12 tips to growing long healthy african hair.

October 30, 2011

Since starting my healthy hair journey i have come to learn a lot about hair care. One of the most important lesson i learnt was that growing my hair longer had very little to do with products. there are good products out there which will definitely improve the health and length of your hair but you will have the biggest role to play and not these products.  your habits and practices will greatly determine how your hair will look and how long you can get it to grow. all you need to do is to forget all those black hair myths and start a healthy hair journey (HHJ). here are a few tips to get you started.
  • Be patient.
This is very important. growing hair longer takes time. it does not happen overnight and therefore you will need a lot of patience. try out products and find out which ones exactly work best for you, remember everyone´s hair is different and has different needs. what works for your sister may not necessarily  work for you. Get your hair healthy first and then start focusing on gaining length. but from experince i know that healthy hair grows, as soon as you get your hair healthy the length will come automaticaly.
  • Stay  away from too much heat.
Heat is one of the major causes of hair damage, using blow driers, flat irons, curling irons and other forms of direct heat dry out the hair and cause the ends to split. opt for air drying or if you have to use heat invest in a hooded drier it is much safer.
  • Wash your hair weekly.
Washing your hair weekly will keep your scalp and hair clean. A clean scalp is healthy and will produce healthy hair. clean hair is much easier to manage than dirty hair. However avoid using shampoos containing sulfates these only dry out your hair more and may cause damage to your hair.
  • Condition your hair weekly
Deep conditioning weekly will  help to moisturise your hair and maintain it´s manageability. remember to alternate between protein and moisture deep conditioners. a balance of the two will keep your hair strong, elastic and healthy.
  • Moisturise and seal daily.
African hair is naturaly prone to dryness so it is very important to keep it well moisturised. dry hair will automatically break more easily.  get yourself a good daily moisturiser preferably mineral oil/ petroleum free since these only clog your hairshaft. after moisturising coat your hair with a light oil like coconut oil in order to seal in the moisture. depending on how dry your hair is this can be done once to twice a day.
  • Do not grease your scalp or hair
Avoid using grease on your scalp and hair. grease mainly contains mineral oil or petroleum e.g vaseline  which clogs the scalp. your scalp needs to be able to breathe in order to produce hair like it should. grease can be used to seal in moisture but the only problem is that you will not be able to moisturise your hair until the grease has been washed off. opt for natural oils such as castor oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil e.t.c

  • Wear protective styles
Wearing hairstyles that require low manipulation or keep your ends hidden will definitely help you to maintain your length. When hair rubs against clothing it tends to break off. this is why many women tend to have long hair in the middle of their heads and then it gets shorter at the back. examples of protective styles include buns, ponytails, weaves, wigs, braids, scarves, hats, braid outs, bantu knot outs e.t.c.
  • Use wide toothed combs 
always use a wide toothed comb this will save you a lot of hair, also remember to comb from the ends upwards and in a downward motion.

  • Massage your scalp regularly
stimulate your scalp into producing hair by treating it to scalp massages regularly. this will increase blood circulation in your scalp and thus hair growth. excercising  regularly also plays the same role.
  • Avoid getting major trims to often
If you keep trimming off your hair regularly you might end up never seeing a change in your length. try dusting your ends instead. this means that instead of trimming off an inch or more of your hair you just take off a 1/4 of an inch this is really very little hair and it won´t make a difference to your length. should you discover a split end just take a pair of sharp hair scissors and cut them off immediately.this is called the search and destroy method and is very effective.

  • Cover your head with silk/ satin scarves.
covering your with a silk/ satin scarf will keep your hair from drying out and from breaking due to friction while you sleep. this will save your edges and keep your hair moisturised.

  • Stretch your relaxers
If you relax your hair try to wait at least 8 weeks before getting a retouch this will help reduce the number of times your previously relaxed hair comes into contact with relaxers. also make sure that the relaxer is only applied to the new growth and not to previously relaxed hair. overlapping relaxers causes thinning hair and breakage.

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  1. So far i can pat myself on the back and say atleast i do most of the listed points. The one i still have to work on is; the being patient part and the stretching my relaxer part. I'm still slow on those two... but its good to see them listed and know what to do and what not to even think of doing.

  2. my hair just continues to thin out, and i braid a lot(am thinking thats why) how do i get the volume of my hair?

    1. Hi Angela, is your hair relaxed or Natural?

  3. hi!!..id like to grow my hair but its quite thin..my hair is natural..how do i go about this?

  4. Great! Thanks for sharing those tips! Will surely try them. Good day!