Growing your natural hair can be very overwhelming and at times, FRUSTRATING!! I understand the initial woe’s, oh too well. On the other hand, success can be achieved. A head full of natural, healthy hair can be obtained. Here is a short list of keys to obtaining the success you seek. Have fun, enjoy and relax!
1. Understand Your Hair
Everyone’s hair and hair type is different. Naturally curly hair range from type 2 to type 4(with subcategories in between). There are numerous natural hair type charts available to help you understand and find your hair type. Once you get to know and understand your hair and how it reacts, you’ll be better equipped in knowing how to properly care and grow it!.
2. Take Proper Care Of Your Hair
Taking proper care of your hair involves various things, but one of the most important things is washing it. Curly hair tends to collect dirt, oils and grime, much more often than straight hair. Your hair LOVE’S water and water LOVE’S your hair! In addition to getting your hair clean, water also acts as a natural moisturizer. Moisture is very important to retaining length for natural hair. You might have been told that “black hair don’t need washing on a regular basis”, this is false! Washing your scalp and hair helps to remove buildup which can lead to breakage or even bacterial infections of the scalp! Experts(and I also) recommend that naturally curlies use sulfate-free shampoo and focus primarily on the scalp when washing.
3. Exercise, Water & Diet
I’ve personally seen a significant difference in my hair texture, strength and growth since I began exercising, drinking 10 glasses of water per day and eating healthy. Vitamin’s, supplements, water, diet and exercise, are key elements to increasing health, which leads to increase hair growth. A healthy inside leads to a healthy outside(skin, nails, hair and body). Eggs are great! Eggs carry protein and keratin which can increase elasticity and strength. Also, Zinc, Vitamin A,C,D and E are needed. Biotin, Zinc and Fiber can be obtained from Beans and Lentils. Dark green vegetables provide Vitamin B12, A and C, Iron and more! Omega 3 Fatty Acids can be found in various fish, including Salmon, Tilapia and Trout. Eating a well balanced diet, drinking at least 10 glasses of water per day, supplements, vitamins and exercise are very important keys to obtaining healthy hair.
4. Find A Regimen
Finding a regimen that works, takes patience. In order to find out what works for your hair and or a regimen, documenting everything is critical. Document what products and or techniques used, what worked and didn’t work. Also, video’s, pictures, notes, recipes, etc. could prove to be beneficial to your finding a great regimen for your hair. It’s OK to experiment with difference things! See my regimen.
5. Condition & Moisturize
A very important aspect to maintaining and growing naturally healthy hair, is proper conditioning and moisturizing. Naturally curly, coily, kinky hair, tends to be extremely dry due to the lack of sebum scalp oils, able to reach the ends of the hair shaft. In order to prevent breakage, natural hair must be conditioned and deep conditioned on a regular basis(preferably after each washing). In addition to conditioning, moisturizing daily is as important(depending on style and hair). By moisturizing on a regular, consistent basis, natural black hair can retain moisture, thus retain length.
6. Style To Protect The Ends
Most naturals swear by protective styling. The ends are dead! That’s right, dead! Because they are dead, they are prone to splitting and breakage. In order to maintain healthy hair and retain length, natural hair should be LEFT ALONE! Wearing protective styling(styles that protect the ends of the hair) can help to improve the overall health of the hair. Natural hair is better LEFT ALONE! Have you noticed how long dreads grow? Have you wondered why other styles and relaxed styles seem limited in growth? This is due to the fact that dreads is a protective style. Other protective styles include: buns, twists, cornrows, extensions, sew-ins, french rolls, box braids, individuals braids, kinky twists, flat twists, finger coils and more!
7. Dust Vs. Trim?
Keeping split ends at bay is PRICELESS! If the ends of the hair shaft is able to split, this can lead to further breakage up the hair shaft. If breakage occurs, you might end up paying a trip to the salon for a major cut! Some have stated that “natural hair don’t require trims”. This is far from the truth! Although the timing of when trims are needed, varies per individual hair types, hair, etc., the need is still prevalent. Fairy knots, tangles and more, are a direct result of untamed, untrimmed ENDS! Dusting is typically the cutting of approximately 1/8 of an inch of hair off the ends. A trim could be 1/4 of an inch up to 1 inch, depending on the condition of the hair. Study the ends of your to determine if knots or split ends are present to see if you need a trim or a good dusting. Also, trim as needed. This could be every 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months or year.
8. Get Some Patience In Your Life!
Patience is of a great virtue! With trying to grow natural hair, patience is just as important as the other keys mentioned above, especially if transitioning. Patience can be the underlying factor to having a fun, exciting natural hair care journey or a stressful, frustrating and depressing one. Understanding that all hair is different and grows at a different rate, can help you to understand the need for patience, realizing that your hair will grow, with proper care. Enjoy all that your natural hair care journey will bring. The good times and the bad, the mishaps as well as the accomplishments!