Before relaxers became easily accessible, black people straightened their hair through a variety of means, many of which were very harsh and damaging. Although the majority of black women still prefer to wear their hair straightened, there has been a steadily growing movement toward wearing natural hair. However, there remains a lot of misinformation that prevents some people from accepting their hair as it grows from their scalp. They choose to straighten their hair because they still believe these misconceptions about natural hair. To find out the real truths about these common natural hair myths, keep on reading.
Natural Hair Isn't Versatile
If you think afros are the only style for natural hair, you're missing out on a ton of unique hairstyles that are beautiful and healthy for your hair and scalp.
Some of the many natural hairstyles you can wear include:
In addition, you can combine these styles to create your own one-of-a-kind hairdos. If your hair is short, that may limit your versatility somewhat, but the longer your hair grows, the more styles you can experiment with and enjoy.
Natural Hair Doesn't Grow
Black hair in its natural state has a tendency to shrink up, preventing you from seeing its real length, leading to the popular belief that it doesn't grow long. While everyone has a predetermined hair length that's due to genetics, with proper care, you can grow your hair as long as it is destined to be and you don't need a relaxer or perm to do so. A relaxer straightens your curls so that you can see length more easily, but the chemicals in it do not promote hair growth.
Hair grows an average of 1/2 inch per month, including black hair. Your hair is growing, but you may not be retaining the length due to chemical abuse, dryness, excessive heat styling, and a general lack of proper care.
Natural Hair Needs Grease
Many products you'll find in the ethnic hair care section of your local stores are full of ingredients that aren't the best for black hair. Ironic, but true. Petroleum and mineral oil make up a large percentage of black hair products and all they do is clog your scalp and attract dirt to your hair. You do not have to grease your scalp for it to be healthy.
Luckily, today's consumer has many more options than in the past. New companies are regularly cropping up that cater to the black hair market with products full of good-for-your-hair ingredients. You'll find many that contain no:
- Mineral oil
Gone are the days when you could only find these premium brands online. You can find names like Jane Carter, AsIAm, Eden BodyWorks, Shea Moisture, Alikay Naturals, and more at local retailers as well as online.
Natural Hair Is Strong
Natural hair looks strong, which is why so many people accidentally abuse it with rough treatment. In reality, black hair is fragile and needs to be treated with the gentlest of care in order for it to flourish. Wide tooth combs, natural ingredients, and your own fingers are the best tools and products for natural hair. You'll find that low-manipulation and protective styles usually help to retain length because constant grooming can be too much for some hair types.
Natural Hair Is Hard to Manage
Natural, textured hair can seem hard to manage if you attempt to treat it like straight hair. If you use the same tools and expect the same results that you would on straightened hair, you're going to be disappointed. However, once you learn to treat natural hair in a way that doesn't try to change it or alter it, it can be as manageable as any other type of hair.
You'll have to use different tools and methods of styling. Your fingers, a wide-tooth comb, natural boar bristle brushes, and natural oils are all good ways to treat black hair. If you're used to dealing with straightened hair, learning new routines and techniques that work with your natural texture instead of against it will yield the best results.