March 6, 2014

Top 10 Natural Hair Myths



Despite the Natural Hair Movement (NHM) making substantial waves in hair care, styling, and fashion, there still seems to be some misconceptions about natural hair and what is means.

Myths can be detrimental to a movement and since we want this to stay as positive, I’m sharing some well-known myths that need to be put to rest.

1. Natural hair is hard to maintain
The truth is it takes knowledge and relentless efforts to go natural. Many women who are going natural have been relaxed for years. Many forget that they didn’t miraculously know how to take care of relaxed hair while others feel being natural will take no practice or effort. There is a learning process and it is not harder to maintain than relaxed hair once you have established a routine.

2. There are natural relaxers
There is no natural way to permanently straighten the hair.  In the article (So-called) Coconut Relaxer, I discuss the DIY recipe for relaxing and found this to only be a deep treatment recipe despite what some may claim. The bottom line is that in order to straighten the hair without using heat, chemicals are required.

3. Natural hair is unprofessional

As an increasing number of women in corporate America are wearing their hair naturally whether it is locs, afros, or the hundreds of other natural styles, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Some may balk at natural hair but the tide is shifting and many of the so-called problems some face with natural hair in corporate America are preconditioned insecurities that fuel paranoia.

Check out Susan Walker's story aboutNatural Hair in the Corporate World on CurlyNikki.

4. Protective styles are a must
There are numerous examples of naturals who rarely protective style with healthy, long, gorgeous hair.

Every natural needs to find out what works for her, so before you limit yourself to only one way to have healthy hair, explore what else is out there so you have more information.

5. 4c hair does not grow
All hair grows.

Type 4c hair may need to be manipulated less or use protective styling for more length retention but to say it does not grow is false. How well you take care of it matters greatly.

6. Exercise is not an option
It is just as easy to workout with natural hair as it is with relaxed hair, if you have a plan.

You may need to wash or co-wash more often to cleanse away sweat, but there are tips on being natural and working out.

7. Natural hair is expensive
If anything, many naturals have found it less expensive!

There are tons of DIY recipes for hair products but if you choose to buy commercial products many of them are priced reasonably. Most naturals are doing their own hair and skipping the weekly or biweekly trips to the pricey salons.

8. Texturizers are natural
Texturizers are just chemical straighteners, or relaxers, that are not left on to process as long as traditional relaxers. They are in no way natural and if you have a texturizer, you are not natural.

9. Color revokes your natural card
A lot of naturals who color their hair use natural methods like DIY hair lighteners or henna.

Some feel using any chemical coloring is no longer being natural, but color may or may not alter the texture of your hair. There are semi-permanent dyes or some brands like SheaMoisture that have less harmful ingredients like ammonia and sulfates.

10. You must know your hair type
Several naturals don’t care to know their hair type.

However knowing your hair’s porosityhas helped many on what products or techniques to use to find the right methods for healthy hair.

If you disagree, tell us so in the comments! This natural hair conversation goes both ways and we love to hear what you think.

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