Hello everyone, and a very Happy Heroes Day to those of you that are in Zimbabwe!!!
I was sitting here getting ready to type and I just changed my topic completely. I decided today and every other Monday will be “MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY.” I like how it sounds and when you have black hair you need all the motivation you can get, even if you are a hard core hair obsessed person like me.
It’s quite gutting when you decided that you want to be on a healthy hair journey and the environment you are in does not support it. Well “have no fears Kundi is here!” ( lol – sorry I couldn’t help myself :-p ) With my blog I want to change the hair culture of Zimbabwe and other African countries to a Healthy Hair Culture where women are empowered, knowledgeable and proud of their healthy growing hair. It can and will be done ladies but it will take time so one step at a time 😀
I’ve realized with my own hair journey that the myths about black hair have really shaped the hair culture in Zim and other African countries. These myths are not true!! Don’t let them get you down. I will touch on a few of the myths I have heard and experienced the most in my life and times. We NEED TO TRUMP these myths about black hair. You might be wondering what I’m talking about when I say hair myths but keep reading and you will realize that you have heard it all before.
Myth 1: Black hair doesn’t grow long or fast -It’s long because of your genes!!!
I’ve been asked are you coloured? You must have some ‘white’ blood in you somewhere….
Ummmm NOPE. none of the above, and my hair isn’t even “that” long yet. What more when I reach my mid back length goal?!? Lol. Personally I feel that this excuse for lack of hair growth has worked for so long because people have not been educated about their black hair and how to manage it. So of course we think it doesn’t grow! On average, studies have shown that black/African hair grows about 4-6inches per year, the same as ‘white’ hair so let’s not be so quick play the gene card.
However, structurally, our hair is the weakest type of hair and so length retention becomes our biggest challenge. Poor handling, and over processing of our hair leads to weakened hair and increased breakage. Remember how I talked about equal but opposite forces at play in our hair in my post about trimming? Well same thing applies here.
Myth 2: ‘Hair food’ is the best thing for your scalp and hair
Remember that time you got your hair done and you were mad because your hair dresser didn’t but enough hair food in your hair? Oh and then there’s the time your scalp was itching and you were told, ‘isa mafuta’ (put hair food) to stop the itching? Well, that was just a hair myth at play in full effect. And to think we would and still just eat it up… smh.
I’ve talked a bit about petroleum based products in previous posts but the key point is that these products sit on your scalp, clog your pores and attract dirt to your hair. So if you think your hair was itching before you can expect twice as much itching going forward. Use natural oils for you scalp as these are absorbed easily into the pores and water based moisturisers for the length of your hair.
Myth 3: Trimming your hair every relaxer makes it grow.
I hope I made you understand trimming in my previous posts and thus trumped the myth immediately. Hair grows from the roots, not the ends. Once it leaves your scalp it is dead anyway so now you just need to maintain it. Trimming helps to eliminate weak and split ends and must be done as an when necessary. Don’t trim if you don’t have to because then you obviously won’t retain any length if you are getting scissor happy. You should be able to identify what split ends look like and if you don’t here’s a pic to help you out.
While a trim rids your hair of split ends and may help you retain length, cutting your hair will not increase or promote growth.it facilitates length retention.
Myth 4: Stay away from water!! It will wash out your relaxer.
I remember how I hated the fact that there was swimming class twice a week because I had just relaxed my hair. Or I dreaded the thought of being rained on or having any type of moisture near my hair… Well contrary to popular belief water is your friend. Relaxers chemically change your curl pattern on a molecular level, don’t worry your hair will not suddenly be kinky again if you wet or wash it. Rather, use water and moisturizers on your hair more often than not. Hydrated hair and a clean scalp is everything!!!
Myth 5: Sit tight and keep the relaxer in as long as possible
A hairdresser telling you to sit for a bit longer while your scalp is on fire is the WORST thing they can do to your scalp! The result is a burnt damaged scalp. Also don’t let it bother you when they wash out your relaxer and look at you in disappointment saying “hayina kuibva dai washingirira” (you should have sucked it up the relaxer didn’t take) this is all part of the myth!
Never ever sacrifice your scalp for “straighter” hair. Relaxer burns are NEVER okay. This leads to long term damage and hair loss. DON’T DO IT. Besides different hair types respond to relaxers differently, so if your hair is coarse no matter how long you keep in a relaxer it may not make your hair bone straight. It shouldn’t be bone straight anyway. But I’ll get into that in another post as relaxers is a whole topic in itself.
So please ladies, let’s be MOTIVATED MYTH BUSTERS and educate ourselves and those around us. The change will come and once you start taking care of your hair you will see each myth broken as you nurture your own hair. It’s a very rewarding feeling. Oh and next time you hear someone mention these myths correct them and direct them to my blog J Let’s talk hair whenever we can and share the knowledge.