No diamond crown is better than the crown of our natural hair! Strong, healthy, and shiny hairs give us a sense of pride and confidence! Thus, we keep on doing things to make them more beautiful but nonetheless, we come across some ways or facts which are nothing but misconceptions! Personal perceptions and myths of many influence our decisions regarding our own natural hair and that’s why we’re here to debunk such myths about natural black hair that you didn’t know were “MYTHS!”
From Afro Hair to all other natural black hair, let’s debunk all the myths here! We never know when the false perception of one will become “universal” and hence become a myth! Thus, it is vital to keep on checking our facts and distinguish them from misconceptions!
The history of these misconceptions and myths about natural black hair dates back to the imperial times when Europeans forcefully instilled their notions of beauty in us! The myths that we came to believe were not true. Such myths have been challenged from time to time and again! Especially regarding Afro hair and the struggles of the same! People think Afro hair is dirty, while some believe natural black hair is strong! Let’s recheck our facts here!
We’re debunking black hair myths this time, which is why it becomes crucial to know about the history of hair of every other black man and woman before you jump on to know what these myths are!
Natural Black Hair: The History Of Prejudice
The West didn’t only colonize our land, they colonized our minds, hearts, and identity too! Something that we are still fighting to come out of! The western, euro-centric perceptions of “beauty” have become “universal” and we are judged from our hair to the skin on the basis of the same.
The shackles of the past still come haunting us and nobody can decipher the cruel pain of “stripped identity” more than black people. The roots of racism run deep which pollute the young minds into hating their own “ethnicity”.
Did you think that it is the color that all these people were discriminated against? Think again! From lips, nose to even hair, every part of black people was assessed and scorned.
These cases of heightened prejudices led to mass realizations and movements that aimed to redefine the blotted notions of beauty and accept what’s natural! From the times of Civil Rights to Natural Hair, the black people have been living a life of constant struggle trying to fully and unapologetically embrace what’s their right! To embrace their skin and let their curly locks freely float! It’s a struggle from the school to the street where people are rolling their eyes at the mere sight of them! So drop everything and join me to uncover this struggle of the black identity (specifically, hair) which still has many myths surrounding it!
“If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed.” “Textured hairs are bad.” “Your hair looks like pubes!” How derogatory is it all and yet, this is a daily occurrence for them! Who would know this side of ugly racism more than the Black Americans who have been discriminated against by way of “featurism”, “colorism” and “textures”.
“Wow, your hairs are different, can I touch them?” If you ever ask a colored person this, there are high chances they’ll ignore you! But, if you go out of your way and touch them to satisfy your curiosity, you might as well say buh-bye to your hands!
Was it too much? Are hairs that important? “THEY VERY MUCH ARE!” Especially if you have been taunted for centuries for your natural hair.
Black women were supposed to cover their hair because they were “unsightly.” They had to iron their hair if they ever wanted to be considered in the society, their beautiful hairstyles were scorned at, they had to shave their head, they even had to cut their natural hair short to be enrolled in school, they had to tame their locks because free-floating ones were “unprofessional”, and so much more! Phew, the list is so long! This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg!
And you know what’s absurd amidst it all? The masculine identity of black females! Their strong features weren’t considered feminine and even Serena hasn’t been left out of such hate! This is the kind of society we live in today and this is why you need to know the facts first to break the myth!!
The fact here is that these myths are shared by Black Women themselves who have encountered the same in their real life and the answers to which are uncovered by our physicians! Some of these myths start at home, while some follow them in their workplace. Let’s look at what these myths about natural hair are and why are they even a MYTH!
Common Myths About Natural Black Hair And Afro Hair
Before debunking black hair myths, there are some important points to note!
- Black hair can be straight and curly.
- Natural Black hair has a high melanin content in them making them appear dark.
- Asian Black hairs are usually straight while Afro ones have variations of different curl patterns!
- The variations in curl patterns are due to the shape of hair follicles. Asian hair has round to slightly oval hair follicles which make them grow perpendicular to the scalp. However, Afro hair has oval to elliptical hair follicles making them grow almost parallel to the scalp.
Since you got to know about the essential points related to Black hairs, it’s time that you should cut off your ways from the myths that are still prevailing in your surroundings without a valid reason. These involve:
MYTH 1: “Only Hair Products Matter For Beautiful Natural Hairs”
This is the most common misconception about natural black hair, especially among youngsters! They tend to believe that good hair comes from good hair products but that’s not the case!
Good hair products help to maintain the hair but to have beautiful and healthy hair, one must eat healthy too! Having a healthy lifestyle is important to have beautiful black locks!
MYTH 2: “Not Cutting Hair Makes Them Grow”
Another common myth regarding natural hair is that “to make your hair grow, you avoid cutting them”. Well, no wonder this is a myth! The reason? Well, first of all, over time, our hair tends to have split ends.
Now if your hairs have split ends, then there’s no questioning the fact that your hair won’t grow until you get rid of these ends! Hence, you have to trim your hair often if you want to see them grow!
MYTH 3: “Natural Afro Hair Are Dirty”
The first and foremost myth surrounding afro hair is that – “they are dirty, nappy, and kinky”. Another myth surrounding them is that “they attract lice more than any other hair type”.Are you of the same idea? Are black hairstyles like dreads dirty too? OBVIOUSLY NOT!
People who regard natural hair as “dirty” should know that a black household will have a more intensive hair-care routine than the ancestors of any white one! Am I stereotyping or calculating everyone on the same scale? Well, this is only for those who have such bizarre perceptions!
Black hairs are as beautiful as any other hair type and are cared for more than any other hair type too! Black hair, especially Afro hairs, are extremely delicate and the more coily hair you have, the more delicate they are! This is why caring for them is very important to avoid hair damage.
Natural black hair like Afro hair need not be washed too often as the moisture takes time to retain in those coily locks. If you wash these hairs regularly, there are chances that your hair might turn dry and brittle. That’s why physicians recommend not to wash “4C” hair too often and if you do, you have to use sulfate-free shampoos with the Best leave-in conditioners only!
So, drop your myths and embrace your beautiful hair as they are!
MYTH 4: “Natural Afro Hair Don’t Grow”
Another bizarre misconception regarding Afro hair is that “they don’t grow”. Hey! I’m not making all these up! It’s true! People do think that Afro hair doesn’t grow. Well, no matter how absurd such a question is, it certainly needs an explanation!
Afro hair does grow but the pace is slower than other hair types like Asian and Caucasian. But in no way does it mean that there is no growth of hair. Moreover, as these hairs are extremely delicate, they are more prone to breakage hence leading to slower hair growth.
MYTH 5: “You Don’t Need To Wash Black Hair”
As natural black hair, especially curly hair does not retain moisture as much and doesn’t get oily too soon, people tend to believe that there’s no need to wash them. However, this isn’t about if hairs are oily or not! You need to keep your scalp clean and that’s why head wash is necessary!
This myth is also regarding black hairstyles like “dreadlocks”. Manier times people think that dreads aren’t washed and hence, that’s how they are locked! But it’s all a myth nonetheless. Hairs lock naturally when left untangled for a long time and not because they are unwashed.
Natural hairs need to be washed at least twice a week to keep a healthy scalp and hair growth. Thus, if you were thinking black hairs need not be washed, THINK AGAIN!
MYTH 6: “All Afro Hair Are Same”
Another myth alert! We have heard that all Afro hairs are the same but that’s not the case! All-natural hairs have different hair textures and strand patterns, where some are less curly, others are more!
In the same manner, different hairs need different hair-care! Depending on the type of hair, one needs to set a hair-care routine accordingly. It is great to choose hair products that are natural and cruelty-free for beautiful natural hair. Thus, you need to know more about your black hair before using any product. It’s good to change products as the same products do not help the hair in the same way in the longer run.
MYTH 7: “Natural Hair Are Unmanageable”
As Afro hairs are curly and coily, people think that they are unmanageable! But here’s the thing! If you are using the same methods as you would apply for other natural hairs on your Afro hairs, then that’s a big mistake!
Every hair requires a different hair-care routine and if you use the right one, keeping your natural hair texture in mind, then there’s nothing unmanageable about Afro hair!
Deep condition your hair at least twice a month, don’t wash them too often, and stay hydrated, this is the mantra for every Afro hair. The difference however lies in products and if you use the right ones for yours, then BAM! Healthy and beautiful hair!
MYTH 8: “Afro Hair Have Limited Hairstyle Choice”
This myth comes from the people who tend to believe that Afro hairs are short. According to them, as these hairs are themselves short, no hairstyle can be done on them! They couldn’t have been more WRONG!
There are many hairstyles that can be done of Afro hairs, even more than other Caucasian hairs! Some of the best afro hairstyles are comb coils, dreads, braids, voluminous puffs, and buns, and so much more!
MYTH 9: “Natural Black Hair Are Strong”
This is the most common myth regarding natural black hair! Many people think that “black hairs are strong” but that’s not the case! Natural black hairs, especially Afro hairs are delicate and even more if they are too coily!
Every bend in an Afro hair represents its weak strand and that’s why they are more prone to breakage! There’s one more myth regarding natural hair that emerges from this one and that’s “you only need to care for your hair ends”.
People think that caring for hair after mid-length is necessary but that, however, will only bear fruits if you have cared for your scalp too! If you don’t treat your scalp with the same care, everything else is a waste!
MYTH 10: “Hair Oils Are Good For Natural Hair”
One myth regarding every hair type is that “hair oils are good!” but then again, A MYTH! This myth becomes serious for hairs like Afro hair which can’t retain their moisture and if you apply oil to the same, the same can’t enter your hair too!
You practically lock in the moisture in your hair while applying oils to your hair! Thus it is important for you to apply cream-based and water-based products on your hair as they will moisturize your hair! Applying Shea butter and Jojoba oil is good for your Afro hair!
MYTH 11: “Natural Hair Needs Protective Styles Like Braids”
People tend to believe that “braids” are good for hair as they keep our hair intact. But sadly, NOT ALWAYS! If you’re tightly braiding your natural black hair then you should know that it will make your hair lose its strength!
Braids that are tightly done make our hair roots grow weak over time and sometimes it also causes serious problems like “Alopecia” where hair can’t grow back at all! Thus, if you like braiding, it is advisable that you loosely braid your hair and do not use tight rubber bands while sleeping.
Keep your hair loose while sleeping and only sleep on silk or satin pillow covers to avoid breakage of hair!
MYTH 12: “Maintenance Of Natural Hair Is Expensive”
Another myth regarding natural black hair is that “maintaining them is expensive”. Now that’s a common myth and people need to let go of this particular one! First of all, you don’t need a bag full of hair-care products to make your hair healthy, strong, and beautiful!
You only need the right products in the right intervals to maintain good hair health! Do not compare your hair with others and do not blindly copy the hair-care routine of others!
We all love our beautiful hair but nevertheless, there are many myths surrounding them! From hair growth to hair care to even bias, there are many misconceptions regarding natural hair. The most common ones are “natural black hair are strong” “every natural afro hair are the same” “hair oils are good for natural hairs” etc!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are black hairs fragile?
Natural black hair, especially Asian, isn’t fragile but Afro hair on the same hand, is delicate! Afro hair is delicate because of various curl patterns that make it difficult for the hair to stay moisturized from the roots to ends making them lose their elasticity and hence leading to breakage!
Which ethnicity has the thickest hair?
According to ethnicity, there are three kinds of hair, namely- Asian, Caucasian, and Afro! Asian hair is usually black and brown in color with round hair follicles and is said to be the thickest among the three hair types!
Featured Image Credits: Allure