Hey everybody! This week, I thought it would be fun to do something a little bit different and take a look a serious look at a few myths about natural hair. But not just any natural hair… we’re talking 4C hair. THICK 4C hair. I’ve been natural for just over 5 years now, and I’ve noticed a few recurring ‘opinions’ about 4C hair over the years. There are dozens and dozens of opinions out there, and a lot of them have been widely accepted. But are they myths, or are they true? Let’s take a look at a few.
Myth #1: 4C Hair Doesn’t Grow Very Long
Honestly, I have to say that I used to be one of the people who thought this was true, but now, I know better. Growing up, I thought that because of the type of hair that I had, it would only grow to a certain point, then just stop. This is not true! Hair grows! On average, hair will grow about half an inch per month. This can vary based on your diet and genetics, but this seems to be the average amount for everyone. Hair does not somehow recognize that it’s gotten a certain length, then stop. It grows! Now, if your hair is in locs or usually not stretched in some way, it can be difficult to see or take longer to see your growth over time. But trust me, your hair is growing. Make sure that you are deep conditioning, moisturizing, protecting your ends, and maintaining a healthy scalp to retain your length.
Myth #2: You Can’t Wet 4C Hair Too Much…It’ll Dry Out
Y’all… water is the purest form of moisture. Your body does not dry out the more you drink water, and your hair does not get drier the more it’s in water – even when you wash it. The real issue may be the products you’re using. Some products are not as ‘clean’ as others. In other words, some products may have more chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients than others. These ingredients are not necessarily the best for your scalp or your hair, and could be drying it out over time. Also, using a lot of heat on your hair, especially without a heat protectant, can cause damage and can leave your hair feeling more brittle and dry over time. In some cases, hard water may be an issue. I personally do not have one, but have heard that using a water softener can improve the health and feel of your hair over time. Depending on the area where you live, that may be something you need to look into. Another thing to pay attention to is whether or not you follow your shampoo with conditioner. Shampooing cleans all the dirt and buildup out of your hair, but can also strip it of the natural oils that it needs. Make sure you’re replacing what’s being taken out in the washing process. Basically, before you blame the water, check the products you’re using.
Myth #3: Natural Hair is Not Professional
Now, for this one, I’m going to ask you to take a step back, and look at this very objectively. When it comes to some workplaces (not every workplace, but some), you ARE expected to wear your hair a certain way. By that I mean, if you work in a kitchen, you need to be able to tuck your hair away in a bonnet or hairnet while you’re cooking. It’s likely a health violation and unprofessional if you don’t. Blatantly not following this guidance could potentially cost you your job. Other than examples like this, and unless there is something specific in your employee handbook about it, wear your hair how you please! In my opinion, your goal should always be to look clean and neat when you leave your home – from what you’re wearing, to how you smell, to your hair. Be clean and neat. The texture of your hair has absolutely nothing to do with professionalism. As long as you are clean and neat and following whatever health, safety, or dress codes rules your company mandates, you’re good.
What myths have you heard about natural hair? I hope you share them with me in the comments!