Tips and tricks to grow long natural hair
4 hair is one of the more common hair types among black women and 4c hair is the most kinky of all afro textured natural hair. The most common and prejudiced misconception black women face is that they can not grow long luscious hair like other races. However, your beautiful 4c hair can grow and flourish in length as long as you want it to . You just have to ensure you are properly taking care of it as constant breakage is the reason your hair doesn’t seem to grow long.
So if you have been wondering how to grow your 4c hair, here are the tips and tricks you need to follow.
Use satin or silk pillowcase or bonnets
Many of us sleep on cotton pillowcases and while there’s nothing wrong with them ideally. They are not great for your natural hair because the fabric tends to pull moisture from the hair. They also cause breakage from the friction when they rub against the hair. Using silk or satin pillowcases and bonnets protects the hair from breakage and dryness and they keep the moisture in your hair longer.
Its always fun to watch those videos on social media of all kinds of fun hairstyles. They usually look so good that it makes you want to try a new one of these styles every other week. But you need to leave your hair alone. Stop with the braid outs, twists outs and wash and go every other day. 4c hair cannot handle that much constant manipulation because the hair strands are very prone to breakage . To avoid so much breakage that derails your hair growth, stick to low manipulation styles and making sure to generally avoid manipulating your hair constantly
Deep conditioning treatments add moisture, hydration and a variety of other nutrients to the hair. Frequent deep conditioning of your 4c hair will add moisture and hydration that your dry 4c desperately needs. If your hair is constantly moisturized using deep conditioners, it will be softer and easier to manage . This will in turn lead to less breakage and ensure length retention .
Proper protective styling of your hair using hairstyles like braids, twists and cornrows will keep the ends of the hair tucked in. The ends of the hair are very delicate and prone to dryness and breakage because they are the oldest part of the hair strand, so keeping them tucked in will protect them from breakage and further grow 4c hair.
It is also important to make sure you are actually doing proper protective styles as many ”protective styles’’ cause more damage than protection. Hairstyles and braids that are too tight and pull at the edges of the hair can cause traction alopecia and lead to even more breakage. So it’s important to make sure your protective styles are not damaging.
The hair follicles that hold the individual hair strands are on the scalp and it is important to stimulate blood circulation to the scalp. By massaging the scalp, you can stimulate this blood flow and further stimulate hair growth. Once or twice a week, try to massage your scalp gently with either your hands or a scalp massager for about five to ten minutes.
This one might sound counter productive, as you’re probably used to all the hair tips telling you to avoid using heat on your hair. However, I am not talking about frying your hair in a flat iron. Many 4c naturals have low porosity hair and because of this, products take longer to be absorbed into the hair shaft. If you find that you apply all the fancy moisturizing and hydrating products , but it seems like they’re just sitting on top of your hair and not really making a difference. Then you might have low porosity hair and need to invest in a heat source like a steaming cap, a hair steamer. Using the heat from these products will allow your hair cuticles to open faster and you’ll find that your deep conditioners leave in conditioners and other products will be absorbed better. This will lead to better moisturized hair and less breakage
Developing a moisture routine for your hair is essential as the kinky coily strands of 4c makes it very prone to constant dryness. The drier the hair gets the more it breaks and develops split ends. All these issues are a major barrier to hair growth, so moisturizing as often as possible is important.
An effective and popular moisture routine is the LCO method . Using this method, you moisturize the hair with a leave-in conditioner and nice hair butter then seal in that moisture with a hair oil of your choice. Doing this routine at least twice a week will keep the hair moisturized and improve your length retention
Understand your hair
It might not be the most convenient thing to do, but getting in the habit of doing your own hair is very important. The more you familiarize yourself with your strands the better you’ll understand what it needs. You’ll be able to tell if something is not right or if a product changes the way your hair feels in a bad way. You’ll understand what works and doesn’t work for your hair. As everyone’s hair is unique and reacts to certain chemicals and ingredients differently, this will save you a lot of time and money. No one will ever know your hair like you can, after all it grows out of your head. So, understand your hair in order to avoid things that might be affecting your hair growth
Cleanse your scalp and hair
The scalp contains sebum that contains oil and its pores can also get clogged over time due to accumulation of products on your hair. It is essential to shampoo your hair at least every two to four weeks based on your hair needs. By cleansing your scalp and hair, you can remove any product build up and dirt. Once the hair is clean, it is able to better absorb moisture from the products you apply and also avoid scalp issues.