Where’s the Jungle and Wild Animals?
When I was growing up, I knew very little about Africa. Most of the Hollywood movies portrayed Africa as this mono-continent, with jungles full of wild animals and rivers overflowing with crocodiles. Yet, here I am perched atop a camel on the beach of Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia, Africa. Do you see any thick, dense jungle or water teeming with reptiles? Me, neither. Just because the same information is repeated over and over does not make it true. The same applies when it comes to afro-textured hair! Let’s look at these three myths up close and personal.
Myth 1: Afro-Textured Hair Just Doesn’t Grow
Tell that to the women who pay a whole bunch of money to touch-up her relaxed hair or to some with dyed hair roots. Unless you have a health issue, your afro-textured hair is growing. What probably is happening is that the hair is not RETAINING length. Afro-textured hair grows. But it can easily break off. That is because the structure, consisting of the trio of the cuticle, cortex and medulla, may have been damaged in some way. Even as it pertains to hair, one reaps what one sows. The better you take care of your hair, the better your hair grows. Afro-textured hair does grow.
Myth 2: Afro-Textured Needs to be Treated with Chemicals
Keep that nappy stuff relaxed or pressed! Ever heard that before? I have. At University, I was in a make-up class for Theatrical Arts Studies. These two girls were snickering among themselves. One girl looked at me and said, “Black people look like they have pubic hair on their heads.” Then she and another person in the class just fell out laughing. I blinked and stared because I had obviously missed the joke-on purpose. From this experience I learned that there is an eroneous perception that natural-afro texture hair is not attractive. It should never be allowed to stay in its natural state. Thus, it should be heat straightened, or chemically straightened. Afro-textured hair does not need to be chemically treated.
Myth 3: Afro-Textured Hair Needs to be Kept Cut Short
‘Since afro-textured hair doesn’t grow’ anyway, you might as well just keep it nice and neatly cut at the neck,collarbone or shoulders’s level. How about I say, “No”. If you want to keep your hair short by choice, that’s different than someone saying that because you have afro-textured hair, and no matter what your wishes may be, you need to cut and wear your afro-textured short. Put the scissors down!
There you have it! The most often communicated, perpetuated, consistent and persistent untruths or myths about afro-textured hair. Let’s recap:
- Afro-textured hair does not grow. Myth-It grows but may break and may be difficult to retain length.
- Afro-textured hair should be chemically treated. Myth-Relaxing your hair should be a choice, not a requirement.
- Afro-textured hair should be kept short. Myth- Cutting your hair should be a choice as well, not a requirement.
Don’t let ignorance determine who you are or create limits in your life. Never allow a lie to become the truth! Have you bought into these untruths? What other myths have you seen perpetuated about afro-textured hair? I invite you to share them below! I look forward to conversing with you on this topic.
In the meantime, continue to Beautify Yourself Bit By Bit!