20+ FAQs About My Old School Black Hair Care Regimen

20+ FAQs About My Old School Black Hair Care Regimen

My Old School Black Hair Care Regimen
Credit: OpenClipart-Vectors/pixabay.com

When the natural hair movement started, every old school black hair care regimen was tossed aside like trash. Some have thrived under the new school hair rules. Others fell by the wayside, angry and frustrated by a revolutionary new hair care system that broke their hair off.

I was one of those frustrated people.

The new black hair care rules broke off my relaxed hair! My relaxed hair reached waist length…until I went new school. Cutting out tried and true methods like hair grease and hairdryers made my hair break off within a year. The breakage happened so slowly I didn’t notice until I saw old photos.

After being natural for seven years, my hair had only grown between shoulder to armpit length. Yet my old school black hair care regimen has taken my hair from armpit length to almost tailbone length in less than three years.

My hair has never been longer. My regimen has never been easier.

I couldn’t believe it.

After seven years stuck at shoulder length, I was finally making progress with old school black hair care. Two years later, my hair is closer to my butt than my shoulders. I’m not sure how long my hair will get, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

You can read about my old school black hair care regimen here. Below you’ll find a full list of Frequently Asked Questions. If your question hasn’t been answered, leave me a message below or email me at contact@zadagreen.com.

General Questions

Does your old school black hair care regimen work for everyone?

Does your old school black hair care regimen work for other races?

Do old school black hair care regimens work for all hair types?

Do old school black hair care regimens work for natural/relaxed/texlaxed/texturized hair?

Can I make changes to your old school black hair care regimen?

Is your hair long because of good genetics?

Old School Black Hair Maintenance

Do I have to wash/condition/style/maintain my hair on the weekends?

Why do you wash your hair once a month?

Do you deep condition?

Will I get heat damage from blowdryers?

Why don’t you air dry instead?

Why don’t you moisturise once, twice or more often a day?

Do I have to use hair grease?

Do I have to use hair grease on my scalp?

Does hair grease clog pores in the scalp?

Do I have to finger detangle?

Do I have to plait my hair?

Do you trim your hair?

Old School Black Hair Care Regimen Products

Which shampoo and/or conditioner should I use?

Will I need an extra strong/clarifying shampoo to remove hair grease?

Do I have to use conditioner?

Why don’t you use natural, organic hair products?

Why do old school black hair care regimens stick with grease?

Which hair grease should I use?

Do petrolatum and mineral oil cause cancer?



General Questions

Does your old school black hair care regimen work for everyone?

Nope. No hair care regimen in the world works for everyone. Anyone who tells you their method is guaranteed to work for everyone is a liar. They just want your money.

Old school hair care was open to people trying new things. People weren’t attacked for their hair care choices. There were hair care tips, not rules enforced on everyone. Try my regimen and change what doesn’t work. Be flexible to discover what your hair loves.

Does your old school black hair care regimen work for other races?

Hair care tips work for any race. Your race, nationality and culture have no influence on which hair product will work for you. I’ve seen white people use traditional black hair products like hair grease and their hair did just fine.

There’s no guarantee my old school regimen will work for you just because we’re both black. I’ve tried many hair tips from mostly black people and my hair rebelled.

Does your old school black hair care regimen work for all hair types?

Yes. Back in the day, we (black people) didn’t know or care about porosity, density, strand thickness, hair type, etc. We all did something pretty similar to my old school hair care regimen and it worked.

Remember that no hair product works for everyone with the same hair type e.g. no shampoo works the same for everyone with afro hair. Your hair is an individual just like you.

Do old school black hair care regimens work for natural/relaxed/texlaxed/texturized hair?

The typical old school black hair care regimen works on all the above. My old school hair regimen took my relaxed hair to waist length. Now it’s taken my natural hair to waist length and beyond. I’m heading towards tailbone/butt length!

Can I make changes to your old school black hair care regimen?

If you know something definitely doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. But don’t assume something won’t work without trying it first. Just because it didn’t work for another person doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

Over time, make changes based on what your hair wants. Not what youtube gurus, bloggers, celebrities, family, friends, etc are doing. Listen to your hair and do what it says. Your hair is the boss. Listen to your hair and it’ll tell you what it wants. Give it what it wants and your hair will thrive.

Is your hair long because of good genetics?

There’s a myth that only people with ‘good genetics’ can grow ‘long hair’. This is absolute nonsense. If you destroy your hair, it’ll break off. Period. If you care for your hair and give it what it wants, it’ll thrive. Period.

Extremely long hair might be due to genetics. There are women of all races who have hair down to their ankles and beyond. They give their hair what it wants, not what they think it wants. Maybe those extreme hair lengths are genetic, passed down from generation to generation. But I haven’t seen any scientific proof of this, have you?

Regardless, I believe we can all reach at least bra strap length. This isn’t extremely long, and seems quite reasonable to me. Instead of blaming ‘poor genetics’, why not consider your hair care regimen is to blame? I was tempted to blame genetics when my hair got stuck at shoulder length. If I had, I would never have changed my hair care practices to stop hair breakage and reach almost butt length.

It wasn’t genetics. It was me. When I returned to new school hair care regimens, my hair broke off again. It tangled, split, etc. That’s not ‘bad genetics’, that’s bad hair care. It just doesn’t work for me.

Old School Black Hair Maintenance

Do I have to wash/condition/style/maintain my hair on the weekends?

Doing your hair should be a relaxing exercise. Too many people enjoy the new school way of rushing through their hair. It’s no surprise they end up breaking their hair off. Rushing to do their hair in record time is pointless.

My old school black hair care regimen is based on how things were done back in the day. We put on the TV and did our hair. Sure, we weren’t finished in 20mins but we didn’t care. Hair care wasn’t a race or competition. It was quality time with our mother.

That’s why I suggest doing your hair only on the weekends. It gives you time to maintain your hair at a leisurely pace. Take time out to enjoy the process. You deserve quality time to yourself. If weekends are your busiest period, do your hair on a different day instead.

Why do you wash your hair once a month?

Every scalp is different, just like every head of hair. My scalp is very dry despite me drinking lots of water daily. My hair is also very dry. When I washed more often, my hair and scalp were even drier. I tried washing daily — with only shampoo, only conditioner or both — and my hair suffered with tangles and breakage.

People who wash their hair at least once a week do it for a good reason. They have much oilier scalps and/or very oily hair. If they don’t remove the oil building up, it can irritate their skin and cause hair loss. It also looks greasy and stringy. Not a good look. They shampoo to slow down the oil build up process.

I don’t have any build up of oil or dirt. When I wash my hair at the end of the month, the water washing away is clear not dirty. I don’t have any smell either. My hair smells of the conditioner and hair grease mixed together. Washing weekly or several times a week would be absolutely pointless for me. I don’t have anything but some grease to wash off, so what’s the point? The shampoo would just strip my hair and increase the chance of experiencing breakage.

That’s why I only wash my hair once a month. It prevents my hair drying out so badly it breaks, stops my scalp flaking, drastically cuts down on tangles, saves hours spent on hair maintenance, and saves money spent on hair products. There are other long-haired black women who also wash once a month.

Do you deep condition?

Deep conditioning never worked miracles on my hair. I tried conditioning for several minutes, hours, and even overnight. Once I washed the conditioner off, my hair felt just as rough as before. I didn’t realise that once conditioner coats your hair, you can wash it off right away. Any longer and you’re wasting time.

Will I get heat damage from blowdryers?

As explained by the excellent reference guide The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair, silicone is an excellent heat protectant, and so is hair grease. You’ll find silicone in hair conditioners. I know some people don’t like silicone in their conditioner because they feel it coats their hair. But that’s where the softness comes from! My hair feels rougher without silicone conditioners and grease.

Without the conditioner and hair grease coating your strands, your hair is more exposed to damage. Washing and styling your hair is damaging, so coating the hair helps protect it from more damage, particularly heat damage.

By using conditioner and grease, I haven’t had any heat damage. My coils have returned to their usual coily afro state. My blowdryer’s settings range from cold, warm, hot and very hot. I use the hot setting. The cold and warm settings took too long to dry. The very hot setting hurt my skin, so I knew it was too much for my hair.

Why don’t you air dry instead?

Air drying broke my hair off, most likely because air drying damages inside the hair strand. Damaging the internal structure of hair doesn’t sound good to me. Blow drying damages outside the hair strand, but coating the strand with hair products like conditioner and grease helps prevent this damage.

Preventing air drying damage costs more and is risky. Protein treatments that temporarily fix internal hair damage can break hair off completely. It’s important to follow instructions very carefully to prevent hair loss.

If you want to air dry, go ahead. Try blowdrying before ditching the hairdryer for good. You might prefer it, so give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out for you, go back to air drying. No harm done.

Why don’t you moisturise once, twice or more often a day?

When you seal in moisture with an effective product like hair grease, the moisture lasts much longer than a day. Oils and butters can rub off in a day, letting moisture escape. That unprotected, drier hair is much easier to damage. Grease stays on my hair for a week, protecting it the entire time.

Honestly, I believe moisture is overrated. I didn’t moisturise my relaxed hair regularly. It only got moisture when I washed it. That means my hair went four weeks without moisture and still reached waist length. I only moisturise once a week now to make my natural hair feel softer.

Do I have to use hair grease?

Grease doesn’t work for everyone. Neither does oil, butter, aloe vera, glycerin, etc. If you have an oily scalp, you don’t have to add anything at all to your scalp. Oil and butter rub off my hair within a day, so it was a nuisance oiling my scalp and hair several times a week. Old school hair care is about convenience. It’s more convenient greasing your hair once a week than oiling every day.

Do I have to use hair grease on my scalp?

It’s up to you. If you have a dry, itchy, flaky scalp, hair grease might be a great, affordable solution. My scalp doesn’t itch or flake like it used to without grease. A greased scalp feels amazingly smooth and soft!

Some people have problems with grease on their scalp. Their scalps react badly e.g. flakes and other signs of skin irritation. Those people should stop greasing their scalps and try alternatives like butter and oil. If butters and oils don’t work either, those people should avoid putting anything on their scalp. Some scalps prefer to be left alone.

Does hair grease clog pores in the scalp?

This is a myth. The molecules in grease are too big to penetrate your scalp. My hair has grown from armpit length to waist length with grease. It has not blocked the hair from coming out. If grease stopped hair growth, there’d be millions of bald black people worldwide, not to mention people of other races who also use grease.

It might surprise you that popular black hair products like coconut oil are more likely to block your pores and negatively affect hair growth. Click here for a list of products that penetrate skin and could block your pores. They are rated from 0-5. 0 means it won’t clog your pores and 5 means it will.

Personally, my favourite hair grease has coconut oil in it and my pores haven’t suffered for it. Coconut oil is rated a 4, so it’s very likely to clog pores. Hair grease uses petrolatum and/or mineral oil as a base. They both have a rating of 1, so they’re unlikely to clog pores.

Do I have to finger detangle?

Finger detangling is new school hair care. It’s helpful if your hair is like mine. My hair breaks off a lot when it’s combed. My hair doesn’t clump, so it’s harder for the comb or brush to get through. Once the comb gets through my hair, the strands never stay separate and detangled in the usual sense.

That’s why combing or brushing my hair is painful and pointless. I could comb/brush forever and they’d never ever glide all the way through my hair. All I can do is finger detangle to remove shed hair, then leave my hair alone.

If combs and brushes don’t cause excessive damage and save you time, go ahead and use them. They’re old school black hair care tools that worked just fine for many, but not everyone.

Do I have to plait my hair?

Nope. You can plait, twist, cornrow, loc or even wear your hair loose in an afro or afro puff. Whichever works for you. Just make sure it’s a low maintenance hair style.

Old school hair care involved wearing one hairstyle for at least a week. We weren’t redoing our hair daily as some do nowadays. Too much manipulation causes hair breakage. I detangle once a fortnight so my hair has a long break after being styled.

Please don’t go to extreme lengths of leaving your hair in a style for months on end. There’s no need for this! Can you imagine all the shed hair built up over several weeks? It’ll take you days to detangle if you leave your hair styled for too long.

Do you trim your hair?

No. In the old days, my family never trimmed our hair. I only had split ends when I stopped using hair grease. I stopped trimming my hair and over time the split ends went away. Those split hairs eventually drop out because we all shed approx 100 hairs a day. With hair grease, the new hairs don’t split therefore they have the chance to grow longer.

Here’s Teri LaFlesh, a woman with tailbone length hair. She hasn’t trimmed her hair in over a decade and there’s no splits travelling up her hair strands. She follows her own hair care regimen, but she shows that the right method means no split ends.



Old School Black Hair Regimen Products

Which shampoo and/or conditioner should I use?

I can’t tell you which ones to use. Everyone’s hair is different. There are 7 billion hair types in the world because no one has the same hair. You’ll find the right products for you by experimenting.

Read reviews, watch product demonstrations on youtube, and browse online for bloggers’ opinions. Then buy and try. I recommend that you buy products when they’re on sale, don’t spend more than you can afford to lose, and exercise your right to a refund if the product doesn’t work (Check the laws in your country first!).

Will I need an extra strong/clarifying shampoo to remove hair grease?

I use a normal shampoo. Nothing harsh about it. If your shampoo leaves your hair feeling crispy, crunchy and stripped, get a new shampoo. Note that shampoo is meant to clean your hair, so your hair won’t feel spectacular after using it. Condition afterwards to make your hair feel softer again.

Do I have to use conditioner?

I stopped using conditioner and my hair continued to thrive because the hair grease still coated and protected my strands from damage. Now I only use conditioner because it leaves my hair feeling softer and smells really nice.

Why don’t you use natural, organic hair products?

What does “natural hair products” actually mean? Lots of naturalistas avoid hair products like mineral oil because they don’t want ingredients that have been processed. But so-called natural products like coconut oil have also been processed. Coconuts are nuts, not oils. Cocoa is a nut, not a butter. Everything “natural”, “organic” and “unrefined” has been processed. That’s a fact. Even organic products like coconut oil have been linked to cancer.

Are petrolatum, mineral oil, etc natural? Yes. They come from the earth, just like coconuts and shea nuts aka shea butter. Petroleum consists of fossil fuels, which are dead organisms buried in the earth. That’s it. That’s the difference between the natural coconut oil and the natural petroleum (petrolatum, mineral oil, etc). One grows out of the ground and the other stays underground until we dig it out.

Why do old school black hair care regimens stick with grease?

Petrolatum is an excellent sealant. That’s why people use it to seal in moisture all over their skin, including their lips, face and body after a shower. Hair grease ingredients like petrolatum and mineral oil are common in popular body lotions because they prevent our skin from drying out. It works the same way on our hair.

Why not use oils and butters instead? Because they don’t seal in as much moisture for as long. People like me find that oils and butters rub off much easier too, leaving hair more exposed to damage and more likely to dry out and break off.

Which hair grease should I use?

No one in the world has hair like yours. I can’t tell you which grease will work for you. Hair grease (Dax, Blue Magic, Royal Crown, etc) is so cheap that it won’t hurt just trying different ones out. You can get grease for a dollar in America. In the UK it’s only a few pounds. That’s cheap compared to organic “natural” hair products that cost up to twenty pounds and last less than a month.

There’s a common belief that all hair grease is the same. That you should just pick one and try it. If that one doesn’t work then all hair grease doesn’t work for you…

Please don’t follow this terrible advice! People are willing to try every oil, butter, shampoo and conditioner in the world, but won’t give more than one type of hair grease a try.

All hair grease works differently, even when they come from the same brand. They have different scents, textures, colours, jar sizes, and include different oils and butters too. No grease is the same, so finding the one your hair loves involves trial and error. Just like with every other hair product.

Do petrolatum and mineral oil cause cancer?

No. That’s another myth people told about hair grease. Usually those misinformed people had some expensive alternative to sell. There are no studies that link petroleum based hair products to cancer. The tiniest connection is that some petroleum production methods can produce carcinogens, but manufacturers must provide proof that their production method doesn’t do this.

Remember that many things are rumoured or proven to increase your risk of having cancer: eating red meat, smoking, drinking, being overweight, and using technology like mobile phones and wifi equipment. Even the beloved coconut oil has been linked to carcinogens, but you didn’t hear about that, did you?

Any more questions about my old school black hair care regimen?

Feel free to ask and I’ll provide more answers to this FAQ.

If you haven’t seen my old school inspired hair care regimen, what’re you waiting for? It’s only five steps. I spend no more than five hours in total per month on growing my natural hair. I used to spend 30 hours or more when my hair was only armpit length. That’s the beauty of the old school way. Less time, less money and less effort.