I’m always surprised about the false expectations of a woman either transitioning to return natural or one who’s new to the community. I find myself combating so many myths and perceptions of maintaining beautiful healthy hair. Although there is so much information on the Internet regarding maintenance of natural hair, one thing will always remain the same: every method doesn’t work for everyone.

The trial period of finding what works best for you and your hair is often what scares a lot of newly natural women. But don’t allow that to deter you from making the decision to return natural. While returning natural was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, there were a few things I wish someone would have told me. Here are three myths about the journey to returning natural I’m going to share with you.

Natural hair Is Easier to Maintain

So you think natural women have it easy, huh? That’s definitely not the case. Maintaining beautiful natural hair actually requires a lot of work and requires patience. If you’re skeptical about whether or not you’ll be able to maintain your hair yourself, research and find natural beauticians in your area who may be able to assist you in starting your journey (and who are affordable). You will have to learn your hair, there is no getting around it.

Returning Natural Makes Hair Grow Fast and Long

This is probably the most commonly shared myth regarding natural hair. Natural hair is definitely healthier, but it doesn’t result in longer hair faster. A lot of women become frustrated or discouraged during their natural hair journey because they have an expectation that their hair will grow faster because they’re using non-toxic products or paying special attention to their strands. It takes patience and care to grow long beautiful hair, whether straight or relaxed. Once you find the right method for your hair and a regimen that works best for you, it will also result in healthier hair and can result in longer hair. Always remember as well that hair growth is also a reflection of your diet.

At-Home Remedies Are Healthier Than Store-Bought Products

There are so many at-home remedies for creating natural products for hair care. For many women, these treatments work wonders for them. But there is the misconception that all store-bought products include chemicals that will damage your hair. Once again, everything doesn’t work for everyone. You have to find what works for you and stick to it.

I would say the best way to find balance for your hair is by testing as many methods—whether homemade or store-bought—as you need to find what works for you. Be careful and pay attention to ingredients in products, but don’t run away from every store product and don’t force yourself to swear by every home remedy (especially if it hasn’t worked that well for you.)

Do you have specific questions you would like for us to answer about natural hair? Tweet us @EBONYMag with the hashtag #EBONYStyle!

—LaParis Hawkins