Published on Monday January 30th, 2017 by Afrocks
Opinion: 5 Natural hair myths that need to be put to bed in 2018
The whole natural hair movement is nothing new but for some strange reason, it looks like a handful of myths just can’t die! Maybe it’s time we all stop lying to ourselves and accept certain truth about natural hair.
Your hair doesn’t have to be long.
Your successful natural hair story doesn’t have to involve a huge afro or long locks cascading down your back. It is perfectly acceptable, even for a black woman, to favour short styles because short hair isn’t only for after you finally take the plunge and big chop. It can also be a choice. And a woman choosing to cut her hair short should not be described as being “brave” or have people asking her if she is ok because of her decision to cut her hair. Short hair is ok!
Natural doesn’t only mean not chemically altered.
Your hair is only natural when its texture hasn’t been altered. The technique you have used to straighten your hair does not count. If your hair is naturally kinky and you straighten it with a flat iron, it is no longer natural. It might get back to being natural again once the effects of the flat iron wear off but, for the time that it is straight, just because it hasn’t been straightened permanently with chemicals, doesn’t mean it qualifies as natural. If you prefer your hair straight but prefer to use heat rather than a perm, by all means, do! There is nothing wrong with that. But you cannot call it natural hair until it is back to its natural texture.
There is nothing that will revert heat damage.
Heat damage is permanent and irreversible. There are countless myths going around of people who were able to rescue their heat damaged hair that wouldn’t go back to its natural, curly or kinky state, particularly after a Brazilian blowout or something similar to that. Well, they are all lies. That’s not how hair works. Once it suffers heat damage, that’s it. That’s forever. That’s just another big chop somewhere down the line because no amount of beer rinse will ever restore your hair back to its previous state.
No miracle product or technique will make your hair grow faster.
This one, I am afraid, will never die. Because it seems “making hair grow longer, faster” is one of the natural community’s favourite pastime. And I suppose, by now, if there ever was something that definitely worked, we would have found it. But we are still searching, experimenting, and sometimes doing rather strange things to ourselves (like putting vaginal cream on our heads) because someone said it made your hair grow double its normal rate when you did that. But here is the truth: nothing can make your hair grow faster. It’s not your diet, it’s not the moon, it’s not your hair product regimen. Your hair growth is defined by your genes and is usually unaffected, except, maybe, if you become pregnant, severely malnourished or extremely depressed, in which case the effects are usually temporary or have a tendency to stunt hair growth rather than enhance it. But one thing is for certain, your hair only knows to do one thing, and that’s growing. So it will.
The same hair product will not work for everybody.
Just because you have heard someone praise a certain oil or a hair product, it doesn’t mean you should expect the same results on you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will have bad results, you could even actually have better results than you originally expected, but don’t assume that because it worked on your friends it will definitely work for you. Give it a try, see what happens, but if it doesn’t work, blame the product, not your hair.
Picture credits: Nicholle Kobi (we love you). Check her art: https://nichollekobi.com/
Jessy Mullings is Writer and contributor for Afrocks. She lives in sunny Ireland and does amazing stuff with her hands http://www.rutyjewels.com/