It can be hard to grow your hair out. It might even seem like growth has stopped completely. However, it’s the damage and harsh treatment many people put their hair through that keeps it from attaining its full length. With the right nutrition and gentle care, everyone can have long hair. Unfortunately, most hair growing guides assume you’re white, and offer tips that may not be right for you. Here are some tips specifically made for black hair.
Hair grows better when we treat our bodies well. The first steps are eating a good diet and hydrating properly. Some vitamins, such as biotin (a B vitamin) can help speed up hair growth. Eating enough protein can also help. Some people take pre-natal vitamins to make their hair grow faster, but this may have side effects. Talk to your doctor about the right nutrition for your hair before you make major changes.
Also, nutrients have to be taken depending on the body size and structure as certain bodies may not be fit for carbohydrates and have to deal with grave side effects. They have no choice but to resort to expensive laser hair removal and IPL (Intense Pulse Light).
Contrary to popular belief, trimming doesn’t make hair grow faster. It can look like it makes your hair grow, because a trim removes split and broken ends. Keep the ends of your hair clear of damage with an occasional trim, but don’t trim regularly. Cutting your hair too often simply removes length. If you trim at home, use sharp, salon-quality scissors. Dull scissors can cause as much damage as they remove.
Black people often have hair that’s brittle and prone to breakage. Improper combing technique can make this property worse. Comb your hair using a wide toothed comb or your fingers, never a fine comb or brush. Never comb your hair when it’s dry – only when wet, and only very gently. Don’t pull tangles from the top to the bottom. Start at the bottom of your hair and detangle gently and carefully to reduce damage.
Even if your hair grows quickly, it may look like it’s not growing at all. This is because rough handling causes the ends to break off. Be gentle with your hair, especially when it’s wet. Never pull or yank your hair. Avoid heat straightening and curling, which can melt the cuticle. Consider sleeping on a satin pillowcase or putting your hair into a silk or satin scarf. This prevents your hair from snagging on harsher cotton pillowcases. Shampoo less often, using a gentle shampoo, to help your hair retain moisture.
Natural hair appears to grow more quickly than processed hair because it’s stronger. Chemical relaxers damage the structure of the hair, making it more likely to break. Non-lye relaxers are gentler, but still cause damage. Wear your hair natural, in braids or twists, to encourage length. Correctly cared for, natural hair can be attractive and professional. If you do use a relaxer, choose one that does not contain lye, and have it applied by a professional, not at home.