Growing natural hair can be a tiring process that requires a lot of effort and adherence to certain rules. It can almost feel like a full-time job.
On top of this, the constant circulation of myths about natural hair can make it even more difficult to navigate, leaving us feeling like we're walking on eggshells.
If you're a naturalist, you've likely heard countless frightening things about natural hair and may have even wondered if they were true. But fear not, we're here to dispel those myths and boost your confidence to 100 degrees!
20 Myths About Growing Natural Hair and the Truth
1. Natural Hair Can't Grow Long
This is one of the most common myths about growing natural hair. Our natural hair does grow, but it's often not visible because it shrinks a lot. Natural hair grows just like relaxed hair and is even healthier.
Using a hair straightener can reveal its length, but you have to be careful not to use it too often as this can damage your curls and cause your hair to break.
2. Natural Hair is Difficult to Manage
While it is true that natural hair requires a lot of care and attention, especially detangling and shampooing, it is not necessarily difficult to manage. With a dedicated hair care routine and the accountability to stick to it, you can achieve great benefits for your hair in the long run.
3. Relaxed Hair is Easier to Manage and Grows Faster
Relaxers do not actually promote hair growth. The increased length of relaxed hair (as compared to natural hair) is mostly due to the lack of shrinkage. As we established in the previous point, sticking to a hair care routine can make your hair more easier to manage.
4. Trimming Makes Natural Hair Grow
Regular trimming can improve the overall health of your hair by eliminating split ends that could cause damage. However, it's important to note that trimming does not promote hair growth. Instead, it creates space for new growth to occur naturally.
5. Protective Styles are the Best Way to Grow Your Hair
Protective styles can play a role in maintaining the overall health of your hair by preventing breakage due to frequent combing and styling. However, it's important to note that these styles alone won't automatically result in hair growth.
In fact, if you wear your protective styles for longer than necessary, they could lead to hair breakage and loss. To maximize the benefits of protective styling, supplement with consistent moisture, care, and restyling.
6. Natural Hair Doesn't Suit Everyone
Many people believe that natural hair is not for everyone, but this is not true. Natural hair can work for anyone regardless of their skin color. In fact, with natural hair, you can try out a variety of hairstyles that may not work as well with relaxed hair. Here are some natural hairstyles to consider:
- Two-strand twists or flat twists: Check out this step-by-step guide on how to do flat twists.
- Bantu knots: Learn how to do them in 7 easy steps.
- Braids: Get inspired with these 20 knotless braid hairstyles and tips.
- Cornrows: Learn how to wash your cornrows with this helpful guide.
- Mini twists: Find out how to do and maintain them on your natural hair with this guide.
- Finger coils: Create the smoothest finger coils with this step-by-step guide.
- Locs: Learn how to care for and maintain locs with this helpful article.
Don't forget to add some accessories or jewelry to complete the look.
7. Natural Hair Does Not Look Professional
As a black woman, you may have heard the myth that your natural hair is unprofessional in the workplace. However, this is unacceptable. Your beautiful black, kinky coils can be styled in many gorgeous natural hairstyles that are appropriate for the workplace.
You can try styling your hair yourself or opt for natural hair extensions that match your hair texture. Whatever your choice, remember that your natural hair is beautiful and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
8. Growing Natural Hair is Expensive
One common myth we hear a lot is that growing natural hair is expensive. This is likely because of the many natural hair routines and regimes you have to follow in order to grow and maintain your hair, or the multiple natural hair products you have to use.
However, this does not mean that growing natural hair has to be expensive. There are plenty of natural DIY products that one can use without breaking the bank.
9. You Can Repair Damaged Hair with the Right Product
So sorry to break this to you, no product can completely repair damaged hair. Instead, the best course of action, when your hair is damaged, is to trim it, cut it off, or seek professional advice.
10. Natural Hair Doesn't Need To Be Washed Often
This is a common misconception. In reality, washing your hair frequently helps keep it moisturized and prevents buildup from products that you've used over time. Regular washing also makes styling your hair easier.
11. Natural Hair is Strong and Resilient
You might assume that natural hair is strong and resilient simply because it has a kinky texture. However, for many black women, especially those in Africa, our natural hair falls mostly in the range of type 3C to 4C.
This means that our curls are densely packed together, making it difficult to style and detangle. If not done correctly, detangling can easily result in hair breakage and loss. The solution to this problem is to treat your natural hair with some tender, love, and care (TLC).
12. You Should Switch your Hair Products Every Few Months For Rapid Growth
Switching hair products every few months won't necessarily lead to rapid hair growth. In fact, it can negatively affect your hair growth. Instead, stick to a hair regime and routine that works best for you.
If you're experiencing slow hair growth, consider other factors such as climate, health, or season, as the problem may not be the product itself.
13. The Hair Typing Chart Tells Your Kind of Hair
While the hair typing chart can be helpful in identifying your hair type, it may not apply to everyone. For instance, some people have varying hair textures and diameters on different parts of their head. In such cases, it can be difficult to categorize their hair type.
To truly understand your hair, you need to take the time to learn about its specific characteristics. Simply looking at pictures of hair coils is not enough, as they fail to capture the diversity and unique features of your curls.
14. Shampoo is not a Wash Day Essential
Many people underestimate the positive impact that the right shampoo can have on hair health. They also don't always know how to choose the correct shampoo or how certain ingredients can affect the overall health of their hair.
However, shampoo is necessary during wash days as it is a critical ingredient for removing build-up, dirt, and debris from your hair. Therefore, it is important to find a shampoo that works for your natural hair and stick to a wash day routine that suits your desired results.
15. Rice Water Will Grow Your Curls
Contrary to popular belief, rice water won't actually make your curls grow. While it does have some benefits for hair, such as strengthening strands, sealing split ends, and improving scalp health, it doesn't provide a solid foundation for growth.
16. Overnight Deep Conditioning is Good for Your Curls
This is a no-no, sis. Deep conditioning is meant to be carried out for a maximum of 20 minutes. When it exceeds that time, it no longer provides nourishment for your hair instead, it can lead to mold formation, causes your scalp to itch, and gives room for more build-up. So, next time you deep condition your hair, wash it off after the recommended time of 15 to 20 minutes.
17. A Big Chop Would Make Your Hair Grow Faster
You've probably heard this a dozen times, but the truth is that hair growth is determined by genetics and your hair care routine, regardless of whether you do a big chop or not.
Furthermore, hair growth occurs at the scalp level with the hair follicles, so cutting your hair at the bottom of the strand does not affect hair growth.
Everyone's hair is different, so while some people's hair may grow faster, others may experience the opposite.
18. Coloring Your Hair Damages Your Natural Hair Color
While adding color to our hair can be a fun change, it's important to be aware that hair dyes can damage your natural hair color. Before purchasing any dye, make sure to check the ingredients.
Dyeing your hair won't stop it from growing, but it's important to keep your hair moisturized. Colored hair requires more moisture to prevent breakage.
19. Oils Moisturize Natural Hair
Contrary to popular belief, oils do not moisturize natural hair. Instead, they seal and lock moisture into your hair so it can do its work.
The primary moisturizer for your hair should be a combination of 70% water and 30% other products. In other words, water is the main hair moisturizer that you need.
20. All Chemicals are Bad For Your Hair
Technically, everything is made of chemicals, including water. So, the statement that all chemicals are bad for your hair isn't accurate.
However, it's important to note that there are harmful chemicals out there, especially for your natural hair. Some ingredients that are harmful to natural hair include:
- Mineral Oil and Petroleum
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)