1. Reduce stress.
Easier said than done may be what your thinking. I don’t expect you to eliminate all your daily burdens in a blink of an eye, especially with a pandemic raging the streets BUT you should take some time to decompress during your day. High levels of stress can cause hair loss so if your trying to grow inches make time for a little self care; whether that be a quick stretch, massage, meditation, or reading a few blogs in a quiet space. Do Whatever releases tension before you decide to do your hair, or your poor strands may end up paying the price. Its simple, DO NOT do your hair when your tired or agitated. Make an appointment with yourself and TAKE YOUR TIME, your hair will thank you 😉
2. Figure out your hair type.
Hair typing is a system for categorizing your hair into 1 of 4 curl patterns ranging from 1: straight, 2:wavy, 3:curly, and 4;coily. These categories are then broken down into subcategories ranging from a-c. Knowing you general pattern will aid in finding the right products and styles to help with hair retention and longer lasting styles.
3. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate
Water your plant chile! When your hair is dry/lacking moisture, you are more prone to breakage. We want growth so in addition to your weekly wash, I recommend having a spray bottle with plain water or a water/oil mix to mist onto your hair (especially your ends) every 2-3 days. This has personally helped me retain more length and I experience less breakage compared to when I only put water to my hair once a week for wash day. Everyone retains moisture differently, figuring out whether your hair has low or high porosity will help you determine how often you need to remoisturize.
Get yourself a good conditioner, it makes all the difference. The more “slip” the better. Whether you finger detangle or use a wide tooth comb/brush, your product should allow for a smooth and pain-free detangling process. If you’re having childhood flashbacks that remind you of why you don’t like doing your hair… you prob need to change your products. If you’re looking for an affordable option, I recommend the TRESemmé brand of conditioners. I have 3c/4a type hair and it has amazing slip and reduces my detangling time tremendously.
5. Oil your scalp
It’s difficult for a plant to grow in dry soil, the same concept applies to your hair and scalp. Oiling your scalp with a gentle massage will help increase blood circulation and add vitamins and minerals to your hair, which will aid in healthy hair growth. Ensuring you have a moisturized scalp will also help with reducing dandruff and irritation. Argan, coconut, tea tree, and jojoba oils are great choices as they have been proven to stimulate hair growth and reduce dandruff. Too much oil will cause build up and stunt your har growth but as long as you maintain your weekly wash regimen, you should be smooth sailing.
6. Low manipulation
Protective styling. This will be different for everyone. A protective style is a style that is low tension and allows your hair to flourish with minimal manipulation. Now, if your edges are forming bumps or you have more shedding that normal during the take down process, you probably should find another protective style. Twists, braid/twist outs, cornrows, sew-ins, or loose buns are great options. Use whatever style you can comfortably keep for 5-7 days at a time, wash, and repeat! *you don’t need to keep a style in for 2 months for it to be a protective style 😉 *
7. Dust your ends between styles
This is not a cut, this is not a trim. Dusting your ends is a process of eliminating split ends without jeopardizing your length. This helps to retain length by decreasing follicle splitting up the hair shaft. Routine dusting does not mean you never have to trim your hair, BUT it could help reduce the frequency at which you require those trims. If you are unsure how to dust your ends check out a few youtube videos before grabbing the scissors.
Traditional cotton pillowcases absorb moisture and in turn dry out your hair. Silk/satin has the opposite effect by maintaining moisture and reducing friction that can cause snagging and hair breakage when you sleep. Using a silk scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase can help with reducing split ends and increasing hair retention.
I hope these tips help you achieve your hair goals or at least make your hair routine more manageable. Remeber everyones hair is different and what works for one person may not work for you, so please pay attention to your hair and how it responds. I am wishing you the best of luck with your healthy hair journey! 🙂 Now let’s get these inches!