How To Grow Long African American Hair
Courtesy of Madame Noire , we’re posting some tips on how to grow long hair for us African American women. These tips can be used whether you’re relaxed or natural. Click the read more link to check em out
Who can deny the fierceness of a full, round fro or the drape and sway of a freshly relaxed mane? Not many. Yet these free-flowing styles can be keeping you from the length you desire. Wearing your hair in a bun or in twists or braids will keep the ends of your hair from dragging against coats and car seats or getting tangled in the wind. The ends of your hair are the oldest and driest and need to perserved. Protecting your hair at night with a silk or satin scarf and pillowcase is equally important.
Avoid Direct Heat
African American hair has a tendency to be more dry than others. By frequently using blow dryers and straighteners you could be making a bad situation worse. Air drying is the best for your hair but when you’re in the shop opt for the hood or bonnet dryer instead. When you’re at home you “must” blow dry or straighten make sure you coat your hair with some type of oil first.
Shampooing cleanses your scalp while conditioning restores some the moisture lost. Just in case you haven’t noticed moisture and it’s retention is paramount to the health and length of your hair. In fact, if you’re scalp isn’t too dirty you can wash your hair using only conditioner in process is called co-washing. In addition to the conditioner you use during your weekly washes, make sure you utilize a leave in conditioner and deep condition at least once a month.
Products that contain alcohol strip and remove excess oils from the hair. Which is counter productive. While you can look at the ingredients and not see the word “alcohol” there are other products that can cause just as much damage. (Take this down…)
Avoid products containing:
mineral oil or petroleum
sodium lauryl sulfate
sodium laureth sulfate
urea DMDM hydantoin.
If you have thick, coarse hair patience is truly a virtue. Combing your lion’s man has the potential to build biceps the size of Mike Tyson. But while you’re combing remember to be gentle. Comb you hair like you would a young child, carefully and patiently. Divide the hair into sections and start at the ends and work your way to the root.
Growing with a Relaxer
While the chemicals in a relaxer put the hair at greater risk of damage, with the proper regime you can still have long, straightened hair. Before applying a relaxer protect use a scalp protector on our scalp and hair shaft, shielding your locks from some of the affect of the chemicals. Only put the perm or relaxer on your roots so you don’t overprocess the rest of your hair. After you’ve applied don’t do anything reckless like let sit in silence while your scalp burns. Your edges might be smoother than you imagined if your hair falls out. Use a neutralizing shampoo to remove the relaxer. Some suggest letting the neutralzing shampoo sit on your scalp for ten minutes before moisturizing and styling.
The Relaxer (continued)
I’m spending a bit more time on this one because growing and maintaining lengthy hair with a relaxer can be a bit more challenging. It’s important to know your hair, no matter what your beautician says. Know when your hair needs a relaxer, stretch it as loong as possible. Some suggest no more than once every 8-10 weeks while others advise getting a relaxer every 3 months if you can wait.
Here it is! I’ve been tip toeing around it, ever so subtly… or maybe not. The naturally, curly texture of African American hair makes it difficult for oils to travel from the scalp throughout the hair shaft. It’s not enough to oil your scalp. Pay special attention to the ends, seal them with natural oils.
The key to growing long hair is to only trim your hair when you need it. This will vary depending on how your hair grows. If your ends are prone to splitting this may be every 3 months. If you don’t suffer from split ends try to hold out to only once or twice a year. Even if you do have to cut your ends often, remember your hair grows from your roots.
I know from personal experience that stress can and will cause significant hair loss. If you want Rapunzel hair you’ll have to find ways to alleviate your stressors. Exercise and meditation can put things in perspective and bring you that much closer to long flowing tresses.