There are a lot of black hair care myths in the community that prevent people of color from having the true knowledge and facts. Here is a list of 10 common myths many black women and men have learned growing up from family members and each other.
Myth #1 Black hair doesn’t grow
There is a common misconception in the black community that African American hair can’t grow long in its natural and relaxed state. This common belief is absolutely false. Black hair can grow long and healthy as long as you treat it with proper care and follow a regimen that works for you.
Myth #2 Black hair needs grease
Many people in the African American community believe that black hair needs grease in order for their hair to be healthy. Many people actually grow up on this belief based on what they’ve been told and have seen by parents or family members. This common belief is false and many grease products actually have petroleum and mineral oil which are not good for black hair. Ingredients such as petroleum and mineral oil will clog up your hair scalp and attract dirt which actually hinders hair growth and health. A better and more recommended alternative is to moisturize black hair with natural oils and butters.
Myth #3 Braids make your hair grow
Many African Americans believe that having braids in your hair will promote hair growth and this is not true. Having braids in your hair can cause more of an opposite effect. If done tightly, braids can actually break your hair off and cause damage. Instead of promoting hair growth, braids protect your hair from heat and other environmentally related damages. There is a difference. The key thing for black women is to take care of their hair even when braided and all will be well.
Myth #4 Cutting black hair makes it grow faster
Cutting black hair does not make it grow faster. Many black women believe this common myth and it’s not true. Hair that grows out of your scalp is dead therefore cutting, so it can’t possibly make it grow faster. Cutting and trimming will actually make your hair appear healthier because damaged ends are removed.
Myth #5 Black hair is stronger than every other hair type
Black hair is not stronger than every other hair type. Black hair is actually closer to being the most fragile compared to every other hair type. African American hair is more prone to breakage in its natural and relaxed state. Black hair can lose its moisture much easier therefore it’s very important to apply protein and moisture treatments along with natural oils like coconut oil regularly. Also be very careful when grooming the hair. Tools like wide-tooth combs and boar brushes can be your hair’s best friend.
Myth #6 Prenatal vitamins will make black hair grow longer
This is a common myth in the black hair community. Although many women experience good hair growth while pregnant, this is not due to prenatal vitamins at all. It is actually due to the large amounts of estrogen hormone during pregnancy which promotes this growth phase. Once pregnancy is over, the hair will go back to its normal growth pattern and many women will even experience shedding and hair loss. Vitamins are a good source for promoting hair growth, but growth depends on the vitamin containing the right ingredients. If you are going to take vitamins to promote more hair growth, it should have Biotin, Folic Acid, and MSM.
Myth #7 Going to the salon regularly will make your hair grow long
It’s not necessary to go to the hair salon regularly in order to have your hair grow to your desired length. All that’s required of you is to properly care for your hair. Do a bit of research on how you can create a regimen that works for you and follow it. Do protein and moisture treatments on your hair, use as little heat as possible, and continuously moisturize your hair (especially the ends) to promote hair growth.
Myth #8 Natural hair isn’t versatile
Many people in the African American community believe that black hair isn’t versatile and that is far from the truth. There is a lot you can do to natural hair. You can twist it, braid it, wear cornrows, coil it, wear as an afro, wear as an afro puff, loc it, and create Bantu knots. With these different techniques, you can create so many different styles. There is no limit to what you can do to natural hair as long as you’re willing to learn or you can have someone style it for you.
Myth #9 You can wash your relaxer out
It is extremely common in the black community to hear that the state of your relaxed hair can revert back to its natural state if washed too much. This is absolutely false. Once hair is chemically relaxed, it will stay that way until it has been cut off. The only part of your hair that will be natural is the new growth.
Myth #10 You can repair split ends
Many people believe that you can repair split ends and this is false. Once the ends of your hair are split, it can not be repaired. There are a lot of repairing products being advertised and marketed for split ends but don’t believe the hype. You can temporarily mend them but they will never be repaired. The only way to get rid of them is to trim them. If they’re not trimmed, the split ends will only travel further up and will cause you to cut off more than you have to in the end.