7 Myths About Natural Hair

  • hair + beauty
  • June 5, 2012
  • Ashley

Myth #1 – Natural Hair is only for those with Good Hair This old school belief has been passed down from generation to generation. But believe me, times have changed. Turn on the TV and you can’t go ten minutes without seeing a black woman with a twist out or a freeform fro in a national television commercial. Flip through the pages of Cosmo, Vogue, and Essence and you’ll also see black women of all different skin tones and hair textures rocking the latest fashions! It doesn’t matter if your curls are loose and wavy or tight and kinky. Natural hair is the look of the day and can be worn by just about anyone. Myth #2 – Natural Hair is Unmanageable Nothing could be further from the truth. The media and relaxer manufacturers have done an excellent job of tricking us all into believing that our natural hair is difficult and requires a miracle simply to maintain. Check out the ads in this month’s Ebony and I promise that you’ll find pages of relaxer advertisements that promise longer, silkier, and easier to manage hair. It should come as no surprise that these corporations have profited to the tune of billions of dollars by perpetuating such myths and preying on the insecurities of black women everywhere. The truth is that natural hair is just as manageable as relaxed hair and often gives the wearer greater freedom and flexibility. Once you’ve mastered the basic grooming techniques and have found products that your hair likes/responds to, caring for your natural tresses will be as easy as A, B, C. Myth #3 – Natural Hair is only for the Political/Spiritual Types I love me some Angela Davis — but natural hair is for everyone. Although the Afro was once a symbol for political change, today, being natural is nothing more than a hairstyle. Natural hair looks just as good on women wearing their dashikis and head wraps as it does on women sporting their St. John suits. At the end of the day, you’re an individual and natural hair can’t take that away from you. Myth #4 – Natural Hair is Unprofessional I’ve heard this a thousand times before. Sadly enough, we as black women are more likely than our white counterparts to view our kinky tresses as unprofessional or inferior. I personally have not experienced any problems with being natural and working for one of the top law firms in the country. In fact, I have found it much easier to be myself around my colleagues and clients sporting natural hair rather than with perms and wigs. Go figure!! Myth #5 – Your Styling Options are Limited Once upon a time, tight, braided styles were our only options when it came to wearing our hair natural. But times have changed. Now, there are so many looks to choose from. Not only do you have the option to wear your hair straight or curly — but you can also experiment with cornrows, flat twists, Bantu knots, comb coils, roller sets, and twist outs. If you’re feeling modern and funky, you can rock a blow out or pay homage to Pam Grier, the original Foxy Cleopatra, and sport a big-ass Afro. For a look that is timeless and sophisticated, you can never go wrong with slicking your hair back into a bun. And, of course, I can’t forget to give a shout-out to all the ladies with the Teeny Weeny Afros. Color is also a great way to spice up your look and give yourself more variety. Remember, variety is the spice of life and with natural hair, you’re never short on seasoning. Myth #6 – Black Hair Doesn’t Grow Long All hair — white and black — grows about one-half inch per month. “If your hair does not get longer, it is not because it is not growing, but because it continually breaks,” says Harvard trained dermatologist Dr. Susan Taylor and author of the best selling book Brown Skin. Unfortunately, black women continue to fight a never-ending battle with breakage and over-processed hair caused by chemical relaxers and harsh styling practices (e.g. weaves, tight braids, etc.). Many women find, however, that going natural helps to minimize breakage. Some naturals even report that their hair is healthier and grows longer and thicker than ever before. Myth #7 – Natural Hair Requires No Maintenance “There is no such thing as no-maintenance black hair,” says Symone Hilton, owner of Natural Trendsetters Salon in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It doesn’t matter if you are rocking a TWA or sporting locks, you’ll still need to keep your hair and scalp clean and well conditioned — and your ends trimmed to achieve a healthy mane]]>

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