Nov 20, 2011

DISCUSSION: Hair advice - Truth vs. Myth

There has come a time when we all need advice about our hair. Sometimes it’s style recommendations to save us from the afro puff and twist out rut. Sometimes it’s “how-to”s regarding moisture, detangling, and protection of our stubborn but delicate strands. It’s always helpful to have other naturals around to offer advice on how to treat your tresses. This applies especially when you are newly natural or are in the ‘awkward length’ of hair growth when it’s not quite long and not quite short.

The golden gems of advice can change your hair life; sometimes this advice is can be detrimental. Most often, bad advice is not intentional. It comes from a good, albeit misinformed, place. Prime example: Recently another natural and I were discussing how often natural hair should be shampooed, which led to a discussion on co-washing (washing hair with conditioner). She then said that she heard that “dirty hair grows better”. After seeing my face (the best way to show my face in text form is à( O_0). ) She said “A lot of people say dirt makes your hair grow.”

I’m a biology major, so I know that dirt can contain macronutrients to make seedlings grow big and tall and bear pretty flowers. But since hair is not a plant, this is obviously flawed. Just because you have dirty hair and it grows doesn’t mean that your hair grows because it is dirty. But, if enough people tell you that something works, you may start to believe it.

Here is my advice to you: ASK QUESTIONS! If someone tells you to jump in a mud puddle and your hair will soon reach your bra strap, and they swear on a stack of Bibles (or astrology books, or cows, or whatever else people worship nowadays. No shade.), ask “Why does mud make my hair grow?” PLENTY of these hair myths have no reasoning.

 If you can’t logically deduce how or why something works, it may not be true. Do some research before you brew up a chicken claw, raisins, and a bald eagle feather to make your hair more manageable. And if you have found the light from the abyss of a hair myth, don’t forget to go back and gently guide someone else into the light. What are some of the hair myths you've come across??
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