By Jc of The Natural Haven
An important part of the natural hair journey is to confront common myths. There are plenty of myths surrounding natural hair and here are three key ones addressing natural hair growth rate, methods and maintenance skills and finally accelerated hair growth.
1. Hair of African origin does not really grow past neck/shoulder length
Despite evidence to the contrary (numerous features on this blog, fotki albums), there is still the belief among some that hair of African origin is nearly impossible to grow long. For some, there may be a genuinely slower growth rate but this does not mean a longer length will not be achieved….it just may take longer. I would even go so far as to say that it is only difficult to retain length when you choose incorrect methods to care for your hair. The point when you begin to select the correct tools and styling methods to suit your hair texture, the easier length retention becomes.
2. I cannot possibly be more gentle with my hair, I don’t understand why I am not gaining length, maybe my terminal length is 6 inches or my hair is not strong enough to grow longer.
If you have spent a lot of time at a shorter length and you are not intentional ly cutting it short then you should consider the possibility that despite what you rate as gentle, your hair requires even more tenderness. Hair breakage during detangling or when combing to style is largely mechanical especially if you have no additional process such as permanent hair colour. Do not regard your hair as weak, instead consider that the method you are selecting to handle your hair may be too aggressive. If you have selected the gentlest method which is finger combing, re-evaluate your method. Attempt to slow down even further, attempt to ensure that you feel little or no pulling at the scalp when you handle the hair and ensure that your process is thorough enough to prevent the hair from matting. Re- evaluate the products that you use and experiment with different methods (wet, dry or semi dry detangling) until you find the process that YOU can perform best on your hair.
3. I read on a forum that I can grow 2 inches every month if I use ‘product XYZ’.
Some hair forums tend to promote extremes and you should really take those claims with a gigantic pinch of salt. If you gained 6 inches in one year, you will probably be happy with that. If you trimmed off a few of those inches and ended up with a net gain of 3-4 inches year after year, you will also probably be happy with that too. If your hair has a natural growth rate that is higher than average, you will realise it with good consistent care.
Ladies, have you heard any of these myths? What hair growth myths have you heard?