It’s no secret that afro, curly, and kinky hair needs more care and attention. Over the years, there has been an expansion of products and methods developed to improve the number of good quality resources in the afro hair care industry. Despite this, there are still some afro hair myths that threaten to interfere with healthy afro hair growth. Here are four afro hair myths that we hope to kill with this article.
Coconut Oil Is Bad For Kinky Hair
While many naturalists originally sang the praises of coconut oil, it started to fall from grace as there were many complaints of breakage, skin irritation, and greasy, crunchy hair. However, it is essential to remember that oil can build up on your afro hair over time if you do not cleanse frequently.
So, while coconut oil can penetrate your hair shaft and prevent protein loss, we recommend using a small amount on your hair to avoid product build-up. Start by rubbing a small amount in your hands so that it is liquid before use. If your curls are dry and brittle, it might be worth using our Everyday Curl Refresh with Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils.
It’s Very Difficult For Afro Hair To Grow Long
As your natural hair can grow at a rate of ½ inch per month, the above is not valid. Afro hair can grow in a variety of ways, but it all depends on your curl pattern. For example, if you have tighter coils, your hair will appear shorter. If you want length, you could use a heatless and chemical-free process called banding. Using this technique, you take sections of your hair and band them from the roots to the tips. When your afro hair dries naturally, these bands can be removed to give your hair a natural length. This type of stretching isn't harmful to your hair if done correctly.
Additionally, afro hair doesn’t have growth problems; it has retention problems. Therefore, you might not be retaining length due to dryness, excessive heat, styling, or chemical abuse. For instance, washing your hair less often will not make it grow faster. Some of you might think that this is an excellent idea to retain more moisture in your locks. However, the truth is that dirty hair does not grow faster than clean hair. Instead, it could cause dry scalp issues and hair loss.
Similarly, you might not want to trim your afro hair as you feel that it will prevent it from growing longer. However, if you don’t trim your hair every 6-8 weeks, your hair will start breaking at the ends and prevent you from seeing length.
Oils Are The Best Way To Moisturise Your Afro Curls
It is a common misconception that oils are the only ingredient to moisturise dry hair. Unfortunately, if oil is applied to hair that is already dry, it can sit on your hair, acting as a barrier and preventing moisture from entering your hair shaft, causing further dryness. Instead, if your afro hair suffers from dryness, you will need to hydrate it with water-based products.
Apply a hydrating water-based product like our Leave-In Conditioner with Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil to do this. A small amount of this mixture can be gently combed or brushed through your hair to seal in the moisture and reduce split ends. After using this water-based product, you can then apply a small amount of oil on the top to lock in the moisture.
During the winter, you can also use steam treatments to heal damaged, dry hair. This is because the steam can lift your hair cuticle, which allows any hydrating treatments to penetrate further into your hair shaft. This steam can also encourage better blood circulation around your scalp, which can also promote hair growth.
As I’ve Got An Afro Hair Routine That Works For Me, I Will Never Need To Consider Another One
Just like with skincare, your hair will change depending on your environment and the seasons. This means that you will need to be prepared to adapt your hair routine so that it remains healthy. You need to listen to your hair’s needs and understand that there will be a lot of trial and error as you find the products that work for your curls. For instance, occasionally, you might need a clarifying shampoo to remove all of the product build-up in your hair. But on other days, you might deep condition your hair to help put the moisture back in.
When we believe in damaging hair growth advice, it can damage our perception of what it takes to maintain naturally curly hair. Stop listening to these myths and start paying attention to what your hair wants and needs. While discovering the path to hydrated, happier curls takes time, you will be thankful that you stuck with this journey in the end.