“In some cases braiding the hair will cause breakage, but this depends on the strength of your hair. If you keep your hair braided year-around, allow your hair to rest for at least 3 months during a 12-month period. You should not be braiding the hair continually, otherwise you will cause stress to the stands. Letting the hair breathe will allow you to build up your strands’ protein to prevent breakage,” says Washington.
MYTH: Cutting hair will promote hair growth
Tell your scissor-happy stylist to “sit down.” While cutting does rid your hair of old and damaged strands, it does not make your hair grow. Your hair actually grows from the hair follicle on your scalp. We suggest getting a trim and not a chop every 6 to 8 weeks depending on your hair growth to avoid any split ends you may have, splitting further up the hairs shaft, which does cause damage.
MYTH: Natural hair is stronger than chemically treated hair
Applying chemicals to your hair does weaken the hair shaft. However, that does not mean that natural hair has the strength of 1,000 men. Actually, all of those cute little curls and kinks could be your hair’s breaking point—literally. No matter how thick or strong your natural strands may look, handle them with care. Aside from your usual conditioning treatments, apply a leave-in conditioning balm like Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment ($5, drugstore.com) to protect your mane against daily wear and tear.
MYTH: Washing hair too much dries it out
“This myth really depends on the person. The more oil-producing glands you have, the less likely you are to experience lack of hair moisture from washing. If your scalp does not produce enough sebum, which is oil, washing frequently will dry the hair out,” says Washington. Water coupled with great moisturizing products like Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural Intensive Moisturizing Shampoo ($5, drugstores nationwide) will help to reduce dryness after washing.
MYTH: Black women can’t grow long hair
“This is definitely not true! Everyone has a point where the hair will just stop growing regardless of ethnicity,” explains Washington. "Hair growth comes from a good diet and well-maintained hair. Taking multivitamins, drinking water, eating green vegetables, trimming the hair a quarter of inch every four to eight weeks all promotes hair growth.”
MYTH: Black hair should be conditioned more regularly than shampooed
Hair conditioners and the use of conditioning oils is essential to healthy hair. “Ethnic hair can become a little more brittle because of the chemicals we use, so we definitely need more conditioning to restore the hair’s vitality and shine,” says Washington. Depending on your individual hair needs, you may only need to apply conditioner to the ends of your strands if your hair is oily. If you use heat daily on your hair, try using a thermal conditioner with heat protection. For women with dry hair, using a conditioner and leave-in conditioner might be necessary.
MYTH: You can’t repair split ends
As much as we’d like to believe this to be true, uh uh. You can temporarily treat your split ends with fortifying conditioners like Biolage by Matrix ForteTherapie Intensive Strengthening Masque ($9, drugstore.com), but the little scragglers do still exist. The only way to fully repair your hair is by ridding it of its bad parts—and by that we mean cutting.
MYTH: Greasing the scalp promotes hair growth
“A greased scalp can create clogged pores, but moisturizing the ends will help to maintain hair growth,” says Washington.
Excerpt from article from Essence.com. Hair tips provided by Traci Washington. Full article here.