Even though at times it may not seem like it, our natural hair is always growing. On a yearly average, hair gets around 6 inches of growth, so about a ½ inch per month. There are varying factors that can affect hair growth though. Hair growth may not be as noticeable if it is breaking off maybe due to an underlying condition. On the other hand, if you are not retaining length somewhere through habit, it can also become another factor. Nonetheless, there are numerous ways to healthily stimulate growth in natural hair as well as retain it. Here are 5 effective ways to promote natural hair growth:
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1) USE STIMULATING OILS
Natural and essential oils contain a variety of health benefits and nourishing aid to our hair strands. They are especially necessary for curly, coily, and kinky hair textures. The reason being is because the natural oil produced at the root, called sebum, has more difficulty reaching the full length of the spiral-shaped strand. The result is more dry-prone hair, and sometimes brittle ends. Additionally, if our hair does not maintain enough of its natural oils, (most commonly due to harsh cleansing products) it can affect scalp health. Good scalp health is essential for hair growth. Many oils carry stimulating properties and nutrients that help to boost hair follicle growth as well as promote good scalp health.
One of the most effective ways to promote natural hair growth is to use stimulating oils. The easiest way to do so is to first grab an applicator bottle. The applicator bottle will make it easier to apply your oils directly to the scalp to give a direct delivery of nourishment, instead of just sitting on top of the hair. You can use just one stimulating oil if you want, or you can combine a mixture of stimulating carrier and essential oils. The carrier oils help to dilute the often times highly-concentrated essential oils.
Some stimulating oils to promote growth in natural hair:
Jamaican Black Castor Oil – If you have thinning edges or other problem areas, Jamaican black castor oil is a great choice to thicken, grow, and bring thinning spots back to health. Castor oil contains omega fatty acids and other vitamins, in addition to a natural anti-microbial property. The omega 6 and 9 fatty acids present in castor oil are able to penetrate the hair shaft, helping to thicken and promote growth. The anti-microbial property of castor oil contributes to maintaining a healthy scalp, helping to prevent bacterial infections / fungus.
Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil is an essential oil and can be higher in concentration, so it is best mixed in with another product or carrier oil. This oil creates a cooling sensation when applied to the scalp due to the menthol present. This component serves as a vasodilator in peppermint oil. It helps to promote blood flow circulation when massaged into the scalp, stimulating growth.
Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is popular in skin care for being an effective moisturizer, and many of its nourishing properties transfer to hair care. This oil is comprised of numerous vitamins and minerals that help to strengthen the hair strands. It makes for a good moisturizing and soothing oil to apply to a dry scalp.
2) TRY HAIR VITAMINS
Hair vitamins are another way to promote natural hair growth. There are numerous hair vitamin products claiming to produce similar, faster results for hair growth. Hair growth vitamins do not speed up hair growth. Instead, they are providing your strands / follicles with an abundance of necessary nutrients needed for hair to grow healthily. So, if you were previously lacking in certain essential nutrition for hair growth, hair growth vitamins can supplement. While these vitamins are sometimes a hit or miss, they may be worth the try for those who feel they have tried everything else.
3) DRINK MORE WATER, EAT MORE PROTEIN
How we look and feel on the outside often comes from the inside. If you are dehydrated on the inside, that can transfer to dehydrated hair strands. To add to this, our hair strands are made of a protein called keratin. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, your strands may be more susceptible to breakage from becoming weakened by not having enough nutrients to pull from.
The foods we eat also serve as natural sources of vitamins and minerals. Many of these nutrients are an essential part of hair growth. For example, if you are not getting enough iron in your diet or have an iron deficiency, it can cause hair loss. This all goes to say, make sure you are getting the proper nutrition for your body so that nourishment can carry everywhere.
Some foods that can help to promote natural hair growth and health:
Green leafy vegetables – Spinach, kale, broccoli, etc. are all examples of healthy beneficial foods for the body and for the promotion of hair growth. Green leafy vegetables, and vegetables in general, are packed with key vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and more. All of which encourage healthy hair growth.
Beans – Add a side of beans to your meals for a boost of nutrition to aid in hair growth. Many different types of beans are rich in protein in addition to other vitamins and minerals including biotin, potassium, and iron. The high protein content from beans will help to deliver essential amino acids that are involved in the structure of keratin. If there is not enough nutrition to supply keratin with a healthy delivery, weaker strands are a possible result.
Lean cut meats – Some of the largest sources of protein come from meats. Lean cut white meats, like chicken, are other foods that help to promote natural hair growth. Many of the essential amino acids we need in our diet for our health can be consumed through meats. Amino acids from protein will benefit the protein keratin that our strands are made of, and lead to stronger strands.
4) SCALP MASSAGES
In addition to applying stimulating oils to your scalp, it helps to massage while in the process. Scalp massages increase blood flow circulation at the root and are helping to ensure the oils are really being absorbed. It is also beneficial to do occasional scalp massages even without oils, just to boost blood flow circulation and stimulate the hair follicle. Both ways help to promote natural hair growth. Try to make it a habit to incorporate scalp massages into your hair regimen, when shampooing, etc. The inversion method is similar, except you are flipping your head over when you massage. However, the inversion method for some has caused dizziness, etc. and scalp massages work just as well.
5) PROTECTIVE STYLING
While protective styles like box braids, twists, etc. do not necessarily promote faster hair growth, they certainly help to retain it. Because you are not manipulating your hair potentially causing unnecessary breakage, you are retaining length that might have otherwise been lost. While wearing protective styles, it also helps to apply oils to the scalp and do massages for a further promotion of hair growth. As long as they are not done too tightly or left in for too long, protective styling can be a highly effective way of promoting and retaining hair growth.
What are some ways you have found that helped with growth in your natural hair?