(via Dr. Phoenyx Austin)

Growing up I heard many “facts” about “Black hair.” One of those “facts” was that, no matter what, there was only a certain length that women could achieve with their hair if they had “Black hair” (i.e. afro-textured hair). I was also told that this “length-limit” most definitely applied to Black women if you chose to wear your hair in its natural state instead of getting relaxer.

Many women spend hours of their time and hard earned money in the pursuit of healthy and longer hair. Unfortunately, that precious time and hard-earned money just ends up getting wasted when women follow hair care regimens based on Black hair care myths.

What are these myths? Well, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths about afro-textured hair. When growing longer and healthier hair, you need to come from a place of knowledge. Knowledge is power and it will help you achieve your beauty goals. Now let’s start separating fact from fiction when it comes to afro-textured hair.

MYTH # 1: Trimming ends will make your hair grow

Trimming your hair will not make your hair grow. Trimming is simply a form of maintenance to removed damaged hair, and to give hair a fuller “appearance.” Hair grows at approximately 1/2 inch a month. So if you want your hair to grow longer, you will need to do 2 key things: 1) Avoid excessively damaging your hair and 2) Trim your ends on an “as needed” basis.

MYTH #2: Washing your hair more than once a week will dry it out

This is something I’ve heard quite often. But it is totally false. Washing your hair more than once a week does not dry it out. Water is actually a moisturizer and does not dry hair out. Furthermore, if you’re using hair products with ingredients like (mineral oil, petroleum, and alcohol), it would be wise to wash your hair at least once a week. One of the major things that stunts hair growth and damages hair is product build up. This is easily prevented when we wash our hair.

MYTH #3: Black hair grows slower than other races

Every heard comments like, “She’s mixed and has good hair. That’s why her hair can grow so long.” All hair (regardless of race) grows at approximately ½ per month. The reason why afro-textured hair appears to grow slower is usually a combination of two things: 1. Afro-textured hair appears shorter (or appears not to grow) due to its tendency to shrink up into a curly/coily state and 2. Afro-textured hair is prone to breakage, especially when women don’t take care of their hair properly.

MYTH #4: Natural hair is hard to manage- that’s why we need relaxers

First off, no one “needs” a relaxer. Secondly, natural hair will be hard to manage if you attempt to treat it like relaxed hair. The truth is many Black women have never learned how to care for or style natural hair. Many of us were given relaxers around the same time we were learning our ABC’s. So basically, there are many of us who know next to nothing about caring for our natural hair. Trust me, it’s not a case of natural hair being harder to manage. It’s a case of learning the skills necessary to take care of your natural hair, so you can achieve the hair goals you want.

Have you heard these myths about afro-textured hair? Share one important thing you’ve learned that has helped you grow healthier and longer hair?

For more advice on how to grow healthy, longer and stronger afro-textured hair, check out my new book “If You Love It, It Will Grow! A Guide To Growing Long Afro-Textured Hair.”

SoVAiN Says-
I've read Austin's book and highly recommend it. A quick read that is extremely informative. It provides some base knowledge that all women of color can benefit from with regards to how to properly care for our hair. Her e-book is currently on sale now for $ can't beat that with a stick!

Written by SoVAiN Williams — March 24, 2012

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