One if the most common myths about natural hair is that it takes a longer duration to grow, the truth is natural hair can grow fast and healthy if properly taken care of. It is important to note that afro hair growth or loss is dependent on the health of the hair follicles.
A poor diet degenerates hair growth and texture. Eating enough protein like chicken, lean beef, lentils and beans help maintain hair follicle function. Hair growth supplements like B vitamins, silica, iron and zinc help grow natural African and black hair types. Using the right protective measure and products keep the air follicles strong and healthy while ensuring a speedy natural hair growth.
Let’s discuss in more detail, for a speedy natural hair growth you’ll have to
1. Moisturize and Condition Regularly
Moisturizing your natural hair helps improve the elasticity and shine. It also helps prevent brittleness and hair breakage. According to Yolanda Lenzy to Refinery29 “Our Scalp produces oil but given the curly nature of Afro-textured hair, that oil doesn’t travel doesn’t travel down the shaft.” – hence the need for additional moisturizing.
Regardless, moisturizing doesn’t stop at just rubbing hair oils on your scalp. For a well-nourished and juicy hair you have to understand your hair, modify your hair routine and most importantly using the right hair product.
2. Wear a Protective Hairstyle
Braid your natural hair as often as you can – this helps to protect your hair from damage and reduce the exposure of the hair. Your protective style doesn’t have to be a big to do – wearing your hair in a bun, wig etc. is okay. To avoid additional breakage and hair loss avoid braids too heavy for your natural hair.
3. Get a Silk scarf, pillowcase and bonnet
Wearing a silk scarf before you go to sleep helps keep it soft, moisturized and free of tangles – as they do not absorb natural oils from your hair like other fabrics do for example cotton. Aside a silk scarf, use a silk or satin pillowcase, and bonnet. They nourish the natural oils in your hair and allow for less friction between your hair and other surfaces.
4. Avoid heat styling tools
Curling irons, flat irons, tongs and blow dryers are all great styling tools but they can also damage your hair especially if you want to go natural. Instead allow your hair dry naturally, if you must use a dryer though set the drying tool on the lowest heat.
Remember to use a heat protectant spray or any natural alternative before styling.
5. Get regular hair trims
Although, trimming may not help your hair grow faster it help prevent split ends and styling easier.
6. Choose the right natural hair products
Use specially formulated natural hair care products. Products that contain natural ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, avocado oil etc. help nourish the hair and prevent further damage. Hair products should be able to provide maximum penetration and moisture to the shafts of your natural hair. To choose the right natural product a natural hair porosity test should be carried – 4B and 4C hair tend to have low porosity hair.
Oleic acid is important for natural hair notwithstanding your har porosity – as most hair care products contain less amount of oleic acid. Moringa oil for example has an oleic acid content of 72% – good for natural hair.
Note – care for dry hair is totally different from greasy curly hair meaning for proper care choose products that fit hair conditions.
7. Eat healthy
The right food can help your hair stay strong and shiny. An unbalanced diet can cause your hair to be dry, brittle and even premature grayed hair.
Food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and C, Copper, Zinc, Protein improve hair structure and nourish natural hair. Don’t forget to take lots of water to hydrate your hair.
8. Comb correctly
To avoid breakage, use a wide tooth comb to pick your afro instead of a small one. It is best to detangle when wet right after a shower or spray water over your head before you comb.
9. Use a Leave in conditioner
A conditioner acts as a lubricant, so you can easily comb your hair. Applying a leave-in conditioner to your hair will keep it hydrated and moisturized to prevent breakage. Opt for a sulphate free conditioner with the right oils.
10. Have a regular Hot oil treatment
Hot oil treatment help strengthen your hair and prevent dry, brittle hair and split ends. The treatment also help stimulate blood flow as well as hair growth.
11. Use high – quality Organic Oils
Organic oils are great substitute for conventional hair care products that contain harmful chemicals/. It moisturizes, nourishes, prevents breaks, improves texture and detangles hair.
Castor oil which is rich in ricinoleic acid and Omega-6-essential fatty acid is one of the best oils to grow natural hair fast. Other organic oils such as rosemary oils aka the miracle hair growth oil, hemp oil can help grow, nourish ad revamp natural hair.
Other secrets to growing natural hair include
- Avoid coloring/bleaching – frequent use of hair dye severs damages to natural hair and slow growth. Its best to stay away from any form of hair dye – maximum use should be two to three times yearly.
- Avoid tight braids and heavy hair extension
- Do not use hair relaxer
- Avoid buying brushes meant for straight hair. It is recommended to use a boar – bristled brush or comb.
- Detangle from the tips to roots of natural hair. Best advice – use your fingers to detangle your hair
While everybody’s hair growth journey is different, there are factors that affect the speed of hair growth. This include
- Hair porosity
- Hair texture
- Type of hair
- Level of hydration or moisture absorption