Busting African Hair Care Myths

Posted by Nicole Sherwin on

There’s a myth that’s been surrounding African hair. It’s that the way we handle and “care” for our hair has seemed to prove it to be true when it actually isn’t; that African hair can’t grow long, and if it does, its either that person has won the genetics lottery, has mixed ethnicity somewhere in their lineage or has dreadlocks.

The worst part is that I actually believed it until very recently. Thank God for my inquisitive nature, because I wouldn’t have challenged myself to get to know my hair and let me tell you, our hair is the most attention loving, fragile, stubborn and the neediest. So growing it as long as I’d like it to be will a challenge indeed.

After learning as much as I did about my hair, I gave myself a few challenges and goals.
The first challenge was health. I plan on treating my hair with tender love and care and give it as much attention as it needs to make sure its healthy and strong. Deep conditioning, detangling, trimming when needed, proper protective styling, the works. With health, length is sure to follow.

My goal is to grow my natural hair to mid-back length. I know it sounds very unrealistic but its very possible.
All hair has an average growth rate of 1,25 irrespective of race and/or ethnicity. The reasons why it seems like its not growing have already been established in the previous posts.
Genetics do have a significant role to play in hair, such as colour, curl pattern, hair type, shedding and terminal length etc.
Terminal length simply means the pre-determined length your hair is supposed to reach. This is controlled by the 3 stage cycle hair undergoes before it sheds. For some people this cycle takes 6 years and for some it takes 2 years.

My other challenge is to use all natural products on my hair and body which I mostly whip up in the kitchen. That way I know exactly what I’m putting on my hair and body and can pinpoint the reason if anything goes wrong (which is less likely to happen). Also, that means a few grams less chemicals for the environment to deal with.

I document my healthy hair journey on my personal blog to record my progress or setbacks.

I really am enjoying getting to know my hair since I feel African hair care products and most researchers haven’t taken the time to study our hair properly and make that information available. Some other sensitive issues which I feel more comfortable posting on my personal blog are the reasons why we lost our proper hair care practices.

If you’re ever interested in them and other information I have to offer from both Eco Diva and my personal blog you can search for it under #knowyourhair_sa.

There you have it. Care to join the health and length challenge? Have any comments or queries? Drop them in the comment box below.

#teaser : the next post will be about the hairline, how to take care of it and how to avoid traction alopecia. Good Lord know I see my fair share of damaged edges and they need an intervention. Until then.

Know your hair, Grow your hair.

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