Black Hair Myths Spread By Black People
There are a lot of myths and rumors going around about Black hair and some of it is spread by us! Let’s nip all of it in the bud and address some things.
Myth 1. Natural hair is expensive.
There’s no easy way to say this so I’ll just come out and say it… if natural hair is expensive, it’s your own fault. I’m sorry I had to be so blunt, but it’s the truth. I pick inexpensive brands and buy products that are under $15. If I depleted all of my products today, I could re-stock everything at $50.
If something went terribly wrong and I had to replace my satin pillowcase and bonnet, wide-tooth comb, and pick, the price would increase to $75 (including sales tax). I truly don’t think I would spend that much, but I’m just giving myself some room in case I want to splurge.
Even if I did spend that much money, all of my hair care products usually last me for at least two months, so I won’t have to buy anything else for another 60 days. If you can’t afford $40-$70 every two months, I strongly suggest you take a look at your budget to see what can be done.
Besides buying expensive products, another thing that will make your natural hair journey more expensive is going to the salon. Heatless styles take more time and are generally more expensive than flat-ironed styles. This can get costly, so most of us decide to do our own hair. I wash my hair more frequently now, so I do my hair at home because I don’t want to pay a lot of money for something I can do myself.
To save money while going to the salon, learn how to maintain your styles for as long as possible, and do all of the washing and detangling at home. That way, all they have to do is style your hair. I did this before and it saved me a ton of money!
A quick money-saving tip, make your own products using items from the grocery store. There are a lot of foods great for hair natural growth, and you can incorporate them into your regimen to get great results! Besides food, you can also find herbs and carrier oils in larger amounts and for a better price! You might have to pay more upfront, but the ingredients come in larger sizes so you won’t have to replenish as often.
Myth 2. Black hair doesn’t grow.
Yes, it does. The problem isn’t that our hair can’t grow, its that we don’t retain length very well.
On average, hair grows between .25-.5 inches/ month, for 4-7 years. Even if you’re on the slower end of the growth spectrum, you should have 12 in (30 cm) of length before it starts breaking off. Twelve inches (30 cm) is right past the shoulder. That’s a pretty decent length to have before it starts to shed. If your have a problem with length retention, there are ways to slow the shedding and minimize breakage.
One big problem is that a lot of us commit to regimens that don’t work for dry hair. For those who regularly straighten their hair, you shampoo twice, condition for a few minutes (at most) then proceed to add a lot of heat. Throughout the week, we wear bonnets and grease or oil our scalp, but that’s it.
This cycle repeats for two weeks before our hair ever sees water again. Our textures don’t allow for our natural oils (called sebum) to travel down the strands and coat our hair. This leaves most of our hair exposed, allowing it to dry a lot faster than people with looser curl patterns. So when we stick to the regimen mentioned above, we really are doing a lot of damage to our hair.
All the heat without adding any moisture makes already dry hair even drier and more prone to breakage. This routine doesn’t work for us, and we need to do better at taking care of our hair, especially if you aren’t natural. If you want to see length, you have to stop worrying about growth and start caring about health.
Myth 3. Black hair, especially coily-kinky hair, is hard to manage.
I put this last because sometimes, people associate think that our hair doesn’t grow because it’s so hard to manage. This is such a common myth and it makes me so annoyed. If your hair is hard to manage, it’s because you either don’t know how to take care of it, or you aren’t using products that work.
I have coily hair, so I know what it’s like to have a head full of tangles. I also know what it’s like to have hair that doesn’t want to co-operate. So believe me when I tell you that knowledge changes things.
To follow through with the point about us having regimens that aren’t working, not only do we need to realize that our hair is dry because of our texture, but it’s also dry because of our porosity. Porosity is super important for a regimen, especially a natural hair regimen because it will explain how your hair behaves towards moisture. Check this post about porosity and hair care if you want to know more information about how to chose products for your regimen.
Take the time to learn your hair. Don’t just follow advice blindly and buy recommended products, put the work into your hair and treat it as if it was your S/O. Spend money on it, tell it how beautiful it is, and most importantly, LISTEN TO IT! Your hair will show you what it needs and you have to pay attention.
Learn what it feels and looks like when it’s too dry, when it's dirty, and when it wants to be left alone. Learn what styles it can and can't handle, and don’t force it to be in a style or use a product that it doesn’t like. You won’t do yourself any favors, and you’ll just make everything harder than it has to be.
Black hair is highly criticized and misunderstood, and we need to do a better job at eliminating the lies within our own community. A lot of our problems started with oppression, but they continue to live because of us.
There are too many resources available to us to continue to live in ignorance. In order to stop fueling the flames and continuing the problem, we need to educate ourselves about what’s really going on.
This is a much bigger issue than hair, but this is a hair blog so that’s what I’m talking about. Show this article to someone who needs to see it, and always continue to learn about hair so that you can be an example.
These are some of the most common myths about Black hair that I hear. If you want to know some other things that we need to stop spreading, check out Annoying Natural Hair Comments That Should Be Cancelled.
If you found this article helpful, pin the image below to any natural hair or Black hair board on Pinterest by clicking the red “Pinterest save” button that shows when you click or tap on the image. Share the pin and stop the spread of the myths.