The natural hair movement has taken off in recent years, and people have been embracing and celebrating natural hair for much, much longer than that. However, there still seem to be so many myths, misconceptions, disagreements, and unknowns circulating about natural hair. We're tackling a few of them today.
1. "Figuring out your curl pattern is the secret to knowing how to care for your hair." Every single day at NaturAll Club, customers ask us how to figure out their hair type or what products are right for their hair type, be it 4c or 3b. Every time our answer is the same: it's not as important as you think! Of course, there is a difference between type 2, 3, or 4 hair, but the difference between individual curl patterns is small and doesn't necessarily dictate how you should take care of your hair. In addition, most people have a combination of different curl patterns on their heads. Your hair has other properties like density, porosity, and strand size, all of which affect how your hair should be cared for. So look up a curl pattern chart online, pick the 1 or 2 (or 3!) hair types that look closest, and then stop worrying about it.
2. “Perms are harder to keep up with than natural hair." While sometimes permed hair can be difficult to manage, natural hair is usually more work to keep up with. We don't necessarily recommend going natural to the person hoping to save time- while you develop a reliable regimen, you should be prepared to spend more time maintaining your hair than you're used to.
3. "Going natural will automatically make your hair grow longer/thicker or stop hair loss.” While there is some truth to this statement- eliminating chemicals and relaxers will almost always improve the health of your hair- there is so much more to keeping your hair healthy than just that. Even genetics can play a role- some hair simply doesn’t grow as quickly as other hair. The real key to healthy, thick, and long hair is a consistent regimen that keeps your hair nourished and moisturized.
4. “You don’t have to wash kinky curly or natural hair.” Don’t believe this myth. Natural or curly hair does require a more gentle cleansing than other hair types, and shouldn’t be stripped of oil in the process, but ALL hair needs to be washed regularly. Over time your hair will dry out as oils, dirt, and product build up on your scalp, blocking moisture and leaving your hair dry and dull. See our blogpost on shampoo for more information, and try NaturAll Club's gentle, sulfate-free, all natural shampoo.
5. “Black hair is stronger than other hair types.” This is the opposite of the truth! While kinky/curly hair may be thicker than other hair types (in other words, you may have more hair strands on your head), each hair strand itself is actually quite fragile due to its loose cuticle layer and curl pattern. This is why natural hair is more prone to breakage than other hair types.
6. “Oils moisturize natural hair.” Nope! The truth is slightly different- oils can seal or lock moisture into your hair, but oils don’t provide moisture themselves. In fact, oils repel moisture- this is how they keep moisture from escaping your hair. Applying oils to your hair without moisturizing them first will lead straight to dry and unhappy hair.
7. “Protective styles are the best way to help your hair grow.” This isn’t quite true either. Don’t get us wrong- protective styles can be a great way to give your hair a break from high-manipulation styling, and your hair will be able to grow without a lot of attention every day. But the solution isn’t to leave put your hair in braids and forget about it either. In fact, ignoring your hair for a long time while it's in a protective style can lead to breakage and hair loss. This is why you should consistently refreshing your hair with moisture, care, and restyling.
8. “You can repair split ends with the right products.” Any product or brand that claims to heal your straight ends is lying to you. There is no way to repair ends once they’re split- your best way forward is to cut off the split ends (if you don’t, the split can travel all the way up your hair strand.)
9. “Natural hair doesn’t grow.” MYTH! It can take much longer for growth to become noticeable because of the curl/coil pattern of natural hair (which leads to “shrinkage.”) Your length is there! It’s just a matter of natural ingredients, regular care and moisture, and patience before you see it.
10. “Natural hair is about being political or making a point” OR “Relaxing your hair means you don’t love yourself, or you think black hair is ‘bad.’” Some Naturalistas do associate their hair with political choices or movements, but for most of us, there is nothing political about appreciating the beauty of your natural hair. Neither is there anything political about treating your hair with care and healthy ingredients, the same way you should treat your body. On the other end of the spectrum, relaxing your hair is a personal choice that many women make, and for a variety of reasons. No one has the right to tell you that choice is wrong, and neither can you tell anyone else what to do with their hair. Your hair is your hair!
11. "You just need to find the right product that works, for your natural hair to look exactly how you want it." Unlike other hair companies that advertise their products as a quick or instant fix to your hair troubles, we believe at NaturAll Club that healthy hair is about consistency and good ingredients. There's no magical product out there! Instead of looking for one, try changing your regimen to keep your hair more moisturized, or alter your diet to increase water and nutrients. Treat your hair and your body with gentleness, patience, and care.