Black Is Beautiful: 4 Common Myths About Natural Hair
Natural Black hair has had a long history of being shunned or criticized in the public eye. Because of that, we’ve had to endure generations of chemical reactions and the dreaded hot comb treatment.
Fortunately, over the last few decades, Black women across the country have been embracing their kinks, coils, and curls. Even so, misunderstandings still abound. To put those ideas to rest, we’re debunking some of the common myths about our natural hair.
4 Common Myths About Natural Hair
1. “You Shouldn’t Wash Natural Hair Often”
Even though we, as Black women, are strong, our hair isn’t. It’s incredibly susceptible to breakage. Because of that, it’s easy to worry that washing your hair too much will dry it out and lead to more issues. This has led to the idea you should wash your hair once a month.
However, one of the big things that can damage your hair is leaving too much product in it, especially heavy oils like petroleum and mineral oil. For this reason, you should aim to wash your hair once a week. Besides, water is moisture, so a rinse-off is key to keeping it moisturized.
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2. “Shampoo Lather Hurts Natural Hair”
This is another common myth about natural Black hair that sprang up because people were worried about damaging their hair. We tend to see a mess of soap bubbles and assume that whatever is in the shampoo is stripping our hair.
However, lather isn’t necessarily a surefire sign that the shampoo is bad. These days, even natural, sulfate-free shampoos can produce lather. The key is to check the ingredient list. If it has natural hair-friendly ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera, you should be good.
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3. “There Aren’t Many Style Options for Natural Hair”
People who think there aren’t many style options for natural Black hair often think that because they haven’t gotten the chance to experiment with it. But there are countless ways to style natural Black hair. Here are a few dos you can try:
- Afro puffs
- Fro-hawk (a combination of an afro and a mohawk)
- Twists and twist outs
Locs are also a gorgeous and versatile way to style your hair. Of course, any discussion of locs opens up a whole new world of natural Black hair myths, like the difference between locs and dreads, but that is another story.
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4. “Braids Make Natural Hair Grow Faster”
Braids have been the protective style of choice for Black women for thousands of years. But a lot of people don’t fully understand what the word “protective” means and assume it means “protect your hair from absolutely everything” and assume that means your braids will help your hair grow.
But protective just means your hair is protected from manipulation. In fact, braiding your hair too much or not maintaining your braids well can actually lead to hair damage. Wearing your hair in freer styles from time to time may be just the thing to help it grow.