I have heard one too many times that black people can’t grow long hair and this statement is absolute FALSE. We just have a different texture that requires more care in order to promote healthy growth. Our hair appears to grow slow because it can break off very easily. The culprit of breakage can be anything from incorrect grooming, tight ponytails (pulling at the edges), alcohol based gels, and more. The following tips will ensure that you are able to retain hair length and grow healthy hair.
This is the most important part of hair care. At the beginning of my transitioning period I swore I knew what it meant to “moisturize my hair”. I thought all I had to do was oil my scalp, but I was COMPLETELY WRONG. Moisturizing your hair prevents split ends and breakage/shedding. The following steps will ensure that your hair stays moisturized (depending on the dryness of your hair you can use this regimen every day, every other day or every 3 days):
1. Fill a spray bottle with water, leave in conditioner (I use shea butter), and oil to seal the moisture (I use black caster oil).
2. Spritz your hair all over.
1. Fill a spray bottle with water and spritz your hair all over.
2. Apply a leave in conditioner.
3. In order to seal in the moisture apply oil to your hair from root to tip.
Ladies, although straight hair is fun, the less heat you use on your hair the better. Overtime, heat will cause split ends, heat damage, and stringy hair strands. Instead of using a blow dryer to stretch your hair, try using other methods for example, bantu knots, or flat twists. Instead of flat ironing your hair every week, take breaks and straighten your hair once every 3 weeks.
Use protective styles in between your straitening periods. Heat from the sun can also be damaging to your hair so wear hats and use leave in conditioners that have added sun protection in order to prevent damage.
Cowashing is washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. This technique keeps your hair fresh and moisturized. You don’t have to cut out shampoo completely because your hair needs to eventually be cleaned properly. Instead, you can cowash once a week and after the 2nd time, wash your hair with shampoo. Make sure you deep condition your hair after every shampoo by letting the conditioner sit in your hair for at least 15 minutes (if you can, sit under a dryer with a plastic cap over your head).
Limit your use of heat styling. Instead, air dry your hair when you can and use protective styles. Protective styles are fun to create and they are meant to last a long time.
•NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, TEASE YOUR HAIR!!!!! EVER!!!!!!
•Don’t pull your hair up in a tight ponytail because it will cause your hairline to recede and you will have permanent damage to your hair.
•Low manipulation hair styles leads to less hair shedding & healthy hair.
•Your ends will keep breaking if they are constantly rubbing the back of your shirt. Keep your ends clear of rough clothing by putting your hair in buns when appropriate.
•Use hair accessories that won’t damage your hair for example: ouchless bobby pins, ouchless hair ties, no rubber bands, satin hair curlers, banana clips, and etc.
•Youtube is your best friend when trying to find potential protective hair styles because there are so many options!
Detangling can be the source of a lot of hair loss if it’s done incorrectly. This process requires time and a lot of patients. The first step is to finger detangle as much as possible and then use a wide tooth comb to finish the job. Comb your hair in small sections starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. NEVER detangle your hair while it’s dry! Always spray your hair over lightly with water and (optional) put some type of leave in conditioner in it.
Yes, trims are good only if your ends are split or you really, really want to have your ends even. If you are the type of person that gets a trim every 4 weeks, then you will never see improvement in your hair growth because you keep chopping the growth off. Regardless of what people tell you, you don’t need trims as often as you think. I personally go months without getting a trim. Also, if you are planning on doing a self-trim make sure you have the proper scissors because unprofessional scissors can cause your ends to split even more.
Start From Within
Believe it or not, staying active and eating /drinking healthy things will promote healthy hair growth.
Vitamin B Foods- Vitamin B plays a role in red blood cell production, which transports oxygen to your hair follicles. If you don’t have a good vitamin B intake you are likely to experience slow hair growth and possible shedding.
Proteins-Make sure you get the recommended servings of protein (2-3 daily servings).
•Poultry (organic is best)
Vitamins-They are meant to give your body the nutrients that it’s missing from your diet. This is a great way to grow healthy hair.
•Omega 3 fatty acid pill
•Daily vitamin B fix
Carrots- Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp, shiny hair, and good vision
Water-One of the most important ways to promote hair growth is by staying hydrated. This helps your hair stay moisturized starting from the inside.
Healthy Fats- Consuming healthy fats makes your hair, nails and skin look better. Oils such as olive oil, oils found in fish and nuts definitely make your hair grow.
•Walnuts (omega 3-fatty acid)
Dark Green Vegetables- Spinach, and broccoli provide iron and calcium. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum (the body’s natural hair moisturizer that gives off oils by your hair follicles).
At night sleep with a satin head scarf, or on a satin pillow. This step is important because your hair will break off in your sleep from constantly rubbing on the rough bed material if you do not use satin or silk.