So when I decided to go back natural, I was lucky – my mother had decided to say no to the creamy crack too and had shaved her head (again… for the millionth time in her short life).
She was therefore able to give me some pointers on products that I should use. But, this was also after I had gone to the Island Naturals Hair Show (which I only went to because my friend was a hair model … look at serendipity) and carried back a ton of products for her. Through her trial process she was able to give me the low down on some good stuff.
Armed with a few products I began my journey with my tiny tapered afro (TTA – I’m trademarking that lol). However, after a while I decided I should perhaps look into getting other natural hair specific products. I was still using my shampoo and conditioner and other styling products for my relaxed hair.
As I type this, after almost a year, I realised it really wasn’t such a big deal to be using the same shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers. However, I was newly natural and felt like I needed to take care of the little hair I had (literally).
I turned to the saviour – YouTube – for information on products, hair care and everything else. I watched countless videos, I asked my newly natural (and some more experienced ones) to share the videos they watched and grilled them about their hair care regimen.
That was 10.5 months ago and I still don’t feel like I have a handle on caring for my hair. It’s sad really. I use YouTube probably more now than when I just cut my hair. Initially, I didn’t want to have to sign up to be able to save videos to my favourites list and such, but Google removed those barriers and my favourites list is now a mile long with hair care tips, tricks, protective styles and product info.
I am not really “loyal” to any YouTube naturalistas, I have to watch several videos on the same topic to be able to make a well-informed decision. Hair type plays a big factor in this. I don’t know my hair type (or hair number or whatever, and I kinda don’t care much about that) but I can’t just take one person’s word for hair care when I’m not even sure we have the same hair texture.
YouTube tutorials can also trick you into thinking styles are easy to do. I swear all of those girls went to beauty school. When they say it’s their first time doing a style and then you feel SO confident you can execute it and it comes out looking like a HOT MESS – that can be damaging to one’s ego and it’s just plain embarrassing.
While you watch YouTube videos for hair care (and everything in between) be sure to:
- Shop around: make sure you take a look at other videos on the same topic before forming an opinion about something you want to adopt
- Does the person have similar hair type?
- RESEARCH: (I am guilty of not doing this) searching YouTube alone is not nearly enough research. You need to check the internet for reviews, look at ingredients and all that jazz (I hardly ever do this, but I want better for you lol)
- Remember YouTube videos are not the Holy Grail, half of them are doing trial and error just like us. So don’t do something just because a certain YouTuber does it – will it be beneficial to you? Do you have the time and resources to do this? (some of the regimes I’ve seen are really time consuming and ain’t nobody got time for that). All these things are important in assessing which methods you will eventually use.
- Different strokes for different folks: build on information you get from YouTube and create your own regimen
- WAIT: Before you go ahead and buy this whole line of product because this YouTube cutie said so, be sure to wait for the update videos. I’ve found that the first video is usually “oh I love this you should definitely get it”, and then the follow-up is “girl, that product is trash. My edges fell out”. So wait a little to see what their update is after a few weeks, (if possible) months.
- ONE at a time: I know, I know, sometimes it’s so exciting to see new products or try new regimens when you see all these videos; But, we need to try to stick it out with what we have before we move to something else. That way we don’t confuse our hair (not sure how else to say this, but you get the picture …right?) and end up with all these half done bottles of product around the house.
- Take it with a grain of salt : Always remember you’re taking a risk with product or style advice. The risk could be as small as you think you can do this style on your first try to as big as you spent hundreds of dollars on product that may damage your hair. Always remember it can be a hit, and it can also be a miss.
- Not everything will work for everyone : even when the YouTuber seems to have a similar hair type, not every style will work for you. I remember trying to make curls with a brush- can’t remember exactly what the name of the style is- but this did NOT work out well AT ALL. However, I did find my go-to style after a few months – the defined curl with eco styler gel. I linked the video HERE because it LITERALLY changed my life – I had to leave a comment just to tell her she saved a girl’s life. Just when I was about to give up I saw this style (this was after the hair had grown out a bit)
- Sometimes it’s helpful to read some of the comments under the videos. Half the time they’re not saying anything useful, but sometimes people are sharing their own experiences with a particular product, style, or regimen.
So to answer the question, when are YouTube tutorials enough… apparently never.
YouTube responsibly !