different and they will most likely know what is best for their hair over everyone else, over a period of time just by nature of being more familiar after doing it themselves. I think the touchiness with black women and hair professionals regarding being natural is that lots of women have had bad experiences after putting a lot of trust into hair stylists and now probably feel unwilling to give that trust back again after learning to care for their hair themselves. Many non black women go to hair stylists but I don’t know too many who solely depend on their stylist to take care of their hair, so I think once you become free from that in the natural hair world, I think you start to enjoy the freedom of learning and knowing your OWN hair for a change and that can be a little hard to let go of for some people, maybe. I think it depends on the person and where they are in the process and their personal past experience.

    The two issues that resonated with me were not shampooing once a week and co-washing. I have very fine natural hair and the more it is handled, the more breakage that occurs. Wash day is the day when my hair is handled the most. So, I find, for me, that the further I can spread out my wash days, the more length I can retain. I use limited products on my hair and scalp to prevent buildup and all my products are 100% natural and, for the most part, made at home. I do an herbal spritz on my scalp and ends in the mornings and seal with a homemade hair milk, tuck my ends and go. I also have incorporated henna into my regimen to strengthen my hair over time.

    Co washing I have never liked. I get buildup and also find it weighs my hair down, but the buildup is the biggest thing. I usually wait 2.5-3 weeks between washes, and on those days I wash, do an oil treatment, henna, deep condition and detangle. Then, I put my hair in mini twists that I keep in protective styles and I’m set for the next 3 weeks. The scalp spritz keeps my scalp clean and refreshed and my ends moisturized and since my milk isn’t too thick, I don’t find I get buildup. I work with the ingredients I’ve found work for me through a process of elimination over the last 2 years of being natural.

    Anyway, thanks for this article and sorry for the beat up you’re getting from some of the posters. Seems to me like its just hair and no reason to tear people down or insult their character or profession. God bless!

    Aja

  26. Camille, thank you for taking the time to share information with us. As an educated person and consumer, I can appreciate how you have given scientific explanations on how hair responds to certain types of chemicals. I have been to dermatologists regarding issues that I have had with my hair in the past and everything you stated has been validated by these types of professionals as well as other educated cosmetologists. I have modified my routine from washing my hair every week to every 10-14 days and it has done wonders for my tresses. Since I do work out, I will rinse my hair in between washes and that piece of advice alone has helped my hair maintain a healthy balance. Even though your explanations may not seem “valid” for some of the commenters on this blog, I do believe that as a professional you are doing the right thing by reporting what actually has worked for your clients over time based on what you have learned over the years. I am ecstatic and proud that we have women like you who are empowered with knowledge and have the willingness to share it with others who do care about where the information is originating. Science doesn’t lie nor is it personal. Thank you and keep being a blessing, beautiful sister!

  27. Thanks so much for this post! It took me being natural for almost three years to realize that I have to do what works for me and my hair (like my hair would not work if I didn’t shampoo at least every two weeks!). It’s so easy to jump on every bandwagon on the internet, especially if you’re newly natural. For me, I handle the regular maintenance of my hair at home. When I need a good trim or decide to get some color, I’ll definitely be going to a professional!

  28. Thank you so much for writing this article! I am a stylist and salon owner in Atlanta and have been doing hair for 15 years. I totally agree with all of your points. People don’t realize the difference in going to a salon professional for their color and trims vs. watching a tutorial on you tube. The abundance of natural hair bloggers and giving misinformation (no one is a licensed stylist!) is overwhelming to us salon professionals. My clients get stopped on the street all the time by naturals asking what color, and what product they use. They always say “I have a stylist that decides that”. People can say what they want, but there is a definite difference between people that do it all at home; and those that will trust a professional with their locks. Again, I thank you for writing this. Its good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  29. First off, I appreciate Camille taking the time to write this post. I also understand that as a professional, she carries knowledge that non-professionals don’t. I agree that not every online persona who calls themselves “knowledgeable” really is. Having the ability to think critically is very important no matter what you read or see online.

    Now that said, I want to quote something Jesus-in-the-city said above:

    “I think the touchiness with black women and hair professionals regarding being natural is that lots of women have had bad experiences after putting a lot of trust into hair stylists and now probably feel unwilling to give that trust back again after learning to care for their hair themselves….I think you start to enjoy the freedom of learning and knowing your OWN hair for a change and that can be a little hard to let go of for some people, maybe. I think it depends on the person and where they are in the process and their personal past experience.”

    The reason why an “alternative” hair community exists is largely because of a gap in communication and understanding between clients and members of the “traditional” hair industry. When I told my stylist I wanted to go natural she basically discouraged me from doing so. If she had had any real education in natural hair care, she could have at the very least given me information about what it would take to transition out of the perm and some of the pros and cons of caring for natural hair. Instead, the impression I got was that I needed to keep things the way they were: namely, continue to pay her $$ to do my touch-ups and give me deep conditioning treatments (for extra $$) and so on, and then go home and watch my hair break off every time I combed it and just accept this as normal. At least she didn’t come out and say my hair was too nappy to go natural! When I realized that, rather than help me with MY choice in how to wear MY hair, she preferred to keep me as a paying (and ignorant, see below) client, I went natural on my own. That was 17 years ago and for most of that time I’ve been DIY.

    If more stylists had been willing and able to walk this walk with their clients, it’s entirely possible that the business relationship wouldn’t have fractured the way it has. Note my use of the words “willing and able”: Because of our history and corresponding cultural aversion to Afro-textured hair, we have elevated stylists to a position where they don’t feel like they HAVE to listen to what their clients want. And because of a history of collaboration between the traditional hair industry and clients in the belief that Afro-textured hair is so abnormal that it somehow REQUIRES professional care, stylists haven’t been trained in caring for natural Afro-textured hair beyond cutting it and making it straight. Their own lack of education is one reason why I ended up having to go it largely on my own. MY own lack of education was another.

    I’d like to think things have improved since 1995. I’d like to think that if a client’s edges are missing or if they’re experiencing excessive breakage that a stylist might gently suggest dialing back on the chemicals (or the weave, or whatever) at the very least. I’d like to think there are more stylists who care about their clients’ hair health AND know what “hair health” really means. In 18 years of relaxing my hair NEVER ONCE did any stylist suggest that touchups every 6 weeks were too much, or that my fine strands didn’t require regular-strength relaxer and that a milder version would at least preserve the integrity of my strands and maybe I wouldn’t see as much breakage. I had to become my own hairstylist to really understand why my hair behaved the way it did when I was relaxed. It would have been great if I HADN’T had to do that.

    Long story short: Those who work in the traditional black hair care industry — I’ve been speaking of stylists but it really applies to everybody in the industry — need to accept at least some of the blame for this situation. I’d like to hear from those stylists: What exactly are you doing to encourage those of us who were burned (literally and figuratively) by your peers to return to your chairs? More specifically, what are you doing to accommodate someone like me, who has approximately 8-11″ of certifiably nappy natural hair that she loves AS IS — meaning no short cuts, no straightening, no texturizing, etc.? With the help of the online natural hair community, my DIY experience has not only educated me, it’s given me the healthiest, longest, strongest hair of my life. What exactly can you do for me that I can’t do for myself?

    • LBell, I feel we are kindred spirits. These are most of my exact thoughts and feelings as well. Although, I haven’t been natural as long(going on 3 yrs. this July), I have also gone through some bad experiences with stylists as well. In fact so bad, that I don’t think I will ever go back to one. I like finding out what works on my hair and I liked the experience of feeling and seeing the different textures of my hair in my hair journey.

      Camille, I do appreciate your input, information/education and time for posting this. Since I still consider myself a newbie natural, I am looking for all points of view on how to take better care of my hair.

      I just have had a lot of bad experiences with a lot of hair stylists in the past and I felt that most of them didn’t have my best interests at heart when it came to taking care of my hair. My mother used to take care of my hair until I was 15(her death) and my hair seemed to flourish and was very long and healthy. When I had to look for someone to take care of my hair, I just bounced around from stylist to stylist because I wasn’t finding the “right fit”. I felt that all I was there for was to put money in their pockets and get the heck out so they could tend to the next client.

      Over the years, I would alternate by doing my hair myself and go to stylists,

      sporadically. I had little to no knowledge of how to take care of my hair and as a result my hair has suffered greatly to the point in Sept/2009, my hair started breaking off dramatically and continued until my hair went from shoulder length 9/09 to pixie length 1/10. I put the last relaxer in my hair on 7/10 when my hair still was around pixie length and in the worse condition I have ever seen my hair.

      That’s when I said enough and I started to get serious about how to get my hair back to a healthy state as well as get my length back. I had no where to go except the internet and I just happen to stumble on YouTube and other blogs as well as books. It just seemed to be the “sisterhood” that I had been looking for when it comes to hair tips and care. Now, I don’t do everything everyone says. I just took a lot of notes and used my common sense to see what would work for me. And after 2 1/2 yrs. of trial and error my hair has gone from pixie length to almost grazing armpit length. I just wish the past stylists I had would have shared some of this information instead of keeping that knowledge to themselves. It would have helped me a great deal and I would probably would have still been a regular client.

    • As a natural health blogger focused on black women’s health I found your comments, so well stated I just had to say thank you!
      I have been natural for many years before the current movement, but I remember strongly the negative tone, and advice that basically my hair was “bad” (my natural hair.) I think you are right in that hairstylists perhaps especially of previous generation, thought unconsciously our hair was “bad” and saw themselves as almost our “saviours.” Now we are taking our self-respect back. And I think the natural hair movement came from the ground up, not from stylists/industry down-so it caused a shock.
      This is not to say that I take offense at her advice but mroe that you hit on the head why the openness to YT teachers who seemed real and without negative motives. Plus saw them doing it on themselves and that’s inspiring.

  30. L Bell, don’t you think that’s a question for a different post? I can’t understand the need for all of the personal rants as a result of good information being shared by a professional. Have you thought about posting this as a question on your own blog site?

    • The thing about blogs, blog posts, and comments is that they give the opportunity to further and deepen the discussion. I was responding specifically to another commenter who offered insight as to why these comments have largely devolved into two camps, and in so doing attempting to share my own experience which I’m pretty sure is not unique to me. I’m sorry if you felt it came across as a rant…I was simply participating in the discussion.

  31. I’m part of a trio of Natural Hair Stylists…meaning we’ve only done and only do natural hair. I’m also a liscensed cosmetologist. Just wanted to thank Camille and Bella for presenting this. I’m saddened by the disdain and disrespect from many of these comments. This “No one knows my hair better than me…but I’m going to listen to a person on the Internet who has only done her own hair, INSTEAD of a stylist who sees every texture and type of hair daily” is bizarre to me. A couple of top bloggers/vloggers have sat in my chair and they’d agree with everything Camille said. Every stylist who responded has one goal for you all, healthy hair. No one is “dissing” bloggers. Consider the source is all their saying.

  32. I am grateful for any trained professional with the level of experience that Camille has who is willing to share their knowledge. But as many of the other comments have pointed out information on how black women care for their natural hair has not always been available. I hope that other trained professionals like Camille will share more of their knowledge and success stories with the rest of us as that is likely to build a greater trust in professionals.

    I live in London, England and there is only one hair salon that I am aware of who caters for mainly natural hair. (And this is the capital city!) There are a few more who help others grow and care for locs. My inspiration to learn how to care for my hair came initially from a book and when I started again in 2009 it came from the internet. Because I don’t have access to the same products and what I was using worked for me I have never felt the need to change my routine. I have never taken the view that because a product works for someone it will also work for me but I am always curious to see the different things we do.

    The important thing for me was seeing so many black women making their own journeys and being brave enough to share this in public and this I found empowering. It has given me the courage to keep going as well as some lovely ideas on how to style my hair.

    Love this blog.

  33. Although, I don’t agree with everything that Camille is saying, I don’t understand the hostility that is coming from some of the posters. Just because you had a bad experience with a stylist (I can surely attest as well) doesn’t mean she isn’t educated and cannot speak from her personal experiences. I am not offended by her tone nor do I think or even have clue what type of clients she has or lost or if she is making money or is jealous. To make such ridiculous comments is asinine. That is not the point of the article. Are there some knowledgeable bloggers/vloggers out there, Absolutely! Just like there are knowledgeable stylists but there are some blogger/vloggers who are clueless and give misinformation just as there are stylist out their whose licenses are not worth the piece of paper they are printed on. However I think you have to do your research regardless and ask questions and have intelligent banter and not attack just because you don’t agree. I think it is important we continue to share our experiences (good, bad and ugly) and hopefully continue on a positive hair journey.

  34. Thanks, I found this information to be so helpful. I never got in to the co-washing thing. But I do shampoo my hair every 7 days, changing it to 10 won’t hurt. There were some things that I found strange on some of these blogs. It’s good to have scientific knowledge on how to take care of natural hair.

  35. I’m dissapointed by the fact that the author chose to denigrate natural hair bloggers in order to make her point. She could have simply given hair tips, without taking the potshots.

    I’ve been natural for over a decade and everything I’ve learned has been from home stylists, because professional stylists were unable or unwilling to do my hair. I never go to the salon anymore, but I’m happy with my hair regimen and style.

    So I find both the article’s title and the tone of the first part of the post to be extremely off -putting and unnecessary.

  36. Thanks! for a very informative article.

  37. Thank you so much for this article, it is way overdue!!! As a Licensed Professional Hair Stylist myself, it is extremely hard to overcome the apprehension of ‘misinformed’ clients who subscribe to everything said by Youtube gurus and come into the salon and attempt to discredit everything you say based on their experience with said gurus. All Stylists are not created equal and I could not have been more proud of @NoireBoss1 for debunking the myth of bad Black Hair Stylists so elouquently. Kudos to you Mrs. Camille!

  38. Just came across this article today. I think it is important to get the opinions of professionals. After all they do know the science behind what it takes to have healthy hair. But the problem is that some of the voices of professionals may have come only after the many vloggers and bloggers have put information on the internet. We live in a world where people seek information in cyberspace. If there aren’t enough professionals getting their voices heard through these channels, then misinformation will continue to be disseminated. So in this respect I think it is important for professional cosmetologists to make their voices heard, but at the same time respect what many of these vloggers and bloggers have done for the natural hair movement.

  39. A. V. Jones says:

    I’ve been coming back to read the comments on this thread because it’s been so great to “hear” the different opinions. It would be great to have either Ms. Reed or another professional write a follow-up that speaks to their peers. There are a lot of women out there — myself included — who have turned away from hair salons because they don’t want to listen to their clients’ needs. There’s a reason why the online hair blogs and videos on YouTube will continue to flourish and unless that group is also specifically addressed, they’ll continue to be in catch-up mode.

  40. kwmechelle says:

    Wow, some of these comments come off as brutal- and unnecessarily so, in my opinion. I’m no expert, far from it, but I have had natural hair for 12 years- long before it became the rave that it is now. And I was natural until I was 17. So I think I know a little “something-something” about how to properly maintain natural hair. That being said, I think it’s poor to dismiss the advice of a trained, skilled professional. It kind of seems like the naysayers are doing the exact thing they’re accusing this trained professional of- dismissing her trained experience because some of the things she mentioned maybe the things they’re doing in their hair regimen.
    I just think there should be civil discourse where we agree to disagree but also “stay in our lane”. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like some comments are going “head to toe” with her advice when science backs her claims. Geesh…

  41. kwmechelle says:

    Camille,

    I didn’t say it in my earlier post, but thank you for this article. It was really informative to me and I’m actually glad (or shall I say relieved :-) to know that I’m adhering to the things you laid out. I also see the logic in it. I think that people are entitled to their opinions and it’s sad that some took offense when it seemed clear that you were simply providing information, and very articulate scientific info I might add, when the science of black hair isn’t always so easy to comprehend. Say what they will, but at the end of the day you have the degree, the license, and the letters behind your name (not to mention skills/experience) to back it up. And they…..well, they don’t.

  42. Thank You thank you thank you for speaking the truth. I’ve been natural for a year and some months and I don’t believe in co-washing. My mother is a cosmetologist and has been for 30 years and she is natural she has never advised me not to use shampoo and knows the importance of it as well as conditioners. What works for one natural may not work for another.

  43. Great article and great comments ladies. All I can say is that I get my hair colored once a year and trimmed twice a year by a licensed colorist/stylist. Other than that I maintain at home. When I went natural in 2008 I turned to you tube because stylist didn’t seem to open to natural hair CARE. I don’t knock the experience and the credentials but when I began following tubers who started with a twa and now have healthy BSL and waist length hair YES I listened to what they had to say. I didn’t jump on every bandwagon but it’s something to be said about so many black women taking care of their hair at home and for the first time for many reaching those types of lengths. Sure as a stylist you switch it up or you like short or relaxed hair. But when I’m trying to learn things about my own hair and I see the denimpixie, eclark, melshary, makeupandbeautyjunkie’s hair journey and how their hair as flourished, I’m inspired to listen and learn more! Professionals may have the knowledge but lack the ability to inspire and though none of those you tubers know me personally their videos are encouraging, inspiring, funny and thoughtful.

    Thanks!

  44. I don’t have a repy, I have a question. Is there any product out that can thicken hair. My hair is not thinning, I was just born with very thin soft hair…I HATE MY HAIR!!!

  45. Camille if this is not about stylists losing business then how about a “free” article on DIY haircare from a “trained cosmetologist”. Starting a blog is free you know why we gotta come to your salon for this knowledge. If you really cared you would start a “professional” blog to debunk all these supposed myths that seem to work for quite a number of YTers and bloggers. The natural haven is a practicing scientist PHD holder and she shares her hair science knowledge for free which a lot of us rely on.

  46. I am not natural, however I have visited many hair blogs, vlogs etc for healthy hair care. This is how I viewed this article…I feel like as a stylist she should know that every persons hair is different. She should not have commented on a topic as though everyone’s hair is the same. Her points may have been valid for some not but not for others. Every hair blog, vlog or whatever that I’ve read or seen are that individuals perspective on how their methods worked on their hair. They do not push these ideas on anyone. So for her to down these people who have helped so many achieve healthier and longer hair is wrong (which i’m sure some of her customers have left her salon to care for their own hair with the help of these people). She is doing the same thing that she is claiming they do. Hypocritical if you ask me.

  47. I am shocked. I was not aware that there are so many things to be considered when it comes to hair. I am sure I would have remained ignorant if Camille hadn’t come out with so much information and shared with all of us.

  48. I always get the (once a week) is too much for washing hair, but I also know that poeple who wash their hair once a month is too little! I mean we don’t need fertilizer to grow our strands. I do use an “organic” brand that sulfate free, paraban free, phalates free, not tested on animals…(sounds familiar?) So I guess that’s why my hair doesn’t feel so so dry. And I work out 4 days a week, so I take advantage of the steam room and sauna, to open up my culticles with steam and add a leave in (no alcohol, no glycol, etc..lol) and twist my hair, and then I go to the dry sauna so it can dry out a bit. It’s been working this past year or so with me. But I don’t get trims as often because I can’t find a pro near me that’ll do it without breaking the bank. $50 and up a trim?!?

  49. I appreciate the input of the article. However, I have been cowashing for years and I also color my hair at home (might I add I tried to get my hair colored a few times by professionals and it never came out right) I have very curly hair and shampooing dries my hair…yes even the “moisturizing” ones. Cowashing is wonderful for ME. Also, I trim my own hair from time to time…I also go in for trims AS NEEDED…not on a schedule. Doing these things have taken my hair from NL (when I chopped) to passed BSL (where I am now) in 1 year and 4 months exactly. So apparently these things work for me (and lots of other ladies) As previously stated this article has a “Your way is wrong and I know better than you because I’m a so-called professional” tone to it. And also it’s discrediting the whole CGM (without actually saying so) I don’t follow the CGM exactly but I know a lot of ppl who do and their hair is flourishing and thriving beautifully. I will continue to follow these “myths” as long as they work for me. Having a license for a certain thing doesn’t always mean you know better than everyone else IMHO.

    • Oh and let me add I do use shampoo very seldom, maybe once a month or when I feel I may have product build-up.

  50. Wow. Just… wow. Where do I start? I glanced at the other comments as I scrolled down, and a few caught my attention. “Snobbery” was a good word. Did you really come on a hair blog by a regular chick to talk about how misinformed bloggers are? Lorraine Massey STARTED the whole no-poo thing and SHE has a license and hair school and her own salon and all that good stuff.

    Some of the vloggers are ALSO licensed and they preach the practices you call “myths”.

    The proof is in the pudding. First I see vloggers like Healthy Hair Zone who can straighten her hair without heat (former stylist BTW) or anaturalbeauty3 (also a stylist) who is living proof of how frequent washing can improve your curl definition, and BOTH of them advocate co-washing and I get the results FOR MYSELF. Then I look at you, and your style is kinda cute but frankly you look rather dry and frizzy. Guess whose channel I’M tuning into? Fancy education ain’t everything, hon.

  51. Michelle B says:

    Thank you so much for this information, I have heard all these falsehoods. I am finally accepting my natural hair after months of denial.

  52. lilkunta says:

    camille, thank you for your words and insight. i’m not too far from MD, how much do you charge for a consultation?

    i raed blogs and watch vlogs .while they arent professionals their hair responds to what they do and is healthy,some hair even grows. so that is why they are believed. NOW there are more natural salonsbut in years past there werent. money is tight which is why we are trying to do it ourselves. i want to fix my hair. Ive been natural since 2000. relaxer made my hair thin and i like the feel of hair on myhead. So i got braid extensions and that is how i transitioned. When I did this I didnt even know transitions was a word.

    Only recently with the outburst of natural hair popularity have i learned that sls is bad, that parabens are bad. I still use shampoo with sls bc i am student and on a fixed income. But all the natural hair excitement has made me want to stop just having my hair in long braids and be able to wear versatile styles.

  53. Katharine says:

    I, and many other ladies would probably rather that you not post anymore articles of this nature. A few years down the line and everybody seems to forget that the reason why many women end up going natural is because a “Professional” screwed up their hair. Youtube is LITERALLY lousy with videos about women who’ve gone natural because their stylist damaged their hair with Heat, Dyes, or Relaxers. Some women have even been rendered permanently bald by their stylist’s incompetent ignorance.

    It should also be taken into account that the ONLY relaxed women with long hair are the ones who do all of their maintenance on their own. Relaxing, styling, protein/moisturizing treating and trimming. Even now (I haven’t been to a stylist since 2007), when I talk to a hair stylist, not only are they uninformed, but they refuse to take any action to learn about new hair care techniques that might help them better serve their clients.

    I also disliked the condescending tone of this article. Speaking as part of the natural community, we do not just blindly follow whatever a hair blogger or vlogger is doing in the video. WE DO RESEARCH. We read articles, we read product reviews, we look up ingredients, we read books. BEFORE we decide whether or not we’re going to carry out a certain practice.

    This woman clearly did not do any research before she wrote article (I guess she thought she didn’t have to).

    a) Many conditioners have a higher than recommended pH balance, which can make them ideal cleansing products, but can also cause dryness, similar to shampoo if they are overused. I learned that from JC of the Natural Haven, who has a PhD in Material Science. (where is your PhD, Camille?)

    b) She also fails to take into account the existence of Cleansing Conditioners and Co-Washes, which are also made to cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping the hair or drying out the scalp.

    c) I don’t know if this woman hasn’t done any research about the Natural Hair Community since 2008, but we are all aware of how permanent dyes work. Which is how we all know that extra protein treatments and moisturizing deep conditioners, are necessary in order to prevent breakage to dyed/bleached hair. (I learned that from Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, Health Scientist)Thanks.

    c) We also are all aware of how deep conditioners work. You failed to take into account the needs of low porosity hair, which may require longer than 20 minutes to lift the cuticles. Also the “Green House Effect” or “Baggying” does not use a conditioner or deep conditioner, but a moisturizer (sometimes water) and an oil, and does not always encompass the entire head, but merely the ends of the hair. (IG)

    d) We are also all aware that shampoos dry out your hair and scalp when overused (Duh.) which why many of us either i. Don’t use them or ii. Have diverted to sulfate free shampoos.

    Unless you are a newby natural, this is information that anyone who has ever read a natural hair blog (such as CurlyNikki, who uses ACTUAL scientists ALL THE TIME to back up her info) or watched natural hair video, (such as the ones on Kimmaytube’s channel) would be aware of.

    Bella, I’m disappointed that you would post an article that disparages the intellect of your fellow vloggers and bloggers to such a degree. Especially considering the fact that many of these women are the ones who inspired us to go natural, and taught us that our hair could grow as long as we wanted it to, and do anything we wanted it to. And for one of the woman that told that our hair was nappy, difficult, unmanageable, and incapable of growing long unless we were “mixed”. And then commenced with damaging it further.

    She couldn’t even be bothered to do enough research to find out how much information is ACTUALLY available in this community. If she had she would’ve found out that this article is one big MOOT point. This is the same information that has been re-hashed over and over, in hair blogs, books and videos for the past six years. There are many other issues in the black hair community that necessitate discussing, that anyone who’d done the slightest bit of research would’ve been aware of.

    For the years of unnecessary suffering that they’ve caused many naturals AND relaxed women, “Professional” Stylists will never have credence in the natural hair community. And rightfully so.

    Women ask me all the time how I grew my hair so long (Waist-Length, thanks.) and I’ve always told them (as I will continue to do) that the first thing to do is “Fire your stylist.”

    • Katharine says:

      And for the people who will say that “It’s just hair.” and “It’s not that serious.” I would say that the broken self-esteem of several young girls and women is pretty damn serious. And it isn’t that the TRUE mission of the natural hair community? Rebuilding damaged self-esteem and self-love? What’s more important than that?

      The ability to be responsible for their own beauty and self-esteem has empowered a lot of women (and their daughters) and I’d rather we not disempower ourselves before we’ve even started.

    • Such an amazingly thorough response. Thank you, Katharine.

  54. Has anybody considered that the “Science” that is so lauded as an authority on everything may be incorrect or at least not thorough when it comes to kinky/curly hair? Those that write the textbooks and do the research usually speak in general terms, but how many scientists or dermatlogists (that are engaged in active research) are there that actually specialize their research on the nature and needs of the various textures people of African descent have? I’ll tell you, the number is nil. There are very few. That’s not to say that the information presented by the cosmetologist is poor, but we need to really ask ourselves where does the ROOT of the information come from?

    I will end with this: I went to stylists (male, female, young, old, black and other “races”) and my hair never passed the end of my neck. It was always trimmed unnecessarily and I would leave every two months, with getting shorter and shorter. My relaxers were over processed, my hair was handled roughly, far too much heat was used and there was this idea, that an effective detangling session meant that the comb would have a lot of hair in it (why didn’t they detangle from the bottom up?).

    Once I went natural, no one knew how to handle my hair except to flat iron it (which meant half of my hair ended up on the floor or in a comb by the time the blow dry part was done) or put it in twists or braids. They assumed 4a hair was too “kinky” and needed to be texturized or put away in a style and were shocked that I could get curly wash and gos with a little kinky curly and a leave-in. I stopped trimming my hair every two months and shifted to every six months and my hair is now MBL and THICK! If you take care of your ends after you trim, there is no need to trim again, especially if you have been moisturizing and protective styling. I am also able to detangle my hair and go through wash day losing a nickle size amount of hair vs. the palm size I would lose at the stylist. I also wash, co-wash, henna, ACV rinse and deep condition (at least once a week) when I feel like it and my hair is very resilient, has shine, body, elasticity, healthy porosity and much more length than when I was frequenting stylists.

    Long story short, there needs to be more research done by trichologists, dermatologists and stylists on the needs, nature and biases towards kinky-curly hair. Stylists need to realize that just because it comes from a book, doesn’t mean the information is gospel and consumers need to realize that what works for bloggers may not work for them. Lastly, it’s condescending to assume that people who aren’t stylists don’t know the science behind things. Many of us with natural hair are educated (some in science/medical fields) and resourceful and can follow the science just fine, thank you!

  55. While I do appreciate Camille imparting her knowledge to us, those ‘rules’ do not work for everyone. I too live in the UK and natural hair stylists do not exist in my area. In fact, I had a brilliant hair stylist that was happy to do my hair while it was relaxed. When I decided to go natural he tried to persuade me to continue to relax. When I insisted he told me that he would no longer care for my hair. This for me was a blessing in disguise. I went on the internet and bought books to learn how to take care of my natural hair with a lot of my ‘tips’ coming from the ‘black girl long hair’ site.

    I too now mostly co-wash but once in a while will use shampoo, I also only trim my hair as needed which could be as little as once or twice per year. However, the main two rules that have worked for me is to moisturise and seal my ends. My hair has thrived with this regime and I have gone from having hair that reached my jaw line to hair that is two inches short of arm pit length – the longest in my life! Even my sister and friends are amazed at the health of my hair.

    Whilst I appreciate input from the professionals I also appreciate the you tubers who helped me to start my natural journey. Ultimately I feel it is up to every individual to get to know their hair and find out what truly works for them.

  56. Thank you for this article. While I agree with some major points, I too had to adapt and make some changes. But what concerns me more is the amount of anger between “professionals” and the layperson. There needs to be some open dialogue somewhere. Recently I noticed that the author of The Science of Black Hair has started doing videos, to her credit, to reduce some of the myths surrounding hair. I know beauticians are busy as well, but I think they would be well served to set up blogs either as a group or individually and even videos to address the myths. Initially, there is a learning curve, but even if they did a couple of videos on the basic problem areas in black hair care that would go a long way to help folks who are just starting out.

    Dickie who owns Hair Rules has been doing seminars with Taren916 and to his credit, I think he too saw the need to get out there to address the myth and also I’m sure it has helped his business. I commend him as well for that.

    Another hairstylist is working with Carol’s daughter and she too runs some regular articles on her site. I commend her.

    I think we are reaching a point in the natural hair world that it is time for professionals to start working with some of the bloggers or contributing articles such as what is presented here.(this is a beginning; although the tone may have been misinterpreted or misunderstood)

    But, I think the bigger issue here is that there is a strong need for some of these hair stylists to reach out and collaborate with by participating “with” or on the same platforms that are visited by newbies to the natural world. It’s one thing to complain about the misinformation on line and another to do your own article and videos and find out how the tech world works.

    Right now many “advertisers” of hair products reach out to the major vloggers. Perhaps this discussion on this blog suggests that there needs to be more collaboration with online vloggers and bloggers. Here is a chance for stylists and beauticians to “make things right” once again.

    Time will tell.

  57. I appreciate her advice but I think that the bottom line is we can all do what works best for OUR hair. My hair is healthy, thick, not damaged and waist length and I cowash sometimes, wash (with gentle shampoo) about once a week, dust my own ends, etc. It works for my hair but for some it might dry their hair out or whatever. My hair literally started to flourish when I started to take my own hair care on. I went to many stylist, natural focused and not and I just felt like I suffered while they learned my hair. I have very “in the middle hair” it is very 3b-4a (if you do typing) and so many stylist natural and not just have no clue what the heck to do. Anyway, nice post.

  58. missregan says:

    I’ve been natural almost 11 years. I have a thick head of pipe-cleaner sized, waist length locs that I’ve been taking care of myself for the last 4 years. Visits to my loctician were becoming too expensive. I am in the process of growing out my locs to cut off into completely loose hair. Since I’ve never worked with my loose hair (went straight into locs after cutting off relaxer) I’ve been perusing the natural hair blogs and youtube videos. Boy was I blown away by all of the information out here. When I made the decision to go natural almost 11 years ago there was very little information and little to no products out there. What I’m finding in my research is a lot of conflicting information which can be very confusing. This is when a “pro” can be helpful. On the other hand what do you think women in general did before we had licensed professionals? If you look around the world you see plenty of women of color with beautiful healthy hair that don’t have the access to licensed professionals. You don’t have to be a scientists to take care of your own hair. That being said I do believe there are a lot of people out here on these blogs/vlogs profiting off of peddling misinformation on hair care. And the products…good, god…there’s so many of them now. Every blog and video is about the next miracle product. And the regimens..they’re over the top! All day washing and conditioning sessions, overnight conditioning, steamers…who has that much time to spend just to wash and condition hair??? And can we talk about henna??? I’ve been researching this because I’m interested in the safest way to color my hair once I cut my locs but I’m concerned because from what I’ve learn it changes the texture of your hair over time. I won’t name any names…but I’ve been watching some of the big named bloggers/vloggers hair who henna…and it just seems to me that over time the henna changes their hair. The hair is long but…it doesn’t seem as full. Some of the hair I see is even stringy looking. Folks swear by the stuff though. I’m not sure it’s for me though. I have parts of my hair that have no curl definition and I have no interested in loosing what texture I have. When I cut off my locs I definitely plan on seeing a pro to shape and trim my fro but I have no desire to become dependent on a stylist…this is where youtubers and vloggers come in for style ideas. I only foresee myself visiting a professional for trims and a possible coloring job.

  59. Much love for this article. I definitely agree with the color and the trimming. The only thing I don’t completely agree with is the once a week thing. I know naturals who use and test product, after product, after product, each day; sometimes layering the products and even putting gel on top for curl definition.

    If their hair is in need of a wash before 10 days, I say do it. If you need to get rid of layers of product before the 10 day period, then that’s what you need to do regardless of which professional stylist is telling you not to.

    In addition, I think some naturals turn away from stylists because of their own experience with the stylist(s) who used to do their hair when it was relaxed. When my cousin wanted to go natural, she and her ex-stylist got into a shouting match because her stylist was outright hostile to the very idea of “nappy” hair.

    Then there’s the problem that even some natural stylists want you to go natural THEIR way instead of you finding out for yourself how best to take care of your own hair. I had a client (I do DIY consulting) tell me she went to a natural hair stylist who kept trying to put braids in her head until her hair grew longer. She didn’t want braids or fake-natural-hair extensions.

    So my point is that some people shy away from stylists because there’s an innate, vested interest for some stylists to make you believe that you cannot take care of your own hair. While that may be the case when it comes to color and cutting, the rest of the stuff you can handle at home if you know how.

  60. With so many people talking about hair care tips it’s hard to tell which ones actually work. It may take some time and experimentation of find a regime that works, but luckily it’s fun.

  61. Thanks for the remarks on co-washing. It seesm that a lot of people go for ones that do not contain silicones as they are more effective. But I am not convinced at all and thanks for the explanation as to what is in these conditioners. You have to face the fact that after all this co washing, hair is going ot be heavier and greasier.

  62. This is a GREAT article. I’ve been natural for the past 17 years (minus a couple of years I went back to relaxing), and I have learned a lot of new information in this article, plus explanations about why certain trends don’t seem to work for me. I’ve tried co-washing ad nauseam and never could figure out why it didn’t work. Precisely what you said would happen did, my hair felt more brittle and dryer over time. I thought it was because the type of conditioner I used but no matter the type, it always felt the same and my scalp would feel like sludge, despite not using heavy products.

    I have found going back to “tried and true” old school methods that worked for me when I was 8 years old with long flowing hair works best for me now– regular shampooing and conditioning with a cap for 45 minutes. The only thing I do differently is that I use a sulfate free shampoo and use a water based moisturizer under my coconut oil.

    I have one question though– if washing once a week is too much, how does one fight the “itchies” and the dryness that seem to occur after about day 5-6?

  63. This is a cool article.Some very valid points regarding hair. Thanks.

  64. I completely agree with #2 (the dusting) and have seen the effects work first hand. I have noticed that women are more aware of this then guys, because when I ask guys “when was the last time you got a trim/cut they say many many months or several years ago” which means they do not get trims. So I stress to them that getting trims is crucial!

  65. I am so glad Camille put this information out there. However, I agree with some of the comments that bloggers and vloggers are filling a void created by stylists who seem to know only about relaxing and weaving hair. I don’t believe cosmotology schools are teaching hairstylists about dealing afro hair in its natural. This is shown by the fact many stylists only know how to trim natural hair when it is straightened.

  66. The black cosmetic hair industry has held their patrons hostage for many years and. at last they are paying the price. No more making an appointment for 10 and watching your stylsist run errands, eat, talk on the phone while you spend your entire day there. Personally i stopped patronizing black salons many years ago and when i was getting my hair flat ironed only went to whie salons where i made an appointment and within 10 minutes was in the chair.
    As for the statement that we listen to gurus, where else would a person struggling with what to do with their hair. You certainly didnt have any informatin for us. Most of the gurus do not say to do what they do, they simply say that this is what works for them. And as far as being scientific about hair, who bettter then a scientist who wrote a book on the science of black hair, or a woman who invented the CG method and who is indeed a professional hair stylist.
    Yes it may be true that sometimes people misunderstand the information provided by the community, and some are too lazy to get the informatin themselves. If you co wash, you probobly need to wash on occasion. If your ends are dry and damaged you probably need a hair cut. But none of you professionals ever said anything but get a relaxer. Flat iron it. Wash with sulfates. And come see me every two weeks so that i can maintain your hair.
    How many black women were able to achieve lengthy healthy hair under your care. Those people were the exception not the rule. You made us wait, you relaxed our hair until it was dry, our hair didn’ t thrive, and now that we dont’t need you anymore you criticize our success. Black hair stylist need to rethink their roll. They can have one just not like before. Be like Dickie who tells us to embrace our texture then tells us how to care for it.

  67. I am mixed with very loose, fine hair and on one hand I agree with most of your points, but the lady above has a point too. I want to add too that you are missing the point when it comes to trimming. Getting salon trims has never been effective at removing my split ends. My hair is fine and it took me thirty years to get my splits down to a small handful. My hair does not take products, regardless of where they come from. Search and destroy, when done correctly, can target just the split ends as you search for the underlying cause/solution. Too often my mom and cousins, all with chemically treated hair, have gone to get their “healthy trim,” and afterward when they get home I can show them hundreds of splits in their hair after they just lost many inches. I have very few splits and tailbone length hair and I mostly just dust my hair. I trim my ends only when necessary and it never is anymore. If conditioner works so great then why can’t it stop me from getting splits? Natural hair youtubers do clearly state that they are doing what works for them. Ppl have to learn how to take information with a grain of salt. Ppl with thick hair are less prone to splits than fine hair folks. I have not been able to take any one person’s advice and run with it, but putting together various approaches and listening to my own hair is the best policy. I agree that with co-washing there is a major risk of build up but it does work for some ppl. Not for me. As far as washing once a week though, your approach would never work for me.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] I don’t know if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time or not so forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but back in 2006 I wrote a post titled Hairdresser Horrors. It was an Ask Afrobella response to a reader who was lamenting the state of hair salons, in terms of price and professionalism. In that post I went on to detail the history of my hairdressers past. You can click here to read the whole thing – IMHO it’s one of my best written posts and someday when I write a book, that post will make it in there. I thought about that post for the first time in years, as I read the comments on Camille Reed’s guest post, 5 Hair Blogger Falsehoods Debunked by a Professional Cosmetologist. [...]

  2. [...] I opened the floor for Camille Reed of Noire Salon to share her opinions based on experience in the Hair Blogger Falsehoods post, I had no idea we’d strike such a nerve. There were such vehement responses that I had to ask [...]

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