Common Misconceptions That Continue To Persist About Natural Hair
Latest posts by Dianne Austin (see all)
I recently read an interesting comment from a reader who clearly was not familiar with natural hair. In response to a picture of Solange Knowles’ natural hair in a Google+ post, the commentator stated that Solanges’ hair looked pretty but it must be really hard to comb! (Paraphrasing).
People who are unfamiliar with natural hair, or who dislike the way it looks often have very interesting perceptions about the care and maintenance of afro textured hair. I’ll explore some of these misconceptions and then share information that will hopefully help to dispel some of these misunderstandings.
Your hair must be hard to comb. Here’s the thing, Naturalistas know that you do not comb natural hair as part of a styling routine. Our curly, coily hair just loves to wrap itself around the prongs of a comb, which makes our hair a prime candidate for breakage. That doesn’t mean that we cannot comb our hair. A comb should only touch natural tresses under the right conditions if you want to reduce breakage – while the hair is wet and saturated with a rich conditioner with a lot of slip. Women who prefer a fuller or frizzer “fro” often use a hair pick. Picks may be viewed as a method similar to combing but the process lifts and stretches the hair which causes very little damage.
Finger combing is the preferred method for women with natural hair as it helps to keep frizz and breakage at bay.
Natural hair is much more difficult to care for than straightened hair. Now that is a matter of opinion for sure, but any hair can be “difficult” if you don’t understand how to care for it. Learning to care for your hair regardless of whether it is natural, naturally straight, chemically or heat straightened, locked or braided takes dedication and education. You have to have an interest in learning how to care for your hair to get over any perceived or real difficulties. Speaking from personal experience, the more comfortable you become with styling and learning about how your hair responds to different styling techniques and products, the easier it becomes to appreciate your hair, and the less of a hassle it becomes.
My husband, boyfriend, neighbor, (fill in the blank), won’t like the way that I look with natural hair.
This is one of the most baffling of perceptions from my perspective and it is one that I hear fairly often. I get the fact that one’s significant other may not like their partners’ hairstyle choice, but it is your choice. If changing your personal hairstyle will make or break a relationship then the universe is trying to send you a message!
Natural hair is not a professional enough hairstyle on the job.
This is a matter of opinion. I do understand that even in our enlightened 21st century there will always be those who judge you by your appearance. This has some merit in the context of business since how we dress can affect how a customer perceives our professionalism. Bottom line, I believe that when at work, we should always be neat and appropriately dressed for the type of work that we perform.
The argument loses traction with me when people are judged based on what seems to be a personal preference, bias, or a genuine lack of understanding. Why should the standard for what is professional be predicated solely on Eurocentric standards? What makes straight hair professional and natural hair somehow inappropriate for the workplace? It is the way that our hair naturally grows from our heads. Clearly there is a lot of education that needs to be done on the topic to help those less enlightened to understand that natural does not equal unkempt, dirty or less professional – it’s just different.
Have you had experiences that you can add to this short list?
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.|
You May Also Like:
- Porcha and Sami: Natural Haircare News Amazon Gift Card Survey Winners!
- Overseas Natural Hair Journey: Living Abroad as a Black Woman With Natural Hair
- Why I Love Hair Steaming My Naturally Kinky Hair
- Common Misconceptions About Natural Hair
- Two Lucky Winners of Our Fall, 2014 Natural Hair Products Survey Will Be Announced Soon!
- Nappy Hair – The Other “N” Word?
- Self Esteem and Natural Hair: Empowering Young Girls To Love Their Kinks and Curls
- Natural Hair News From Around the Web: 9 Things Some White People Don’t Understand About Natural Hair
- Tales of a Hollywood Natural: NHCN News Podcast #0021
- A Bag Full Of Afro Kinky Hair – Look Good Feel Better [Video]
- Coming To Terms With Losing My Natural Hair [Video]
- Does Having Natural Hair Make it Easier To Participate In Activities That You Avoided When Your Hair Was Straight? [Poll]
Explore Our Website!
Let’s Stay In Touch
What Others Are Saying
Natural Haircare Topics
- How Do You Know If You Have Scab Hair? Pictures
- 6 Tips for Controlling Frizz in Natural Hair
- The Finer Things In Life: Tips For Fine Hair Naturals!
- Combating Fairy Knots In Natural Hair, (Single Strand Knots)
- The LOC Method: 3 Steps For Happy, Moisture Rich, Natural Hair
- Mature Women and Natural Hair – A Photo Gallery
- Natural Haircare Training and Certification Available at a North Carolina Community College
- Transitioners Start Here
- To Trim Or Not To Trim – That Is The Question
- The Benefits of Hair Steaming For Natural Hair