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Curly Nikki

5 Common Natural Hair Myths

By January 27th, 202117 Comments

1. The belief that race, texture and genes are factors that determine the length of hair.

It is commonly assumed that those with a looser curl are capable of growing their hair longer than those with tighter, kinkier curls. These myths have absolutely no scientific grounding. Hair growth is primarily determined by a very controllable factor that being the quality of care given to it.

2. Water is drying to hair.
In actuality water is the best friend of textured hair. It is the only effective moisturizer for hair. Without exposing the hair on a consistent basis to water, hair can suffer from dryness and breaking. It is very important as a consumer to make sure that your moisturizer has water (aqua) as the first ingredient listed.

3. Oils and heavy creams keep hair hydrated.
As stated above, water is what moisturizes and penetrates the hair strands. Oils and creams are meant to simply lock in that moisture. Water becomes “locked” in the hair strand because oils/creams are molecularly larger than water and keep the moisture sealed on the strand. So when moisturizing hair, remember it is a two step process– first applying water or water- based product followed by an oil/cream sealant. Oils and heavy creams are great for providing shine and lubrication but not moisture.

4. Hair can be protected from heat.
There is absolutely no way that hair can be completely protected from any type of heat whether it be from hair dryers, flat irons (ceramic or not), straightening combs or UV sun rays. Therefore use heat sparingly with an understanding that each application of heat results in damage which many times is irreversible.

5. Hair needs to be trimmed regularly in order for it to grow.
Trimming is indeed helpful in correcting damaged ends but it is not the trick to retaining length. More often than not constant trimming keeps hair stagnant in length. The key to length retention lies in the quality of care given to preserving the hair strand’s ends. Therefore, if you are not taking care to prevent damaged ends than you will be caught in an endless cycle of cutting off damaged ends, mistreating the new exposed ends only to cut them off eventually!


  • Unknown says:

    I am in love with that picture! I'm tempted to get a colorful scarf and big hoop earrings

  • Anonymous says:

    @curltastic. I believe if you YouTube pineapple wrap you'll find videos I particularly like prettydimples YouTube channel

  • bermychic says:

    I totally hate when people say "good hair" Hair is good as long as you have some. Treat it well and it'll be good soft or softer managable textured or straight hair. 😉

    Bermy Gal

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post! You pretty much went straight to the point and knowing that this is a blog, it IS understandable as to why you didn't just "overly" explain but this gives us a nice start for more research and experimenting =). Number 2 is something I should work on more.

  • Corinne says:

    When i was growing up, my hair was down my back. my mother kept our hair up (my other two sisters)as i got older and started to do my own hair and relaxing i lost that length, but it was a good shoulder length. Last year i chopped all my hair off for a short length and realized that i was relaxing too often and decided to go natural. my hair wasnt even an inch. I wash my hair just about every day. I dont use shampoo only conditioners. I usually switch and use conditioners rich in natural ingredients to keep my hair happy. and i just started hot oil treatments. You have to experiment with products. In this entire journey of natural hair i have applied heat about 3 times. the third time was today and I havent gotten my hair cut or trimmed since the big chop. The key is not to comb your hair dry EVER! try going a month without shampoo and see how different your hair feels. I want my length back as a child and I am treating my hair better ever. Going natural was the best decision i have ever made. Just last week I processed and dyed my hair an almost neon red. i still dont use shampoo. Its all in the care of your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Also, oil doesn't force water to stay in your hair by being big and bullying the water to stay in. It has to do with complicated chemical interactions, which basically is that that water is polar and oils (which are just fats, aka triglycerides) are mostly non-polar along the length of the molecule.
    Non-polar doesn't like polar and vice versa. So coating one's hair in oil, just creates a mini barrier that the water has difficulty crossing because the oil is hydrophobic (ie scared of water).
    Nature has used this basic interaction since literally the beginning, since this basic interaction caused the precursors of the first cells, micelles, and are still put to use in every cell (that's why you need all that fat and essential oils). But that's a little more complicated.

  • Curltastic says:

    this is off topic, but i loooove the picture used! Can someone tell me or explain how to achieve this particular head scarf style? please and thank you (:

  • Niki says:

    I think the good/bad hair thing is not just texture based but length as well. If our hair used to grow with the ease and swiftness like other textures, I don't think we'd care about texture as much. We just want it to be healthy and a length that allows us to style it at will, we're girls, it can't be helped!

  • Annie L. says:

    I still don't get why people believe number 5. For me, it's 'massaging your scalp will stimulate circulation providing greater blood flow to follicles and magically grow hair'. I think it's silly. Massage undoubtedly stimulates circulation all over the body and is wonderful for areas that may periodically get less blood flow but hair grows every day and every way for most people with and without scalp massage. What bothers me is that no evidence is ever supplied to back these claims, just stories and 1 or 2 studies done by someone somewhere in 1952. I happen to love scalp massage but have never seen any conclusive scientific cross-data backing this claim that so many hair care specialists parrot without any proof.

  • hair re-growth says:

    Thank you for sharing this tips to us. I just know some of the tips presented. Thanks once again.

  • Erika says:

    Thank you! I always hear this myth about trimming your hair but your explanation is true and on point!

  • javiememe2519 says:

    I think Black Women need to let go of the whole you have "good hair" verses "bad hair' everyone hair texture needs care or it will be damaged and ruined..Black Women love you hair and care for it no matter what the texture and you will see results of beautiful hair.. 🙂

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    sorry Shanti!

  • ATWC says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I (Shanti) have in fact wrote this post not Antoinette. I have received a lot of back lash about the first myth (#1) and after doing some research, I am humble enough to retract and re-edit my statement. Genes do in fact have a lot to do with length retention. Not in the sense that you have a gene that determines the length but your genes determine your hair texture, density, color etc.
    My main argument that I feel is being lost and misinterpreted is that there is no evidence that tight curls can not achieve length. If taken care of properly (which means handled very very gently and if possible very little) then your hair will retain length. There is no genetic difference in the hair follicle and growth mechanism in tight curls as there is in loosely curled or straight hair. The hair follicle's structure and function is still the same. There may indeed be a difference in growth cycles but that has nothing to do with texture that is a genetic difference that can be applied ACROSS the racial spectrum. For instance some black girls may have a genetic difference that her growth cycle is longer than another black girls thus her hair appears to grow faster. This can be the same for whites and asians as well.
    My desire is to bust the myth wide open that tightly coiled hair can't grow. Period. That is not true. Please don't get lost in the sticky and suffocating debate of comparing looser curls and straight hair with kinky or tightly coiled. They are different. The growth retention is different. Thats not a bad thing. But most importantly that difference in appearance should not cause people to believe that because their length retention is not as easily achieved that it is impossible. That is a myth.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sorry but she lost me at #1. Genes being what primarily determine hair growth is a myth, really? Your genes are what determine every physical feature you have. Your genes determine whether your hair has a long growth phase or a short on, and therefore determine how much hair you can possibly grow. And that is a scientific fact, one that's been reiterated on this blog multiple times. Hair care effects hair retention and that's it.

    Also loosely curly or straighter/smoother hair, by its very nature, should have an easier time retaining length (different from growth) than kinky/tightly curled hair. Tightly curled hair has raised cuticle layers, mulitple points of weakness down the hair strand, and has a much harder time staying moisturized. This is a myth that the natural hair world has been trying to drive home, but many tightly curled have to be twice as gentle and diligent to retain the same length as someone with the same growth rate but looser hair. It doesn't make one head of hair better or worse than another's, but when it comes to growing and retaining length, the playing field is not level.

  • Tiffany says:

    Always great tips.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  • Beneath The Clutter says:

    Great tips. Water is a natural girl's best friend! I usually wear my hair in 2strand twists. So, I literally wet all of the twists, pat dry with a t-shirt, and then apply my leave-in (all done in four sections).

    Also, as far as trimming — I am probably too crazy about it. I rarely trim my entire hair the same length around. Most often, I do the search and destroy method (which is so laborious!). Before twisting my hair, I look at the ends and cut any individual ends that are either single strand knots or splits. This way, I'm not cutting healthy hair. I generally do this in four sections too. So, week one I will trim 1/4 section of hair, week 2 I'll do the next 1/4 section, etc. That way I don't spend 4 hours doing my hair!! This is a great time to catch up on movie watching!!! 😉

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