Teenage Guide To Growing Black Natural Afro Hair Long and Healty

on Monday, 14 May 2012
I suppose the question on all of your minds is simply, How do I grow my natural afro hair long? By natural I mean the hair thats already on your head wether relaxed or natural, long or short, broken or recently cut by a scissor happy hair dresser (can a get a amen?). Well one things for certain heat damaged, thinning hair is never going to be in fashion so better get these locks growing healthily. In order to help you on your journey to long flowing hair, I have compiled 10 Steps on How to Grow Your Hair. Pay attention Young Rapunzles!

Step One: What’s wrong with my hair?

First things first, to grow your hair long we need to identify; what is wrong with it? When hair appears to 'stop growing' its not because your hair follicles had a temper tantrum and decided enough is enough. It's caused by breakage of the ends of the hair meaning your hair appears to not be growing. Hair is growing all the time, the key is to preserve the ends so we can see the growth. Any number of factors can cause breakage, the most common being excessive heat use, lack of moisture, rough handling and hairstyles with too much tension

Step Two: Water is your friend.

Moisture was a foreign concept to me at the beginning of my hair journey and my hair suffered because of it. Using a water-based moisturiser on your hair doesn’t only make it look better but makes it stronger. Unlike straighter hair, tightly curled hair prevents the distribution of natural oils along the hair shaft causing our hair to become dry. The use of a moisturisers or leave-in conditioners rehydrates the hair. To prevent our hair from drying out during the day it’s important to seal in the moisture with an oil or natural butter adding shine to the hair. Cliche Alert: moisture is the key… and sealing is the lock.

Step Three: Satin scarf where for art thou?

Though you consider sleep a peaceful relaxing time it may be causing your hair some major stress. The friction caused by rubbing your hair on a rough cotton pillow case is wearing out your hair and causing split ends in addition to sucking moisture out of your natural hair. Wearing a satin scarf or bonnet or sleeping on a satin pillow case can prevent the friction and moisture loss.

Step Four: Heat Alert!

As tempting as using straightners/flat irons and curling wands can be their very nature is damaging to the structure of our hair. Chemistry Lesson. Hair is made up of protein (keratin), excessive heat means that proteins denature – breaking bonds, changing and weakening their structure. The use of minimum heat (eg. Lower temperatures, less frequent use of heat) can preserve our hair and cause less damage. Straighter looks can always be achieved by using large rollers whilst curly looks can be attained through smaller rollers.

Step Five: Deep Condition

A regular deep conditioning-treatment is simple, but powerful. The treatment replenishes lost moisture helping to soften hair and make it easier to manage. It also prevents breakage helping hair to grower that extra bit longer.

Step Six: Take Care

PSA: If you have been combing you hair dry please stop, I repeat do not comb your hair dry. Natural afro hair is in it most fragile state whilst dry, improper handling could lead to snapping, breaking and tearing of our delicate hair strands as well as causing stress to the scalp. It’s best to comb your hair with deep conditioner in it or when saturated with moisturiser. Using wider tooth combs will stop you ripping through snags (small tangles) in your hair helping to avoid breakage. Lastly, as much as we like slicked back edges to make are pony tail look extra smooth the use of hard brushes and gel containing alchaol means are poor baby hairs are hanging on for dear life! Softer bristle brushes and moisturising gels can keep are edges looking thick and healthy.

Step Seven: Stop with the grease already!

Greasing scalps with a petroleum based product is an age old practice within the black afro haired community. Contrary to popular belief, slathering thick grease on your scalp will not make it grow ‘faster’. Petroleum actually clogs pores on the scalp prevent hair follicles growing hair healthily, additionally getting products high in petroleum on the actual shaft of your hair can lock out any moisture from getting in. An alternative to heavy greases can be natural oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, which nourish your scalp.

Step Eight: Trim... Snip Snip

It’s hard to take scissors to hair when you’ve worked so hard to grow it but trimming is a necessary step to take on the road to long healthy hair. Cutting away split ends makes the ends appear thicker and also gest rid of damaged hair. This prevents breakage and makes your curls look fuller and bouncier. You only need to trim about 2 times a year.

Step Nine: Get out your magnifying glass it’s time to read the ingredients list.

Whilst searching through hair products it attractive to pick up every jar or bottle that promises to grow your hair “10-inches in 5 hours”. When picking products as tedious as it is to read the ingredients list, they have a huge part to play in the condition of our hair. A general rule of thumb with ingredients list is that they higher up the ingredient the larger the percentage. However if the product you are using appears to be using works, it works!

The Good: Natural Oils, Plant Extracts, Water, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Cetyl or Cetearyl Alcohol
The Bad: Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Alcohol, Silcone

Step 10: It's okay to be relaxed! (pun intended)

Sifting through the internet can sometimes make it seem as though everyone with a relaxer in their head is dammed to hell. Having healthy hair is still possible with a relaxer so long as the following steps above are followed. Relaxing to often can cause damage to the scalp and also apply relaxer to already relaxed hair (re-relaxing) can chemically break down the hair causing it to become weak and break. 

I really hope this guide helped all you young Rupunzels (teenagers) out their struggling with their hair. The real key to long hair is consistency; jaw-dropping results only come with hard work. 

P.S. I will be continuing this guide with more posts going in detail about aspects of hair care in general, no matter your hair type.

Content provided by www.sundancehudson.blogspot.com


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