7 Myths About Natural Hair

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Throughout my travels on my natural hair journey, I've gained a lot of knowledge on hair from teaching myself and from doing research. The internet has been a super helpful tool for me in keeping my hair healthy and growing ranging from blogs, YouTube, to social media and forums. However, I've come across a lot of untruths about coils and kinks that may come from ignorance. For many years prior to the current Natural Hair Movement, there has been a lack of education on the maintenance on natural hair. Thankfully we're getting past this, but there are still some untruths floating around that I'd like to address:

1. "Natural hair products are too expensive!"

Now I do understand everyone's lifestyle and budget is different, but chile there are TOO many sales on natural hair products to sleep on. At stores like Walgreens (they also have a Balance Rewards program and you can always get points on beauty products), CVS, Target and on natural hair product websites for brands like Shea Moisture, Mielle Organics, Eden Bodyworks, Alikay Naturals, etc there are always sales ranging from BOGO to free shipping. I'll even do you one better and let you know you can find discounted natural hair products at stores like Dollar Tree, Rite Aid, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx.

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Contrary to popular belief, that 12oz $13 bottle of Alikay Naturals Coconut shampoo is going to last a good minute. My hair is thick as all get out and mid back length. I wash my hair once a week and a bottle of Camille Rose Naturals' Ginger Rinse lasts me about a month and a half.

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TJ Maxx
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Whole Foods
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Plus, you don't need a bunch of products anyway. I'm somewhat of a "product junkie", but I still keep it simple with shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, and oils. Don't think just because bloggers and content creators use fifty-'leven products, you have to the same. As quiet as it's kept, the current Natural Hair Movement was originally based on simplicity, cost efficiency, and low maintenance. While the original message has somewhat gotten lost in the array of products, tutorials, and seminars throughout the years, you can still go back to the basics and do what's best for you and your budget.

Keep it simple and find what works for your tresses. I tell naturals this all the time when asked for advice. Another option to save money is make your own natural hair products with ingredients like shea butter, black soap, essential oils, and mango butter. You can even use items from your kitchen like olive oil, honey, and avocado.

2. "Natural hair is hard to manage."

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We have to stop listening to the old school fables aunts, moms, and grandmas told before they slathered a handful of Just for Me kiddie perm on our scalps at age 10. This myth goes back into the lack of education about natural hair. From my own experience, the key to keeping natural hair "manageable" is:
  • keeping your hair moisturized at all times
  • detangling your hair from the ends to the root if needed (I usually do this on "wash day")
  • finger detangling
  • don't take any opportunity for your hair to become matted or shrink too much. braid it up at night if necessary!
  • wash and style hair in sections
This is where patience and learning your own hair comes into play.

3. Protective styles = hair growth

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Photo: The Creamy Crack Rehab
I've discussed this before in a previous post and I have to be honest that I am seeing a trend of some people who may not be comfortable with their natural hair hide under "protective styles". Some even wear them constantly in order to "not deal with" their own hair. While protective styling is beneficial, it's not best to wear them all the time. Styles like braids, wigs, and sew-ins are great when your natural hair needs a short break, but be wary of major breakage on the crown and edges area from tight tension which can cause traction alopecia (from braids under sew-ins and styles like box braids), lace on wigs, wig caps, chemicals from weaves, and even from products like wig glues.

Don't be afraid to opt for low manipulation styles like braid outs, twist outs, buns, twists, bantu knots, and more. If you want your hair to be healthy and grow, you're going to have to "deal" with it whether you like it or not. Simply rockin' a sew-in wont cut it and don't let people who already have long (natural) hair fool you into thinking protective styles is all it takes. Also keep in mind hair only grows 0.50 inches a month too with or without protective styles.

My personal motto is that when it comes to Black hair, there are no shortcuts and there's no easy way. Whether you have a relaxer, you're natural, rock wigs, or weaves, we just have to go the extra mile to take care of our hair. 

4. "Natural hair isn't for everyone."

How the hell is something that naturally comes from me not for me?

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5. "The hair typing chart is discriminatory/useless."

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There's a lot of debates in the Natural Hair Community on the usefulness or uselessness on the curl pattern chart. I find it to be useful and preposterous to assume it discriminates against any curl type. All the chart does is show your curl pattern and some suggest certain techniques and types of products to use in your hair. It's used in the beauty industry by professionals for styling purposes too. For example, a gal with thick, tightly coiled 4C hair wouldn't be 'round these parts doing certain techniques as someone with loosely curled 3A hair. Keep in mind the hair typing chart is not the end all be all, and you should always experiment with your own hair, but I do find it helpful.

6. "Men aren't attracted to women with natural hair."/ "They only like women with looser curls."

Now don't get me wrong, there are always going to be ignorant clowns, but personally I've never had an issue attracting men with my natural hair and many naturals can say the same. Some also believe that the men who do appreciate natural hair only like it when it's a Type 2 or Type 3 curl. Again, there's always going to be ignorance and discrimination, but there is appreciation for women with tighter Type 4 coils and kinks. To keep it a buck, texture discrimination comes on both sides as well. There are many woman-ran blogs, social media pages, and YouTube videos strictly promote loose curls and discriminate against texture.

Rock your curls for you and don't worry about the goof-balls who are still stuck on stupid when it comes to natural hair.

7. "Wash day takes all day."

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Photo: dreadstop.tumblr.com

There are so many different methods, rinses, techniques, and treatments naturalistas use for their hair. Don't get overwhelmed with the ACV Rinses, pre-pooing, and bentonite clay masks. Usually these treatments are done when hair may be damaged or for an extra boost of growth. This is why it's important to do your own research and find what works for you.

As long as you're keeping your hair moisturized, deep conditioned, keeping your ends clipped every 3-4 months, and not stressing your hair or adding too much tension, you may not even have to do all those extras. Try to keep it simple at shampooing, deep/conditioning, leave-in conditioning, and moisturizing (LOC method) your hair for wash day and get into the groove of things before trying other methods.

All in all, it's up to you to find what works best for your hair. I have to reiterate that over and over. Even if you have a bomb ass hair stylist, you still have to put the work in because no one knows your curls like you do. Continue to do your own research.

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What are other natural hair myths that need to be debunked? 

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