Busting myths about the care of naturally curly hair

With the Cape Town Natural Hair Fest taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Sunday December 16, we asked the event’s organisers Cape Town Naturally, about some of the myths about naturally curly hair.

Over the past few years there’s been a significant increase in the number of South African women who have embraced their natural hair. However, there are still some negative myths that exist around wearing your hair in its natural state.

Myth 1 – Natural hair is expensive

Products for natural hair range in cost, from budget-friendly to more pricey. Just like when you choose to wear your hair straight, you can choose products and salon services that cost less than the more luxurious ones.

In addition, there are a lot of cost effective DIY recipes for natural hair products – simply go
to YouTube to find some easy tutorials on how to make your own.
The bonus of this is that you have complete control over what you put in your products and on your hair.

Myth 2 – Natural hair is unprofessional

More and more women are choosing to wear their hair naturally to the workplace. If styled neatly, there is no reason that someone who wears natural hair at work should be deemed any less professional than someone who wears straight hair. This accounts for all natural hair styles, whether it’s a wash and go, afro, twist-out, dreadlocks or any of the other natural hair styles.

Myth 3 – Natural hair is difficult to maintain

If you’re used to wearing relaxed hair, learning to take care of your natural hair will definitely be a learning curve because it’s new,
but it’s no more challenging to take care of it than straight hair. A bit of education and trial and error with hair products and different styles will set you on the road to success.

Myth 4 – It’s okay to only co-wash my hair

While co-washing (washing the hair with conditioner) is a gentle and moisturising way of washing the hair, if that’s the only method of cleansing the hair, over time it will cause product to build up. The build-up will prevent styling products from truly penetrating the hair shaft which will lead to dryness over time.

So, what’s the answer to this? Be sure to thoroughly cleanse the scalp and hair with a clarifying shampoo at least once a month.

A moisturising sulphate-free shampoo will get the job done, which means that styling products will be able to work their magic as they should.

Myth 5 – I must know my hair type

It’s absolutely fine not to know whether your hair type is Type A, B or C, a curly hair typing system based on the size of your curls, popular among many natural hair circles.

Many naturally curly girls successfully look after their hair with not a care in the world about their specific hair type. What matters most is finding out which products and styling techcniques suit your hair the best.

Everyone interested in finding out more about natural hair care, is encouraged to attend the Cape Town Natural Hair Fest taking place on Sunday December 16 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. For more information about the Cape Town Natural Hair Fest, go to www.ctnaturally.co.za

To find out how you can win a hair treatment and tickets to the festival, see the ad on this page.