1. Washing your hair often is not good.
Shield your hair from the rain. Avoiding swimming. Washing it only after taking down braids. Do these phrases sound familiar?
One of the most common myths about black hair is that washing your hair too often is detrimental as it strips it off of its essential oils. To be fair, if you do wash your hair every single day, it will definitely strip off its oils. However, washing it at least once or twice a week has proven to promote hair growth.
Washing the hair helps remove excess dirt and opens the pores for new, fresh hair to grow. The human body is composed of roughly 60% water and the fact that it needs water to stay healthy comes as no surprise to many. Our hair is part of our bodies and thus, as do you, it gets very dehydrated. When the hair gets dehydrated it tends to be dull and fragile, leading to breakage. When you are thirsty you drink water. When a plant is dry you water it. Think of your hair as a plant, remember that it is still growing and needs nourishment both inside and outside. This means you need to drink more water and also spray it (maybe mixed with an oil of your choice) on to your hair to promote healthy hair growth.
2. Black hair does not grow.
This is one of the most depressing beauty stories told to any Black girl trying to grow her hair. It’s no surprise that African hair is seen to grow at a ridiculously slow rate in comparison to other races. I once cut my hair at the same time as a White friend of mine. At the end of the year, hers had been almost to her back. Mine? Sadly, a teeny weeny afro turned into a slightly less teeny weeny afro.
Although African hair grows at a slower rate, the difference is not that drastic. It just seems to be that way due to hair texture. African hair is very kinky and tightly coiled up; this makes it seem shorter than it is. Shrinkage is a menace that most of us have to deal with and one which completely erodes our confidence in our hair. Shrinkage should not scare you though. Think of it as a superpower – one day you have your TWA (teeny weeny afro) and suddenly tomorrow when you blow it out its a full-blown mane. Ultimately, black hair grows, unfortunately, it shrinks too.
3. Coconut oil is the best product your hair needs.
I don’t know how many times I have flicked through Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and other social media sites looking for natural hair advice only to be bombarded with stories of coconut oil. Put it on your face, body, hair, eat it, who cares? It’s great. Yeah, maybe not so much.
One cannot deny the wonders of coconut oil but I do think it’s about high time we relax. Yes, coconut oil is good for your hair, but it’s not the best. Many naturalistas use this oil as a moisturiser for their hair and to stimulate hair growth. It definitely does a great job at the former, penetrating the hair shaft and sealing in moisture. The latter? Not so much. Although coconut oil can help you regain healthy hair, it definitely is not the all-end-all of African hair growth. It needs to be used in conjunction with other essential oils such as Jojoba oil, Castor oil, Olive oil, and Tea Tree oil.
4. Blow-drying your hair is the best way to stretch it.
I have to admit, I have fallen victim to this myth. Many African women all over the world see the blow dryer as the solution to all their shrinkage problems. It simultaneously dries the hair when revealing length and damages it.
Heat is not good for the hair and according to a blow dryer – the hotter the better. This puts a certain level of strain on the hair. It can lead to breakage and pulling of the hair due to the hot air.
African threading, Bantu knots, twist out, braid out, roller setting are other options I have discovered which can easily dry and stretch your hair.
5. Trimming your hair keeps it short.
This one is a little understandable. The ends of your hair can become very brittle and break, giving the impression that your hair is not growing. In reality, your hair is growing, but the ends are dying and falling off. You need a trim. When you trim your hair you are removing excess dead hair and giving room for healthy hair to grow. It may seem as though every time you trim, your hair gets shorter. It does get shorter but it needs to be done. -It’s like shedding dead weight. It’s rejuvenating. Go ahead, just take the edge off.