Going natural can be a really confusing process. From reading up articles and watching YouTube videos in hopes of learning your hair to trying new products and formulating a hair routine that works for you. Most times, it’s too much to process at once and it becomes difficult to fish out the good advice from the pool of information that’s available. There are a few things making rounds that just aren’t true though. So to help you out, here are 10 Natural hair myths you should never believe.
- Natural hair is cheaper and easier to maintain
This is a terrible mindset to adopt when going natural because if you actually believe it you’ll end up heartily disappointed. While this is not to say that natural hair is a battle to keep up, it does require a lot more attentive care than other hair types. Mainly because it is prone to breakage due to all its kinks and coils which get tangled up easily. Also, natural hair products are available in a wide range of prices, and while some are really expensive, most of them are quite affordable. You’ll really only find natural hair super expensive if you’re a product junkie.
2. Natural hair is always dry and tangled
Looking at natural hair generally (especially 4C hair) it’s easy to conclude that it’s always tough, dry, and tangled. While it is true that moisture retention is a bit tough with natural hair, if you learn how to do it right, you’ll find yourself rocking beautiful moisturized curls in no time. Remember that moisturized hair is easier to detangle and check out this detailed guide to easy detangling.
3. Heat will ruin your hair
A lot of naturalistas won’t go near a flat or curling iron because they’ve come to believe heat is a one-way ticket to damaged hair. This is one of the myths surrounding natural hair that needs to be blotted out. Excessive heat can cause major damage to all types of hair but moderate heat application will not be the end of your hair. It’s all about applying heat the right way and ensuring you use heat protectants before turning up the heat. Heat is also beneficial when using deep conditioning masks since it opens up your hair cuticles and helps the treatment penetrate your hair shaft for better results. Learn how to safely use heat on your natural hair, check out how to prevent heat damage in natural hair.
4. Oil is your moisturizer
Natural hair depends rather heavily on moisture, and honestly, the best moisturizer is plain old water. This information is making rounds is because natural hair really does have issues retaining moisture. A simple way to bypass this is using oil to seal in moisture after it is applied to your hair. There are many essential oils that are of great benefit to your hair, but it’s always a good idea to be light-handed with them. Oils can easily clog your pores and make it hard for your scalp to breathe, which hinders hair growth. It’s a vicious circle. So if you’re one to apply a lot of oil, try to wash your hair at least once a week. You can read an article on keeping your hair moisturized here.
5. Protective styling is the only way to grow your hair
It’s true that low manipulation helps preserve length and encourage hair growth, but it is not true that if you tuck your hair away and neglect it, it will grow like a wild forest. Protective styles help tuck away your ends (the oldest, weakest part of your hair), but it is rewarding to cultivate the habit of caring for your hair while it is in a protective style. A good way to do this is to massage your roots with oil and apply strengtheners to your edges. Here is a step-by-step guide to caring for your hair while it’s in a protective style.
6. You don’t need to wash your hair often
No. Wash your hair often. At least once in two weeks when not in protective styles, and immediately after you take down a style. Some people say that dirt helps your hair grow, but dirty hair does not grow any faster than clean hair. This is one of the natural hair myths that is particularly annoying. While your hair and scalp can’t always be squeaky clean, outright dirty is overstepping it. Please wash your hair.
7. The Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a product that works wonders in aspects where others have failed your hair. It could be a detangler, leave-in conditioner, mask, etc. It’s perfectly normal to want to find yours, but very often, it’s not going to be the one your favorite YouTuber or friend recommends. This doesn’t mean whatever they’ve recommended isn’t good, but it’s not working for you simply because your hair is not their hair. Learn your hair, find out what it responds best to. Does it like aloe vera? Coconut oil? Honey? After figuring that out, you can find products tailored to your specific needs and stick with them. This isn’t an invitation to soak your hair in one product and think it will instantly be moisturized, detangled, and healthy. It just means you should build your hair care regimen around products that contain your hair’s best condiments. Remember, they’re better together!
8. You can fix split ends
There are a lot of products flying off shelves because they claim to “repair” split ends. Sure, they might help smooth and hold your split ends together when you apply them, but make no mistake, your split ends will still be very present when you wash them out. Split ends occur when your strands split in two at the tips, and the only way to get rid of them is to pick up a pair of hair shears and cut them off. This might sound counter-intuitive to hair growth but if you don’t cut them off, the strand will keep splitting downwards and fall off eventually. This will make you lose more length than you would have if you had just cut it off in the beginning. Here is everything you need to know about split ends including how to prevent them.
9. Natural hair does not grow quickly
Your natural hair is very prone to shrinkage, so it will always seem shorter than it actually is. There are some people who experience extreme shrinkage and this can be super annoying and discouraging. Growth takes time, and this cuts across all hair types. Sure there are some people who have hair that grows really fast but that’s just their genes at work. If you aren’t part of the lucky few, you have to understand that hair grows best when it’s healthy. Hair grows at a rate of about half an inch a month and tangled, dry ends can set you back considerably by breaking off. You can speed it up a bit or at least ensure you don’t fall behind the half-inch benchmark by keeping your hair healthy. The length will come, but in the meantime here are some tips to keep your shrinkage at bay.
10. Natural hair isn’t professional
This is simply a lie. Why should the hair growing unaided out of your head hinder your job prospects? As long as your hair does not prevent you from completing your tasks satisfactorily, there really shouldn’t be a problem. It’s all about keeping your hair tidy and organized. If you work a white collar job or a job with a specific dress code and you want to wear your natural hair to work, it’s a good idea to learn to do some unobtrusive styles that help you look more put together.
Natural hair myths like the ones listed above make it hard to know what is true and what isn’t. If you’re just starting out on your hair journey, please take time to verify things before putting them into practice.