This is probably not what you want to hear but it's really the key to hair growth. Whether you're transitioning or you have goal to get longer hair, if you check the length every week you really won’t see a difference. Try not to focus on it and you'll be surprised at the growth. Once you stop worrying about how long your hair is and just focus on keeping it healthy, you'll start to enjoy the journey more, you may even decide short hair is for you!
- EAT WELL
Eating junk food won't provide the nutrients your hair needs to reach its growth potential. Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit/ vegetables a day. If you don't like fruit or vegetables, try smoothies - you can add as many or as few as you like and disguise the taste of the ones you don't like. Also, make sure your diet is well balanced with a variety of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER
It’s recommended you drink around 2 litres or 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps to hydrate the body, including the hair follicles which in turn stimulate hair growth. Lack of water can lead to dry, brittle hair which could eventually stop growth altogether. And it’s free!
Tips two and three have many other benefits - you'll feel better within yourself and your skin’s appearance will improve. Healthy hair starts on the inside.
- BE REALISTIC
Hair grows around 6 inches a year on average so be reasonable in your expectations. Don't think you're going to go from a TWA to waist length in one year! If you are transitioning and you have a lot of damage, factor that into your hair growth because eventually it will need to be cut off. This also applies to 'hair goals'. You may have inspirations or curly girls that you watch on YouTube, but remember that no two curly heads are equal. If you’re watching videos with girls that have waist length, loose, curly hair and using the products and methods they recommend, and you have shoulder length, tightly coiled hair, chances are their tips are not going to work for you. Learn from your own experience, what works for you.
- KEEP YOUR HAIR MOISTURISED
You'll know when your hair needs moisture and some products keep your hair moisturised for longer than others so pay attention to your hair- if it's feeling dry, moisturise it. By doing this you will prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle and potentially breaking.
- DEEP CONDITION/ PROTEIN TREATMENT
Deep conditioning is a must for healthy hair because it's helps keep your hair moisturised, which means it's less likely to break or get damaged. It's also leaves hair softer and more manageable which helps curls pop even more. Regular can mean weekly, twice weekly- it's just depends on you and your hair. You can also add heat or steam to enhance the results, just double check the directions on the deep conditioner you plan to use.
Protein treatments are also brilliant- some people need more than others, too much protein can damage hair but the right amount of protein is really beneficial for hair. Some brands have specific protein treatment products or you can get creative and whip up your own- egg is a great source of protein. These treatments help strengthen your hair and can help improve curl definition.
- AVOID HEAT
We’re not saying never use heat again (although it will get you the best results) but there's no harm in straightening once in a while as long as you protect your hair. If you’re used to having your hair straightened all the time and you're not ready to go completely cold turkey, gradually decrease the amount of times you straighten your hair - for example if you straighten every two weeks, try to go a month without straightening. Regular heat use will also alter your curl pattern, making it more difficult to see your natural texture.
- AVOID SCISSORS
You don't need a schedule to trim your hair, do it as and when it's needed. This may be when you notice a lot of split ends, knots or the shape is starting to look out of control. If you look after your hair well it shouldn't need trimming that often so you should be retaining the new growth.
- TRY PROTECTIVE STYLES
These are great as you won't be manipulating your hair. Protective styles vary from buns to twists and braids. A word of caution- it’s easy to forget to look after your hair when it's in a protective style so make sure you regularly moisturise and wash your hair and scalp to avoid product build up.
- KEEP YOUR HAIR CLEAN
Some find it beneficial to use conditioning cleansers to wash their hair and a shampoo once in a while, others prefer to mix and match. Whatever works best for you stick to it and find a good routine. If you don't regularly remove product build up from your hair this can lead to damage and breakage or worse minimal or no growth.
Try not to skip from product to product; manufacturers design their products to work best together so if you’re using Brand X’s shampoo, use it with Brand X’s conditioner and Brand X’s deep conditioner for best results.
- SCALP MASSAGES
These are brilliant because a 5-minute massage can increase blood flow, condition the scalp and help strengthen the roots. You can use a mixture of oils before each wash - coconut, castor, almost, avocado, olive, tea tree and massage this in for 5- 10 mins. Then wash your hair as normal.
If you follow all of these tips consistently for a few months you will definitely see an improvement in the health and length of your hair. Let us know how you get on and which products work best for you!