When polling black women about what concerns them most regarding their physical appearance, hair care, styling and maintenance rank high on the list. Upon digging a bit deeper, a new complexity arises when dealing with one’s hair in its natural state. As a cosmetologist in the beauty industry for over 25 years, I have been a witness to the growing number of women seeking to embark upon and understand the “natural hair journey.”

The first key in maintaining healthy natural hair is to understand and accept that less is more when it comes to beauty regimens and chemical treatments. Since they were little girls, black women have been taught and embraced the idea of having to style and comb their hair every single day; however, this over manipulation and overuse of chemicals, products, heat, and tension is leaves hair looking stressed, weak and broken.

Women love color but when you start mixing color and chemical straighteners, that’s a formula for hair destruction. Overuse of these chemicals will leave the bonds broken, which causes the hair’s shaft to weaken. The record amounts of hair loss experienced and witnessed in our community is a direct result of the use of harsh chemicals.

As a “quick fix,” many women have resorted to the refuge of weaves, wigs, extensions and braids. The downside is that if not done in moderation, these techniques can further add to hair loss or even worse, extensive tension, causing traction alopecia.

Knowledge is power, and with this monthly column, I plan to help you find the best hair care and style regimen that works for you, your health and your lifestyle.


This is the inaugural publication of Coily Conversations, a monthly column penned by Simone Hylton, one of South Florida’s most respected natural hair care experts. If you have a question about caring for your natural hair, please send them to us at and it could end up in the column.