The Internet is flooded with black hair care tips, many of which are far from what is actually beneficial for your hair’s health and overall appearance. Even worse, many salon “professionals” will also promote the same tall tales, which in the end will either leave your hair damaged or keep it in its current state while wasting your money on futile products. Protect yourself by reading these top 5 hair myths – and what can happen if you believe the legend.

Myth # 1 – Trim Your Hair to Help It Grow

This is one that has been around for quite some time, no matter what your hair type. So how do you explain those women around the world who don’t cut their hair for cultural and religious reasons, but are sporting mega-long locks? Exactly. Trimming your hair when you’re trying to grow it out can keep it looking healthier, but it does not accelerate growth. Hair grows slow and steady, depending upon your genetics, and the best thing you can do to grow it out is treat it like gold. If you moisturize regularly and use proper products, you won’t have to get trims very often at all.

Myth #2 – Weaves and Braids Preserve Your Natural Hair

Black hair can actually experience alopecia (aka hair loss) if it is woven or braided too often. While it is a great way to keep your hair manageable and fashion-forward, the constant pulling and tightening can stress out your tresses to the point where hair loss may occur over long periods of time. “Protective” styles do in fact exist, so if you are planning on getting braids or a weave, make sure you opt for a style that isn’t too tight.

Myth # 3 – Don’t Wash Your Hair More Than Once a Week

Another prolific legend that regularly makes its rounds is the idea that the more you wash your hair, the more it will dry out. However, if you use any sort of styling product, you should wash your hair at least once a week – likely more. Hair growth is stalled and damage occurs when products like petroleum, alcohol or any balm or cream is used on the hair on a daily basis. Water can actually moisturize your hair, while also cleansing it from these potentially damaging products.

Myth #4 – Black Hair is Slow and Weak

This one is actually both true and false. First and foremost, black hair does not grow more slowly than other races. Everyone’s hair grows about a half inch per month, but since black hair is often naturally curly, it can seem shorter and be frustrating. So, when it comes to hair growth, everyone is on an equal playing field. Unfortunately, it is true that our hair tends to be the weakest of the bunch. This is because the natural curl pattern of your hair determines the amount of breakage that occurs, and many black hair types contain a tight curl pattern that will easily dry out the hair. And, dry hair equals damage.

Myth # 5 – Natural Hair Is Unattractive

This just may be the biggest myth of all – not only is natural hair beautiful, it’s also majorly trending right now among celebrities and socialites. As long as you care for your hair properly, flaunt that ‘fro or long waterfall of curls and be proud! The negative sneaks in when you try to care for your natural hair in the same way you would if it were relaxed in a salon. Instead, take some time to educate yourself on what products are ideal for natural hair, and learn to treat it properly. Then, your natural hair is far from unattractive – in fact, it just may be enviable.

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VS+ celebrates hair care and fashions. We share the latest hair trends, celebrity hairstyles, tips, how to’s and more information on hair.

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