Quantcast
Getty Images

Is There Really Such A Thing As A "Bad Hair Day"?

Before you take your frustrations out on your hair...read this.

Hair

Gee, I think we've all had moments when we've gotten out of bed, went into the bathroom to style our hair and, it seems like no matter what we do, nothing comes out as we planned. Ugh. Usually what we call that is a "bad hair day," right? Oh, but is it really? If you've been finding yourself wearing more head wraps and hats these days and you've chalked it up to having more bad hair days than usual, I just want to provide you with a few things to consider — ones that, if you take them into serious consideration, you could end up having a whole lotta less bad hair days in your future.


First of All, There Is Absolutely No Such Thing As “Bad Hair”

media.giphy.com

You know what's a trip about bad hair days? Have you ever noticed that when it seems like you have one that a whole lot of other stuff isn't going all that right either? What I mean by that is, it's not usually that our hair decides that all of a sudden, it's not going to cooperate. Sometimes, we woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other times, we're rushing too much to give our tresses the time that it needs and deserves. Many times, we didn't "prep it well" the night before.

Whatever the case may be, the main thing to keep in mind is, no matter how much your hair may seem to be throwing a bit of a temper tantrum right along with you at any given time, there really is no such thing as "bad hair". Therefore, if your hair seems to be showing out a bit, it's usually not because of your actual hair (so don't do anything drastic just yet) but some other circumstances that could be causing it to not get in line with what you want it to do. I call these "hair inconveniences". Inconveniences like what?

6 Hair Inconveniences That Can Lead to Bad Hair Days

Too Much Humidity

media.giphy.com

OK. Since most of us have some sort of curly texture to our hair, that's a part of the reason why it stays drier than non-Black women's locks do. The "science" of it all is the natural sebum that comes from our scalp has difficulty moisturizing our strands from root to tip, due to the twists and turns that it experiences while trying to get down our hair shaft. As a direct result, we have to take a few extra steps in order to keep our hair hydrated such as deep conditioning, sealing our ends, sometimes using a humectant on our hair and/or sleeping with a humidifier.

However, as with most things in life, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing". In this case, when our hair is affected with too much humidity, that won't only result in shrinkage but frizzing too. So, if your hair is frizzy as all get out and you sleep with a humidifier every night, you might want to turn your setting down. If you're going to use heat to style your hair, make sure you apply a thermal heat protectant (it will protect your hair from outdoor humidity). And when you're styling your hair, in general, applying some whipped shea butter certainly can't hurt. It will help to add a little "weight" to your hair, so that it can combat frizz while also making sure that your hair maintains the moisture that it needs.

Maryam Hampton is a popular YouTuber who has a video that can walk you through how to make whipped shea butter from the comfort and convenience of your own home. You can check it out here.

Too Little or Too Much Protein

media.giphy.com

I don't know about you but a huge mistake that I tend to make is not giving myself a regular protein treatment. This is necessary because well, your hair is made up of mostly protein (keratin). According to most professional stylists, a protein treatment is something that needs to happen every 4-6 weeks.

So, how do you know if your hair needs a protein treatment? It doesn't have a lot of elasticity. It's limp and can't hold a style. It's breaking a lot. You've recently color-treated your hair. It feels "gummy" to the touch. If any of these things are the case, no wonder you're having a so-called bad hair day. And what if you're someone who actually does give yourself protein treatments but you're not sure if you're overdoing it? If your hair feels super stiff, is hard or brittle, lacks sheen, snaps off at the ends rather easily and/or you've got more tangles or split ends than usual — lay off on the protein treatments for a couple of months and focus on deep conditioning your hair instead.

For the record, a conditioner that has jojoba in it is awesome because that is something that is really effective when it comes to treating protein-sensitive hair. Give it a shot if your hair seems to be over-processed from protein.

It’s Time for a Cut (or Trim)

media.giphy.com

If you've got a lot of fairy knots. If your hair can't seem to hold any definition or style. If your ends are "see through" and straggly. If your locks seem "stuck" when it comes to growth. If it's been a couple of months since you've put some shears to your head. These are all strong indications that you need to either get a cut, a trim or at least that you need to dust your own ends (you can watch a video on how to do that here). If you ignore these signs, not only do you increase your chances of having even more bad hair days, you also run the risk of damaging your hair even more because, the less your hair does what you want it to do, the more prone you will be to constantly manipulating it with styling tools or even your hands. That's why you really should make a practice of trimming/dusting every eight weeks or so and getting a professional cut once a season (no less than twice a year).

You Need to Switch Up Your Hair Products

media.giphy.com

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has at least one space that is designated for all kinds of hair products — and at least 65 percent of them, you don't even use.

While finding the right ones that complement your hair are about as taxing as finding the right partner, it's important to keep in mind that 1) just because a particular product might work for your favorite YouTube naturalista or even one of your girlfriends, that doesn't mean that it's going to work for you and 2) there are clear signs when a product isn't really your hair's homie — if it leaves behind a ton of build-up or residue; it irritates your scalp; it zaps out moisture; it reduces volume; it severely alters your hair texture; it makes your hair less manageable; it causes the color of your hair to fade at an accelerated pace and/or it doesn't complement the season that you're in.

For instance, when it's cold outside, you're probably going to use your central heat more. That, on top of the fact that cold air can actually raise your hair's cuticles and dry them out, you need to make sure that you not only deep condition your hair, each and every wash day, but that you add an oil like grapeseed (it adds moisture and shine); avocado (it adds moisture and repairs damaged hair); olive (it softens and boosts your hair's antioxidant levels); argan (it protects your hair and scalp from environmental damage) and/or pumpkin seed oil (it nourishes your hair follicles and increases volume) to your conditioner (even if you use a leave-in conditioner), so that your hair is provided with extra moisture and your scalp is provided with extra protection. During the warmer months, your hair needs products that will protect it from UV damage, creams and gels that will encourage less heat styling and deep conditioning masks to combat things like sweat, salt water and chlorine.

Bottom line, failing to alter your products with the seasons or not observing how your hair is reacting to a particular product can also lead to bad hair days, if you're not careful.

You Need to Switch Up Your Mood

media.giphy.com

Maybe it's just me but it seems like if I'm already in a bad mood, it's about a definite that I'm going to be hypercritical when it comes to my looks or mad impatient while I'm in the process of figuring out what the heck to do with my hair. That's why, if you know that you know that you know that you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, avoid a mirror for a while. Instead, do some meditating; listen to some of your favorite (non-triggering) music; eat a favorite food that will put you in a good mood (check out "In A Bad Mood? These Foods Will Lift Your Spirits!" and "Eating Well: 10 Foods That Can Improve Your Mental Health"); throw on a hat and take a quick walk outdoors; engage in some morning or shower sex; audibly declare some things that you love about yourself or pull out your gratitude journal and jot down some things that you are truly thankful for. Once you do something that can offer up some "silver linings", it'll be easier to look at your hair with the love and patience that it truly deserves.

You Need to Give Your Hair a Break

media.giphy.com

Think about it for a second. How would you feel if you were constantly being tugged or pulled on? My point is, sometimes, what we perceive to be a bad hair day is simply the universe's way of saying, "Give your hair a break, why don't you?" That same-placed ponytail is adding too much pressure to the same spot on your head. That flat iron is starting to damage your hair's natural texture. The way you've been parting your hair is training it to not be very flexible anymore. Sometimes, all we need to do with a so-called bad hair day is just…leave our hair alone. Put on that turban, hat, wig or weave and just give it a chance to be totally left alone. Or we can really go all out and just let it do…whatever it wants to do.

Was this little write-up supposed to convince you that your hair is always going to cooperate with you? Nope. That's not how life works. Hopefully, though, it helped to shed some light on the fact that oh, about 7 times outta 10, you've got more control over bad hair days than you've probably been giving yourself credit for. Now that you know that, seize the bad hair days, sis! Straight up.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Getty Images

Last year, Meagan Good experienced two major transformations in her life. She returned to the small screen starring in the Amazon Prime series Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and she announced her divorce from her longtime partner DeVon Franklin.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Mental health awareness is at an all-time high with many of us seeking self-improvement and healing with the support of therapists. Tucked away in cozy offices, or in the comfort of our own homes, millions of women receive the tools needed to navigate our emotions, relate to those around us, or simply exist in a judgment-free space.

Keep reading...Show less

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts