We’ve all been there. You would love to get your hair to grow longer via a great, firm and healthy blow out afro, but the unique nature of African hair will not let all of us flourish. Except, that is not quite true. Yes, our hair tends to misbehave at times – but that’s part of what makes it so damn adorable and fierce! But the truth is your hair is probably growing at the same rate it always has, despite appearing as if it is not gaining and retaining length. In this article, we look at what to avoid doing and lay out the first three tips of how to promote healthy and speedy natural hair growth.
THEN why have you gone through months, even years, trying your hardest to grow your natural hair longer without any discernible success. And why do other people seem to get it right while your struggle persists relentlessly?
They probably know what their hair is NOT to do, what to avoid and the common reasons we tend not see the hair growing out. Three things you need to know;
‘The worst case scenario is when your hair is in fact breaking at the same rate at which it is also growing’
LACK OF PATIENCE
Most of us keep looking at our hair to see if there is any growth, and we are quickly discouraged when after all the effort, there are no results to speak of. The hair looks like it has remained the same length for weeks, and sometimes months on end. The truth, however, is that your hair is actually growing! STOP looking at every day. There are ways that you can try to measure the growth every now and then if need be, but that will be beyond the scope of this post for now. What you need to know is that your hair is growing.
If you have already started taking better care of it and applying for some great tips as part of your mission to have your natural locks grow out, do not get discouraged and go off course.
Another possible reason you’ve been seeing little no progress is that your hair might be suffering from damage due to split ends. An effective way to work around that and prevent such damage to the ends is focusing on protective styling and regularly getting a good trim. The worst case scenario is when your hair is in fact breaking at the same rate at which it is also growing, which essentially results in no growth at all. This problem actually affects most black Africans and places great difficulty in the rate at we are able to retain length.
You probably know this one! One minute the hair looks headed in the right direction but before you know it, all has folded up right back to oblivious. Like where is it!? But dispair not, such is just one of the quirks associated with our curly hair. Our curls draw up as they dry, which is actually a sign of healthy hair. Shrinking hair during dry periods can assure you better elasticity.
So now that you know these, arm yourself.
TIPS TO GROWING YOUR NATURAL LONGER, FASTER!
Shampoo is your best buddy.
Because natural hair is generally very porous, it is always best to make sure you keep the scalp cleansed and rehydrated at least every 4 – 5 days and sometimes, washed in between these times.
Here’s the bottom line; a clean and healthy scalp promotes healthy hair growth. It does this by getting rid of the accumulation of dead skin and other useless but detrimental debris. A bi weekly cleanse is great for you.
WATCH OUT FOR THOSE ENDS
And we are not playing, about the loose ends that is. As mentioned in the three reasons why you may be seeing minimal hair growth in the section above, keeping an informed eye on those split ends is an effective means to and end. We tend to pay very little attention to the oldest part of our hair. Big mistake! Not only are the ends the last portion of the hair to receive moisture and other products you may be using, they are also the first to run out of supply.
Trim damaged split ends, see to it your product reaches the tips, moisturise and never forget to seal!
CALM DOWN WITH THE STYLIN’
We don’t know how else to lay this down for you, but messing with your hair too much may look great on the eye but the long term effects may not even be worth it. And while we are big fans of playing around with hair (one reason natural African hair is amazing), we are also aware that our hair can be moody. Less manipulation will do wonder for promoting healthy growth, helping your hair to retain length and maintain the right texture. Watch the dye, combing your hair too often (yes, black moms never explained this one) or too tightly or experimenting with extreme hairstyles if you are interested in growing your natural hair out.
Gun for protective styles like twists and braids (even weaves, but hold that thought, we will get back to you shortly). Protective hairstyle are great ways to prevent breakage and the loss of moisture.
Look out for part 2 of our guide to healthy African Hair growth.