Natural black hair has long been the center of controversy in the beauty world. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about black hair. Here are five that come up time and time again.
Black Hair Grows Slow or Not at All
The lack of growth myth has been running rampant for a long time. While there might be a slight variance between hair color growth rates, the general consensus is that the difference is small enough that it doesn’t matter.
Natural black hair appears to grow slower or not at all because of the texture. The tightly woven curls or kinks means that it takes longer for black hair to reach the same length when left untreated. However, if you were to flatten it, you’d see a significant increase in length. Many caucasian women with curly hair experience the same thing, but their curls tend to be larger and more noticeable in that regard.
You Have to Embrace the Natural Look
In recent years, there have been a lot of celebrities and influencers embracing their natural locks and progressing the natural hair movement. This is a powerful movement that shows the beauty of natural hair and gives confidence to young girls and women who still struggle with the stigma from generations of oppression.
That being said, embracing the natural look is a choice. If it’s not one you feel comfortable doing, you are empowered to make that decision. Many women still choose to wear wigs (see EvaWigs’s latest blog post for more information) or have their hair pressed.
Do what makes you feel confident and beautiful.
Relaxing Your Hair Makes it Grow
Another misconception about black hair is that relaxing it makes it grow. This misunderstanding is based on the previous myth of black hair not growing.
When you relax your hair, you straighten it. As a result, it looks longer because the curls are being flattened out. Relaxing it too often, as well as using heat and product day after day, is actually more likely to limit growth by causing damage. You’d be better of protecting your natural hair and wearing a wig instead.
All Black Hair is the Same
While it’s true that black hair, in general, is in a league of its own, that doesn’t make it all the same. Within that umbrella, there are a lot of different textures and types that are unique. In fact, while the world has come a long way from where it was, there’s still a lot of shame being thrown around.
Texture shame comes from the societal predisposition toward loser, tamer curls. Women with type 4 hair, which tends to be more kinky and coiled, tend to bear the brunt of texture shame. While not all black hair is the same, it’s all beautiful and should be celebrated regardless of texture.
Black Hair Is Super Strong
There’s a strong misconception that black hair is really strong. Even women who have been manipulating their hair for years are surprised to discover that it can actually be quite fragile.
While the external hair can bear a lot of handling, the internal structure of black hair is quite fragile. This composition can make it more susceptible to damage and breakage over time, especially when using hot tools and chemicals.
Give your hair a break and use deep nourishing masks to reintroduce nutrients to your locks. Don’t just limit yourself to oil, which is great for taming the outer structure of your hair, but doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft and nourish within.
It’s well past time to dispel the myths about black hair and move into a future where every woman can walk down the street with confidence.