Black Woman Stong healthy hair

10 Tips For Growing Long Natural Hair

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Shampoo, Co-Wash and Rinse As Needed

Natural hair by nature is very porous, meaning has a high porosity, and mine is no different.

4 Tips to Lower Your Hair’s Porosity

My scalp and hair need to be cleansed and rehydrated at least every 4-5 days and sometimes, co-washed in between.

A clean scalp promotes healthy hair growth by removing build-up, dead skin, and other unwanted debris. Cleansing more frequently than once a week or twice a week is perfectly ok if you’re using a gentle sulfate-free cleanser.

I discussed this in more detail in my 10 Step Winter Natural Hair Care Guide. In between shampoos, I Co-wash or Rinse (run water through my hair without shampoo or conditioner) my hair especially in summer. (Houston, TX has 100°+ heat and my hair needed it.)

Pay Attention To Those Ends

A lot of times we pay less attention to the oldest part of our hair, the ends. They are the last part to receive moisture and product, but they are the first to lose these things. In addition to trimming split damaged ends, you should apply your product for ends to tips. Always, always moisturize and seal your ends.

If you like these great FREE tips, you’ll LOVE my 12 page Winter Natural Hair Care Guide.

Less Manipulation

As much as I love to style my hair, it can be somewhat temperamental — and I’ve found that it thrives when left alone. I dare not comb or brush this tightly-curled hair daily, not even every other day. Low manipulation or protective styles, like twists or braids, protect my hair from manual breakage and moisture loss.

Read: Why You Should Protective Style

Work In Sections

I have been blessed with a very thick head of hair. It’s beautiful, I love it, but it can be challenging. The longer my hair grows, the thicker it becomes.

Everything must be done in 4-6 sections, from shampooing to conditioning to moisturizing to detangling. These ensures full coverage.

Penetrating Oils Work Best

The first few years of my natural hair journey I would slather on the Shealoe (shea butter+ aloe vera gel). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially in the winter. Shea butter is a natural moisturizer, great for sealing in the moisture.

The problem is, it only coats my hair. Lighter oils, like coconut or olive oil, actually absorb into the hair, giving it the ability to strengthen and reinforce the hair’s internal structure. Read more about the benefits of penetrating oils.

Read: 5 Ways Coconut Oil Prevents Hair Damage

The Hooded Dryer is Your Friend

I’m not sure how the hooded dryer got a bad rep, although I think there’s confusion about heat damage. There’s actually a greater chance of heat damage with blow dryers than there ever will be with a hooded dryers, according to Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of The Science of Black Hair – hooded dryers are an indirect or diffused heat source. With indirect heat, there is little or a zero chance of heat damage.

See Also: 7 Myths about Heat and Heat Damage

It’s very beneficial to sit under a dryer during deep conditioning treatments because it will help your conditioner enter the hair more thoroughly. Plus, 30 – 45 mins under the dryer reduces air drying time and helps your style to set and last longer.

Buy: Hooded Dryer

Read: The Disadvantages of the ‘No-Heat Challenge’

Never Skip the Leave-In Conditioner

For some, a leave-in conditioner is optional. Not for me! Especially if I want beautifully, defined curls. I had a hair aha moment (an epiphany, really) when I used Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner for the first time.

As I saw my curls defined and popping, I thought, “Yes, this is what I went natural for!” Leaving in your conditioner minimizes frizz, dryness, and flattens the hair cuticle for less tangles and moisture loss.

Take A Multivitamin

I know there are a lot of hair supplements on the market but I don’t trust them. Many of the dosages are unregulated and way above the recommend daily dosage for these particular supplements.

Ingesting nutrients that your body isn’t deficiency of can be disastrous. Hypervitaminosis or vitamin poisoning can lead to adverse sideffects such as hair loss, acne, and even death…

Besides many nutrients relay on each other to actually get the job done. For example biotin is almost ineffective if taken in absence of zinc to inhibit shedding.

A simple multivitamin and well balance diet is all you need for healthy hair. Read more about vitamins for healthy hair.

Drink More Water for Hydrated Hair

When it comes to hair care it’s very easy to focus on the external. It’s the same way with your skin — when you have dry skin or hair, you look for the nearest moisturizer.

Doing this only covers up dryness (not the most effective way to treat it). Moisturize and nourish your hair and skin from the inside out by drinking water. I notice a huge difference in both my hair and skin when I’m drinking water daily.

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