Myth #4: Your natural hair curl pattern and texture are set in stone.
Most of us are no strangers to changing up our looks with styling products and tools but did you know that our hair also naturally transforms itself over time? Our bodies are constantly in a state of change as we age or make changes our diet. Hormone levels and health conditions can influence our hair’s color, strand thickness, curliness and overall density over time. And here’s how: Although the actual strands of hair we see are non-living, the hair follicles just underneath the scalp are very much alive. These follicles determine the quality and type of hair we eventually produce, and they are affected by everything from styling practices to the foods we eat and the medications we take.
Myth #5: Cleansing, conditioning, and wetting too often dries out natural hair.
This myth has caused quite a few of us to deprive our hair of what it absolutely needs most: water. Kinks, curls and waves thrive most when hair care regimens are hydration-focused. Water improves the hair’s elasticity, reduces breakage and enhances curl definitiona win-win for Curlies. To reap the best benefits from water: avoid using harsh, sulfate-based shampoo formulas on your hair and always pair your moisture treatments with an oil sealant to prevent moisture loss the true cause of dryness for textured hair types.
Myth #6: Oil moisturizes natural hair.
Oil is great for many things, but a moisturizer it is not! Moisture is hydration, and hydration can only be achieved with water and water-based products. Oils are sealants and lubricants that help trap moisture in the hair to prevent moisture loss. Using an oil as your moisturizer will only lead to dryness down the road. So, despite the fact that product companies shout from the rooftops about their amazing “moisturizing oils,” oil as moisture is a myth.
Myth #7: Trimming makes natural hair grow.
This myth is one that won’t go down without a fight! Remember: what happens at the ends of our hair has no bearing on what happens at the scalp. Hair trimming is all about basic math. Although regular trims are a great way to maintain your hair and keep it looking its best, cut hair is still length lost. All hair grows about ¼ to ½ inch per month with or without trims, so the more rigorous your trimming schedule, the less length you’ll accumulate over time. To see more growth, you’ll need to space out your trims and ensure that you are always trimming less hair than you are growing in. So, trim to keep those split and damaged ends under control, but remember to keep the math in check!
Audrey Sivasothy is a Houston-based freelance writer, health scientist and industry authority on hair care. She is the author of Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning Manual and international bestseller, The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care. Her expertise has been adopted for cosmetology training courses and her books continue to maintain bestseller status across the globe.
Follow Audrey on Twitter @BlackHair101!