If the natural hair community doesn’t do anything else, they’re going to hype a new product or trend so much that you have no option but to try it. I can’t begin to tell you how much money and time I’ve spent trying new things out on my hair.
From way back in the day when the LOC and pineapple method were everything, to trying every new and exotic butter, gel, oil they could find—I eagerly did it all.
While some worked beautifully, others were definitely more of a bust than a must. And although some of the more creative and innovative energy has died down within the natural hair community, there are still a few trends I was curious about.
Yes, they’re oldies, but the jury is still out on whether or not they’re goodies. So let’s take it back for a minute. Here are 3 natural hair trends revisited. Are they still worth the hype? Let’s find out.
Trend #1: Rice Water For Hair Growth
Rice water for hair growth hit the natural hair scene like Popeye’s chicken sandwiches hit the streets. I mean, people were going absolutely crazy for this new method that was supposed to exponentially increase hair growth in a short amount of time.
And naturally, people were skeptical about this particular trend because rice water doesn’t seem all that special. However, it turns out that rice water is actually packed with protein—and we all know our hair needs protein to grow long and strong.
So the method itself is pretty simple. First, you wash the rice to rid it of any impurities. Then, you drain the rice and place it in a mason jar or air tight container. After, you fill up the container with 2-3 cups of fresh water.
Finally, you let it sit for 24 hours or so, so that it can ferment. Once that part of the process is complete, strain the rice and funnel the left over water into a cup or spray bottle so you can easily use the water during your wash routine.
Now if you’re doing a rice water challenge, you’ll use it a few times a week for two weeks or so. But for regular use? Once a month will suffice. Whichever you decide to do, the results are clear: rice water does work—kinda.
The one thing they didn’t tell us in the beginning of the trend is that people with dry and/or protein sensitive hair wouldn’t benefit from this. In fact, it could cause hair loss. Oops. However, a good protein-moisture balance eliminates this problem.
So what’s the verdict—is rice water still worth the hype? Maybe. It honestly depends on your hair and if it can handle it. It would not hurt to try it for yourself. Just make sure your hair is properly moisturized and hydrated before you do.
Keep in mind that it’s no big deal if you don’t try it, either. Rice water is just one of many hair growth tactics and if this one isn’t for you, you can always give something else a shot.
Trend #2: The Maximum Hydration Method
The maximum hydration method is exactly what it sounds like: a method that aims to hydrate your hair as much as possible. While this technique isn’t that old, it is one that faded away rather quickly given that 1.) it time intensive and 2.) really not anything new.
Simply put, it’s like an extended wash and go. There is, however, a whole step-by-step process to the maximum hydration method that does give some insight into why it was rave-worthy in the first place. It goes as follows:
- Clarify. This step, of course, is important because any “wash and style” technique requires that you have super clean hair to work with for maximum effectiveness.
- Co-wash or deep condition. Clarifying your hair can be super drying, so using a conditioner after is a must to reintroduce moisture and hydration.
- Clay mask wash. Bentonite clay masks are also known to increase moisture and promote hydration while also improving curl definition during and after the application.
- Leave-in conditioner. This is the third layer of moisture being applied to your hair. This is where the “maximum hydration” part of the trend makes itself apparent.
- Gel. Finally, you shingle and define your hair using a botanical gel formulated with emollients and humectants instead of alcohol.
As you can see, the maximum hydration method is doing the absolute most. However, it’s not in vain because it definitely works. The curls and coils will pop; your hair won’t frizz or dry out any time soon; and you can actually preserve this style for longer.
So is this trend still worth the hype? Yes! While it’s not something you should do every time you wash and go, it is a method that’s great on occasion. Plus, it’ll encourage optimal hair health and growth which is really what we’re going for anyway!
Trend #3: Using Old School Hair Grease Again
Using hair grease and similar products wasn’t a trend, it was a cultural staple. From Blue Magic and Sulfur8, to Luster’s Pink Lotion and Oil Sheen, anything that added a little softness and shine undoubtedly had a grip on the black community.
There was no real problem with this until we started really educating ourselves on some of the ingredients in those beloved products. Cue the anti mineral oil and petroleum movement.
These two ingredients were in nearly every product we used, and yet, they were far from being the healthiest or most effective option for our hair. We were under the impression that these products moisturized dry hair, but this was not the case.
In actuality, they only coated dry hair and repelled water for proper hydration in the process. Not to mention that hair grease typically weighs down the hair and leaves behind a whole lot of buildup on the scalp.
However, in recent history, learning what it meant to moisturize and seal made folks wonder if hair grease was actually an effective sealant if you properly moisturized and hydrated your hair beforehand.
And to our surprise (or not, really), it actually was. And to be honest, the question was never if hair grease worked. We used it for years and knew that it had its place. The question was, are there better options? The answer: yes.
There are a whole lot of oils and butters out here doing what hair grease does, but also feeding your hair with tons of nutrients—something mineral oil and petroleum can’t do. So, is the trend of bringing back hair grease worth the hype? Probably not.
As stated previously, we have way too many options to revert back to the one that isn’t even the best or the healthiest. However, if you think it’s necessary for your hair, I won’t knock it because the proof is in the puddin’—it still does what it’s meant to do.