Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

1. Black people's hair doesn't grow or isn't long

This myth is huge and even believed by a lot of black men and women themselves, but let's think about this: why would a black person need a barber or a hairstylist, or go for haircuts in general if their hair didn't grow? What are they doing in there? Just walking around in circles?!? Nope, black hair grows just like European hair, Asian hair, Hispanic hair...well, you get the point...on average about a half inch per month.

Three Natural Black Hair MythsThree Natural Black Hair Myths

The reasons many believe it doesn't grow are two fold: number 1 is, a lot of women and men with natural hair find the upkeep of longer natural hair very difficult and time consuming, and for many it can be, so to cut down on this, they keep their hair short or wear it in shorter or protective styling (i.e. braids, weaves, wigs) and don't actually allow it to grow long. The second reason you don't tend to see the growth that exists is because of the curl pattern. Natural black hair tends to be very curly, coily, and kinky. Think of people with straight hair as having jump rope hair. The rope when laid to the ground pulled end to end, is relatively straight with no bends. Black hair is more like a slinky. You lay it down, and it is coiled up tight, however, if you pull out that slinky from end to end, what looked on first inspection to have been 6 inches, suddenly turns to 2 ft. Black people refer to this as shrinkage which can be seen in examples in the photos above.

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Three Natural Black Hair MythsThree Natural Black Hair Myths

This is what chemical relaxers and heat straightening do to black hair. They relax the curls and straighten them out so you can actually see the length. Unfortunately, these processes can be very damaging to hair, so in order to maintain health and strength, a lot of people would much rather cut the hair then damage it in order to have their actual hair length visible.

2. You can't "do" anything with it

Say what? Black hair is some of the most versatile hair on the planet that can be styled in a million different ways, and that's before you even add a drop of chemical into it. The problem with this myth is that a lot of black women and men face hairstylists who consider their hair unworkable. All they can think is to attempt to comb it out into an Afro or cut it. It can be very frustrating because there is so much that can be done to it, and yet in the hair industry, you have a lot of Beauty schools and stylists who willfully do not teach or learn how to style black hair, and yet, these are potential paying clients like everyone else. These same stylists will do European hair, Asian, or Hispanic hair, but will refuse to learn and/or specifically do black hair. It is part of the racism that is routinely felt within the hair industry directed towards black men and women.

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

3. Black hair is automatically wild and dirty

In many a dress code across this nation, and the world at large, repeatedly, above any other race, black hair is continually targeted and labeled as being wild, unkempt, unnatural, and in need of control...or else. That or else means, a child or person can be kicked out of school, work, or told that they need to chemically damage their hair in order to give it a European appearance.

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

Natural black hair is NOT straight hair and never will be. In it's longer state, it cannot be brushed down and smoothed out nor is it meant to be, and to do so could permanently damage the hair especially with the aid of chemicals. Black hair is naturally curly and it grows out of the head in a curly way. It doesn't grow straight down, so another raced individual with the same length of long hair may be cascading down his/her shoulders as compared to the African American employee who's hair may be sitting up higher on the head. If an employer or school does not equally require person A to cut their hair, why do those policies only seem to pertain to those with natural curly kinky hair?

Three Natural Black Hair Myths

To be told your hair is somehow wrong or needs fixing or you're unfit for an education or to work somewhere is both offensive and racist, and shows a severe lack of knowledge on the part of a lot of individuals. Of course, every place should require that hair be on display in a neat manner, and you'd be hard pressed to find people who disagree with that no matter the race, but when those dress codes take neat to mean, hair can ONLY be straight which then = neat, or they specifically only describe natural hairstyles as "EXTREME!" they are purposefully creating exclusionary and discriminatory policies

Three Natural Black Hair MythsThree Natural Black Hair Myths

Also, just because a person has dreadlocks, in particular, does not mean they never wash their hair. You can find people with dirty nasty hair in any race, but a particular style should not automatically mean this is a person who doesn't take care of their hair or themselves. Dreads, like any other hair that anyone else might have on their head that grows naturally, can be washed, and most people with dreadlocks and natural styles do wash their hair frequently. Seriously, you have to explain this to some people.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • These are all stereotypes that have to be squashed. The only way to cure ignorance is with knowledge and you're providing a good bit of that in your take.

    Nobody should be shamed into changing natural hairstyles for the sake of professionalism or any such nonsense like that.. That's like telling a white person that their hair is too flat or dead for the workplace or to be beautiful. People would cry 'reverse racism' if that happened.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Thank youu.
    People automatically assume that my hair (in the photo) isn't mine, because; "black people can't grow long hair".

    That's some booty meat.
    Beautiful take 🖤

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    • And I'm sure they touch it to trying to find out if it's real. Fun times! Your hair is gorgeous!

    • Show All
    • @CammyKattt
      Thank you 🖤❤️!!

    • And thank you for MH *^*

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What Guys Said 19

  • I wish you would have included a little "Black" girl with her hair full of barettes. I just think they are so pretty.

    www.adorecolour.com/.../...738e12d299f23913dbc.jpg

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  • " You can't "do" anything with it"
    You showed pics for girls, but what about guys?
    There are only 5 hair styles for us:
    bald, braids, dreads, afro, or low cut.

    I would like to know some more.

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    • I don't know if this is only something the younger males do, but at our school ponytails and knots (similar to bantu knots) are becoming more popular.

    • Most men have their natural hair cut low, and if it's long, it tends to be worn with dreads or cornrowed. I don't know many black men who curl, flat iron, wear wigs, or weaves in their hair, so in that respect, it may feel a bit limited to you, but there are literally thousands of ways to cut the hair and many ways to wear dreads if you have them. I posted a few.

  • Never heard of these myths, I'm black and my hair grows, see for yourself.

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  • Loved this take.. And it's pretty damn insightful.. Great job.. And I love some of the styles posted..

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What Girls Said 22

  • excellent take!
    i have curly hair

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  • very informative post, i am a person of color myself with armpit length hair. i must say though that not because someones opinion about our hair is not what we want to hear, makes them racist. everyone is entitled to there own opinion, i know a lot of POC who have their opinions of Caucasian hair and they don't think it racist to say what they say because they are black, which is absurd.

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    • People are going to say what they say, but when one particular group is targeted because of their natural hair, or because of the color of their skin, it can be racist. Again, the point is not to say, if a dress code says cut your hair, it's racist, it's to say, if its going to say cut your hair because hair longer than shoulder length is too long, then don't require just the black, Asian, White person to cut their hair, but all because it's policy for all. Also how can you ban someone's natural hair as being "too extreme?" An afro is what grows from the African American head for most black people. These are the policies and codes that unfairly target black people and make it an issue, not everyone having to adhere to one policy that is applied to all.

  • Thanks for this article, I am black and this is a great interpret that clears up misunderstandings

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  • There are also different types of black hair that you care in various ways, the second girl has my hair and it shrinks the same. One Caucasian touched me hair and said oh my god it's so soft, I know he didn't mean anything racist, I just think people don't expect kinky hair to be soft, but it depends on the hair. We carry all types of texture just like other races do.

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  • This myTake is awesome. It could be cool if some of gag folks with natural [black] hair collaborated and did a myTake series of how to take care of and maintain natural [black] hair.

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