black hair myths
Hair Controversy

Is It True What They Say?: Black Hair Myths Busted

Myths To Be Broken

As a woman who has what people call “black hair” I am always finding new information about my hair.

Sometimes things I had thought before are disproven, and I learn how to take care better care of my hair. I will not even deny the fact that I believed in many of these myths for the longest time, so you’re not alone if you are the same.

With that said here are some myths about black hair.

natural hair style

It’s “Bad Hair”

First of all, there is no such thing as good or bad hair, and this idea needs to removed from the black hair dialogue.

This view was created to diminish self-worth among black people. Good hair is often associated with straighter hair and has its roots in slavery because in most cases slaves who were the master’s children had looser textured hair.

This occurrence is where the idea of good and bad hair originated. These terms were used to describe which texture was seen as more desirable when in reality both are beautiful.

And let me just say this, it does not matter what texture hair you have regardless of texture or length your hair is gorgeous!

Unprofessional

This myth is a complete joke. I feel as though companies have learned their lessons after a couple of lawsuits. Google may want to change their image search of work appropriate hair because natural hair should and always work appropriate.

People think you cannot work in corporate America because you have an afro. But fortunately things are changing, and companies are becoming more accepting when it comes to natural hairstyle.

corporate hair

It’s Nappy

First of all, let’s not even go there. I can call my hair nappy but nobody else can.

If you do not understand why calling someone else’s hair nappy can be received as an insult, learn about the mini history lesson. This word was used to describe a fuzzy layer of yarn or cloth until it was used as a word to insult slaves.

There are also other ways to express black hair such as kinky curly and coarse all terms that are not derogatory words.

It doesn’t grow

The myth of black lacking the ability to grow is a misconception that is found to be very disrespectful.

This myth is the reason why people think it is okay to ask “is that your real hair?” Black hair does grow just like everyone else’s. Do not be fooled by the shrinkage because what looks like a teeny fro can be 12 inches once straightened.

Yes, black hair can shrink up to like three times its straight length, but that does not mean I’m baldheaded. Now don’t go frying your hair in the name of showing people you have inches because this will hinder it from being healthy. And healthy hair leads to growing hair.

Some people say black women wear hair extensions because our hair doesn’t grow when, in reality, it’s because we like to switch up our style and it’s a great protective style. I know it becomes frustrating for a woman not to see specific results, but, your hair is growing.

You may not be able to see the results as quickly as a person with straighter hair because your hair shrinks up. Hair grows about a half inch per month, so it is growing. You may not be able to retain length because you are not taking care of your hair properly.

yara shahidi

Impossible to Manage

Black hair is not impossible to manage.

It’s only hard to maintain when you try to treat your hair like it’s straight. It can also be difficult if you do not have the proper knowledge before going natural. This myth is a woman’s primary argument when going back to life with the creamy crack.

Some women wear their natural hair out every day, and with the right products and methods, it could be effortless for you too. Okay, maybe effortless is not the best word because natural hair is work however that doesn’t mean it is hard to manage.

But if you educate yourself about your hair and products, taking care of it will be an absolute breeze! And if you are still not sold on this idea you can always wear protective styles if you do not want to deal with your hair.

Can’t get lice

This misconception is not a bad one, but this is a thing many people with curlier hair textures believe.

If I had to break it to you well I just want to let you know that black people can get lice. Though cases are few, there is a possibility that you can get lice if exposed to them. Most people think our hair is too kinky or curly for lice to live in but, that is not true in all cases.

Lice do prefer straight hair because it is easier for them to cling to but if they have to, they can live with curly hair as well. The best way to prevent yourself from getting lice is by keeping your hair moisturized and oiled.

Lice like dry environments and are unable to live on an oiled scalp because the oils will suffocate them.

dandruff

Strong

People are strong not hair. Thinking this can be deadly for your hair strands.

I have fallen victim to this idea and not in the way you’re thinking. I just remember being little and my aunts would comb my hair like there was no tomorrow. And I am talking about harshly brushing my poor 4c strands root to ends.

Just because your hair is kinkier or curly does not make it stronger. In reality, our hair is fragile and needs to be treated gently and with care. Because of its ribbon-like shape and raised cuticles, our hair bleeds moisture.

This means that it is easily affected by the outside environment which why we should be taking extra care of our tresses. This reason is why a lot of naturals advocate for protective styling because it keeps us from manipulating our hair every day. Wide tooth combs and your fingers are your best friends when trying to detangle your hair.

You never have to wash it

If you believe in this, you’re probably due for a wash right about now. This myth is the most prominent lie spread within the black community.

News flash your scalp gets dirty, and so does your hair. Washing your hair removes dirt and buildup on the hair shaft allowing for moisture to penetrate your hair shaft easily. Though this rule applies to women who are relaxed.

But, with this information, some shampoos can be drying on natural hair, be wary of shampoos with SLS or sulfates because these ingredients can strip your hair of its natural oils Go for the sulfate-free shampoos or you can always use conditioner to wash your hair to prevent dryness.

You do not have to wash your hair every day but cleaning your hair every other week or every week might be a good idea.

towel dry hair

Greasing your scalp stimulates hair growth

My mom used to swear by this but grease only moisturizers your scalp or causes buildup.

The main ingredient in many of your favorite hair greases is petroleum which is not good for your hair. Petroleum contains mineral oils that build up on your scalp and suffocate your hair follicles which make it more difficult for your hair to grow by slowing down hair growth.

When it builds up on your hair strands, it attracts dirt and residue that remove shine from your hair and make it appear unhealthy. Petroleum is also a natural extract from crude oil which is the same oil used and cars. It also does not have vitamins or the necessary components that our hair needs.

The mineral oils found in petroleum do not penetrate the hair the hair shaft the only work as a coating which only serves as a temporary solution to give your hair luster. This mineral oil coats the hair shaft making it difficult for moisture to penetrate your hair shaft which can cause dandruff and dry hair.

If your scalp is dry use light oils like jojoba and sweet almond, these oils are similar to the sebum that your scalp naturally produces.But if you are trying to stimulate growth you can always massage your scalp or use invigorating hair oils.

Relaxers make hair more manageable

I am not judging anyone who loves the creamy crack because that was once me, however, relaxers were used by black women to make their hair straighter and more “presentable.” It had a little to with manageability.

Now I am not advocating against relaxing your hair I am just saying that it does not make things easier. Being natural and relaxed both require you to put in some TLC when taking care of our hair. One option is not cheaper or less complicated than the other.

Manageability depends on how you take care of your hair and what your routine is as well.

straight hair

Only comes in 4c

I know that I am guilty of this because when I think of black hair, my mind immediately pictures a 4c afro.

But not every black person’s hair is kinky or even curly. And if you were under this impression I don’t know what to say to you girl. But black hair comes in all shapes and sizes. Some black people even have bone straight hair.

The texture of your hair lies within in your genetics just because you are black does not mean you will have 4c hair. And most people even have more than one texture in their hair so technically not many people are 100% 4c.

Water dries your hair out

Water is the number one moisturizer. Our kinks and curls love water. Many people are under the impression that water makes your dryer, but it saturates our curls. If your hair becomes dry after using water that is most likely because you have low porosity hair. Porosity is our hair’s ability to absorb moisture, and when you have low porosity hair, it means that it is more difficult for your hair to intake moisture. Our hair loves water even though it is harder for our strands to retain moisture.

moisturize hair

The slightest bit of heat will fry your hair

I am guilty of thinking a drop of heat will ruin my curls. I know that heat is beneficial for your hair in some instances, but flat irons scare me. When I think about straightening my hair, all I can picture in my head is those YouTube videos of girls (and guys) whose hair did not revert after trying to wash their hair.

But straightening your hair once in a while at a safe heat setting will not damage your hair. Just make sure to use a heat protect if you are going to apply heat directly to your hair. And if you are using a blow dryer you can always use a cool setting if you’re a scaredy cat like me. To add to that if you do not want to straighten your natural hair or use heatless methods instead.

Cause I know, there are probably a few of you who have sworn of flat irons for the rest of your lives like me.

Trimming your ends will make your hair grow

Trimming your ends does not make your hair grow but does promote healthy hair by getting rid of split ends which in my opinion is still a great benefit!

The rate at which your hair grows is dependent on your diet and genetics not on how often you trim your hair. Trims do allow you to retain length though, so don’t stop getting them just because they are not making your hair grow any faster.

The way to long is not by cutting it but by how you take care of it.

hair cut trim

Do your Research!

Remeber not everything you hear about black hair is always correct. Unfortunately, we end up believing in these things and don’t give our hair the proper care it needs. This is why doing your research is super important when it comes to your hair.

Comment down below myths about black hair you used to believe in or if any of these myths surprised you.

One thought on “Is It True What They Say?: Black Hair Myths Busted

  1. Tomasena says:

    Oh the myths. I think everyone in corporate America should read this article. This is the hair that grows out of my head! I love it!

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