There has been this myth making rounds, stating that African hair does not grow. That is a lie that no one should ever buy to. Truth is, all types of hair including African hair grows. It is true though that African hair grows quite slower than certain types but that does not entirely rule out the fact that it does grow.
I understand that from a very young age, we adopted unhealthy practices on how to do or keep our hair. Habits such as blow drying our hair leads to more hair breakage, meaning that we cannot retain the length we get. Such practices have then led to us failing to see the results we wish to. Below are 10 effective tips for African hair growth:
1. Know your Hair Type
I cannot stress this enough: What works for someone else’s hair may not work for yours and vice versa. Before you even think of what products you need to buy, do a strand test. Know what your curl pattern is. Most Africans have type 4 hair; 4a, 4b or 4c. Some have combination hair such as 4a/4b or 4b at the back and 4c at the front. This will make it easier for you to know the products you need and how your hair will react in different circumstances.
2. Stock up on the Right Hair Products and Hair tools
You need products such as shampoo, a conditioner and a deep conditioner for your wash days. Others such as leave in conditioner, creams and natural oils are needed to. Make sure you check the ingredients before purchasing these products. Ensure that your shampoo does not leave your hair feeling dry. Also, use conditioner during every wash day since it restores the natural condition of your hair.
Pre-poo means pre-shampoo. Shampooing strips natural oils off your hair strands. To prevent this, coat your hair with natural oil of your choice such as coconut oil before your wash day begins.
4. Moisturize Daily, then seal in the moisture with Natural oil
It does not matter whether you are leaving the house or not. Try your best to moisturize your hair on a daily basis. My hair loves Rose water as a moisturizer. I keep it in a spray bottle then I spritz it throughout my hair before I add a fine coating of coconut oil. Your curls and coils love moisture, trust me.
5. Protect your Ends
It is very important to keep your ends protected since exposing them promotes tangling and breakage. There are many protective styling that you can use. Such include braids, twists and cornrow lines. Ensure that your ends are tucked away.
6. Trim your Split Ends
Study has it that dead ends are what promotes stunted hair growth. It is advisable to trim your ends every 6 months since it helps promote hair growth. Don’t be scared to do it. Those are dead ends anyway.
7. Avoid using Heat
Heat styling and straightening is one of your hair’s greatest enemies. Avoid blow-drying your hair every now and then since it leads to heat damage that ultimately leads to hair breakage and stunted growth. Let your hair dry on its own then stretch your hair using ways such as keeping it in twists or in matutas.
8. Wrap your hair in a Satin Bonnet or Silk Scarf Overnight
Cotton sucks oils and moisture out of your hair. To prevent this, have a silk scarf that you wrap your hair in every time you go to bed. This also keeps your hair intact, preventing it from rubbing on your pillow. If you have trouble keeping a scarf on throughout the night, consider having pillow covers made of silk.
9. Avoid keeping a Style in for Months
Staying with braids for 3 months in a row does your hair more harm than good. This is because the continuous flipping and styling knots the hair at the bottom. Also, if you do not wash your braids and scalp, dirt and sweat accumulates on your scalp and hair, limiting growth. If you must keep braids in, let your stylist leave your baby hair since pulling them is what leads to a receding hairline.
10. You are What you Eat
Hair growth is greatly affected by what you eat. Promote hair growth by eating foods rich in protein. Such foods include eggs, beans and fish.