Are you tired of short hair that doesn’t seem to grow?
Many women constantly battle the ‘dreaded shoulder length’ hair because for some reason their hair always seem to break off. There are many reasons why this could be, so I will share with you 16 tips that will help you to grow your natural hair longer and faster.
1.Take care of your health.
This is the most important tip because nothing goes well within the body or the hair if you are not healthy. I don’t know if you’ve heard the phrase “You are what you eat”, but this phrase is very accurate. Whatever you ingest will usually show on the outside. If the body isn’t receiving all the nutrients it requires, it will create a system that sends the nutrients to the vital organs first then whatever is left will be sent to things like the hair and nails.
This is where you will start to have limp, “scraggly” looking hair which will break very easily . Being nutrient deficient is another big thing to look out for because that can be very hard on your body and hair. Consult a physician to identify what you’re lacking if you think that your diet isn’t providing sufficient nutrients, or you may also take supplements (multivitamins) if you know that your diet isn’t the best to help provide the body with nutrients.
Exercise is also a very important piece of the puzzle so don’t forget that part. Exercise gets the blood pumping which also increases blood flow to your scalp. This brings the scalp nourishment to bring forth the lovely hair growth you want.
Exercise also reduces your stress levels which works wonders for hair growth. Stress can lead to hair loss over time, so get some exercise in today. Some exercises that are beneficial to the hair are cardiovascular exercises (running, walking, swimming, biking, etc), yoga, but hey any exercise that you can do will be great for your hair.
2. Drink a lot of water
Water is life! The body is made up of 75-80% water, so it is very important that we drink plenty of water every single day. Water is required to carry out all body function, so we need to provide it with the necessary amount.
Hmmm, but what is the necessary amount? Well experts recommend that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day (64 oz), but you should aim to drink as much as possible throughout the day.
When you don’t drink enough water you will become dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when we lose more water than we are taking in. You lose water everyday through sweat and other body fluids that you excrete such as urine, so it is important to replenish the body. Water has a direct impact on all processes in the body and hair growth is definitely one of them.
Dehydration and hair growth.
Dehydration has a direct impact on hair growth and how much of that hair we get to keep on our heads. Without water our cells start to die and there won’t be any circulation in the body for the hair follicles to receive nutrients. Your hair will become very dry and brittle, and breakage will be constant. Start making water your drink of choice today.
3.Minimize or eliminate heat.
Heat is indeed damaging to the hair, no ifs or buts about it. A lot of women use a heat protectant while flat ironing or when blow drying their hair, but the truth is every time you use direct heat you damage the cuticle regardless of how much protectant you use. Heat damages your natural curl pattern, and depending on what curl type and density you have heat may cause it not to return to that natural pattern.
Remember heat damage cannot be repaired, so you will have to cut the damaged ends off and lose your length.You have to be very careful when using heat, so if you want to retain your length I would recommend minimizing heat usage during your hair journey. I do not use heat on my hair at all and I can see the difference in my hair compared to when I did use heat. My hair is fuller, thicker and does not break as easily. However, not all heat is bad.
You can use indirect heat on your hair in the form of steaming, but you should still use caution when doing this. I know that eliminating heat all together is not an option for everyone, but try to minimize it as much as possible.
If you’ve used heat every week challenge yourself to only using it only once per month. Then push it back to maybe once every two months. You will see a big difference in length retention and the thickness of your hair.
Benefits of using less heat on your hair.
Some benefits you can reap from eliminating or minimizing heat are:
- Retain length and grow longer hair over time
- Thicker, fuller, healthier hair
- Hair retains moisture
Consider air drying your hair sometimes to give your hair a break from blow-drying, and you can use roller sets on your hair instead of a curling iron if you want a curly look for a hot date :).
4. Moisturize your hair frequently.
Just like we water our plants and drink water our hair needs it as well because moisture is very important when it comes to retaining length. Our hair is always growing (unless you have an internal issue that prevents it), but we have to find ways to retain the growth that we get. Try to moisturize your hair daily or every other day because having moisturized hair allows you to manipulate it without too much breakage. It also maintains the elasticity of the hair.
When I hear the word moisture I think water. Water is the only true moisturizer, and that is why most moisturizing products have water as the first ingredient. There is no oil or butter that will moisturize the hair because they have large molecules that usually do not penetrate the hair shaft. Those should be used for sealing only.
There are indeed products on the market that moisturize the hair, but you have to be very careful what products you use. When I moisturize my hair I spritz my hair with some warm water (warm water to open my cuticles), then I apply a moisturizer, and seal the moisture in with an oil. Layering your products is very important and water should be your first ingredient. Do not wait until your hair is dry to moisturize because by then you will be trying to fix a problem. Instead try to moisturize your hair daily or every other day if you don’t have the time.
5. Create a good regimen.
Having a good regimen is key when trying to grow your hair long and healthy. Having a clear understanding of what you are doing will help you to know what is working and what’s not working for your hair. If you are using a certain product or technique and your hair is still breaking, then you will know exactly what is causing your breakage. This will help you find a solution, and it is why having a routine is so important.
It doesn’t matter what you do or how well you do it, if you are not consistent you most likely won’t be successful. Having a great regimen means nothing if you don’t follow it religiously. If you find that something works well for your hair just continue to do it and you will reap great benefits.
7.Trim your ends!
This is something a lot of women try to stay away from, but eventually it comes back around to bite them. Trim your ends when needed because when you have split ends that damage travels up the hair shaft and causes further damage. You will then have to do a much bigger cut to remove that damage, so just take a look at your ends and if they look frayed and ‘scraggly’ then trim it. Trimming your hair will not make it grow any faster because hair grows from the scalp, but it will help you to retain more length in the long run.
8.Wash your hair.
Giving your hair a good cleanse does wonders for your scalp, and by extension your hair growth. During the week after using your different oils and creams you will need to cleanse the scalp which prevents clogging of the pores. Don’t forget your scalp is your skin, so just as you take a shower every day to remove dirt from your body, you also need to clean your scalp. A good rule is to wash your hair once a week. Afro-textured hair shouldn’t be washed everyday due to the possibility of severe dryness. Don’t go too long without washing your hair though because you need a clean scalp to grow long hair.
9. Low manipulation styling and Protective styling.
Protective styling and low manipulation styling are not the same thing. They set out to do the same job, but they are a little different. Protective styling puts the hair up and away so it doesn’t rub on clothes, shoulders or anything that would cause breakage, while low manipulation styling is simply a style that is used to prevent constant manipulation of the hair.
Some examples of a protective style include braids, twists, and weaves. Low manipulation styles are braid outs, twist outs, bantu knot, etc. Both are very important in growing your hair out because every time you touch or comb your hair you are increasing the chances of breakage. The less you touch your hair, the better.
10. Don’t neglect your hair while wearing a protective style.
Protective styles are amazing when done right, but there’s no sense in doing a style when you are only going to have breakage later. Giving your hair a break sometimes is great, but if you are not moisturizing your hair while you put it away it will break off from dryness. The objective of a protective style is to grow your hair out and to see the growth that you’ve retained.
Not washing or moisturizing your hair will only slow your progress. When wearing a protective style get a spray bottle and fill it with water and an oil/conditioner. Use this to spray your style every morning when you wake up and seal it in with a butter or cream. You can do it twice a day if you need to but I highly suggest doing it at least once per day. Wash your hair every 1-2 weeks even if it is in a protective style to remove build-up from the scalp.
11. Protect your hair at nights.
Always sleep with a satin scarf/bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase at nights to protect your hair. You don’t want your hair to rub against any cotton material (pillow case or sheets) as this will cause breakage.
12. “Hand in hair syndrome”.
Don’t touch your hair all the time! Keep your hands out of your hair as much as possible, because each time you play in your hair you remove moisture from the strands, and you also increase the possibility of breakage. Try to style your hair once or twice a week so you can cut down on manipulation.
13.Read the labels of your products.
Ever wondered what those long words that you don’t know how to pronounce are on the back of your products? Yes, you and me both! I don’t know what they are, I don’t know what they mean, and I don’t know if they are safe for my hair.
Please do your research when purchasing products because certain ingredients are not good for your hair. Ingredients like sulphates in your shampoo, petroleum (coats the hair, prevents moisture from reaching the strands) in your moisturizers and many other products can hinder how well you retain your length. You want to look for products that are nourishing to the hair, are simple to read and are natural. Be aware of what you buy.
14. Have patience!
You need to have patience when it comes to dealing with your hair and how it grows. Hair does not grow overnight but if you treat it like gold it will grow long and healthy. Try not to manipulate your strands when you are angry or stressed because you don’t want to risk ripping at your hair.
15. Understand that products do not grow your hair.
This doesn’t necessarily contribute to growing your hair out, but please understand that products do not grow your hair. Products help the hair stay moisturized and strong so it doesn’t break off easily and this is very important to retain length. So don’t go buying every product in sight thinking its going to grow your hair long despite what the product promises. Take care of your body and it will thank you by giving you long hair.
16. Proper Detangling
Detangling can be the devil sometimes, especially when you have thick coils. Proper detangling is essential in your routine if you are to grow your hair long. Rule numero uno, never detangle your hair when it is dry because you are going to end up with a big ball of hair on your comb. Try to detangle when the hair is damp or while you are conditioning your hair under running water.
Speaking of combs, try to use a wide-tooth comb at all times. You never want to use the little tightly-packed teeth combs that will rip out your hair if you have some tangles. Finger detangling is also very helpful for retaining length, so if you’re not into using combs this is perfect for you. I personally finger detangle, and I find that I have less hair coming out when I’m through with the process.
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I hope you enjoyed my 16 tips to grow your natural hair faster
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