Top 10 Natural Hair Myths That I Believed Before My Healthy Hair Journey

dreadlocksBlack hair only reaches extraordinary lengths in the loc’d state – I was of the view that the only way black women could have some long hair is if they maintained a loc style.

Needless to say, that has been dispelled since I came across the right information, consistent healthy practices and experimentation has proven otherwise.

Dirty hair is easier to style – I don’t know about you but my hair actually goes on strike when it is dirty: absolutely uncooperative. Yet to this day some women swear by the myth that dirty hair is easier to style.

It is believed that dirty hair provides the ideal texture for some styles mostly because many of the shampoos we used had harsh chemicals that would strip the hair of its natural oils.

Having been ignorant of the hair care needs of black hair (or flouncing them in some cases), we would end up with dry and sometimes rough hair after the sulfates were through with our strands.

Now armed with this knowledge we are able to seek out the more acceptable alternatives to sulfate cleansers, such as shampoo bars, co-wash products, clay washes or sulfate free shampoos.

Thanks to the availability of this information, we can eliminate the dryness that may surface after a wash and as such maintain clean hair.


Black hair only thrives on “black people products” – I could address this with one word, Giovanni. Nuff said! This myth might have surfaced because of the mistrust of other races who seemed to be out to “get us”.

It was widely thought that no other race could understand our diversity and ethnicity enough to formulate products that had the right balance to benefit our hair. Through personal experimentation with products as well as reviewing information pertinent to the issue, many of us have come to see that this is not so.

What we have found out is that manufacturers of hair products usually make products for the majority. In the United States, African-Americans are among the minority. It would then stand to reason that if a majority of the products made are at a neutral pH of 7.0 while our hair’s pH balance is 4.5 t0 5.5 then those products are not geared towards black hair.

Other than that, we cannot substantiate this claim especially since the natural hair/healthy hair community has grown and companies now see the need to do the proper research and cater to our needs if they are to protect their bottom-line.

Petroleum is great for natural hair – Maybe like me, many of you thought that nothing could be done with your hair without some petroleum. I accepted the thought that my hair was difficult and unmanageable and was grateful for the good stuff; petroleum.

Little did I know that though it’s good as a sealant, it also locks moisture out of the strands, effectively hindering daily moisturizing. It clogs the pores when slathered onto the scalp, thereby preventing natural oils from getting to the follicles where real nourishment occurs.

Absence of moisture plus clogged pores equals drier strands, tons of breakage, ssk’s, split ends and PLENTY of dandruff; translation? Length plateau!

Originally posted 2013-12-13 15:00:14.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

About Marsha Buchanan


As a Jamaican girl raised in a devout church family headed by my mother, I have always had my natural hair, no chemical processing. After years of mistreating it , often ignorant of that fact, I began my healthy hair journey in January 2013 in fact, I have seen to it that my entire household falls in line where this is concerned. When I am not poring over some hair blog or forum I spend my time teaching English to rowdy high school students (ok maybe I have some little sweethearts in the mix), mothering the most adorable two year old on this globe, or rushing to meet the deadline for a writing project on Elance. In my spare time I enjoy a stroll along the beach with my doting husband.

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Comments

  1. KJ

    Right on the money! Is hard believing that I once that all this was true. So many black women hold this myths near and dear to their hearts. My sister, who’s natural, and my aunt, who’s relaxed, both went to cosmetology school, and know so little about caring for their own (black) hair. It doesn’t occur to them that if it’s not working, then it’s time for change. Nobody was a bigger novice when it came to care then me. When I went natural 3 years ago, I didn’t know that I was “going natural,” I just realized that I had the option of no longerrelaxing my air. In fact, I was completely unaware that there were other women doing the same thing. And I didn’t know how to properly care for my hair, so I had some unrealistic expectations under the circumstances. It took me 2 years to realize this. Finally, after my 2nd big chop last year, I opted to change my practices. I rested to some old textbook knowledge of black hair care 101 to learn the basics, and what do you know? My hair started to thrive. So hopefully, the information gets out there quickly that black girls can have long, healthy hair with proper care. The re-knowledge just has to get out there.

    1. Marsha Buchanan Post author

      That’s so true KJ. The process of re-teaching must continue so that these myths do not continue for another ten generations.

  2. Aline

    You’re so right. Many of use believed all the above myth. I can’t believe we used blue magic & sulfate shampoo to clean the build up grease. Unbileavable!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. NubianPrize

    You have to do what works for your own hair ! After almost two years of job stress that caused my hair to thin & at nape & temples,plus the fact I’m post menopausal, i decided to go back to old school grease & water this winter. Mom used it on my hair as a kid & it grew long & thick & was never dry in winter. I had had nice growth last summer with KinkyCurly all summer & had been using Qhemet,Curls or Shea Moisture in past winters. I saw a derm january 2012-June & then started using an essential oil mix. But in late November, when it got colder & drier than usual I started getting dryness, breakage & shedding. So I got some Dax & Blue Magic like some other naturals had recommended for the same issues. I hadn’t used either of those products before because I had a curly perm for years or any grease at all since wearing an afro in the 70s. Back then ,no heavy grease, just Vitapointe, Afro Sheen, Perm Repair & Alberto VO5. So far I found that Blue Magic & Dax are the bomb. Not on the scalp,just on my hair with a light hand. An excellent mix is Dax Pomade with some raw shea butter sitirred into it. My hair has stayed soft & moisturized for days & is retaining length like mad. Almost no breakage & split ends. Even tho I hadn’t used grease for decades, I never really bought into that idea that grease is terrible idea. I think that’s a myth,too. Just use it on damp hair as a sealant & not on your scalp. I had grown up on Sulphur 8,Posner Bergamot, & Dixie Peach as well as olive oil. Mom used them with a light hand & my hair stayed healthy. She did oil my scalp when it got dry. Anyhow, grease will now be part of my winter regimen & the expensive Qhemet for spring & fall.

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