Type 4 hair needs to be styled more often than it’s looser curled sisters.
Myth. Tighter hair textures do not need to be styled in order to be “presentable” or beautiful. Many naturals feel the need to meet the “ideal” natural hair type; long, voluminous type 3 hair. They opt for super tight twist outs and braid outs everyday, but the constant pulling and brushing in these styles lead to breakage. In fact, type 4 hair is more prone to dryness and breakage. After a high manipulation hair style, opt for something breathable like a wash-n-go, or a puff (be gentle with those edges though).
Natural hair needs to be cleaned a few times week.
Myth. Natural hair is drier than other textures, and cleansing with shampoo strips the hair of it’s natural (and much needed) oils. This can make the hair harder to manage and prone to breakage. To avoid using shampoo, opt for clarifying conditioner. Clarifying shampoos clear up the gunk let from products without stripping the hair from moisture. For those who work out and don’t want to wet their hair everyday, tea tree oil is a perfect for you. Tea tree is nature’s antibacterial, and it rids your hair of odor causing bacteria. Rub it all over the scalp sparingly, tea tree oil is super pungent.
When styling natural hair, you need to use a styling tool.
SUCH a Myth. Most styles like twist outs, braid outs, or puffs can easily work with using just your fingers! Using a wide tooth comb during wash day is great because conditioner helps to lubricate the strands. During the week or in between styles, try to stick to just finger detangling. If possible, it helps to keep the hair stretched between styles to avoid tangling. Be patient with finger detangling, your hair will thank you in the end.
You’re not considered “natural” if you wear weave or wigs
Really? So many naturals question this and miss out on bomb protective styling just because they fear this stigma. As long as the hair that grows out of your scalp isn’t chemically processed, you have natural hair. Wearing a wig or weave doesn’t dismiss your place in the natural hair community nor does it mean you are insecure. Popping on a wig before an 8am and still looking like Miss Diana Ross herself is just one of the many benefits of wearing a wig. If you still desire that “naturalista” look, there are a ton of affordable kinky options at local beauty supply stores (check out the Black Pages) with a myriad of options.
Always use products targeted for naturals.
Myth. Many of the products we use for our hair in our movement aren’t produced by us. Our beloved Eco-Styler and many of our oils aren’t black owned, yet mainly profit from black dollars. Representation within the beauty industry is a continuing struggle, and those brands targeting black women often don’t support our rights or our causes. Authentic brands like Camille Rose Naturals and Taliah Waajid are made by black people for black people. Invest in our people.
Every natural hair experience is different, don’t let common myths or stigmas take away from your shine. Stay black, stay beautiful.
By: Minyon Jenkins, Staff Writer