Too often, African American hair is subjected to chemicals and extreme heat in an attempt to make it seem longer and smoother. But what this does is weaken the hair and prevent it from actually growing. To grow your African American hair longer and faster, the solutions are quite simple. A big part of growing African American hair faster is knowing what products to use and how to your hair.
Here is a full guide on how to grow African American faster. It has been broken down into three main parts, all off equal importance; general maintenance, boosting growth, and what to avoid.
How To Grow African American Hair – General Maintenance.
Before you go off trying complicated tricks and methods to get your hair to grow quickly, try a few simple maintenance routines. Often, the simple things you do everyday make the biggest difference in the health and length of your hair.
1. Determine your hair type.
To achieve the best results it is important to know your hair type. This will help you in choosing the right products and giving the best care to your hair. There are three general types of African American hair.
- Kinky hair – this is the hardest hair type to maintain. The reason for this is that it is weak due to fewer cuticle layers available to protect the hair. Being very fragile, it requires careful handling to prevent breakage or any other kind of damage. Kinky hair tends to have very tight curls and exhibits a lot of shrinkage after a wash.
- Curly hair – the curls are looser than in kinky hair and tend to be springy. It is soft and fine making it one of the easiest hair types to style.
- Wavy hair – has large curls in waveforms. It tends to be a bit heavy, staying close to the head unlike kinky and curly hair. It falls between kinky and curly hair when it comes to difficulty in styling. Generally easy to maintain.
Note that this is a general classification. Under each type there are several subtypes indicating the wide variations that occur in African American hair.
2. Be sparse with your hair washes.
Sometimes we tend to get too generous with scrubbing out our hair. Washing the hair too frequently strips it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and vulnerable to breakage. If you are washing your hair daily or even every other day, that is too frequent. Switch to washing it at most twice a week. If you notice your hair breaking easily after washing (especially if you have kinky hair) try washing it once every two weeks.
3. Use a pre-shampoo before washing.
A pre-shampoo is a type of conditioning treatment that is applied on hair before using the actual shampoo. It is thick hence allowing it to form a coat over hair strands. The importance of this is protecting the hair from getting too dry and breaking. It also forms a protective layer from the harsh ingredients of the shampoo. After scrubbing your hair with a shampoo, it will still feel soft and smooth.
You can make your own pre-shampoo at home using a protein-based conditioner and organic oil. However, it is much easier to buy a readymade treatment. Make sure you closely follow the instructions on the label.
We recommend two of the best pre-shampoos on Amazon. The first is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme Pre Shampoo Treatment. It comes in a 5.07 oz tin. (http://amzn.to/1nSWGXi)
A second option is the Kerastase Immersion Nutritive Pre-Shampoo, which comes in a 6.8 ounce tube. (http://amzn.to/1SbohQI) It also replenishes your hair’s nutrients. Both of these products are absolutely amazing and I highly recommend them.
4. Use the right shampoo.
Generally, African American hair is brittle and damages easily. Most shampoos on the market are a little brutal due to their harsh ingredients which is no good for any kind of hair, especially african american hair. You therefore need to be extra careful about which shampoo you are using.
A rule of thumb is to stick to sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates have been blamed for causing hair to get frizzy and to dry out. African American hair is already brittle enough without subjecting it to further harshness.
Additionally, look for shampoos with organic oils. These oils are great at protecting hair from dryness and leave your strands feeling supple and soft. Some of the best oils to look for in shampoos include jojoba oil and argan oil. Make sure they are organic oils.
Pura d’or Premium Organic Argan Oil Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo is a great recommendation and is available on Amazon. (http://amzn.to/1mnEDaG) Alternatively, go with the Argan Oil Therapeutic Shampoo, also available on Amazon. (http://amzn.to/23SR1l8)
You will notice that both shampoos have organic argan oil as a major ingredient. These oils nourish the hair as well as give it more shine. Like with pre-shampoos, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
5. Drying your hair.
After washing your hair, the best way to dry it is by rubbing it gently with a towel or letting it air-dry. Never use a blow dryer as the excess heat will weaken and damage your hair. If for any reason you have to use your blow dryer, use the coolest setting. You can also wrap the hair in a silk scarf and leave it to dry through the night.
6. Use a conditioner after every wash.
As much as you try to prevent it, washing your hair will still wash away some of its natural oils. Leaving it like that risks breakage and split ends. The best way to get it back in shape is using a conditioner. It helps to restore oils and moisture to your hair as well as nourish it. After using a conditioner, your hair should feel softer. When you are shopping for a conditioner be careful to buy one that is designed specifically for African American hair. There are plenty of those in the market today.
Our two top recommendations on Amazon are:
1. Maple Holistics Sulfate-Free Natural Conditioner (http://amzn.to/1SbtAzn). This conditioner contains 18 amino acids, two organic oils (jojoba and argan) and keratin. It is ideal for use by all genders as well as teens.
2. Pura d’or Premium Organic Argan Oil Hair Conditioner consists of 99% vegetable ingredients. It also contains argan oil (http://amzn.to/1QQIXtU).
7. Use a deep conditioner once every week.
There is a regular conditioner and there is a deep conditioner. A regular conditioner is lighter and designed for use after washing your hair. It mostly touches the surface of the hair. A deep conditioner sinks in deeper into the hair, helping to nourish it from the bottom up. Thus, it is heavier and sticks more to the hair and scalp. You should do a deep conditioning treatment once every week though not on the same day you are doing your weekly hair wash.
When shopping for the right deep conditioner, start with the following three.
1. Art Naturals Argan Oil Hair Mask. (http://amzn.to/20FlUKT) It comes in an 8 oz tin and contains argan oil, aloe vera, jojoba oil and keratin.
2. Pure Body Naturals Argan Oil Hair Mask. (http://amzn.to/1Sbtbx4). Also comes in an 8 oz tin and contains argan oil, coconut oil, rosehip seed oil and ginger extract.
3. Arvazallia Argan Oil Hair Mask. (http://amzn.to/1SEh5x1) The amount is slightly higher than the other two (8.45 oz) but the ingredients are pretty much the same including argan oil.
One of the best things you can do to your hair is to keep it moisturized. Having adequate moisture encourages fast growth and protects hair from breakage and split ends. Additionally it keeps the hair looking bright and feel soft.
Before you can even start considering store-bought moisturizes make sure that you are already moisturizing the natural way; drinking enough water.
When it comes to moisturizing from the outside, try to do it every day. This ensures that your hair is always adequately hydrated. Some of the best ingredients for black hair moisturizers include olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, and pure shea butter.
Our top recommendation for hair moisturizer is Wella Enrich Moisturizing Treatment. It is made especially for coarse hair, a common characteristic of African American hair. (http://amzn.to/1Ph6XpF)
9. Use hair oil.
While your hair already has its own natural oils, it is important to use other oils to promote growth and protect the hair. These oils are especially good at encouraging african american hair to grow faster.
When applying hair oil, make sure to massage deeply to ensure that it gets deep inside the hair follicles as well as on the surface of the hair.
We recommend Agadir Argan Oil Treatment. (http://www.amazon.com/Agadir-Argan-Oil-Treatment-4-Ounce/dp/B001U9M2EW) It contains all natural argan oil and is great for brittle hair.
10. Protect hair ends.
Every three to four months you should trim your hair. This gets rid of any split ends allowing hair to continue growing properly without further damage. When trimming, you only need to cut about a 1/2 inch maybe a bit more depending on your hair.
To keep your ends in great condition, use protective hairstyles such as bans and not-so-tight braids. Letting hair fall freely exposes the ends to damage. At night wrap the hair in a silk scarf or sleep on a satin pillow. These little changes help a lot.
How To Grow African American Hair Faster – Boosting Growth.
In the first section we have discussed a myriad ways you can keep your hair growing through proper maintenance routines. Now we will talk about how to speed up hair growth.
1. Protein treatments.
Protein treatments help in speeding up hair growth by nourishing it and making it stronger. Various types of protein treatments are made for different hair types. Protein packs are for regular use with people showing slight hair damage. Light treatments are ideal for hair with a bit more damage. They often come in form of a deep conditioner. Deep penetrating treatments are best for fairly damaged hair. Reconstructors are used to encourage quick growth in severely damaged hair.
Our top choice is the Arvazallia Fortifying Protein Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner. (http://amzn.to/1Ph6i7P) It comes loaded with macadamia and argan oils.
2. Vitamin supplements.
Vitamin supplements supply hair with multiple nutrients to keep it healthy, strong, and growing. Hair products do a good job keeping your hair looking good but the body is source and creator of your hair. If you supply your body with that it needs it will start to grow strong healthy hair.
Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins (http://amzn.to/1PKoU1w) promote hair growth and is without a doubt the best vitamin supplement avaliable . Each of the 60 pills contains minerals, nutrients, biotin and bioactive vitamins which are key for the body to grow long healthy hair. This is something I highly recommend.
3. Fish oil supplements.
Fish oil supplements, which are often in form of capsules, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly beneficial to hair growth. These supplements are especially good at tackling hair dryness and dullness. You hair will become shinier, softer, and stronger. They can also help in preventing dandruff.
PacificCoast NutriLabs Fish Oil is what we recommend.(http://amzn.to/23SVIv8) It’s packed with Omega-3 and for the price it gets no better.
4. A healthy diet.
One of the best ways to keep your hair in good form and to encourage growth is by eating well. Eat a healthy diet that contains plenty of healthy proteins.
How To Grow African American Hair Faster – What To Avoid.
Below are the things you should avoid doing to maximize your hair growth.
1. Heat treatments.
Any treatment that uses heat to style hair is bad for you. Things like blow dryers and flat irons literally cook your hair, making it extremely weak and easy to break. You hair can still look good without having to use heat on it.
2. Harsh chemicals.
Make sure the hair products you buy are not full of harsh chemicals. These days you can get natural and organic hair products that, though may be a bit more expensive, provide a much better alternative to chemical-ridden products. These chemical products may make your hair look and feel good but over time it destroys your hair.
Be especially careful about hair dyes, chemical relaxers, sulfates-containing products and alcohol-containing products. The extra investment you make on natural products with organic oils is well worth it.
3. Extensions and tight styles.
Styles that rely on tightly wrapping your hair is not good, especially for your hair ends. When stretched or wrapped too tight, hair tends to get weak and can break easily. Also it prevents hair from continuing with its normal growth. On the other hand, braids and other protective styles actually encourage hair to grow faster by protecting your ends from splitting which means less hair has to be trimmed.
4. Too much stress.
Too much stress has been scientifically proven to be behind hair loss problems such as Telogen effluvium where hair essentially stops growing and begins to fall out and Alopecia areata where hair follicles are attacked by the body’s immune system.
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