5 Myths About Natural Hair You Need to Know

For newbies on the natural journey, here’s the deal. There is a lot of misinformation around about natural hair care, what products to use and what it does and doesn’t do. Whether you are thinking about going natural or just starting your transition, it's important to learn all you can about your hair. I'm dropping some knowledge on a few points.

MYTH 1: Natural hair grows slower than relaxed/straightened hair.
FACT: The state of your hair does not determine the rate of hair growth. You may be experiencing shrinkage. If you hair stands coil and curl up, you won’t be seeing as much length as you do when your hair is straightened. That’s because of texture, not growth rate. If you want to learn more about how to grow your hair, read THIS ARTICLE on Maximum Length.

MYTH 2: Natural hair is duller and drier than relaxed/straightened hair.
FACT: Natural hair is no drier than straightened hair. It's just that you need to use products that keep moisture in. In fact, every time you straighten your hair through direct heat or chemical relaxing, you damage it to some degree, and use have to use products to repair or mask the damage. Natural afro hair does not have a high shine to it because light does not reflect off afro hair to create shine the same way as straight hair, but that does not mean it is dry. Happy natural hair has a healthy lustre and sheen that you can see when you wear twists or braids. If you want to keep it simple, use a light oil on damp/wet hair and gel or butter on top to keep moisture in all day. If you use the wrong products, like ones that contain mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones or even too much glycerin, this will dull and dry out your hair. Use the right hair products for moisture.

MYTH 3: Natural hair takes too long to style.
FACT: Yep, this one is a popular one. You can take as long as you like to create a style on natural hair – or not. A TWA has to be the fastest hairstyle in the world. The afro puff (our version of a ponytail) is the second fastest. People overcomplicate natural hair because they are unfamiliar with it, or are trying to get it to do stuff it doesn't naturally do easily. The best thing is, it may take a long time to do a particular style, like micro twists, braids or cornrows, but these styles lasts FAR LONGER than any style on straightened hair because you don’t have to repeat doing it every day (or week, or month). It may take you a few hours to do a head full of twists, but the style can be made to last for weeks.

MYTH 4: Products for natural hair are more expensive.
FACT: Not necessarily. Have you seen shampoo bars? Sure, there are overpriced natural hair products just like other products. But these days there are dozens of good products for natural hair that are reasonably priced and are found in department stores and on Amazon. Also, I have found that products for natural hair tend to last longer than products designed for relaxed hair.

MYTH 5: Natural hair needs a lot more product to look good.
FACT: Only if you want to. A spritz of water, some pomade or gel and wrapping your hair up with a satin scarf for 10 minutes will give you a slick afro puff that will last all day. Or you can use 8 styling products and sit under a dryer for 30 minutes for the same result. It’s up to you.
So natural hair doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or daily time consuming. You may have to re-learn techniques but as you learn, you get faster and better at styling. Take your time and enjoy the surprises along the way.


Last modified on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 08:22
Patricia Gaines

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

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