Natural hair growth is one of the most talked-about subjects in the natural hair community. Having long natural hair is an aspiration that many of us have and I personally believe that a lot of that is down to the fact that we have truly believed for so many years that we simply could not grow long hair.
Finding out years down the line that it is, in fact, possible makes it a challenge that we somehow want to test out for ourselves to see if it really is true.
Can we really grow long natural hair? Well, I’ve seen many natural haired women grow their hair super long so I know it to be true.
Here’s the thing, for a lot of people it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Why is that?
It got me thinking. Why do some people find it easier to grow long natural hair than others? I more I thought about it the clearer it became to me.
It’s not that a person cannot grow their hair long its more the case that they seem to be unable to maintain and grow natural hair.
If this rings true for you then you need to keep reading.
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Why Is My Hair Not Growing?
If you think your hair is not growing you need to stop right there. EVERYONE’s hair grows (unless you have a medical condition).
No matter how badly you treat your hair it will grow to some degree.
If you decide not to wash your hair or moisturise it for the next 6 weeks it will grow.
It may not be healthy and will likely break but it will still grow.
You can’t really stop your hair from growing.
My point is that your hair will grow no matter what you do so its not a case of your hair not growing its more of a case of the things you are doing to it that cause it not to “appear” to be growing.
The average head of hair grows 1/2 an inch per month but you have to maintain that growth otherwise you will lose it through breakage.
If you have been battling with your hair growth for some time it is likely that you are making a mistake with your hair somewhere along the line.
In a moment I’m going to run through some ways you can make sure that you can maintain and grow your natural hair.
What Products Will Make My Hair Grow?
There are a few basic products that you should start off with if you want to get serious with growing your natural hair. The best part is that you don’t have to go crazy and spend a ton of money on new products.
In fact, I always recommend that you don’t go crazy to begin with and that you gradually work your way outwards and expand your collection over time if you need to.
Some of the products I recommend that you start with are:
TRESemmé Conditioner Flawless Curls Curl Hydration
Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Sulfate-free Hydrating Cream Conditioner
As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
Cantu Shea Butter Natural Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo
Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Shampoo
As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Protein
EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner
Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave-In Conditioner
Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler
NaturSense Organic Aloe Vera Gel
8 Ways To Ensure You Can Maintain And Grow Your Natural Hair
1. Keep your scalp clean
Keeping your scalp clean is one of the golden rules out there. You can’t expect your hair to grow healthy through tons of dirt and build up.
If you are a heavy product user then I would recommend that you shampoo your hair regularly to make sure you are actually cleansing your scalp.
The problem with shampoo is that it can be quite drying for hair so I would say its best to switch things up a bit and use a cleansing conditioner like this one which is a nice balance between a shampoo and a regular conditioner.
You can also just co-wash with a regular conditioner but just note that that may not get your scalp fully clean if you are heavy-handed with products.
As part of keeping your scalp clean, I would also recommend that you do head massages too. I did this quite often at the start of my journey as it gets the blood flowing through your scalp and can help to stimulate growth.
You can either do this in the shower whilst you are washing your hair or just whenever you remember.
I love a good head massage, don’t you?
2. Keep it moisturised
Keeping your hair moisturised is really important. In the same way, you need to keep your body moisturised and hydrated with water you need to do the same thing when it comes to your hair.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water especially in the summer months and keep your hair moisturised with a really good hydrating leave-in conditioner.
When choosing a leave-in conditioner its always best to go for one where the first ingredient is water (aqua). Ingredients tend to be listed in order of percentage so you know if water is listed first that is likely to be the main ingredient of the product. You want that.
3. Avoid breakage
Whilst I know its ways to sit here and say avoid breakage its not so easy to spot the things that are actually causing your hair to break.
Some of the most common practices that cause hair breakage are:
Using heat without a heat protectant
Not know how to safely blow dry your hair
Being too rough with your hair
Allowing your hair to become overly dry
General lack of maintenance. If you are not sure of a good hair routine you can check out how to put a natural hair routine together here.
When most people think about trimming their hair they don’t like the thought of it, when in fact trimming your hair is one of the best things you can do to help your hair to grow healthy.
If you are a plant lover you will know how important it is to prune the leaves of the plant to help keep it alive. Well, the same is true for your hair too.
When you trim your hair you get rid of the split ends, single strand knots and frayed ends. This ensures that your hair stays looking and feeling healthy.
Never look at trimming your hair as a loss of length because it is not.
You can read all about the signs your hair gives when it is in need of a trim here.
5. Learn to detangle
Detangling is another important thing to do.
Detangling conditioners are good but they don’t actually detangle your hair. When we talk about detangling your hair we are talking about separating strands of hair that are intertwined and need to be released.
If you don’t detangle, your hair will become even more tangled and you will most likely start to see lots of breakage from pulling hairs apart.
My preferred way to detangle my hair is to use my fingers to finger comb. You can read about that here. If finger detangling just doesn’t suit you then I would recommend that use a wide-tooth comb like this one and begin to detangle from the ends of your hair slowly. Basically start at the tips a little at a time until you get to the roots.
It’s always best to do this on damp hair with conditioner if you can. Or a leave-in conditioner if you are not going to wash it right now.
6. Keep your hair away from your shoulders
This might seem like a strange one but if your hair is around shoulder length you should try your best to keep it off your shoulders.
I promise I haven’t gone mad when I say this.
Most people when they get their hair to shoulder length it appears that their hair has stopped growing. What is actually happening is that hair starts to break a lot at this point because of how much rubbing the ends of your hair are doing on your shoulders. There’s a lot of friction happening there.
With friction comes breakage and knowing that the ends of your hair are the oldest and therefore the most fragile part of your hair it’s important that you keep it well protected.
The LOC method can help but generally, I would say you should do hairstyles where not too much rubbing can happen especially if you tend to wear a lot of jumpers where the material is quite harsh.
I know when I was desperately trying to maintain my growth the second time I went natural I made sure to keep a close eye on the ends of my hair and for the first time ever I was able to grow my hair past my shoulders.
Regularly trimming your hair with professional scissors can also help as you keep your ends stranger this way too.
7. Protect your hair with satin
If you haven’t already heard about why it is so important to sleep on satin by now you have been missing out. Sleeping on cotton takes moisture out of your hair and when you have curly hair like ours your need to retain all the moisture you can get.
Sleeping on a satin pillowcase or with a satin scarf allows your hair to retain the moisture and on top of that, it reduces the amount of frizzing in your hair too as you have much less friction.
You can take a look at some satin headscarves here.
8. Protective style when you can
Protective styling is great for maintaining and growing natural hair. But don’t overly rely on this because it can go wrong too. If you keep protective styles in for too long or you fail to keep your hair moisturised whilst protected it can lead to dry hair which leads to breakage.
Never keep braids in for too long without moisturising them.
Braids can help you to retain your growth but only if you treat it right. You will still need that satin scarf!
Final thoughts on how to maintain and grow natural hair
Hopefully, by now, you have realised that your hair is still growing and all you need to do is to maintain that growth in order to see some real results.
The above tips are all things that I have done myself to personally grow my hair to where it is right now.
If you want to get serious about growing your natural hair then you need to implement the above.
I can’t wait to see your results!
P.S you can join in the Facebook group here
Have you reached terminal growth?
21 Protective hairstyles for inspiration