When it comes to natural hair care, there are so many rules of engagement being tossed around. While some of these “don’ts” are true, others are purely hearsay. The following five myths are some of the more common ones circulating. By debunking these myths, I hope to help you better understand how you can positively impact the health of your hair!
MYTH #1: Trimming your ends will make your hair grow.
FACT: Trimming your ends will stop additional breakage on the ends, which aids in retaining length going forward. Trimming your ends has no affect on how your hair grows. Growth is genetic; your DNA predetermines what type of hair you have and how fast or how much hair you grow. To experience visible length changes, you have to retain length.
Resource: “Growth and Length Retention”
MYTH #2: Your hair is dry because it soaks up all the moisture added by products.
FACT: Your hair seems dry because it is not soaking up the products you add daily. Porosity is what determines how your hair absorbs and retains moisture. For any hair type, installing moisture when your hair is wet, mainly through deep conditioning treatments, is going to help retain moisture in the days after styling. Once your hair is set and dried, the cuticle is closed, so the daily moisturizers you use mostly sit on top of the hair rather than penetrating the strands. Once you go about your day, those products oxidize into the atmosphere leaving your hair “dry.”
Resource: “Porosity and Hydration”
MYTH #3: Protective styling will make your hair grow faster.
FACT: Protective styling refers to setting the hair in styles where the ends are not exposed. Buns, updos, braids, and sew-ins are all considered forms of protective styling. These styles protect ends from splitting and give the hair a break from the elements because the ends of strands are wrapped or tucked away. While this will help ward off excessive splitting and breakage, it will have no impact on the rate your hair grows. However, you can impact how healthy your new growth will be through your diet.
Resource: “Eat Your Way To Healthier Hair”
MYTH #4: Mineral oil is bad for your hair.
FACT: Mineral oil acts as a barrier between your hair and external elements; it essentially improves moisture retention. It also aids in curl pattern definition because it remains on the surface of the hair helping strands clump together. If build-up is a concern after use of a product containing mineral oil, just incorporate a clarifying shampoo into your wash day regimen.
Resource: “A Closer Look at Mineral Oil – Natural Hair Science” via curlynikki.com
MYTH #5: You have to change up your shampoo and conditioner often to get great results.
FACT: If you feel your shampoo and conditioner have “stopped working,” it’s likely due to build-up over time of use versus the actual products themselves no longer working. Using a clarifying shampoo every few washes will help remove the build-up and allow your shampoo and conditioner to thrive. Consistency is key with any regimen, so you don’t want to get in the habit of changing your product line-up every other week. In most cases, it can take up to six months to truly see if a product is improving the manageability and health of your hair. Of course, if you get an extremely undesirable result from use of a product, discontinue use immediately. But otherwise, get your product line-up set and stick with it!
Resource: “My Hair Care Regimen, Journey & Tips”