YouTube: Friend or Foe?I had this problem a lot growing up watching YouTube videos, especially since the day I decided to go natural. There were not many sources for natural hair girls except other natural hair girls, so the only way I was able to learn anything at all was through watching YouTube videos. I was probably in the 7th grade when I was officially transitioning, and anyone who knew me back then knows how rough I had it. I was one of the few girls to go natural and it was difficult because I honestly had no idea what I was doing. But, I think that made it more fun for me! It was a journey of self-discovery. I learned all of my initial information from upcoming YouTubers. I was scrolling through YouTube one day after school, and during that time I would be on YouTube for hours looking at all type of styles I wanted to try! I came across this one video that forever changed my perspective of my hair.
How It StartedThere was this girl on YouTube who was also transitioning to natural hair. I could tell her hair texture was a little looser and more manageable than the kinkier types, but I did not care. I wanted my hair to look like hers, and that was final! She talked about the conditions of her current hair state, showed past pictures and did a little “How-to” while showing all of the products she used. You know, basic YouTube protocol stuff! When she finally finished with her hair, the results were uncanny. She had gorgeous and long spiral curls, and my goals were to have the same thing. I showed my mom and dad the video and that same weekend, and we purchased all of the same products the girl in the video had so that I could get the same results. The whole week I was in a class like, “oh, you guys don’t even understand what’s about to come.” I was so excited to finally have curls I didn’t take into account any of the details of the videos. The only thing that mattered to me was buying the same products and trying it out. How long did she wash her hair? How much time did she spend scrunching her curls? More importantly, what is her hair type and is it anything like mine? None of it mattered!
The Final ResultsI finally get to wash day, and I had all hands on deck. My parents were helping me apply the product on my hair, and we were continually rewinding the video to make sure we got specific steps right. I was anxious the entire time. My hair had grown out the perm a good bit, so I knew that it was about time to see what my natural hair could do! Disappointment is not even the right word to describe how I felt when I finally finished. My hair was dry, brittle, and lifeless and I am pretty sure it had tangles and knots in my hair for days. A few of the kinks that had the gel product held up a nicely formed curl, but it was not nearly enough to call the process a success story. It was my first, and only YouTube fail. I went to school the next day with whatever was going on with my hair, and even though nobody said anything to me about it, I could feel the eyes probing with confusion all day. It was tragic! Let’s say that from that day forward, I learned my lesson and there is no going back for me.
What Is The Point?I had to tell you guys my long-winded story so I could make my point clear and simple. YouTube failure happens to everyone at some end, and you can avoid all of this. We get so excited about the possible results of the process that we forget the details of the tutorial that made the process work in the first place. We can’t cut corners to get what we want, or we will end up with exactly what we paid for, a hot mess! There were so many things that I could have done differently to prevent the embarrassment I felt at school the next day. Fortunately, I have come up with a few essential tips I had learned from my failure and learning about other peoples’ failures. These tips will help you think thoroughly before even picking a YouTube video to emulate. On that note, let’s hear it!
How to Avoid YouTube Hair Tutorial Failure
1. Know Your Hair TextureTo know your hair texture is more than knowing what your hair texture is. It is about learning what your hair can do and is not able to do. It is about learning about the porosity and absorbency of your hair strands. It is about learning what products on the market that are making your hairdo different things. Once you know this part, you can quickly click on a video and see if it is right for you. Someone in the video may have the same texture as you, but if they are using a product that dries your hair out, then it may be best to click out of it. It is all about, first and foremost, learning about your hair texture!
2. Pay Attention to DetailsThis tip is where many people fall out! It is so important to make sure you understand every aspect of what the video is saying. One small detail could be the difference in if your hair tutorial because of success or a failure. You can’t cut corners when it comes to your hair, because your hair is alive and responsive to everything you do or do not do to it. Your hair is always going to know if you did or did not wash it long enough, put enough conditioner and other things that you may or may not had paid attention to most of the time. If someone in a YouTube hair tutorial conditioned her hair for precisely 25 minutes and you only do it for 10 minutes, it could make a difference if your hair turns out like the same or not. It may look the same or it may not. Pay attention to every aspect of the video. If the video doesn’t explain something that you believe you need to know, either wing it or dismiss the video and move on to the next.
3. Write Down or Take note of Important StepsSome of us can be forgetful at times. You do not want to be this way when it comes to your hair! When you are doing your hair, make sure you jot down some of the crucial details that you do not want to miss. This tip can go hand in hand with paying attention to details. Make a note to yourself to buy the products you need, so that you will not be missing any crucial pieces. Tell yourself to write down the time it takes to do each step. If you do this, you will be able to have a reasonable estimate of the total amount of time it may choose to do your hair. Your hair is your crowning glory, so make sure you take care of it and give it all of the love it needs to flourish!
4. Give Yourself TimeFollowing a new YouTube hair tutorial video can be stressful and has the potential to take all day. Keep this in mind when you think of a day to do the tutorial. Consider doing the tutorial on a day where you usually wash and style your hair. Give yourself enough time to make mistakes, start over, style your hair and get a good night’s sleep. Once you do this for yourself, you will see a significant difference in your hair’s attitude. It will feel like it is cooperating more with what you are doing and the stress will slowly go away!
On to the Next OneLet’s talk about things you should never do unless you have the certifications, skillset, and knowledge it takes to perform this skill correctly. Some YouTubers are hair stylists or hair gurus, so sometimes specific steps are things that only they can do.
1. Never cut your bangsI can’t stress this one enough. I know so many friends who were trying to be brave, and then they ended up wearing a hat for the next several weeks. Unless you have the professional knowledge it takes to do this, do not risk your hair or yourself. Go to a salon if you believe that you need bangs. It is not worth the pain!
2. Never trim your hairThis tip is interchangeable depending on who I am talking to right now. But, a general rule of thumb is that scissors are not for the weak handed. Go to a salon and have them trim your hair. They know how to do it, and they will not let you down. Although, many naturals today are cutting their hair at home. Do not do it unless you feel comfortable and confident enough to risk putting scissors to your head. Ask yourself if it is worth it!
3. Do not permanently bleach or color your hair on your ownTemporary colors are a little different since they can wash out, but permanent is permanent. One mistake could turn your entire head green for weeks, and you will not even know what you did to cause it! Do yourself a favor and leave this part to the professionals. I know you want to be brave and do your hair, I get it! But, if you care about your hair’s prosperity and health, then it is best if you see a professional.
4. Never give yourself a haircutDo I need to explain this one? A hair is a dangerous game that you should not play unless you know and follow all of the rules. You do not want to end up with a hot mess, because most of the time you will. You can’t see the back of your head, and you do not know how even your hair will be all around. One more thing. Do not give yourself layers! I know layers are glorious, especially on the long hair. But, it is not worth the trouble. Go to a professional at a salon and let them handle all of your biddings. That is what they are paid to do!
A Final WordWe all love YouTube for what it is! I am in no way against the use of YouTube as a source of information. YouTube is an excellent source for all types of news and entertainment. It is useful in learning and unlearning hair techniques you grew up with, and I am all for the hair movement. But, keep in mind your abilities and what your hair can do. The moment you learn everything you need to know about yourself, you will see that finding YouTube videos that work for your hair will not be hard to find! YouTube can be either your best friend or your most horrible foe. It all depends on how you want to use it. Have you ever had a YouTube Hair Tutorial failure? What happened and what did you do to come out of it? I want to hear your experiences! Let me know in the comments below!
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