When I was a girl and my mother combed my hair, every once in a while she would accidentally drop the comb. Immediately, she would step on the comb, pick it up, remove my strands from it and wash it before resuming styling my hair. Those of you who find that particular series of events odd are probably not familiar with the superstition that if you drop a comb on the floor the person whose hair is in the teeth may be in danger of going bald unless the comb is stepped on. Seems silly, right? My mother didn’t truly believe that my hair would fall out, but it was a way to share the cultural superstitions from her native Jamaica.
While my mother’s actions were lighthearted and ultimately of no consequence, there are some hair myths that may actually have negative consequences on your hair journey.
1. Itchy hair is a sign of hair growth
Is it possible that some women experience an itchy scalp when their hair is growing? All things are possible, so I would never generalize and say it could never occur. Likewise, I think the belief that significant itching is always a sign of hair growth is a myth. In some cases itchiness may be caused by scalp conditions that aren’t promoting hair growth but may very well lead to hair loss. Psoriasis, for example, causes dryness and itchiness on the skin and sometimes impacts the scalp. Receiving appropriate treatment, rather than allowing a hair stylist or your own unfounded views on hair to cause you to delay treatment, may actually help you achieve your goal of healthy hair faster.
2. Dirty hair promotes hair growth
Early in my hair journey I read on a number of forums and blogs that keeping your hair dirty for an extended period of time expedited hair growth. First, I’d like to say that “extended” is subjective. For some women, going more than 3 days without washing their hair is a challenge. For others, like me, 7, 10 or even 14 days does not cause itchiness, dryness or oiliness. It is important to take the needs of your hair into consideration. If your hair requires more frequent washing, it’s wise to avoid this “method of hair growth.” It may actually be unsanitary and could lead to scalp problems for you. Allowing your hair to remain oily for a day or two so that the sebum from your scalp can nourish your hair will probably not have an adverse effect and may actually prove to be beneficial. However, too much of a good thing can lead to a bad thing…a very bad thing. When it comes to your hair you want to be sure to balance your health and wellness with your desire for long, healthy hair.
3. Fear of the Unending Split Ends
You should regularly trim split ends as a part of a healthy hair regimen. I’ve heard warnings from other naturals that a split end will travel up the entire shaft of your hair and ruin all of your hair. This particular claim is simply unfounded. Will your hair look raggedy if you NEVER trim your split ends? Probably so. However, if you make a conscious effort to trim your ends, you shouldn’t worry that the split ends you miss will ruin your journey. I’ve come across women so obsessed with trimming because of the fear that split ends will harm their hair. As a result, they ruin any chance of seeing length retention.
Also, while we’re on the subject of trimming, I’d like to state trimming does not make your hair “grow faster.” Believe it or not, I’ve heard this piece of advice from hair stylists. If your ends were fragile or weak, trimming those ends can help you to retain length but trimming does not speed up the rate at which your hair grows from your scalp.
Once I challenged my own incorrect views about hair, my hair journey became easier and I stopped worrying about things that were never problems to begin with.
Are some of the hair myths I mentioned true for you? What are some hair myths that you used to believe?