Here is a list of he top 21 African American hair myths that are passed to friends and family members building up a barrier between black men and women. These are some of the top statements that are causing arguments and massive destruction of thirsty roots nationwide.
Myth 1: Trimming Hair Makes It Grow Faster
Trimming off damaged or split ends does not make your hair grow faster. It only keeps the hair you have from breaking off. Not trimming split ends will allow the split to travel up the hair shaft creating destructive hair breakage.
Myth 2: Black Hair Is Strong
Your thirsty roots are actually the weakest of all hair types due to the internal structure of it’s natural coils and kinks. This fragile structure makes it more susceptible to breakage due to the dry nature of the follicle.
Myth 3: Grease Is The Best Moisturizer For My Scalp
WRONG! The best moisturizer for your thirsty roots is WATER. Grease and oils actually seal in or block moisture from your hair. Water based moisturizers are great for penetration of your black hair and oils are good for sealing in the moisture.
Myth 4: My Relaxer Can Be Washed Out
This is NOT true!
Many women believe that washing their hair after it has been relaxed will simply revert it back to it’s natural state. No MAM!
Once your thirsty roots have been chemically altered to be straight there is absolutely no way to revert them back to their natural state. You will have to transition out of the relaxer or cut it out…also known as The Big Chop.
Myth 5: Brushing My Black Hair Will Make It Grow Faster
Excessive brushing of African American hair will actually break it off. Constant manipulation of your thirsty roots is not good especially if you are relaxed. Avoid brushing black hair when it’s soaking wet, that’s the weakest state.
Myth 6: Prenatal Vitamins Help Make Black Hair Grow Longer
The vast amount of the hormone estrogen is what extends many pregnant women’s hair growing cycle which leads to thicker hair on your scalp. If you are one of the African American women who experience this don’t celebrate. Many women after birth experience extreme amounts of hair shedding. Patches of the thick thirsty roots you once raved about could shed for weeks.
Myth 7: Split Ends Can Be Repaired With Products
No. Once the hair has split it cannot be repaired. There are products that advertise treatment and temporary mends but DO NOT mistake this as repair. The ONLY way to get rid of split ends is to trim them…PERIOD! If left alone the split will travel up the hair shaft and cause breakage.
Myth 8: Relaxing Your Black Hair Makes It Grow Faster
This is an illusion many people tend to get fooled by. Our natural thirsty roots are curly, coily and kinky by nature which means it stays closer to our scalp. Once stretched a coiled hair follicle could be 3 to 5 times longer than it’s appearance curled up. Relaxing your thirsty roots simply stretches out the hair to it’s maximum.
NOTE: This reduces elasticity and hinders the natural ability for your hair to coil back to it’s original shape without breakage.
Myth 9: African American’s Hair Grows Slow
Your thirsty roots grow an average of 1/2 an inch every month or 6-inches a year like every other race. It only seems that your hair is shorter because it has a tighter curl pattern. Someone with a naturally loose curl pattern or straighter hair will appear to have longer strands.
NOTE: Black hair is more susceptible to breakage so it’s also about how much of it you can keep as it grows every month.
Myth 10: Black Hair Can’t Grow Long
NONSENSE! There are 10′s of thousands of African Americans who have long hair in a relaxed and natural state. You can grow your hair out to be long, strong and healthy with the proper amount of information.
SEE Article “How To Grow Your Hair Longer”
Myth 11: Heat Will Make Black Hair Grow Faster
Excessive heat on your thirsty roots can cause extreme damage. Improper heat to black hair will simply destroy it in many ways.
- Can alter protein bonds
- Melt keratin protein
- Suck out natural moisture
Myth 12: If I Wash My Hair More Than Once A Week They Will Dry Out
Water is the best moisturizer for black hair and it does not dry it out! It is the shampoos that strip and mediocre conditioners that wreak havoc on black hair. Getting water on those thirsty roots properly restores moisture and cleanses the scalp promoting better hair growth. It’s all about moisture and sebum production (Natural Hair Oils) that reduces dryness.
Here are some articles to read for additional information…
Myth 13: Weaves and Black Braids Hairstyles Will Cause Hair Loss
This is a two part answer in which we must address both.
YES, braids and weaves cause hair loss.
If you wear braids to tight and ALL THE TIME they can cause traction alopecia from the constant pulling of the scalp and hair fibers. Also weaves & braids improperly sewed or GLUED in will cause extreme damage to your thirsty roots. Unfortunately the BIGGEST cause of hair loss with these two styles is simply the LACK of knowledge. A large percent of the women who wear braids and weaves simply don’t know how to take care of their natural thirsty roots underneath the styling option.
NO, braids and weaves DO NOT cause hair loss
This is the answer for the women who are knowledgeable about how to wear these styling options. They simply wear braids and weaves as protective styles. Their thirsty roots are healthy and they understand that the less they manipulate the hair the more it will grow. These women allow their hair to rest but also know when to release the style.
Myth 14: Putting A Bandana On My Hair At Night Will Prevent Breakage
Well wrapping your hair up at night will help prevent hair breakage but NOT if it a cotton material. Cotton will rob your thirsty roots of moisture and create friction as you toss and turn breaking your hair off. Satin and Silk scarfs or pillowcases reduce this friction and help maintain more moisture preventing split ends and hair breakage much better.
Myth 15: Natural Hair Is Hard To Manage
Natural hair simply requires MORE maintenance which is NOT the same as HARD to manage. If you’re time is limited or you are lazy, rocking your hair in it’s natural state WILL BE a challenge.
Managing natural hair is all about treating it in a way that doesn’t try to change or alter it natural growth pattern. This requires different tools, methods of styling, and frequent moisture applications to maintain it’s health. The term DIY will apply to YOU frequently!
Myth 16: Black Women With GOOD Hair Grow It Faster
There is NO such thing as GOOD or BAD hair, ONLY healthy hair. Healthy black will grow as long as you want it to. (Ask someone with long dreadlocks, relaxed & natural hair)
The biggest thing that separates your black hair from another African American woman or man is simply curl pattern, porosity, density and texture. Outside of that it’s all about knowledge! Once you have an understanding about YOUR hair this myth fades away forever.
Myth 17: Natural Hair Doesn’t Grow
Natural hair grows very well especially if it’s healthy. It only appears to be short because of the tightly curled & coiled strands. Many natural women shock friends and family if they decide to flat iron their thirsty roots. This allows the hair to be stretched to it’s maximum showcasing extraordinary length and bounce.
Myth 18: Natural Relaxers Are Safer For My Hair
Many of the same chemicals in your natural relaxer are in the no lye and lye kit relaxers. Don’t buy because of a name “Natural” or “Silkener”. Read the ingredients! There is NO SUCH thing as a Natural Relaxer.
NOTE: The only difference between a no-lye and lye relaxer is the CHEMICAL composition which includes sodium hydroxide.
Myth 19: Flat Irons Are BAD for My Black Hair
Flat irons are only bad if used excessively and improperly. To much heat on your thirsty roots can be damaging. However, if a ceramic plated flat iron is used correctly it simply distributes heat evenly amongst your hair strands straightening the hair without damage. They key phrase is “USED CORRECTLY”.
Myth 20: Expensive Products Are Better For My Black Hair
The price of a product is a non factor of healthy black hair. It’s not about brand and ALL about ingredients. If a product is poorly formulated it will destroy your hair. You should select ingredients over brand names. Here is a list of best ingredients for black hair.
Myth 21: Natural Hair Is Healthier Than Relaxed Black Hair
Just because your hair is in it’s natural state doesn’t mean it’s healthier than a relaxed individual. Proper maintenance in both states can result in very healthy hair. Relaxers can cause hair breakage if not properly maintained and the results are the same with natural hair.
NOTE: By default if both women are doing the right things to have healthy thirsty roots “The Natural State” will edge out simply because it has zero chemicals.