HOW TO GROW YOUR HAIR: STARTING YOUR HAIR JOURNEY 1

HOW TO GROW YOUR HAIR: STARTING YOUR HAIR JOURNEY 1

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Now that we have debunked the myth that African hair can’t grow past a particular length, the next question would be where do I begin? I have compiled a long list of  helpful tips, that  has worked for me and several others who are on the healthy hair journey. Whether you are just beginning your hair journey,  stuck in the middle, or just curious, you would find some of these tips useful.

 

Adding six inches to your current length requires some techniques, it should be quite easy to achieve once you have the right information (except for medical factors). I will give tips based on my personal experience because I prefer practical to theory.

Growing your hair requires patience and persistence:
I have seen some people, who were very eager to grow their hair and felt sad that they had not grown six inches in two months. On the average, afro hair grows at a rate of 1/2 an inch per month (6 inches per year),  it could be more depending on genes and other practices. Another side is retaining that six inches within the given year, so you need to be patient,bear in mind that your hair is growing

 

Hair Retention:
I mentioned previously that hair is ALWAYS growing; we only need to retain the growing hair which is our part. Under length retention, MOISTURE is key, African hair dries quickly, so it needs constant moisture, you need to listen to your hair and respond to its moisture needs constantly. Water is the number 1 moisturizer, so drink enough water, and let your hair have the luxury of water on it through a water based moisturizer.

 

Daily routine:
·    I moisturize (with leave in conditioner) and seal with natural oils daily.
·    After parting the hair into four sections, I would moisturize the first section and immediately follow up with a drop or two of natural oils (olive, coconut, avocado, jojoba, grapeseed, argan, castor oil,etc)-my personal favorites are coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and argan oil.
·    I massage my scalp with oil (olive, castor, coconut, argan oil) every two days.

 

Weekly routine: Washing and co washing.
I know a lot of ladies are used to keeping the hair for at least two weeks to a month before washing #eyesrolling. Pls if you fall in that category, you need to click the reset button and start washing at least weekly. The reason is this;
·        You sweat on your scalp daily, just like your body (especially in the tropics)
·        To avoid product buildup this could cause irritation and eventual hair loss.
·        To allow the scalp to breath and give room for new growth
·        Hair growth is limited in a dirty environment.

 

Throughout the week, you would have been adding several products to your hair, excess of that will cause product build up which is dangerous to the  hair, hence the importance of at least weekly wash. Some wash twice a week, others every day, but that is stressful for me. (Everyday wash is too much for afro/African hair)
  • Wash with a moisturizing or conditioning shampoo, preferably the one without sulphate base (SLS)
  • After washing, deep condition the hair, with deep conditioner and a mixture of oils or you could use your normal conditioner mixed with natural oils.
  • Cover with a plastic cap for 30 mins, then rinse.(N.B. You dont have to sit down during that time, you could do house chores or something important, I spend that time reading or doing dishes)
  • After rinsing, clean up excess water with a soft cloth or towel.
  • Apply leave in conditioner and seal with oil.
You can either airdry or use a blow drier (set it on cool) and keep it at least six inches from your hair, alternative is to use a handfan.

 

Bi weekly routine:
The hair is protein, so you need to replenish lost protein often, excess of this will break the hair, that is why it is done bi weekly. Using your protein treatment, Organics hair mayonnaise is my personal favorite. A lot of people swear by ApHogee products, they are very good at protein replenishment.
  • After washing the hair, on your wash day, apply the protein treatment and cover for at least 30 mins
  • Rinse the hair with warm water
  • Then condition the hair generously and cover for about 5 mins. I usually deep condition afterwards (works well for my hair).THEN RINSE THOROUGHLY.
Quarterly practice:
  • For ladies with relaxed hair, it is recommended that you do your roots once every 3 months. Some do 6-8 weeks, most times I stretch for about 4-5 months. When you stretch, it helps your hair feel and look thicker and fuller.
  • Relaxer breaks up the protein bonds, so you need to do protein treatment immediately after every retouch.  Organics hair mayonnaise repairs weak, damaged and overprocessed hair,  you might want to give it a try.
  • Deep conditioning is also necessary during this period.
MOISTURE! MOISTURE!! MOISTURE!!! is key, try not to let your hair feel dry, otherwise it could begin another journey from there – the breaking journey.

THINGS TO AVOID

  • Avoid rough handling the hair when using towel, i.e dont squeeze the hair in the towel. Just dab and wipe excess water from the hair, allow the rest to airdry.
  • Avoid using sulphate based products on the hair, it strips the hair of natural oils. (sulphate is mostly used in shampoos)
  • Avoid using petrolatum based products, it weighs down the hair and makes it greasy
  • Avoid combing everyday, (yeah), this might sound weird, excess combing strips the hair of protein, Opt for finger detangling rather than fierce combing. Reduce it to 3 times a week or once if possible depending on your hair needs. I know there will be the temptation to always touch the hair, pls leave it, let it rest.
  • Avoid combing from the roots: I used to do it too, so we are all guilty of this. Start from the tips and go gently towards the roots, some people comb like they are fighting with the hair. Be gentle with it and you will find little or no strand of hair on the comb.
  • Avoid combing when dry. This will cause breakage and split ends. Comb only when properly moisturized. Practise combing in sections of 3 or 4.
  • Don’t be shy when you get to your stylist, tell them what  you would prefer, after all you are paying for the service. I have been to salons where the stylist tries to use that rat tailed comb(the blue one) to comb the whole hair. This practice will damage the hair, causing breakage, split ends, and weakening of the strands.
  • Avoid excessive use of products: When you begin your hair journey, the temptation  is always there to use almost a bottle of oil (especially castor oil) in a week, or 170ml of leave-in conditioner in a week(I did it too). Plzzz…this will make your hair look depressed. Moderation is key. Let your hair have enough but not too much. I would stress the part if oil, try not to use more than a teaspoon per scalp application.  However listen to your hair, if it needs less, use less, if it needs more, use more.

Watch out for the next post on starting your hair journey!!!

 

Are you currently growing your hair, what practices has been most helpful?

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi!!! I love your blog; when am on braids or a weave……It would be difficult washing my hair every week and moisturising it daily…..Please do you have any suggestions or other alternatives to this?…..Thanks

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