Kinky hair rocks. These tight tresses have gotten a longtime bad rap for being the bane of a Black woman’s existence, but in this current natural uprising, kinks have received the praise they’ve always deserved. As we continue to wash out the idea that our strong crowns are anything less than enviable, check out these top 7 habits you should cease when it comes to caring for kinky hair. 

1. Saying “My hair is kinky”:  Not every Black woman’s hair is classified as kinky. It refers to a closely curled tress that exhibits a zigzag pattern. Curly hair has a looser coil shape and wavy flaunts an “S” shape. Take a closer look at your hair and really determine if it’s kinky. Embracing technical hair terms, instead of the words of your know-it-all aunties, will allow you to better understand how to style your hair. You’ll know exactly which products to use and you’ll also have a greater appreciation for your tresses. 

2. Playing with your hair: It’s hard, I know, but when you play with your kinks, you separate them, which results in frizz. Let it be. 

3. Limiting your style options: Kinky hair molds, shapes and springs in ways that other patterns do not. These tight tresses hold an amazing two-strand twist and it coils very well. Be adventurous and try more bold styles that really show off your unique style. Fancy a ‘fro, textured pompadour or sky-high Mohawk. 

4. Being stingy with moisturizer: In general, natural hair requires more moisture, so quench your kink’s thirst by deep conditioning once a week. Some kinky-haired women complain that their hair is too porous (holding on to too much moisture and losing all definition), while most moan and groan that their manes are super dry. Deep conditioning helps to smooth the cuticle, which results in more definition while styling. We dig Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment. 

5. Coveting her curls: Stop wishing your hair was longer, curlier, wavier or “less nappy.” It’s yours. Love it. A funny thing happens when you nurture your hair – others start to notice. That’s why we can’t get enough of Solange, Ledisi, Grace Jones, Macy Gray and Viola Davis’ coils. 

6. Trading health for style: I’m going to get in trouble for this one, but let’s keep it really, really real. Our mothers used mineral oil, petroleum and beeswax on our once thick, lush tresses and we survived. Stop letting gurus with fluffy waves that look nothing like your kinks tell you that you shouldn’t use certain products because they’re too heavy or contain ingredients that they don’t like. Yes, you should absolutely stay away from drying alcohols and known cancer-causing agents, but the reality is that kinky hair often needs a different type of styling aid. Use what works best for you. Try Kinky Curly Curling Custard for serious definition. 

7. Being afraid of color: I meet fearful kinky kinfolk everywhere I go. “I’ve never tried color because I think it will make my hair fall out,” one woman revealed.  Makes sense, but under the supervision of a stylist, a fabulous pop of color can totally transform your look. Kinks look especially sick in auburn, mahogany and fiery red hues.