I struggled trying to grow my hair for years. I got a relaxer when I was around 11 or 12 and my hair completely broke off. That was how I learned my hair was very sensitive. My mother put braids in my hair on and off throughout my life. Then, after the relaxer incident, we kept it in braids assuming (like most people) that it would make my hair grow. It may have recovered somewhat but we didn’t see great results. After that I started going to the hair dresser and my hair slowly got better.
Eventually I started learning enough to care for my hair on my own. Once my hair was stronger, I wanted to grow it out as long as possible. I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I started hunting around on the internet for hair care help. I was surprised to find out that a lot of what I was told about my “Black” hair was wrong. There was also a lot about caring for my hair that I simply didn’t know. So, I’ve put together some of the tips I picked up that helped my hair get stronger and start growing:
- WET YOUR HAIR! This is one thing I was always told never to do. As far as I was concerned my Black hair needed to stay as far away from water as possible. Well that’s a complete falsehood. Your hair love water. Water is moisture and hair (especially Black hair) needs it badly. I wet my hair everyday now in the shower and it loves it. NOTE: wetting your hair does not mean shampooing.
- Keep your hair clean. Many Black girls are told not to wash your hair often. It is true that we don’t have to wash our hair as much as others with less curly locks, but we still need to keep it clean. You should wash your hair about once a week (give or take). DO NOT do it everyday. Also, try to find a natural shampoo or do conditioner washes. Conditioners can loosen up dirt without stripping the hair the way most store-bought shampoos do. Most over the counter shampoos are very harsh on Black hair.
- Moisturize your hair EVERY DAY. Black hair needs moisture. Find a moisturizer with natural ingredients. Avoid Petrolatum and silicones which are found in most hair care products.
- Lightly oil your hair AFTER adding moisture to lock it in. Olive, Jojoba, Coconut are just some of the natural oils that are good for the hair.
- DO NOT brush your hair when it’s wet. You can comb through it with a wide tooth comb from ends to roots to get rid of tangles. Brushing while wet weakens the hair strands by stretching them and causes split ends.
- If you have split ends, cut them. They will only get worse and travel up the hair strand. Tell whoever trims your hair not to get “scissor happy”. You only need to cut 1/4-1/2 an inch every four to eight weeks or so. Some people also say 12 weeks.
- Wear a silk or satin scarf to bed. If you don’t wear scarves then put plastic over your pillow case and braid up your hair so you don’t get unnecessary tangles.
- Try not to flat-iron, blowdry, curl, or use any type of heat on your hair. If you must, do it sparingly.
- Braid Extensions can help your hair grow but remember to still take care of your hair and moisturizer and clean your scalp while your hairs in the braids. Also, make sure they aren’t braided too tight. That can put stress on the hair strand.
- Deep condition with heat and do hot oil treatments every now and then. How often you should do it depends on the condition of your hair. Some do once a week, some every other week, some once a month.
Well, like I said these are just a couple of things I’ve learned through all of my research and experimenting. There’s a world of information out there so I encourage everyone to read up if there interested in growing their hair longer!
- What a malarkey!! (lovefro.wordpress.com)
- Product Review – Shea Moisture’s Curling Souffle (sassncurlz.com)
- A sister’s hair TLC (24hourhair.wordpress.com)
- How To Care For Long Hair: The Grazia Beauty Team’s Personal Regimes! (graziadaily.co.uk)