How to Grow Natural Hair: The Advanced Guide to Hair Growth

how to grow natural hairThe Most Extensive, Detailed Guide, on How to Grow Natural Hair That Exists Today!

Lately, I’ve been writing more about growing long hair, but there appears to be a group of people potentially looking for short cuts or hair tips that will improve their rate of hair growth. I have been studying natural hair and hair growth techniques day and night for the past several years.

In this article, I’m going to provide some of the information that I have about growing longer hair into a fairly comprehensive article on the topic. If you’re looking to grow long hair, this is one of the most important articles that you will ever read. Not only will you learn more about hair growth, but I will also reveal very specific reasons why you might be struggling with your hair growth. Here is an overview of what I will cover in this article:

  • The missing phase of the hair growth cycle
  • Why taking biotin is completely unnecessary for most naturals
  • How the hair on your arms and legs knows when to stop growing
  • 8 food types that you should include in your diet
  • The real role of water in natural hair care
  • Why you have to be careful when adding trimming to your natural hair regimen
  • The secret combing method that helps you retain length
  • Forget the updos, let’s really talk about what protective styling means
Overview

It’s only natural for people to wish that their hair would grow faster. After all, we are the “microwave generation” – that is a group of people that are accustomed to nearly immediate gratification. We don’t write letters very often, because email is immediate. We no longer go to the local library, because Google and Bing are only a few clicks away.

Most of the movie retailers (like Blockbuster) have either completely changed their business model or gone out of business, because people would rather watch movies on demand immediately. The microwave generation is generally impatient. Sometimes we even find ourselves in front of the microwave wondering why it’s taking so long to cook that Lean Cuisine.

This is especially true for women who like to change their hair style(s) often or who are unhappy with their current short haircut. Alright, enough with the introduction, here are the main things that you need to know about how to grow natural hair:

The Hair Growth Process

hair growth cycleHair growth is about time, but not only about time. There are numerous factors that determine the rate of hair growth, but the one that is most important is time. There simply is no substitute for just letting your hair grow.

There are things that can be done to encourage and enhance the growing process, but nothing is more of a factor than the passage of time. Hair growth is a process; and for your hair to be healthy and look its best, that process must be carried out in full and that process requires time.

The average person’s hair grows about 1/2 inch a month or approximately six inches per year. Some ethnic groups have a tendency to be above or below the mean; but since the world has become such a melting pot and considering the theory of miscegenation, I typically don’t dive into norms related to various ethnic groups since the norms are so difficult to apply. Frankly, these differences are not enormous and can sometimes be completely erased by genetic factors.

Some people just naturally have hair that grows faster or slower than others. The good news is that regardless of your natural rate of hair growth, your hair is always in the process of growing on a 24 hour basis. Hair growth tends to follow a pattern. Most of the time when growing out your natural hair you will notice an increase in your hair’s thickness before you notice much increase in length.

Beware of comparing the characteristics of your own hair growth to others, as what is normal for one person may not be normal for you. It is also worth mentioning that you are not always the best judge of how fast and how well your hair is growing, because of your over familiarity with it. You look at your hair and study it everyday, which can make it difficult to appreciate subtle changes that others who see you less frequently will notice immediately. Chances are your hair is actually growing faster than you realize.

I have written extensively on hair growth cycles previously, so I will only briefly cover growth cycles within this article. In my previous article, I discussed the three common hair growth cycles – anagen (growth) , catagen (regression) and telogen (rest). For years, the shedding function of the growth cycle has been thought to be a part of the telogen phase.

While reporting it this way is considered accurate (see the graphic above), according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, exogen (sheddingis the “official” name for the shedding phase of the growth cycle. To be completely accurate, shedding occurs throughout the hair growth cycle.

Should You Take Biotin?

Now, the reason why taking biotin is considered unnecessary: The Institute of Medicine, which is a national agency that is responsible for setting daily requirements for nutrition values, recommends that an individual intake only 30 micrograms of biotin per day. They haven’t “recommended” a safe upper limit for biotin intake.

While it’s true that many naturals have taken high doses of biotin without any major adverse effects, there are many misconceptions about the vitamin. The body doesn’t absorb excessive amounts of biotin, so increasing your intake is likely worthless.

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, this means that excess biotin will not be absorbed and your body will flush it naturally. The key takeaway is that we don’t recommend taking any dietary supplements (including Biotin) unless you receive prior approval from a medical professional.

Biotin Vitamin b7Dealing With Terminal Length

A common concern of those wondering how to grow natural hair is the concept of “terminal length”, which is the notion that some people’s hair can only grow so long and no further. This has less to do with genetics than it does with taking proper care of your hair.

As your hair gets longer it can have a tendency to break, unless you make an effort to practice protective styling, control your hair’s exposure to extreme heat, and make sure that your hair has the protein and moisture it needs. It’s likely fair to characterize “terminal length” in the following manner: inappropriate hair care is likely more of a factor for any limited growth that you’re experiencing, than a natural limitation on your ability to grow long hair.

Yet, no matter what you do, there is no way to prevent the hair growth cycle from placing some limitations on growth. Every individual hair on your head has a growing period after which it will fall out and be replaced by a new strand of hair. Fortunately the rate at which this process takes place is different for each hair, so the numerous hair strands on your head are never simultaneously in the process of falling out and being replaced all at the same time. Obviously, that would be terrible if all your hair shed at once. You would be confronted throughout your life with recurring periods of complete baldness (not that there is anything wrong with that).

A typical hair has a “life” of between two and six years. Therefore one of the barriers of growing hair fast is where your old or damaged hairs are in the growth cycle. It may be necessary in order to reach your hair growth goals for your damaged hair to reach its telogen phase and fall out. As healthy new hair grows in and you begin to take care of it properly, you should be able to achieve greater length retention.

Obviously, this process takes time (there is that word again), but it is necessary if you are to achieve your hair length goals. There is simply no substitute for good hair care over an extended period of time, if you plan to grow long hair.

Despite genetically determined growth and resting phases for the hair, most people can successfully get their hair to middle back length. It would be uncommon to have a maximum hair growing length of less than a foot. These measures are based on the same natural restrictions on hair growth that prevent our eyelashes or the hair follicles on your arms from growing too long. Many people point to dreadlocks as evidence of unlimited hair growth but that is misleading since dreadlocks are formed by matting hair that would otherwise have split or fallen out.

If we assume that everything is optimal for growing your hair in terms of genetics and quality hair care, here is a guide on how long it should take to reach specific hair length goals: Armed with the information that the average growth rate is 1/2 inch per month, if you’re retaining significantly less than an average of 1/2 inch, there might be an opportunity to dig into your hair regimen and make sure that you’re meeting the needs of your hair.

Starting a natural hair journal can help you quickly learn more about the wants and needs of your hair. Regardless of what your hair goals are (armpit length, bra strap length, or some other length) the key to reaching these lengths in the fastest way possible is to practice excellent hair care. Here are the best ways for you to maximize your growth rate:

Eat a Healthy Diet

hair foodJust like the rest of your body, your hair and the way it looks and grows is dependent on your overall health. Having the right nutrients in your body will  determine how fast and how well your hair grows.

Hair is heavily dependent on protein so make sure you get enough of it through the foods you eat – examples include steak, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu, legumes and beans. Fruits and vegetables also contain nutrients that encourage hair growth so eat plenty of those as well.

Vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin and biotin are vitamins that many people believe will lead to healthier hair and increase your hair growth potential. So, taking a multivitamin supplement that contains these vitamins is the best approach (if you decide to take an oral supplement). Again, be sure to check with your medical doctor before taking oral supplements.

I have touched on this briefly, but here is another quick note about biotin. Scientific data doesn’t support the claim that biotin improves hair growth. Regardless of this fact, biotin deficiencies are extremely rare. The chance that your body doesn’t have the proper amount of biotin already is very slim, since intestinal bacteria produces biotin in excess of the body’s daily needs. For more specifics about why we don’t recommend taking biotin supplements, check out this article: Does Taking Biotin For Hair Growth Really Work?

Also, you must avoid activities or practices that negate the beneficial effects of eating a healthy diet, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other unhealthy practices. So, establish a healthy, balanced eating plan. It’s generally considered best practice if you plan your meals for maybe a week at a time. This will allow you to make sure that you have the proper ingredients that you need to make the meals.

Check with your doctor first and if necessary, you can incorporate an over the counter multivitamin into your daily routine. I don’t recommend taking biotin, unless it’s specifically suggested by a medical professional. Otherwise, you’re likely just wasting money.

Here are 8 food types that I recommend incorporating into your diet:

No. 1: Want to reduce the price of “gas” and add protein to your diet? Then, eat your beans. Maybe the gas comment was unnecessary, but you get the point. Beans are a great source of protein and other nutrients.

No. 2: Asparagus and spinach, anyone? What about broccoli? Surely you can find a few vitamin-packed dark green veggies to incorporate into your diet.

No. 3: Nuts aren’t just for squirrels and psychiatrists. Get it? Nevermind. Some nuts are thought to benefit the scalp, like brazil nuts, while others are great sources of zinc and other nutrients. According to many experts, for example Columbia University Health Services, proper zinc intake can mitigate excessive hair shedding. Zinc can be obtained through many other foods besides nuts, like meats and cheese as well.

No. 4: What’s your favorite egg dish? I really like a good frittata or quiche, while my six year-old daughter prefers her eggs lightly scrambled (no cheese). Regardless of how you prefer your eggs, they provide a great source of protein for your diet and are always a staple in my meal plan.

No. 5: Vitamin A promotes a healthy scalp, so look for foods packed with this vitamin. How about raw carrots? Sounds good.

No. 6: Yogurt, milk, and even cottage cheese are great options to incorporate into your diet. They provide good sources of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Wait! Is it too late to remove cottage cheese? I can’t stand the way that stuff looks.

No. 7: Whole grains can add a nice dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins to your diet. I would recommend adding a few whole grain foods to your diet – like whole grain bread, cereal, and rice.

No. 8: Finally, chicken, turkey, lean-beef, and salmon provide high-quality sources of protein – in addition to other nutrients.

Bonus Tip: While it’s true that drinking water doesn’t directly lead to increased hair growth, being properly hydrated is an important factor in your ability to retain length. Several different areas of the body are made up of mostly water. When your body is dehydrated, the critical areas of your body that need water for your survival will receive water first. As you might have imagined, your hair isn’t at the top of the list. So, your hair needs water – inside and outside.

Scalp Care, Protective Styling & Trimming

Everything starts with a healthy scalp. Once your hair begins to grow from your scalp, it’s your job to protect it. Your scalp is the place on your head where your hair is actually growing from, so it shouldn’t be surprising that proper scalp care is essential to encouraging healthy hair growth.

Faster hair growth is partly a factor of good blood circulation, which can be stimulated by a daily scalp massage. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, just use your fingers to massage your scalp in a circular motion for about five minutes a day. If you like you can also use natural massaging oils such as coconut oil. Other important factors to ensuring that you have a healthy scalp include avoiding product build-up, using gentle products, avoiding extreme heat and eating balanced diet.

Protective Styling

Protective styling is also really important. When I talk about protective styling, I’m not specifically referring to protective hairstyles, which are different really. Wearing updos and french rolls are all good and beneficial, but it’s not really what I had in mind.

The process of protective styling that I’m referring to is really about making sure that you’re constantly doing things that protect your hair from damage. So, it’s more so about the process used to style your hair and not the actual style that you decide to wear. Here is an example, if you’re going to utilize heat on your hair, there are precautions that you need to take in order to mitigate the possibility of incurring heat damage.

One thing you might do is use a heat protectant, but to really mitigate heat damage there are many other things that you will want to consider. This is starting to sound cliche, because I’ve said it a lot recently, but it’s really about increasing the number of good things that you do for your hair and eliminating the bad things.

The ends of your hair are the oldest parts of the hair. You have to work to preserve the ends if you really want long hair. So, one of the primary keys to getting long hair is the concept of length retention. If you don’t handle your hair with care, it will be more prone to break and you will “struggle to grow long hair“. Every single time you touch your hair it becomes weaker – generally speaking. That’s the reason that many women preach low manipulation styles (i.e., protective hairstyles) and care.

Finally, Let’s Talk About Hair Trimming

Only trim your hair when necessary. Please do not trim your hair monthly or at any specific interval. This is almost always extremely bad advice. Trimming your hair does not make it grow, it only makes it shorter.

Plus, if you consider that the average growth rate for hair is approximately 1/2 inch per month, then you’re likely to cut most (or all) of your new growth off if you trim every month. I do suggest that you watch for split ends and carefully trim them away as needed. This will ultimately mitigate the possibility of split-ends causing problems for hair growth goals.

Also, trimming your hair when it’s dry is the safest approach due to various things – but just know that it’s likely to be less damaging to the hair strands.

The Secret Combing Method That Can Help You Retain Length

finger combing

There are some hairstyles that you could wear that don’t require much manipulation/combing, but many hairstyles require you to comb your hair more often. Just keep in mind that combing improperly can cause significant damage to your hair. Don’t comb or brush your hair more than you have to and always make sure your combs are clean. Dirt, chemicals, and oils that accumulate on dirty combs can also damage your hair.

Use wide toothed combs that do not yank on your hair or pull out strands of hair when combing. Be gentle with your hair when you comb it. Oh yeah, the secret method of combing that can help you retain length is finger combing. Finger combing isn’t really a “secret” combing method, but it works well for many women with natural hair.

Research on Using Caffeine for Hair Growth

Caffeine is a common ingredient in tea, coffee, sodas, chocolate and several medicines. It stimulates the body’s central nervous system, making you more alert and it provides a boost in energy levels.

For many people, consuming small amounts of caffeine on a daily basis is relatively harmless. Although, excessive caffeine intake may cause serious symptoms like headaches, dizziness, sleeplessness, jitters and lead to a caffeine addiction.

It’s important to note that everyone reacts differently to the effects of caffeine. These are people that should limit their use of caffeine on a daily basis. The same goes for women that are nursing and pregnant women, who should limit or eliminate the use of caffeine according to their doctor’s instructions.

If you’re using other hair growth supplements or prescription drugs, consider talking with your health care provider to determine if caffeine will cause any adverse reactions.

Ladies on social media and natural hair forums have been buzzing recently about the positive effects of caffeine on hair growth. Scientific research is inconclusive to date. One research paper, from the International Journal of Dermatology, has garnered quite a bit of interest, since many people interpret the results of the study as proof that caffeine increases hair growth.

However, the men who took part in the study suffered from hair loss as a direct result of testosterone imbalance. The hair follicles extracted from the patients were treated with caffeine in a controlled, laboratory environment, and not directly on the patient’s scalps.

According to this study, caffeine was able to stimulate the growth of hair follicles in vitro. Since the experiment wasn’t conducted on a human’s head, we cannot directly assume that caffeine would have the same effect when applied directly on a human’s head.

Caffeine is a stimulant of cell metabolism, which could have led to the cell regrowth and multiplication in hair follicles. However, we haven’t found a study that directly connects caffeine to hair growth.

Using Hibiscus for Hair Growth

Recently I’ve been researching the use of herbal teas or rinses for hair growth. Some women advocate using hibiscus rosa-sinensisas extract for growing hair.

It’s worth noting that in terms of herbal extracts, the majority of them have yet to be vetted by scientific researchers. Hibiscus, for instance, is said by some to be useful for growing hair, but it’s also being studied by researchers as a potential contraceptive.

So, if you choose to try herbal remedies on your own, do your homework in regards to current medical research.

Scientific Research of Using Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensisas

The scientific researchers that have studies hibiscus rosa-sinensisas dried and powdered hibiscus leaves and flowers. They then extracted them into a petroleum-based solvent. According to multiple studies, hibiscus was effective in the promotion of hair growth.

I couldn’t find any scientific studies delving into the chemicals that compose this particular hibiscus extract. So, I can’t tell you what the source is behind the observed hair growth. The hibiscus tiliaceus is a related flower that contains steroids which might explain the contraceptive qualities. It also has some carbon-based compounds, a few of which are known to provide structure and scent, but none are known to have effects on hair growth.

Do Men Grow Hair Faster Than Women?

It’s not uncommon for men to do almost nothing to their hair. Most guys don’t pay attention to shampoo brands; some don’t even shampoo every day.

Most of them don’t use moisturizers or conditioners and they’re definitely not wearing protective styles. However, men can seemingly grow long, healthy natural hair.

Despite the lack of attention that men give to their hair, men grow hair faster than women according to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Although, the difference is not thought to be significant. On average, a man only grows hair at a rate roughly 6.5% faster rate than females.

Why Do Men Grow Hair Faster Than Females?

Males have a built in genetic advantage when it comes to hair growth. Men grow hair faster than women due to testosterone, a naturally occurring steroid hormone.

While women also produce testosterone through their ovaries and adrenal glands, testosterone is produced in relatively small quantities.

One of the effects of testosterone in men is thicker, longer hair, according to the European Journal of Dermatology.

Despite all the scientific research, it is still uncertain whether men have a longer anagen phase (growth phase) than women. It’s also important to note that men tend to manipulate their hair much less than women and use fewer products.

Some Final Thoughts On How to Grow Natural Hair

There is a direct correlation between your overall health and the health of your hair. Yet sometimes treating various illnesses with medications can influence how your hair looks and how fast it grows, even resulting in thinning hair and hair loss.

The list of medicines that can negatively affect your hair is extensive. If you think you’re taking medicines that might be impacting your hair growth, be sure to discuss with your doctor your desire to maximize hair growth and whether any medications you are taking will affect your hair’s growth rate.

Sometimes your doctor can recommend a different prescription that will not have a negative impact on your rate of hair growth. Finally, it’s important to note, how well you take care of your hair will have more to do with your rate of hair growth and length retention than anything else.

Keep yourself healthy by eating right. Don’t damage your hair with exotic treatments or harsh hair care products. Don’t expose your hair to extreme heat or potentially harsh chemicals/elements. Comb carefully and be aware of how medications can influence hair growth. After reading this article, if you have any questions about how to grow natural hair, please ask them in the comment section.

52 Comments

  • I love this article! Very informative and is loaded with truths about growing hair. Thank you Kenneth! I will pass this article on to others. I am positive it will bless people especially in the natural hair community.
    Peace
    Sheabuttaful

  • Hello Kenneth this article is amazing! I’ve only been natural for seven months and I am bless by this article it has made me stop and think about what I can do to tweak my hair regimen by taking in more natural, healthy foods instead of taking all the vitamins. I Have brought my last bottle of Biotin. Thanks so much for the great info and I will pass it on. Thanks again Pam Forever learning!

  • Great article, lots of helpful information. I’m very happy with my short pixie naptural hair cut, not really looking forward to grow it in the near future, but find the article pretty useful with great information for natural hair care over all and things to consider from now if I decide to grow my hair in the future.

    • Debbie – Congrats on being natural for 2 years. Finger combing works really well for some women, while others don’t really like doing it very much. Give it a try and see what you think.

  • That was extremely informative! It seems as if my hair has stalled after 8 mo, but after this I will just be patient and put into practice some of the tips stated here. Thanks again!

    A question on finger combing…I do it every once in a while, but the day after my hair is a matted mess! Any ideas on not having it tangle so badly? I have been natural nearly 8 mo now.

    Thanks!

    Dee :)

    • Yes, when you finger comb are you using any product(s) on your hair. You might try using a conditioner with a good “slip” ratio.

  • I’ve been doing a lot more finger combing and finally found a product line that works fabulously. I’ve noticed a marked decrease in the hair that I’m losing. And I’ve gotten more length in the last three months than I normally do. I’ve noticed my growth has slowed down, but I’m sure (fingers crossed) it’s just a phase. I’m looking for maximum growth! :-)

    I was gonna lock again (it’s only been a year since I’ve been natural this time), but my man asked me to give it two good years to see if it’ll grow to a length I like. I’m trying to hang in there…. natural hair is work! :-)

  • Thank you for this awesome article!
    Not only is this article educating, it also dispels many myths that we’ve acquired along or journey.
    Stay blessed! Xoxo

  • Thanks as always for the valuable information!! I love my hair in out styles, so glad for the information re: protectve styling. I’m always careful not to over manipulate my hair, and I keep it moisturized. So, once again, thanks!!

  • Great article. I tried finger detailing and ended up with a matted mess. I used a great conditioner and still had problems. I have found that finger detailing for MY hair is not a helpful process. The texture of my hair is quite thick, tight and “coily”. The products would sit on the matted areas (I didn’t know it was matted at the time). I must detangle at least once every ten days. When I figured that little tidbit out, my hair started to achieve a nice amount growth. So, now when I detangle my hair I do it in small sections and take my time. As for trimming, I only trim “weathered” ends. Although growing natural hair takes mega patience, it beats the heck out of the 5 hour hair appointments at the salon and the smell of burnt hair.

  • Great post, Kenneth! You covered a lot of great information! It’s easy for us to neglect simple hair care and wonder why our hair isn’t growing like we want it to. It is important for people to remember that hair grows in cycles and actually needs to be cared for in order to grow long and healthy. Thanks for the helpful post! Love the growth chart too.

  • Loved the article! I am all about protective styling.Braids aren’t all bad just care for them as it were all your own. I just too my braids out last night after 11 weeks (I used dry shampoo, washed my scalp once and occasionally sprayed a leave in conditioner in it and used shea butter around my edges) and my hair is feeling great and the best part I have no split ends…. and I mean it none :D.

    So ladies experiment do what suits you. It’s summer and my hair and I aren’t fond of it so make it more manageable :)

    • Hi Samantha,
      Thank for sharing how you cared for your hair while in a protective style. Question, did you add hair to your braids? I love the fact that your ends were in good shape after the take down :-)

      Jael

  • I have been natural for three years. I am loving it. I generally twist my hair and other times I wear it out. My husband loves it. I continue to spray my hair with water to keep my hair from getting dry and brittle. The major problem I have been having is around my front edges; there is breakage. I have tried argon oil edge control; but I do not see any changes:( do you have any suggestion?

    • Hi Taunya,
      Congrats in 3 years and I an sorry to hear about your breakage. Knowing the source if the breakage gives you a better understand if how to reduce it. Do you have any ideas why you are experiencing breakage?

        • Hi Taunya,
          I would suggest that you start keeping a natural hair journal. When you write it often, in detail about what you do to your hair and the products you use, it becomes a powerful tool of history and behavior of your natural hair. I would love to suggest a technique or product but it would be better guided if I knew what you were doing to your hair or what could possible causes be. Tell me about what you do to your edges regularly.

          jael

          • I use edge control on my edges; but not daily. There are times I have put my hair in a pony tail; but not with rubber band but a cloth scrubby. Do you have any suggestions. I do try to keep my hair moist with water and I use leave in conditioner at times

  • One of the best hair articles I have read in a long time. Thank you for being concise and informative. Accurate, scientific information is sometimes hard to come by when it relates to natural hair. Thanks again.

  • I love this! I am a college student, sometimes I forget the importance of healthy eating for every aspect of life (not just hair). This article has reminded me that we are what we eat. Thank you for your amazing reminder.

  • Thank you for this article. I was contemplating taking Biotin and realize after reading this article I can just make a few adjustments to my diet and get the same if not better result.

      • I just want to say, I really enjoyed reading your article! I am not natural, I am relaxed I do stretch my relaxers 22 to 24 weeks. Once I started stretching my relaxers I have seen a big difference in my hair pattern that I never knew I had. My goal is getting my hair hip length. Right now my hair is bra strap length, but I have, have some set backs. The only issue I am experiencing is my hair have broken off in the back bad! My hair is shorter in the back while the rest of my hair is long. Should I cut my hair to make it even with the back, or should I just let it grow out? I really do not like cutting on my hair at all. Is there any tips you can give me about my hair situation?

        Thank you

        • Hi Dorean, Welcome to Curl Centric and thank you for your readership!
          I love that you are stretching for 22 to 24 weeks but I hate that you are experiencing breakage :-(
          Adding strength to your hair is vital during any stretch and/or transitioning while you still have relaxed hair attached.
          So what happens is that the line of demarcation is a very weak spot that sits right between your new growth and your relaxed hair.
          Using strengthening products that contain hydrolyzed protein strengthens the strands and breakage is stopped in its tracks.
          Some of my go to products for protein are: Aphogee 2 Minute Conditioner, Aphogee 2 STEP Reconstructor and new Joico K-pak Conditioner.
          You have to do what works for you and if you don’t like cutting your hair, don’t. You can always nurture and maintain your hair that has broken off until it catches up to the rest. Depending on how your hair broke off, you can twist up the shorter pieces, so they won’t matt and tangle. Your options really depend on how you wear your hair and what makes you feel most beautiful.
          Lastly, evaluate your regimen and your hair habits to understand what you need to stop doing that encourages the breakage you are experiencing.
          Be sure to send updates and join the newsletter!

          Kira

          • Hi, Kira

            Thank you so much for the words of encouragement, and you’re welcome as well. The products I use are Pantene Pro V Natural & Relaxed, Wild Growth, Jamaican Black Castrol Oil, Eden Shampoo and Eden Deep Conditioner. Then I will follow up with an oil I made with raw Africa Shea Butter melted , Wild Growth, Jamaican Black Castrol Oil with peppermint oil added. I will mix all the ingredients together and afterwards I will massage the oil onto my scalp. I also made my own hair conditioner with water. I do use a lot of water in my hair is that a bad thing? I use to take my hair through a lot with different hairstyles and dying it so much. So I decided to take matters into my hands by maintaining my own hair. I was doing good until I decided to let my hair go. Now I am regretting it because my back suffered a lot of breakage, and I am trying to get it back. I do use satin scarves when I go to bed. I do wear my hair in ponytails a lot due to our climax here. One minute it’s cold then the next minute it’s warm. I like to wear my hair out to allow it to breathe.

          • Using water is not a bad thing, water is the best substance for hydration. But something happens to the hair when the hair gets wet and when it starts to dry, it swells (wet) and detracts (dry) and lose some degree of it protein cuticle. If you feel that you are using a lot of water, you may find that it magnifies your breakage and that you are experiencing mushy hair. You mentioned the products that you are using and they appear to moisturizing. I would suggest a more balanced approach to your regimen and include some type of protein reconstructor to add strength to your transitioning hair, then moisturize until it’s time to add protein again.
            What do you mean about “let my hair go?” Be sure to shift your ponytail as you can experience breakage due to your ponytail staying in the same position all the time.

            I’d love to discuss your regimen in detail to see where it can be improved.

            Kira

          • Hi

            Thank you, I would really love for you to discuss with me on how I can improve my hair regimen; to get it to that long and healthy state without over doing it. What I mean by letting my “hair go.” I mean by manipulating it other words I did not care about it until my back started breaking off. I am trying not to give up on my goal by getting my hair hip length; and I also know it takes patience. I just want to know what I am doing wrong?

  • Thanks for your information on how to maintain a healthy transition from perm hair to natural. I just started in April 2014 . I understand to much heat can damage your hair. My question is this, if I blow dry my hair once a month, and it looks like I pressed it, would this be harmful for my transition. Please reply to my question.
    Terry

  • Thanks for your information on how to maintain a healthy transition from perm hair to natural. I just started in April 2014 . I understand to much heat can damage your hair. My question is this, if I blow dry my hair once a month, and it looks like I pressed it, would this be harmful for my transition. Please reply to my question.
    Terry

    • Hi Terry,
      My sincerest apologizes for my tardy reply.
      If you are blow drying your hair once a month or applying any type of direct heat, I suggest taking note of how your hair behaves when wet. If the curl pattern starts to loosen, that is sign that to much heat is applied.

      Thank you for your question-

      Kira

  • Thank you for this wonderful article on healthy transition tips. I found it to be incredibly informative. My question, however, is about blow drying. I’ve been natural for 9 years and due to the corporate environment in which I work, I’ve chosen to blow dry and flat iron my natural hair. I would like to transition to more natural styles such as twists or braid outs without the big chop. My curl pattern is almost non-existent. Any tips? I’m choosing to change my hair and not care what my colleagues think!

    • Hi Kelly,
      I am glad that you found the information helpful and informative. You stated that your curl pattern is almost non-existent, if that is case when you hair is wet, that is a sure signal for heat damage. Now, heat damage hair responses and behaves very much like relaxed hair. Just like relaxed hair, you have the option to transition. My biggest tip is to be comfortable with what your hair looks like every step of the way. When you are comfortable with it, what others say won’t matter.

      If you haven’t already, be sure to join our newsletter and please keep me posted on your progress!

      Kira

  • Hi..ive found that the article was very helpful n thanks to everyone for the hair growth tips.ill try the shea butter treatment.

  • I plan to grow out my hair for the next few months. I need an effective to moisturize my hair and some protective hairstyles that don’t involve using rubber band since they can cause breakage. Any advice?

    • Hi Tia,
      Congrats on making the decision to grow out your hair over the next few months!
      Listen, the great and wonderful thing I love about natural hair is- one product doesn’t fit all hair!
      So, I want to take this time to encourage you to explore product resources you have available and DO NOT be afraid to experiment.
      If you don’t have somewhere local to purchase, online, specifically Amazon is great.
      Also, if you don’t feel that you don’t know where to start with the products, I want to invite you to join the Curl Centric Community and receive our recommended products: Curl Centric Community Link
      I look forward to your participation in the community!

      Kira

  • This article was very helpful, thank you for it…although I need some light on some issue.
    I’ve got 4c hair…that’s really full…but sheds at the tips…like it’s a clustering of small curled up hairs…at the tips…some curled to the point of knotting…and so during a wash the tips come off like ur pulling em off in strands… At first I thought ’twas shedding…but now I’m super big on length retention and I don’t take the shedding lightly… Have been doing the protein treatment and Deep conditioning…but taking it up a notch…would that be enough?

    • Hi Princess-
      I’m happy you found value in the article!
      Ok, let’s shed some light-LOL!
      First, let me help you determine if you are truly experiencing shedding.
      Breakage and shed hair have a distinct difference: breakage has no white
      (translucent) bulb attached on the end (root) and a shed hair does.
      Based on what you have shared, it sounds like you are experiencing breakage.
      When was the last time you had a trim? If it’s time, a trim will definitely
      help keep the knotted coils laying on the counter at bay.
      Protein treatments will help to fortify the strand but a trim will keep the
      broken coily ends :-)

      #BeCurlCentric

      Kira

      • Oh…it’s breakage then…I just had a trim about a month ago…I also a had a protein treatment and a deep conditioning treatment…since then I have been washing …and going on protective styles with leave in conditioner in my hair at every styling session….to help the tips…

        Does this mean I might need more frequent trimming?…and does this mean I have to do more frequent protein treatments to keep the tips on? Cos I feel it’s a lot of length i’m loosing…

        Thanks for your response.

        • Hi Princess-
          No, this doesn’t mean you have to do more protein treatments or trims. However, I would have your examine your hair habits. Are your handling your gentle enough? Even if you think you are, could you handle them more gently?
          Hair typically sheds 100 strands per day. Do you see 100 strands on the counter? Also, keep in mind that the hair will shed some. Next time you think you see alot of hair on the counter take a pic, I want to see it. Send it to kira AT Curl Centric dot com

          #BeCurlCentric

          Kira

  • My hair for a few years was growing at a snail’s pace. It was breaking off, there were split ends and it was very dry. My hair dresser and I were trying so many different products to repair my hair. They were temporary fixes and once I started using MicMas Remix scalp treatment and their deep conditioner, which I came upon on Amazon, there was a tremendous difference in my hair’s health and growth.

    In literally a month I had an inch of growth! That was all I needed to do a big chop and get my hair healthy again. I’ve been using those products since August and I wish I could post pics of how healthy my hair looks and how much growth I have now. Even my sister and our friends switched are having the same results, as us. Recently, I also started using Bragg apple cider vinegar to clarify my hair. I use equal parts acv:water and it has been wonderful for removing buildup from when I use mousse in my hair.

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