5 Transitioning Myths — Debunked

©DioBurton | Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Perhaps no topic has raged more lunch table wars than that of natural hair and what it takes (or doesn’t take) to ditch the creamy crack and embrace your true texture. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Still, there are so many misconceptions that are spread about transitioning. Take a look at some of the most common myths — debunked.

©DioBurton | Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Myth #1. Natural Hair is Low Maintenance.

Natural hair is actually very fragile and needs constant love and care for the best results. Each curl, twist, and kink is another opportunity for the hair shaft to break and become damaged. While it may not be as expensive as maintaining a relaxer with those bi-monthly visits to the stylist, you will still need a solid regimen, the right hair products, and a gentle hand.

Myth #2. You Can Only Rock a ‘Fro.

The afro might be the most classic of natural hairstyles, but it is certainly not the only one. Braided mohawks, two-strand twists, and puffs are some other popular choices and can be modified to suit your mood. Natural hair can even be pinned back into a slick bun or French braided for a more formal setting.

Myth #3. It Has to Be All or Nothing.

Ready to make the switch to natural but can’t imagine cutting off all your permed hair to start anew? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to do the big chop before starting your natural hair journey. Instead, you can wear a protective style, like braids or extensions, until your own hair gets to a length you’re comfortable wearing. Keratin treatments are another option; they’ll give you a sleek look without restructuring the chemical makeup of your hair, as a relaxer would. Trim your ends regularly, and you’ll cut off the permed parts a little at a time. 

Myth #4. Curly, Kinky Hair Doesn’t Grow.

All hair grows. Growth might be harder to see sometimes because of shrinkage, but as long as you keep your hair healthy by properly moisturizing and trimming ends,  it can get longer and thicker. Keep track of your growth by taking pictures of your monthly length checks, and if you’re super dedicated, keep measurements. 

Myth #5. You Have to Take Other’s Advice/Opinions into Consideration.

This isn’t so much a myth as it is a reminder. Some people might hate your natural and will let you know it at every opportunity. There will also be some fellow naturals who love it so much that they can’t help dishing out tons of advice — even when you don’t ask for it. In the end, all that matters is that you become knowledgeable about caring for your own hair and remain confident enough to flaunt it.

What are some myths about natural hair and transitioning that you’ve heard? 

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About Shantaya (41 Articles)
Aspiring Expat, Journalist, Student

3 Comments on 5 Transitioning Myths — Debunked

  1. Men of all colors love natural hair. I have worn natural and straight since the 80’s and they love it. Especially when it is soft and smells good.

  2. Nice article Shantaya. Here are the myths I’ve heard:

    –Black men don’t like natural hair. I beg to differ because I’m married to one who wasn’t too keen on it at first but grew to love it and threw a fit when I started relaxing again. LOL. Now honestly I’ve encountered some who aren’t quite sold on the look yet, but that’s not enough for me to generalize an entire group of people. I just don’t get how as a black man, you can NOT like it when um, it’s growing out of your own head. Touchy subject, I know…

    –This is kind of the reverse, but a store clerk who complimented my permed hair said she heard that wearing a relaxer after having virgin hair for so long would make your hair fall out. (I recently permed my hair after wearing it natural for 11 years and it’s healthy and a pretty decent length.)

    –Natural hair isn’t soft. I’ve heard this from several people, both black and non-black, who were pleasantly surprised at how soft it is.

    –You can’t wear natural hair and look professional. You address this in your article. Twists can look very professional, buns, braids, etc., although I have seen an instance where an individual was reprimanded at work for wearing twists. The complaints said it looked unkempt (it didn’t) and that it was distracting, but that sounds like a personal problem to me.

    –Natural hair is less susceptible to damage. Meh…I kinda fell victim to this myth myself and didn’t always treat my natural hair so well, but I’m here to tell you: This couldn’t be further from the truth. As you stated, it still needs moisturizing on a regular basis, routine trims, careful COMBING, conditioning and all the other components of a healthy hair care regimen. Without these steps, it WILL be dry, brittle, matted, damaged and ultimately, it will begin to break.

    Sincerely,

    A permed to natural and back to permed again reader:-)

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