The Post That Natural Hair Gurus Don’t Want You to Read

natural hair gurusThe etymology behind the title of this article is a non-story. It’s simply a play on words. At any rate, today I’m going to reveal something that a few product manufacturers and natural hair gurus don’t want you to know.

Despite what many people believe, going natural and having a successful natural hair journey does not have to be difficult. Our motto is that natural hair care should be simple.

The truth is that natural hair care can be simple.

I was chatting with a new natural just a few days ago and was reminded about how difficult going natural can be for the average person who doesn’t know anything about natural hair. They are immediately challenged to learn hair typing, what porosity means, the difference between pre-pooing, no-pooing and co-washing and many other complicated terms just to communicate on many of the natural hair forums or read articles on many of the blogs.

I’m not dissing other natural hair websites; we’re just as guilty as anyone. We use a lot of complicated terminology and often times our articles aren’t written in such a way that a new natural would feel comfortable reading it. We have put together a few resources that should help new naturals get acclimated more quickly. Like the natural hair blueprint that we discuss in our natural hair 101 article, our guide on how to go natural and the ultimate reference for natural hair terminology, but it’s obvious that we need to do more – and we will. That’s why your feedback is so important. It helps us determine exactly what we need to create for Curl Centric.

Most Natural Hair Gurus Won’t Admit That You Are The Real “Natural Hair Guru”

If I were to ask the average person on the street why they choose not to speed when operating their vehicle, most people would say because they don’t want to receive a speeding ticket.

This is the expected answer that I believe most people would give.

However what if you heard someone say the following in response to my question: “I don’t speed because it’s safer for my family and it’s safer for the other drivers on the road. There is less of a chance that we would be involved in a car accident. If we were in an accident, we would have a greater chance of survival.”

That’s not your standard expected response, huh?

Here’s something else that you don’t hear every day:

Natural hair gurus don’t exist.

Just so that I’m clear, there are several people putting out quality natural hair information online. Despite this fact, you must ultimately sort through this information coming at you from all angles and process it to see what works best for your hair.

If you haven’t come to this realization, you will once you realize that many naturals have beautiful hair and most of them do things differently. Some women wear protective styles, while others never do. Some women buy hair products “manufactured” for their specific hair type, whiles others think these are just marketing scams and use whichever products they find that work best for their hair. Some women forgo the natural hair product craze all together and make their own hair products at home. Some women create natural hair journals, while others don’t think that’s necessary. Some women understand what porosity, elasticity and moisture-protein balancing means, while others don’t care.

You must recognize that you’re the real natural hair guru for your hair (as you should be). When reading natural hair information online, use the things which make sense to you and don’t worry about the rest.

For example, I encourage naturals to wear protective styles to improve the potential of length retention. This is a great tip for the average natural and will help the average person retain more length if they want long hair.

However, some naturals can reach their desired length retention goals (i.e. hair growth goals) without incorporating a slew of protective styles into their regimen. If that’s you – the natural hair guru inside of you should kick-in and say I don’t need to do that to reach my natural hair goals.

Remember that each head of hair is unique and it’s impossible to create the perfect natural hair regimen that is “one size fits all”.

Speaking of the Perfect Natural Hair Regimen – Bah! Humbug

Whether you believe it or not, there is not a perfect natural hair regimen that any “natural hair guru” can give you. Many sites will lead you to believe that you should wash your hair once per week or deep condition once per month. Well – the truth is – that may not work well for you. Each step that you take within your journey should be focused on what works well for your hair.

Your Natural Hair Can Only Grow to the Extent That You Do

Maybe it was your family and friends. It could’ve been your co-workers or someone else. Maybe it’s your own personal beliefs.

The truth is many people unconsciously have limiting beliefs about the potential of their hair. If your personal beliefs about hair care are limiting and you choose not to recognize the potential of your hair, it’s going to be more difficult for you to have the type of natural hair that you crave. What’s really holding you back?

Once you realized that you have set barriers for the success of your hair in your mind that are holding you back, you can then begin to let those things go and realize the success that is available to each natural.

Comments

  1. says

    Great Article! I have been natural 11 years, and a natural hair stylist for 10 years. This is the type of information I try to impress upon my clients daily.Thank you for your insight.

  2. says

    Ken, thanks for this article! The message is on point! :) I’ve encountered a lot of women who want to go natural, but still have the negative/conditioned thoughts about it. This article will DEFINITELY be shared in my continued efforts in trying to “inform the uninformed”! :)

  3. Alexandria says

    thank you kenneth.. im new to the ‘ natural ‘ world and i been getting all types of advice about what to do and what not to do and it had me almost say ‘ f-it ‘ and return to the ‘ creamy crack ‘ but your article helped.. thanks again!

    • Kenneth says

      Hi Alexandria – I hear you. It can be difficult initially. Feel free to post questions that you have (if you have any) in the forums and we’ll get them answered for you.

      Kenneth

  4. Danielle Benson says

    This is a good article, an gives me confidence. I’m often confused by all the information and terms I’ve never heard of. But since I’m a research fiend, I did my own research and found out what works best for me. Its a mix of many things, some store products, others made by me. But isnt that part of the fun of going natural? Finding out what works best for you? It is a journey after all.

    • Kenneth says

      Yep Danielle. It can definitely be fun for many women. Sometimes it can be confusing and defeating also, but you’re right – it’s a journey after all and often requires some research along with trial and error.

      Kenneth

  5. Deborah Gordon says

    Thanks so much for this article. When I first went natural I spent so much time and money trying everything I read in hair blogs and from listening to other people. But once I started concentrating on what worked best for MY hair, I went from putting 3-5 different products in my hair each day to just using something as basic as Coconut Oil and now I’ve gone from “NO” hair to “MO” hair in a couple of months. Thanks for keeping us informed!

    • Kenneth says

      @debbie 7295 You’re welcome. I’m sure many women share your experience after going natural. I love your comment about going from “No” hair to “Mo” hair.

      Kenneth

  6. Kimbery says

    Thank you for the article. I think it gives great insite to going natural. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all the information out there. It’s really about getting to know YOUR hair and accepting that may work for someone else may not work for you and that’s ok.

  7. says

    Wonderfully said. I continue to tell my clients that each person is different so their stylem may have to be accomplished differently compared to someone else. Every stylist should have multiple methods for each style. Sheena

  8. says

    Really enjoyed this article. Thank you for sharing. I always felt that the whole 4c 4b hair typing was something that was just too overrated. I tell people that we pretty much have our own curl pattern, we are all unique in our own way. That’s what makes us so awesomely diverse. (my opinion) I’ve noticed people more focus on finding there curl pattern in regards to someone else’s rather than just embracing there own personal God given curl and enjoying the journey of getting it to it’s best potential :-) God Bless

    • says

      Hi Simone- you make some excellent points! We are all diverse and I definitely think that we should celebrate and enjoy those differences. I have also noticed where naturals are focusing more defining their curl pattern than any other characteristic of their hair.

      Thanks for your comment :)

  9. says

    This is a great article. I depise hair typing. I have been natural over 5 years and still get asked what hair type are you. HEALTHY is always my answer. As a publisher of a hair site myself I understand how people can get caught up on the rights and wrongs of going natural. People like direction to gauge if they are on the right path. However, you must do what works for you! I learned after my 3rd year natural that I don’t like protective styles in winter they work best in the summer. This was not something someone told me I had to experiment to find out.
    It’s ok to read sites like this one or mine but continue to do your own research after you have read or seen a peice of information. Everything on the Internet is not fact or law, especially within the natural hair community it is based on people’s own opinions and regimens.
    Stay Learning, Stay Inquisitive!

    • says

      I think I’ve subscribed to you and really enjoy what I’ve learned Tarin and I completely agree with you it’s trial and error that’s going to help you. Your natural hair journey is exactly that. YOUR journey and the things you take from it and learn from it doesn’t always work for someone else. I’ve learned so much about myself from my journey. Thanks for the help you have offered on your site :-)

  10. says

    I am so HAPPY I found this article! I am a natural (6 years now), and did not intentionally become one. However, having grown up without chemicals in my hair until age 18, and then relaxing for the next 22 years, I always knew that the simpler the regimen, the better. I make natural hair products that are geared towards the one very important thing for natural hair…moisturizing…but with natural ingredients. However, I don’t knock the commercial products out there that are not natural. If they work for some, then they should be used. I believe no matter how hair is worn or cared for, the wearer should educate themselves, use common sense and cater to their own personal preference. You’re right Kenny! Each person is the natural hair guru for THEIR own hair. My company name says it all Angela’s K.I.S.S. …Keep It Simple Sistahs. Ever notice older women who have always been natural don’t do all the pre-pooing, nono-pooing, co-washing, deep conditioning, etc. that we read about on natural hair forums? Because of their upbringing, they already realized, “if it’s working for you, don’t mess with it!” Natural hair is actually less complicated than relaxed hair. Always has been.

    • Kenneth says

      Angela –

      Congrats on being natural for 6 years. Also, thanks for sharing information about your company. It sounds like a intriguing value proposition to the consumer. I wish you the greatest success during your journey.

      Take care,
      Kenneth

  11. Cynthia says

    Thank you. I agree with this. Only we know what our hair needs. I dont agree with the 4b 4c rubbish. My hair is softer at the front, and courser at the back, and my hair is fine, but I have strong strands. I know that all my hair needs is oil, and no chemicals. Even some conditioners have chemicals that are harmful to my hair. (I dont stop itching) so really it is about what works for you. I am giving my hair and scalp what it needs and it is thanking me, and that is all that matters.

    • Kenneth says

      Cynthia – You definitely have it figured it. You have to do what’s best for your hair, which could be completely different than what works for another natural.

      Kenneth

  12. says

    This article is a keeper! I’ve been natural for many years, and this concept of being my own natural hair guru/expert is just now starting to sink in. I think intellectually we understand the logic in this, but — I’ll just speak for me — I still find myself seeing something online, getting excited about it, trying it, and finding it doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped. So why do we feel such a pull to change what’s already working for us? Is it because we think it could be *even better* or are we pulling hairs (pun intended)?

    • Kenneth says

      Yes, Shones, I believe that many people are seeking perfection. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is very difficult to achieve by following the path of another natural. You will notice that this blog very rarely focuses on what @Jael does to care for her hair.

      That’s not because we don’t think she has great hair, she does. However, if we were to talk about her regimen and her journal (and etc.) all the time, there may be some people who followed her steps exactly. We don’t want people to do exactly what she does, because that may not work for them. We want encourage people to create journals and learn how to properly care for their hair. Once you begin to learn what your hair likes and doesn’t like, reaching perfection is ultimately just around the corner.

      Kenneth

  13. nubia says

    We as natural have to learn to stop over obsessing over this. Our mothers used to wash and condition our hair and not with top shelf products and 9 times out of 10 we had thick nice length hair. The hair was extra pretty with extremely tight curls for picture day loll and that was it,. It was the some routine and the same look. We got our hair press and there was never a problem with reverting.. Maybe some hairs got cringed off if mom got distracted but, that was it loll. A lot of these blogs have new naturals thinking this so difficult! They have women out here stating they have the miracle growth aide for you that they are made with their own hands for just $50 your hair can be BSL like there’s (almost over night 😉 ). Mind you.. We never take into effect that they have been natural for nearly 3 years or more and hair grows and as long as you treat it well it will retain. The hard verbiage as you have mentioned is another problem. Finally, you have the gurus that get products, equipment and travel for free making videos telling you what you need to do to achieve growth potential. Then newbie run out and buy all that they mention because their hair is styled beautifully and they are at every major hair meet up across the county. They become product junkies while these ladies do not spend a dime. Natural hair has become a lucrative business and you have to be careful who you take your advise from. Its simple—take care of your health mentally and physically —take time with your hair and you will see results. I say Natural Hair Community and BGLH are GREAT blog sites and I hope that doesn’t change for a long time to come :)

      • Pamela Nicole says

        Amen!!! only natural since Oct 2011 I love my journey and this article is so true. Yes what you have added is so right on time and I love learning how to figure out what works for me. Thanks Pam

    • Kenneth says

      Nubia – Thanks for the kind words about us. We’re working really hard to dispel several common natural hair myths. The notion that natural hair care has to be difficult often isn’t true, actually for many people it can be relatively simple.

  14. Seals-Johnson says

    I really enjoyed your article. When I first went natural, everyone wanted to tell me what to use, what to do, when to wash, when to comb/pick. But, I had to learn my hair on my own, and I am pleased with the littlie things that I have to do to make it look good.

    • Kenneth says

      Hi Seals-Johnson –

      Sounds like you had a lot free advice from “natural hair gurus”. Just kidding. Take care.

      Kenneth

  15. Pamela Thompson says

    Great and timely article. I have been on this journey for three years and once before for 10 years when I had locks. Both experiences on the same head was very different. It took 10 years before I reached waist length hair with my locks. My routine was simple. Shampoo, retwist my roots with a twisting product and air dry once a month.

    This time I read everything and visited lots of natural hair sites. Armed with all of my information I experimented with inexpensive, homemade and high end products. My routine was complicated and took up alot of my time. Everyweek I was doing something to my hair. The ends of my hair were always dry.

    Today, I have gone back to basics. I shampoo, condition, seal with all natural products every two weeks and moisturize daily with water. I wear it in a braid out, updo or bun depending on the weather. My hair is below my shoulders with a goal to get it to armpit. When I view the hair sites now it’s for hairstyles insipiration. I am finally at a place where I am happy with my hair routine.

    • Kenneth says

      Hi Pamela –

      You have a lot of experience as a natural. Congrats on the combined 13 years. The points you make are very interesting. Even with many years of experience as a natural that included figuring out what worked well for your hair, you introduced a fairly complicated routine to your hair during your second natural hair journey and it just didn’t work well. Once you went back to the basics, things worked much better. I think it’s important that women start with a simple natural hair regimen and see how their hair responds – then adjust accordingly.

      Thanks for sharing Pamela.
      Kenneth

    • Sophia Porter - Tomlinson says

      Hi Kenneth,
      I am presently natural for the past year and a half. Some times I really am frustrated with the small length I have sometime I wonder if my hair can grow any longer but I will try to continue. Thank you I have been using Shea – Butter, castrol oil and coconut oil with essential oil so let me know if these are good and the effects they have on natural hair.

      • says

        Congrats on hanging in there, Sophia! Believe me- it will all pay off and the length will come.

        As for your products, Shea butter and castor oil are both best used as sealants because they are heavy. So be sure to adequately moisturize with water. The coconut oil is best used on dry hair. Also you can use as a Pre-poo or apply it several days before you wash.

        I can’t tell you how it will interact with your hair specifically but generally they both condition the strand. Some ppl find that coconut oil makes their hair hard. My hair loves it.

        I hope this helps!

  16. says

    I agree 100 percent. In the past two years, I’ve become my own natural hair guru. Though I’ve been natural 41 years, I decided to give up heat for good a few years ago and initially fumbled my way through the dos and donts. Fed up with way too much information, I struck out on my own and have had tremendous success by simply doing what works for me…deep condition/steam and wash/condition my hair once a week, twist hair until dry, remove twists the following day and wear out for a week w/o any manipulation until my next wash day. And, I make my own products now. I’ve saved soooo much money and cut my hair time down from 6 hours to just 2 hours. I’ve learned in the past two years that my hair doesn’t like/need daily handling and is the healthiest it’s ever been. I am proud to say that this natural hair guru of her own hair has gained about 16 inches of length in two years come this spring! Woo hoo!

  17. Sherhonda says

    Kenneth, you must have felt the vibes from my frustration. I didnt’ go natural by choice — I was hooked on the cream. But my hair thinned — in two places it thinned to the scalp and I despair of those areas ever growing hair again. So, I stopped using the cream. Here’s honesty: I HATED it. I was too brain-washed or conditioned into thinking straight hair was on the only beautiful hair. The recovery from my addiction came slowly. Now, I’m so eager to learn what to do, how to do it, what to use, when to use it, how to mix it, when to spry it … I’ve gone from site to site to site, finally landing on this one where I’ve slowed down long enough to read, absorb and experiment. My hair is still “crunchy” and I admit to running back and forth from my laptop to the stores buying products and natural oils — you should see the clutter of bottles and jars on my dressing table (well, maybe you shouldn’t!). I’m still searching. So far, my hair seems to like the mayo/egg/oil conditioning, and black tea rinse, but between these things I’m still searching. Thank you for the article. I’ve got to focus and slow down and really learn my hair. That’s not something I’ve ever been taught. After reading your article, I realized part of what I’ve been doing is looking for another magic “cream” or something similar. I’ll keep learning. Wish me luck! :)

    • Kenneth says

      Hi Sherhonda –

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I think the process that you described is common for many new naturals. There is so much information available online it’s often hard to determine what you should or shouldn’t try. If you’re still searching for products, check out our resource page. It will provide you with a nice set of natural hair products that you can use initially during your natural hair journey.

      Also, I recommend that you start a natural hair journal. Jot down how your hair looks and feels after you perform certain techniques and use various products. This information will be invaluable as you continue to learn more about your hair.

      Kenneth

  18. Ronique says

    Love this post definitely unbiased and honestly written, I am still learning about my hair but some of the tips these ” gurus” provide are definietly subjective. Its a trial and error thing and i dont think one could ever get it perfect. Loving your newletters!

    Cheers,
    Ronique

    • Kenneth says

      Ronique – I’m glad that you’re enjoying the newsletter. By the way, you’re exactly right about the average advice that is given out online, most of it is just subjective opinion of the individual. The advice often isn’t based on teaching people how to learn about their hair.

      Kenneth

  19. Maryjane says

    Thanks for the information as I am a new natural, I am reading information that I believe will assist me on this journey and as you have said there are many individuals out there who have a slew of information that they want to share but ultimately, I know that it is up to me to determine what is in the best interest of my hair on this journey.

    • Kenneth says

      Travera – It can take a little time to learn exactly what works best for your hair. If you haven’t done so already, starting a natural hair journey can really shorten to amount of time it takes learn your hair.

  20. Idivinia says

    OMG. I love this article and the point it makes. I am very glad that more and more black women are going natural. What I don’t love is the fact that people are trying to box our hair in again (ex: hair types 4b, 4c, 2; etc) so that “they” can better understand it and also one way is not good for all. I’m currently creating a business on that will help to bring out the unique beauty of each African American women. I really appreciate this article. I thought it was just me who though this way.

    • Kenneth says

      Idivinia – Agreed. You’re not alone your assessment. Good luck on your business endeavors. I wish you the best in the future.

      Kenneth

  21. Pamela Nicole says

    This article really is right on time and I enjoy the wisdom that I am receiving. Thanks Pam

    • says

      Thanks for your comment! We are happy to be able to provide you with timely info. Please let us know if there is something that you would like for us to cover.

      Jael

  22. C. M. Rollins Smith says

    Thank you for the information. It is true there are so many do’d and don’ts concerning hair on websites. You just don’t know what to do. But, I am sure it will come to me soon. I basically would like to learn how to make my own products at home. This would assure me of what ingredients are being used and I wouldn’t have to worry about the dangerous chemicals.
    Thanks Again,
    CMRS

  23. says

    Thanks so much for this. I have been natural for almost five years now, but I recently BC’d again and I feel like I’m going natural for the first time. I was SO frustrated by looking out to see what everyone else was doing with their hair, only to find out it wouldn’t work on my hair. I just gave up. I never thought about going back to a relaxer, but I got a low fade and kept it for a while. I started getting the urge to “feel” my hair again, so I’ve let it grow out. I’m excited this time and I’ve embraced my hair for what it is: a bunch of 4A curls that turn into a little curly fro when I two-strand twist them and beautiful little “springs” when I finger coil them…and that’s fine with me. I “know” my hair this time around and the sky’s the limit!

    • Kenneth says

      Angel, glad you enjoyed the article. Understanding that your hair is different is definitely a big step in the right direction. I wish you the best during the remainder of your journey.

  24. MasterBarberWms says

    Hey Ken Hey Jael

    have been a fan of you guys since day one. I love the way you put it down.. Helping someone have clarity when confusion abounds is a good deed. I would love to do something with you guys sometime

  25. Zekia says

    This is such a great article! I have been natural for about a year (post-transiting and big chop), and there is soooo much information online about what we all should be doing with our natural hair. It was kind of confusing and a little irritating not knowing who to listen to. So I deceided to stick with what my hair loved best – some watering, oiling, and conditioning on a regular.

    I had a talk with a friend of mine, who is not natural, about another of her friends who is natural. She was telling me about stages of natural hair and how different stages are harder to manage. I didn’t and still don’t know anything about hair stages. What I do know is that evryone’s natural hair is unique to that person. We eat/drink different things, maintain our health differently, have different genetics, and live in different parts of the country. We have to embrace our own wonderfully uniqe curls and coils and what we learn online as helpful information and to inspire our own creativity for managing our own hair.

    • says

      Hi Zekia,

      You may only have been natural for a year but you are speaking like a seasoned veteran! You are doing alot of the right and you are on the right track. Heck, keep up the good work!

      Jael

  26. Rolland says

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  27. NaTyshca says

    Thank you for this article! I am one of those women who went natural 6 years ago and it was because I was in college and could not afford a perm. I never knew what all the hype was about once everyone else started to do it. I just make sure my hair is washed every week and put in a protective style. Still saves me money and I don’t have to do anything with my hair and it is very long and healthy with low maintenance. I honestly didn’t realize how much information was out there for naturals until I saw this article. I love the part about we are our own hair guru….those are my thoughts exactly!

    • Kenneth Byrd says

      NaTyshca – Yep, the natural hair community is huge. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of blogs that are dedicated to natural hair. The information can be overwhelming at times, but having so many people have a pasion for natural hair is really kinda cool.

  28. says

    OMG! This is one of the best articles I’ve read about how we deal with our natural hair and products associated with our hair. You are so right! I am my own hair guru…specifically trained for MY hair! I love it! Thank you for sharing this. This article can be empowering for folks who are starting the natural journey and are unsure of how to cope. It’s tough for some and that’s why they give up. I have chose not to label, grade, or classify my hair type. It’s type “zahra”. That’s it. Thanks so much for this posting. It was a blessing to read.

    • Kenneth says

      Zahra – Exactly. You know what’s best for your hair and are your own natural hair guru. That sounds good..right! I’m glad that you enjoyed the article.

      Take care.
      Kenneth

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