There are so many natural hair fads and fallacies out there, and it’s so easy to get tangled up in the web of it all. Yes, we have stepped into the era of ample information about natural afro hair, and information abounds everywhere if you are looking for resources to boost you on your natural air journey. However, there are still some commonly propagated hair myths that you might come across ever so often.
The purpose of this article is to shed light on these common hair myths, so that you can ignore them if you ever come across them on your hair journey.
Natural hair is very weak
There is this misconception that afro hair is weak and brittle, but the truth is; afro hair is actually one of the strongest hair types. It has excellent tensile strength and can hold a lot of water. This being said, it is important to note that afro hair is also the most vulnerable hair type that needs to be properly handled if you want to avoid breakage and damage.
The natural sebum that the scalps produce has an easy time gliding down straight hair, but it has a harder time travelling down afro hair because of its kinks and twists. This means that the ends of afro hair can be brittle and dry if not properly moisturised. To counter this myth, all you need to do is ensure that your hair is always properly moisturised.
Natural hair is very strong
This misconception is on the flip side of the one previously mentioned. A lot of people think that afro hair is very strong because it can withstand a lot of manipulation. Many think that it is very resilient and resistant. This is not the full truth. Although strong, afro hair wraps itself into curls and coils and is fragile at the curl points.
Our point is that afro hair can be weak and brittle but is also great at being manipulated. To keep it healthy and less break-prone, it must be properly moisturised.
Managing afro hair is a whole day’s work
This is the one big misinformation that scares a lot of people when they consider transitioning to their natural hair. While your natural afro hair will need a little more TLC, it is not that hard to manage. The truth is that no hair texture is hard to manage. All you need to do is learn the best management techniques for your hair texture, and you are good to go.
4C-textured hair is the worst
There is also a misconception that if you must have afro hair, at least have type 3 hair instead of type 4. This way, type 3 hair is deemed good curls, while type 4 hair is considered otherwise.
Coily hair is the last classification on the hair type spectrum. Popularly called kinky hair, it is full of tight coils, extremely wiry and quite fragile because it does not have very many cuticle layers to stop it from drying out. Also, the scalp's natural oils cannot move down the strands efficiently, due to the turns and twists characterising coily hair. Coily hair can be wiry and harsh, soft and delicate, or anything in between. These highly tight curls take on somewhat of a zigzag pattern, which is why coily hair usually has problems with shrinkage, tangling, and dryness.
Contrary to the misconceptions, there are no bad curls. There is no bad hair. You simply need to know how to take care of the curls that you have.
Throw versatility out of the window
There is this misconception that you cannot create many beautiful hairstyles with your hair if you carry natural afro hair. In fact, some people believe that the only natural hairstyle you can carry is an afro. If not, you have to wear a protective style.
That is simply not true. You have so many hairstyle options with your natural hair. We have loc, puffs, twists, braids, Bantu knots. The opportunities for styling your curly/coily hair in its natural form are limitless. You can even create your personal one-of-a-kind hairstyle.
Natural hair doesn’t grow that much
Most people erroneously think that afro hair is always short and doesn’t grow as well as other hair types. This is not true. What happens is that natural hair tends to shrink up, preventing you from seeing its actual length. But afro hair does grow long, and you don’t need a relaxer to grow it long.
Afro hair grows in different ways, depending on your curl pattern. If your coils are tight, your hair will look short, even if it is not.
Pack on the grease
Most people think that afro hair needs lots and lots of grease to be combable, but it certainly does not. You don’t have to grease your hair from now to eternity. Thankfully, we have better hair products for afro hair today than we did in the past. These products are not grease-based, and pack a lot of nutrients for your hair.
You don’t need to wash afro hair very often
There is this misconception that afro hair does not need to see water as often as other hair types. While you may not need to wash afro hair as often as straight hair, your hair also suffers from product build-up and needs to be cleaned frequently. There is no strict hair washing routine guideline. Some people wash twice a week, and some once a week. Find what works for your hair and do it.
Afro hair does not need leave-in conditioner
All hair types need a leave-in conditioner. The trick is finding the leave-in conditioner that is best for your hair type. There are leave-in conditioners made specifically for people of colour. In fact, water-based leave-in conditioners are fantastic choices because you can use them to ensure hydration as well.
All afro hair need the same products
There is a misconception that all curly and coily hair should use the same products. This is false. It is important to note that the hair typing system should only serve as a guide for you as you start on your hair care journey. The danger of focusing exclusively on hair types when selecting hair products is that it prods you into getting products that don’t work for your specific hair type.
Let’s consider this; Not all products for oily skin will work for someone with oily skin. There are several other factors that should be considered. The same goes for your hair. Before choosing a product for your afro hair, consider factors such as hair density and hair porosity, and other hair characteristics.
You need lots of money to maintain natural hair
Budgeting for hair care can sometimes feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need a long, intense, and expensive hair care routine. You do not need pricey products. You simply need to find the products that work for you and stick to them.
You can also DIY. Most natural hair products actually contain ingredients you can find in your pantry or at your local shops. So go ahead and DIY some great hair products for yourself.
Change the narrative
Together, we can change the narrative about afro hair by learning what our hair is all about. Educate yourself about your hair and then pass this message to others. When you understand the hair that grows out of your head, you will fall in love with it. This is the only way up and forward.
Ensure you use the proper hair tools for your hair type. For instance; don’t yank your afro hair into submission with a fine-toothed comb.
Also, use the right products. Products can make hair easier to handle or harder to. So, make sure you use products that make a difference in how your hair actually behaves and feels.
Take care of your natural hair, stay beautiful, and always be ready to teach others to do the same.