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3 Hair Myths that Can Hurt Your Hair Progress

Avatar • Apr 27, 2014

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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?

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Adeola @ TheManeCaptain
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very interesting, i’ve never heard of the first two. http://www.themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Jacky
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Jacky

Nice article and so true too!

Miss Elisa K.
Guest

This should be titled, “Stuff Black Kitchen Beauticians Say.” I’ve unfortunately heard all of this foolishness before. Great post on debunking these myths.

LBell
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LBell

The first two have the same basic premise, right? If you don’t wash your hair for an extended period, your scalp will start itching. At least that’s the case for me… What kills me is that after all this time so many women still don’t understand the difference between growth and length retention. The latter is the only one you have any significant and measurable control over. Myth 3 (and the fourth myth you snuck in there) is related to length retention even though it may seem like it isn’t, like you said. Here’s one myth that I often use… Read more »

LBell
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LBell

Sorry for not being clear: I’m addressing you, Geniece, only in the last sentence of the second paragraph. The other uses represent the generalized “you.” (Where’s my coffee? lol)

Kira-lee
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Kira-lee

I live in Jamaica and that the first time I heard of that superstition which is kinda funny. But I used to fall asleep when my hair was being combed as a child so maybe I missed it.

My likkle 2 cents, when my eyebrows or eyelashed itch that usually means some strands are ready to come out. Thanfully, the same doesn’t not hold for my head of hair but excessive itching would not indicate anything good to me.

Love JAH
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Love JAH

Heat is not bad for hair. It helps strengthen it. Of course as with everything, anything done obsessively can prove dangerous but moderate low heat can actually treat your hair. I have been relaxer free for 7 years and have experienced better looking, feeling, length retaining hair when I blow dry after a wash.… air dried wet sets always leave my hair stiff, limp and dry! And like when my hair flows in the wind and moves when I shake it, my air dried hair just sits there 🙁

Adía
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Adía

Evidence shows that heat damages your hair no matter what the texture. Just because your hair moves, doesn’t mean it’s healthy

Hrenee
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Hrenee

No. It cannot “strengthen” it. Each blow dry removes cuticles from the strand. That is the exact opposite of strengthening.

Camille in Brooklyn
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Camille in Brooklyn

Thanks for confirming what I have been suspecting for a while. I cut my hair too much! My hair doesn’t grow that fast and two trims a year is too much for me. I am challenging myself to forego the scissors and re-assess my tresses in a year.

Juanita
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Juanita

I used to believe that water “dried the hair out”. smh.…how asinine.

Mzjewels
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Mzjewels

Water alone dries out my hair and I’m a 4c. So, I suppose everything is different for everyone. If I do use water it has to be with ACV, leave in conditioner or my hair products. Otherwise, my hair will get crunchy and break on me.

KJ
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KJ

Kimmaytube is the hair guru for hair growth information. Her methods are scientific and they work!

AliceB
Guest

Juanita, water can be drying according to your geographic location. Some areas use so many chemicals attempting to purifying the water that it can become hard. Some areas have had so many natural weather situations that the waters are contaminated to a point that it affects some hair types. All of these things have to be considered when using plain water alone. It is always safer to use distilled water for a mist just to be sure. Every areas different even the climate affects the feel of your hair and the holdin power of your natural style. We should get… Read more »

Mykea Johnson
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Mykea Johnson

I have found that the itching is somewhat indeed healthy in my case. The itching of my scalp started after eating right, balancing my pH, and treating my hair with natural oils (coconut or olive oil) and shampoos free of acids and harmful chemicals. Not only did the itching start but my quality drastically improved. When I wasn’t quite as healthy and conscious about hair care… never an itch. So I have th reverse affect.

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