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The most common misconceptions about afro hair

SHE'S BEEN in the hair industry since the age of 14, and has an ever-growing collection of awards, and now hairstylist Michelle Thompson is on a mission to encourage black women to know about their hair and all the amazing things it's capable of doing.

"There are all different textures and types of afro hair," Thompson tells The Voice.

"Sometimes people actually limit themselves, they say, ‘Oh my hair won’t do that,' or 'I want my hair to do this but I know it can’t'."

The 36-year-old, who currently holds the 2015 titles of Afro Hairdresser of the Year, Colourist of the Year and Stylist of the Year, adds: "The hair is so malleable, and you can manipulate it into so many different shapes. You can do so much with it. To me, it’s a material to work for."

Here, Thomspon, who is creative director at the Francesco Group, tells The Voicewhat the most common misconceptions about afro hair are, advises on the best ways to achieve and maintain healthy hair:

The five most common false facts Michelle Thompson hears about afro hair

1. Afro hair never grows. Totally false!! If looked after properly, afro hair can grow long and healthy. I always tell my clients to have a proper hair care plan in place and when they are in the salon we always put one together to ensure that their hair is the best it can be. I always recommend a very balanced diet as this also contribute to hair growth.

2. Washing hair more than once per week will dry out afro hair. This is so, so false! Water is actually a moisturiser and does not dry hair out at all. Washing hair will remove product buildup and inject vital moisture back into the hair.

3. Relaxers make hair grow. Many people think that relaxers create instant growth. A relaxer breaks down the hair, eliminating the curl and therefore stretching this out to it’s natural length.

4. Brushing your hair will make it grow. I’ve heard many people say if they brush their hair so many times it will increase growth, however I can confirm this is false! Severe over brushing can cause hair loss so it is essential that you do not do this! Be gentle and use a soft bristle brush when brushing.

5. Using greasy products is good for your scalp and hair. This is probably one of the most common myths I have heard. Grease is very thick and can be a task to completely get rid of from your scalp and hair. As it is very heavy it linger for way too long! I always recommend that my clients use products that are alcohol and mineral free.

[All photos copyright Francesco Group, styled by Michelle Thompson]

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