Growing our natural hair requires a lot of processes and rules that can sometimes be tiring to keep up with. In fact, we won't be wrong to call it a full-time job.
As if this is not enough, the myths flying around every day make it worse to follow through that, we could end up walking on eggshells.
Dear naturalist, you must have heard a dozen of fearful things about our natural hair and wondered if they were true. Well, we are here to debunk those myths and skyrocket your confidence to 1000 degrees!
10 Myths About Growing Natural Hair You've Probably Heard Before
1. Natural Hair Can't Grow Long
This has got to be one of the most common myths about growing natural hair. Our natural hair grows, but it's usually not visible because our hair shrinks a lot. Our natural hair grows just like relaxed hair and is even healthier. Also, using a hair straightener reveals its length, but you have to be careful not to use it often as this can damage your curls and cause your hair to break.
2. Natural Hair is Difficult to Manage
Yes, our hair requires a lot of care and attention, especially to detangle and during shampooing, but that doesn't mean it's super difficult to manage. All you need is a dedicated hair care routine and the accountability to stick to it so you can achieve great benefits for your hair in the long run.
3. Relaxed Hair is Easier to Manage and Grows Faster
Relaxers have nothing to do with hair growth. The increased length of relaxed hair (as compared to natural hair) has more to do with the lack of shrinkage. For hair manageability, as we established in the previous point, your hair can be easier to handle when you stick to a hair care routine.
4. Trimming Makes Natural Hair Grow.
While regular trimming improves the overall health of your hair by getting rid of split ends which could cause hair damage, trimming doesn't promote hair growth. It, however, gives room for new growth but does not cause hair growth.
5. Protective Styles are the Best Way to Grow Your Hair
Don't get me wrong, protective styles play a role in maintaining the overall health of your hair by preventing breakage due to frequent combing and styling of your hair. However, there are downsides to protective styling, braiding or cornrowing every month won't automatically transform into a lot of hair too. And if you wear your protective styles for longer than required, they could lead to hair breakage and loss. This is why you should supplement these styles by consistently refreshing your hair with moisture, care, and restyling.
6. Natural Hair Doesn't Suit Everyone
This is so not true, sis. Natural hair fits every colour and skin. Have you seen the array of hairstyles you can try out with your natural hair? I mean, hairstyles that won't come out sleek on relaxed hair. Here are some hairstyles for natural hair you can try out.
Don't forget to splash some accessories and jewelry with one of these hairstyles.
7. Natural Hair Does Not Look Professional
As a black woman, it is not uncommon to hear this myth about your natural hair. Internalizing that your beautiful black, kinky coils is unprofessional for the workplace is unacceptable. There are so many gorgeous natural hairstyles you can wear to the workplace. You just need to figure what styles you can achieve by yourself or go for natural hair extensions that match your hair texture. Whatever your choice, your natural hair is beautiful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
8. Growing Natural Hair is expensive
This is one common myth we hear a lot. I guess this is because of the many natural hair routines and regimes you have to follow to in order to grow and maintain our hair, or the multiple natural hair products you have to use, but this doesn't make it expensive to grow. There are tons of natural DIY products one can use without breaking the bank.
9. You Can Repair Damaged hair with the Right Product
So sorry to break this to you, sis. But there is no product out there that can completely repair damaged hair. The best thing to do when your hair is damaged is to trim, cut it off or seek professional counsel.
10. Natural Hair Doesn't Need To Be Washed Often
This is quite the opposite here. Washing your hair keeps it moisturized. It also helps to prevent and get rid of build-ups from products you've used on your hair over time. Washing often also makes styling easier for you.
11. Natural Hair is Strong and Resilient
I know you may think such is the case because your natural hair texture is kinky. However, for many black women, especially those in Africa, our natural hair is mostly in between type 3C to 4C and what that means is our curls are densely packed together. This makes it tough to style and detangle because it can easily result to hair breakage and loss if it is not detangled properly. Treating your natural hair with some TLC [tender, love, and care] is the solution here.
12. You Should Switch your Hair Products Every Few Months For Rapid Growth
This is a blunt lie, sis. It's better to stick to hair regimes and routines for effective and visible growth. Changing hair products every few months can negatively affect your hair growth. Instead of switching products, you should find out if other factors are affecting your hair growth. It could be climate, your health, or season. The fault isn't always on the product.
13. The Hair Typing Chart Tells Your Kind of Hair
While this helps to know more about your hair, it doesn't cover all cases. For example, some people have varying hair textures and diameters on one head. How do we categorize them? Knowing your hair requires you to take time to know some specifics about your hair. Understanding your hair requires more than pictures of coils that fail to capture one's curls diversity and unique characteristics.
14. Shampoo is not a Wash Day Essential
The reason we say this is because we don't understand how the right shampoo can positively impact our hair health. We also don’t always know how to pick the correct shampoo or how certain ingredients contained in them can make or break the overall health of our hair. For starters, shampoo is necessary during your wash days because it is a critical ingredient for removing build-up, dirt, and debris from your hair. So, find a shampoo that works for your natural hair and then stick a wash day routine you like to achieve the results you desire.
15. Rice Water Will Grow Your Curls
You may find this shocking, but it is not true. While rice water has some hair benefits like strengthening your hair strands, sealing your split ends, and helping to improve scalp health, it doesn't have the power to grow your curls. These factors don't give a solid foundation to cause growth.
16. Overnight Deep Conditioning is Good for Your Curls
This is a no-no, sis. Deep conditioning is meant to be carried for 20 minutes max. When it gets over that time, it no longer provides nourishment for your hair but instead, forms mould, 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 15-20 minutes.
17. A Big Chop Would Make Your Hair Grow Faster
You probably must have heard this a dozen times. Sis, big chop or not, hair grows based on genes and your hair routine. Also, hair growth happens at the scalp level with the follicles, so when you cut your hair, you cut the bottom of the strand and that makes this claim unrelated to hair growth. Everyone's hair is different, for some, their hair might grow faster, while it is the opposite for others.
18. Colouring your Hair Damages Your Natural Hair Color
Some of us may want to spicy up our hair with colour additives and that's totally fine. However, you need to be on the look out for the ingredients contained in each dye before you buy them. Also, you don't need to worry about your hair growing after dyeing it. Dyeing your hair doesn't stop it from growing however you need to keep your hair moisturized, as colored hair need more moisture in order to prevent hair breakage.
19. Oils Moisturize Natural Hair
No, they don't. What oils do is seal and lock moisture into your hair so they can do their work. Your major hair moisturizers should be 70% water and 30% other products. In order words, water is the major hair moisturizer you need.
20. All Chemicals are Bad For You
Technically, everything is made of chemicals, including water. So, the statement that all chemicals are bad for your hair isn't accurate. However, this also means 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) Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Diethanolamine (DEA) Triethanolamine (TEA)