7 Misconceptions about Natural African-American Hair ...

By Jelena

African-American hair is subject to many misconceptions! Some, like all misconceptions, can even be kind of funny, some are plain weird and some, which are the most dangerous of them all, can make you scared of your natural hair when you should be embracing and loving it! But, check out these simple, logical explanations of some of the most popular myths about Afro hair and tell me what do you think!

Table of contents:

  1. natural african-american hair is «bad»
  2. afro hair is not work appropriate
  3. natural hair is «nappy»
  4. african-american hair can’t grow too much
  5. natural hair is almost impossible to style
  6. african-americans start losing their hair very early
  7. african-american hair is very strong

1 Natural African-American Hair is «Bad»

If you’ve watched Chris Rock’s documentary called «Good Hair» you probably know that the term «good hair» has its historic background that has very little to do with aesthetic! You see, in those past moments of our (un)human history, straighter hair used to mean that a slave in question is most likely a child of the owner and, as such, has better chances of being set free or kept in the house and given better living conditions and less physically exhausting jobs. It meant "survival", not "beauty" but it's meaning got kind of twisted during the years and is now interpreted in a whole different way.

2 Afro Hair is Not Work Appropriate

Many people seem to believe that going natural means the end of a prosperous career! Now, I know I’m not a big CEO but I do have to disagree! I, personally, think that a well-kept hairstyle is always perfectly appropriate regardless of how you choose to style or not style your hair. If your boss, in the other hand, has a problem with only one particular up-do, I suggest taking a deep breath and analyzing the situation before you allow yourself to get depressed.

3 Natural Hair is «Nappy»

New growth always looks frizzy when compared to the rest of the chemically straightened length just as unbleached roots always look much darker than they actually are. Sure, there are different types of hair and your hair doesn’t have to have the same texture or curl as someone else’s hair but it can be just as gorgeous nevertheless. Just love it, care for it, experiment with different types of knots and braids and accept that, although not always perfect, your hair is just as unique as you are! And, you know what… Perfect is actually spells «boring» and «too predictable» in the long run.

4 African-American Hair Can’t Grow Too Much

Okay, I’ve read this somewhere and I was like, «Whaaat». I remember one girl writing about being totally shocked when her co-worker asked her if that’s the reason African-American women wear weaves and wigs. Well, let me deal with this issue once and for all – every hair grows and it has absolutely nothing to do with race or whatnot. Growing long hair, in the other hand, takes a lot of patience not all women have and requires intensive, personalized hair care routine we all struggle to find. Throw in the fact that Afro hair tends to tangle and break a lot more than other types of hair and you’ll understand exactly why some ladies simply prefer instant, hassle free length!

5 Natural Hair is Almost Impossible to Style

Again, totally not true and, if you had a chance to check out my post on Afro Hairstyles, you absolutely know what I’m talking about.You can flat iron your curls and wear your hair sleek, you can let it be wild and free, you can put it up in a classy up-do, create a perfect party hairstyle or knot/braid it to get defined sexy curls that last much longer than anything else! So many ideas, so many options!

6 African-Americans Start Losing Their Hair Very Early

Unless you are genetically predisposed to lose your hair early and you’re doing everything you can to keep it healthy, you definitely won’t need to worry about premature hair loss. What might and often does trigger it is poor hair care regimen. This especially goes for wigs and weaves but it can be extended to chemically relaxed and color-treated hair as well. The bottom line is this –whatever you choose to do with your hair, you must make sure the results are aesthetically pleasing with the least amount of damage. Don’t forget to condition your hair on daily basis despite the fact that it’s covered by a wig or weave, opt for an ammonia-free hair dye, henna or color shampoo, don’t relax your hair too often and, when you do, make sure that it's done by an expert that’s used to working with your type of hair.

7 African-American Hair is Very Strong

I will have to disappoint you by telling you this is just not true. Your hair does have tremendous potential, that’s for sure, but only if you take care of it really good. You see, the frizzier and more lackluster your hair is, the bigger are the chances of damaging it by simply brushing too hard or failing to provide it with all the moisture it needs. Due to its ribbon-like shape and raised cuticles, your hair literally bleeds moisture, is very open to negative effects of outside elements and therefore needs a lot of love and care. Fail to provide it with what it needs, disregard every rule on styling tools, brushes and hair-handling and your hair just won’t love you back, regardless of how strong you believe it to be.

Do you know of any other misconceptions on African-American hair, natural hair or simply hair in general? Do share!

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