5 Common Misconceptions About Natural Hair
Even though we've see a boom in the natural hair movement in the last few years, there's still a lot of people who don't know much about it and still buy into a lot of "facts" about natural hair that aren't actually factual at all. A lot of these tend to mislead them into thinking they can't or shouldn't go natural themselves which we just can't continue to let happen! So we're here to set the record straight on some of the most common misconceptions about natural hair.
You have to start with the big chop.
The big chop can be a liberating and empowering experience but it's not for everyone. As cute as they are, some of us just don’t want to rock a TWA and that's okay. Your natural hair journey doesn't have to start with such a drastic step. At some point or another, you'll have to cut away your processed hair but when you do it is actually entirely up you. You can do it right from the get-go and start fresh or make the transition slowly to maintain length.
Relaxed/flat-ironed hair is easier to deal with.
Let's just keep it real. This might be true because natural hair definitely takes a good amount of time and energy. It really comes down to how much attention you gave your hair before making the switch. If you already make regular salon visits to relax/straighten your hair, it might be as easy as just having them style your natural hair instead. But if you plan to take a more hands-on approach to your own hair, there's a chance you'll be dedicating more time than you were previously used to.
Natural hair will grow faster.
Your hair is going to grow at the same rate no matter what you do to it. How fast your hair grows is determined by your overall health and genetics, not what products or routine you have. That being said, natural hair can have significantly less breakage meaning your ends will look thicker and fuller and will retain more overall length. Shrinkage may have you believing that your natural hair actually grows slower but don't be mistaken. The length is there, it's just hidden by your beautiful curls and kinks!
Natural hair is stronger.
Natural hair means it hasn't been put through extensive heat or chemical treatments that damages its integrity. That means it can be put through something like coloring which relaxed hair wouldn't be able to take because it's already gone through significant chemical exposure. In that sense, you could consider natural hair stronger but that doesn't mean it can't experience damage. Curly and kinky hair is prone to drying out so if you don't moisturize it enough, it can become brittle and break more easily.
Protective styles will protect your hair from everything.
With a name like that, you'd think protective styles are perfectly safe to use but slow down there sis. If you don't get it done correctly, a protective style can actually end up doing a lot more harm than good. Have you heard of traction alopecia? It's not pretty. Make sure you go to someone who knows what they're doing so they can prep your hair and install the style the right way. Even when done perfectly, you can't just put one in and forget about it. The health of your hair depends heavily on a healthy scalp which means you'll still need to give your scalp plenty of TLC while having a protective style in. Find out more about how to care for your scalp while having a protective style.
There's so much to know about natural hair and if this has you double guessing everything you thought you knew about it, it's never a bad time to start researching more. Don't think that you can't start going natural just because of what you may or may not know. Once you get started, you just need to have patience and be willing to pick up all the wisdom over time. After all, that's why it's called a journey!