There are all sorts of myths out there about hair, how to grow and care for it. Truth be told, some of that old-school hair advice you’ve heard from friends and family may be well, just plain wrong. The scary thing is most of these stories are told by even hair stylists. Here are some truths and advice that could make the difference between tired-looking tresses and fabulous, healthy hair.
With locks or braids, you rarely have to wash your hair
Your hair and scalp need regular shampooing. The only way to remove bacteria, perspiration, product residue, pollution, smells, etc is via regular shampooing. Try a dry shampoo between your regular shampoos to freshen the hair.
Oiling your scalp is an absolute necessity
Your scalp needs to breathe to function properly, so it’s best not to clog hair follicles with heavy ingredients like petroleum jelly, mineral oil or lanolin. A dry or flaky scalp could be the result of using the wrong products. For example, shampoo with high alcohol content might dry out the scalp, or a too-heavy conditioner may leave a flaky residue. The last thing you want to do is put grease on top of flaky dead skin. Coconut oil is great so try it but don’t drown your hair and scalp with oil.
Your hair will grow if your stylist has growing hands
There is no magic when it comes to hair growth. Its a matter of genes. Depending on your hair’s natural growth cycle, it may grow anywhere from a quarter of an inch to a half inch per month. So boot the idea of ‘growing hands.’ The only connection between your hair stylist and your hair growth is based on his or her understanding of how to care for your hair type, texture and special needs.
If you want your hair to grow long, don’t cut it
Whoever told you this probably has nothing left on their head as you read this. If you don’t keep your ends trimmed – a quarter of an inch every six to eight weeks – they will eventually unravel up the hair shaft, leaving thinner, more fragile tresses that will easily break. Regular trimming keeps the hair stronger. Be sure to ask for one on your next appointment with your stylist.
Natural Hair Doesn’t Need Much Maintenance
The late stylist and hair care guru Olive Benson once said ‘There is no such thing as zero-maintenance Black hair’. Our hair is dry, often porous, so it needs regular detangling, moisture and conditioning to counter breakage and to thrive.