Hair Growth Tips
Growing and retaining hair takes a lot of effort, but it is worthwhile if you desire healthy hair. These are tips that I have lived by since I was a child and now practice on myself and family.
1. Don’t braid tight: Besides the pain of it, braiding tight is linked to traction alopecia and skin bumps. Protective styles should do just that and protect. Tight braiding causes hair breakage and ruins your hair in the long run.
2. Massage your scalp: This process stimulates blood circulation and helps to allow healthy products to penetrate better. A healthy scalp is like healthy soil for a plant. You need to nourish your scalp to encourage hair growth.
3. Low manipulation: Pulling on strands daily causes breakage and weakens the hair. When you have to brush your hair, remember to brush from the tip first and work your way up. This is why protective styling is better as it keeps you from having to brush and comb your hair. Change up your protective styles to combat the boredom you may feel if you are new to the practice of low manipulation.
4. Condition, condition, condition: This strengthens your hair as it assists in sealing your hair follicles. Washing our hair removes oils, dead skin, and product build up. Conditioner energizes your hair strands and scalp by balancing your hair and scalp. Conditioning improves the elasticity of your hair which helps with retention of the length that you have gained.
5. Drink water: This is the best hydration hands down. I drink so much water and wear protective styles, and that has gotten me the length that I desire. Drinking water and eating as healthy as you can, shows in your hair. Vitamins from balanced meals can do what they are there to do and it will show up in your scalp and strands.
6. Wear protective styles: The goal is to prolong the amount of time between styling. We are giving our hair time to rest and doing anything damaging to it by pulling, brushing, or any kind of harsh manipulation to it. It is with this one rule alone, that I was able to quickly grow my hair. Even without keeping my hair hydrated like I needed to, my hair grew from leaving it alone in long term protective styles.
7. Use silk pillowcases or wear a bonnet: Friction from our cotton pillow cases causes breakage as it is rough on our hair. I struggle with wearing a bonnet as the tom boy in me gets the best of me, so I make sure to use a silk pillowcase instead for myself and son. Make sure to replace bonnets monthly, as the dirt and oil build up will interfere with your routine.
8. Moisturize hair: Our hair is naturally dry and not moisturizing causes the cuticles to open up and become more brittle. Everyone’s moisture needs are different as some have to moisturize daily while others can go a few days. Rehydrate with our hair tea by lightly misting your strands, and pair it with our hair butter and scalp oil.
9. Leave your edges alone: Most of us are obsessed with slick edges, but we are overly manipulating our edges by slicking them back with chemicals that are drying our hair strands out, suffocating our scalp, and pulling our strands in a harsh manner. This rule is hard for most to change, but there are natural methods such as homemade flax seed gel that can promote growth if you struggle to leave your edges be.
10. Lessen heat styling: I rarely use heat, and may do a couple of blowouts a year to do a length check and act up a little. Frying our hair is damaging and drying. Our hair is not meant to get use to 400 degrees and even with a heat protectant, hydrogen bonds are being broken down in our hair, causing it to loose structure. We are not “training” our hair this way, but making it weaker even if it results in less manipulation from straightening the kinks out.
From a shaved head to shoulder length, it takes the average person 2 years to reach that length. If your hair care routine is not healthy, that impacts that goal. I was able to reach that goal by sticking to protective styles for 2 years straight. That time flies by if you have a great stylist like I did or if you are skilled in doing your own hair.
Incorporating these tips into your hair care routine increases your chance of success with your hair and scalp health. Be consistent and patient as it can take a few months to see the benefits of your new routine.