Ask The Expert

5 hair myths debunked!

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From the straightest to the curliest, hair for the black woman has always been a true reflection of her soul. Be it locs or silks presses, each style tells a story. Hair in the black community is bigger than a hot look or trend; it is self-expression tinged with creativity.

So, in a world of beauty gurus with extensive hair knowledge from YouTube University, one can only wonder what is real and what is mythical? Let’s debunk some of today’s most popular hair myths.

This myth is completely false. After much debate, it has been proven that an overly greasy scalp causes dandruff. Dandruff or Pityriasis is the result of a fungus called Malassezia. Don’t trip; this is completely natural, it happens to everyone with hair! However, as a result of the overproduction of skin cells, we try to camouflage it with a bunch of quick fixes, like oils and sprays. No ma’am! No sir! Put the tea tree oil down, please!

To my fellow flaky friends, you need to wash your hair more often than you realize. Washing your hair weekly with an anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner will help eliminate your flakes.

This myth is false. When we talk about color, we are speaking on an extensive range of products ranging from high lift colors using a lightener to gentle plant-based henna and semi-permanent colors. So, technically this myth is incorrect. It is completely safe to color your hair using semi-permanent lines, and henna-based colors.

However, it is debatable whether or not a pregnant woman should get high lift color services performed. According to Carrie Ann Terrell, MD, a practicing OB-GYN, “The main risk with dyeing your hair during pregnancy is the risk associated with inhaling ammonia, not the risk of it being absorbed in your scalp.” The commonly believed myth is that once the ammonia enters the bloodstream, it can affect the baby. Dr. Terrell believes that color products with low ammonia levels in well-ventilated hair salons are safe.

This is completely false. I see so many women damaging their hair by experimenting with color lightener, or different protective styles, all in the name of “my hair is natural, I’m good.” No, no, no! If you are 100% natural (chemical free), you ought to be showing your hair all the lovin’. Our kinky curly tresses in the natural state are fragile and need to be looked after. This is especially so for people who wear a lot of protective styles.

We all love braids, weaves, and crochet, and the convenience of a protective style is incomparable. Those few extra moments of sleep in the morning are everything! But for my Naturalistas, it is very important that you pair these styles with quality products, before, during, and after slaying your protective style. For newer Naturalistas, Be sure to incorporate a monthly protein treatment in your routine.

This is absolutely false. As many of my short hair stunners know, your hair grows faster when you cut! Trimming our ends is the secret to hair growth. Trimming gives the hair a fuller appearance and helps stop breakage. To keep your hair healthy be sure to see your stylist every six to eight weeks.

False! My grandma always told me: “Ya gonna be baldhead if ya keep putting your hands in your hair.” My grandmother was referring to the commonly shared idea that constantly brushing, and “tending” to your hair promotes hair growth, which is completely false! My grandma ain’t never wrong!

Today, with all the cute and trendy hair ideas posted all over the media, it is easy to switch your hairstyle daily. But routinely smoothing those baby hairs and slicking our hair back for high ninja buns, will eventually cause traction alopecia and hair breakage. Tension from hair pulling and braiding can create bald spots or completely damage the follicle.

So, I ask you to fight the urge ladies, because honey, you can’t buy real edges!

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