6 Myths About Natural Black Hair
Before straighteners became readily available, black people straightened their hair in various ways, many of which were very harsh and damaging. Although the majority of black women still prefer to wear their hair slicked back, there has been a growing movement towards wearing natural hair. However, there is still a lot of misinformation that prevents some people from accepting their hair as it grows from their scalp. They choose to straighten their hair because they still believe in these misconceptions about natural hair. To find out the real truths about these common myths about natural hair, keep reading.
Natural black hair does not grow
Natural dark hair seems to grow slower or not at all due to its texture. The tightly woven curls or folds mean it takes longer for black hair to achieve the same length when left untreated. However, if you flatten it, you will see a significant increase in length. Imagine two ropes of three feet each. A rope is laid straight and extends for three feet. The other is curled and rolled up. It might only extend a foot. The straight rope will appear much longer. Hair that grows at the same rate appears to have very different lengths, which can lead to the conclusion that coiled hair is not growing. Then there is the ultimate hair length. Some people can have very long hair, while some people's hair never seems to exceed a certain length.
A few factors determine how long your hair grows. One is the life cycle of the hair. Each hair will only grow for so long before it goes into a resting phase, then into a falling phase. The hair on your head turns back no matter how you care for it. The second factor is whether or not the hair breaks during this life cycle. Combing the hair can be especially difficult on the hair, causing it to break before it reaches its full potential. To maximize hair length, you need to consider these two factors. Taking the best possible care of your hair and scalp during the growing phase allows the hair to reach its full length before resting. Products that stimulate circulation and provide nutrients will increase this rate of growth to the maximum your body can produce.
Natural black hair is tough hair
There is a strong misconception that black hair is really strong. Even women who have been handling their hair for years are surprised to find that they can actually be quite fragile.While the outer hair can take a lot of handling, the inner structure of black hair is quite fragile. This composition can make it more susceptible to damage and breakage over time, especially when using hot tools and chemicals. Give your hair a break and use deep nourishing masks to reintroduce nutrients into your hair. Don't limit yourself to oil, which is great for taming the external structure of your hair, but doesn't penetrate the hair shaft and nourish inside.
Natural black hair should be shiny
Many of the products that you will find in the ethnic hair care section of your local stores are full of ingredients that are not best for dark hair. Ironic, but true. Petroleum and mineral oil make up a large percentage of black hair products and all they do is clog your scalp and draw dirt to your hair. You don't need to grease your scalp for it to be healthy.
Fortunately, today's consumer has many more options than in the past. New companies appear regularly that cater to the dark hair market with products full of ingredients that are good for your hair. You will find many that do not contain:
- Mineral oil
Gone are the days when you could only find these premium brands online. You can find names like Jane Carter, AsIAm, Eden BodyWorks, Shea Moisture, Alikay Naturals, and more at local retailers as well as online.
Natural black hair is all the same
Since reading this article, you probably realize that there are many types of hair out there. However, what some people don't realize is the number of hair types. Even within the same family, people will have different types of hair. You can have different designs of curls on different sections of your head. Some of us will need to add oil to our hair and scalp. Others might find that we never need to add oil. How often to wash, what type of conditioner to use, these are individual decisions that you will have to experiment with and find your own unique regimen for your own hair. General guidelines are available, but since everyone's hair is a bit different, taking care of it is something that must be learned through experience.
Natural black hair is hard to style
Most stylists still don't know how to handle natural dark hair. Many little girls wait until the day they can straighten their hair so they can do their own hair styling. The point is, natural black hair doesn't have to be difficult to style and is very versatile. However, education is important. People need to learn the styling options available to them. They need to learn the limits of what you can do with natural black hair, as well as the amazingly creative things you can do with it. A little patience will be needed while going through this learning curve, but it can be done, and once it's done the possibilities are vast. If you think afros are the only style for natural hair, you are missing out on a ton of unique hairstyles that are beautiful and healthy for your hair and scalp. Some of the many natural hairstyles that you can wear include:
- Two-strand twists
- Bantu knots
- Flat twists
- Afro puffs
Moreover, you can combine these styles to create your own unique hairstyles. If your hair is short it may limit your versatility somewhat, but the longer your hair grows, the more styles you can experiment with and enjoy.
Natural black hair is hard to manage
Natural, textured hair can seem difficult to manage if you try to treat it like straight hair. If you use the same tools and expect the same results as with straightened hair, you are going to be disappointed. However, once you learn how to treat natural hair in a way that doesn't try to change or alter it, it can be as manageable as any other hair type.
You will need to use different styling tools and methods. Your fingers, a wide tooth comb, natural boar bristle brushes, and natural oils are all good ways to treat dark hair. If you are used to treating straightened hair, learning new routines and techniques that work with your natural texture rather than against it will give the best results.
It’s well past time to dispel the myths about black hair and move into a future where every woman can walk down the street with confidence.