The myths of coarse, curly, and kinky textured hair and how wrong they truly are.

For years black women and women with coarse hair have been dealing with a multitude of myths surrounding their hair and how to care for it. These myths have been handed down to us from generations of women who learned how to care for their hair by their mothers and grandmothers. We are going to dive right into what is true out of these hair care myths and what is wrong about these myths, and how these myths are hurting the health of our hair and now our daughters’ hair.

 

The very first myth that women with coarse and kinky hair are told is:  We as women of color have different and inferior hair to other women of different races and textures, such as Caucasian, Indian and Asian women. This is not true, although the appearance and the texture of the hair is completely different it is actually the same. Hair is made up of a hard protein called keratin no matter what race you are and what your hair texture is we all have three layers of this protein. The biology of our hair is the same as we are all born with 100,000 hair follicles on our scalps and the only true difference is each person’s curl pattern. Our curl pattern whether it be straight or curly is just that a pattern and it doesn’t make one texture  better than the other because in the end, it is all made up of the same thing.

 

This next myth piggy backs on the previous myth that different races have better hair. Our next myth is: If your black and you have long flowing hair or spiral curl textured hair then you must be mixed with white or have “Indian” in your family somewhere. This couldn’t be further from the truth there are plenty of women of multiple races including black women that have long flowing hair and they are not mixed with anything. Today in Africa and around the world including America you can see so many different textures of hair and some hair is long and straight while others are short and curly but both parents and grandparents are black with no traces of any other race. It is unfortunate that black women are the main perpetrators of this myth because they are not taking care of their own hair to get it to the lengths that they wish they could achieve. These same women think that if you are partially white then that is the only way in which your hair will thrive and grow long and strong which is where the term “good hair” comes into play. The statement “good hair”, only came to be a common statement from slavery times. When the slave owners where producing biracial babies and their hair was easier to maintain and the slave owners treated them better then the slaves that had kinkier hair. In today’s day in age nobody is a slave and we have no owners and any hair that comes out of our hair no matter the texture is considered “good hair” as long as it is healthy.

Another hair myth that has haunted the black community for years is: Black/African American women’s hair can only grow to a certain length which is shoulder length or shorter.  Although this has been touched on somewhat so far, it is important to understand the origin of this myth and why it is untrue. For centuries black women and women with coarse hair have been looked at as having a hair texture that is unable to grow past a certain length. The reason why this is thought to be true is because it is not often that women of color understand how to care for their hair properly and it starts to break off before it gets past a certain length. Women of color tend to have shorter hair when they are not educated on how to properly moisturize their hair and what hair process and styles to stay away from that are causing their hair to break off before they get to their desired hair length. When a woman properly cares for her hair and uses the correct products then her hair will grow to however long she wants it to be.

 

If there was one myth that I constantly here as it pertains to growing hair long no matter what race but especially women of color is that: My hair is short and will not grow past this length because of my genetics. Although genetics plays a role in everything that deals with your body, it is up to you to figure out how to work with the genes that you are given. It is so easy to say that because all the women in your family have short hair this means that you are also going to have short hair but that is untrue. The hair has a life cycle that consist of a 3 phases which are , the growing phase, transitioning phase and the resting phase. When the hair is in the growing phase this phase can last 3 to 5 years and this phase occurs to 90 percent of your hair at a time. On average no matter what race you are your hair will grow at least 6 inches a year. Genetics only tends to play a part in your hair phase when it comes to how long your actual growing phase last, but not how long your hair grows in that stage. So if your hair is in the growing stage for the minimum of 3 years and on average your hair grows 6 inches that means that you have at least 18 inches of hair that has grown. The key here is learning how to retain this length so that you can see the results of the growing phase. Unless you have a medical problem everybody and I do mean everybody is growing this amount of hair in this time frame, it’s just that we are not always seeing it due to chemical processes and bad hair care habits.

 

This next myth is actually going to cover a few myths surrounding the use of chemical relaxers. The first relaxer myth is that women that use relaxers their hair doesn’t grow. Well this is completely untrue because if their hair did not grow then what exactly are they relaxing every few months? The answer is their new growth, but you usually do not see too much of their growth because if they are not taking care of their hair than the processed hair starts to break off and appears to not grow. When women that have relaxed hair  and take care of it and treat it with extra love aka moisture and care they can have long flowing healthy beautiful hair.

The second relaxer myth is that if you go too long without getting a relaxer your hair will somehow magically start falling out of your scalp. Once again this is a negative, women that go without relaxing their hair every 8 weeks actually have what’s called the line of demarcation and this is when there are two visible hair textures that are on their head. There is the relaxed hair texture and then there is her actual hair texture that is coming from the scalp that has not been touched by a relaxer. If both textures are moisturized and gently manipulated and not combed and brushed aggressively the hair will not fall out. The assumption that the hair will fall out comes from that line of demarcation which is the weakest part of the hair because the two textures are struggling against one another. One texture is weaker because of its natural proteins being stripped while the other is thicker and stronger. There is no way that stopping the usage of a chemical process on your hair will hurt your hair if anything using a relaxer too often or  incorrectly can hurt your hair more than stopping the use of regular relaxers.

 

Stepping away from the use of relaxers, there is the myth that if you go natural your hair is so much healthier than a woman that uses relaxers. The use of relaxers of course damages the hair as it is stripping down the protein in each hair shaft to make it straight but going natural doesn’t automatically mean that your hair is going to be healthier. Natural hair is for the most part healthier but it can be harder to maintain than relaxed hair for the mere fact that more moisture and care needs to be given to this hair because of the curl pattern. Usually when a women decides to go natural they discover that their hair is dryer and it takes longer and more tlc to maintain it. Sometimes women fall off the track of keeping their tresses moisturized and then their hair starts to break off and their scalp also becomes dry and this happens to both natural and relaxed ladies. It is truly not about natural versus relaxed but rather about who is keeping their hair healthy. Even naturally ladies struggle with hair breakage and unhealthy scalps.

 

As black women try to find their way thru learning how to care for their hair there are some myths that are baffling such as: In order to grow black/African American hair you should not wash your hair because dirty hair grows hair. Not only is this not true it is quite disgusting and unhealthy for your scalps health. This myth came from some half truths that have been told over the generations. A part of this myth came about because the hair needs to have moisture and as the days and weeks pass the hair gets more oily and therefore is less prone to breaking because of the oil that is coating the hair shaft. It is of course important to have your tresses moisturized but there is a better way to get them moisturized then allowing the sebum (your hairs natural oils) to build up on your scalp. When there is a buildup of oils on your scalp then it is blocking your pores on your scalp and preventing your hair follicles to grow. Your hair follicles need a nice clean area to grow and clogging your pores with weeks and for some of you ladies sadly a month of dirt, oil, and other products is only irritating your head and not allowing you scalp to breath. It is best to cleanse the hair every week with natural sulfate and alcohol free shampoos and conditioners such as the products offered by Flourishing Tresses.

 

Overall these are just a few of the myths that surround black women’s hair and they are hurting our tresses from flourishing the way that they should. To know the myths is one thing but to know the truth about them and fix what you’re doing wrong is another. Hopefully this article will help you to clear up some of the misconceptions you may be having. Flourishing Tresses only provides your hair with natures best ingredients to help it flourish and fight against all these myths. For any questions pertaining to this article or hair care questions in general that you would like answered please feel free to email our company at: customerservice@flourishingtresses.com

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12 thoughts on “The myths of coarse, curly, and kinky textured hair and how wrong they truly are.

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