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Monday, April 27, 2009

The REAL Issue With Growing African-American Hair

If you spend a few minutes on the internet you can find numerous articles on how to grow afro hair long. In fact, I almost spent another $24 today for an e-book that promised to give me ALL the tools I need to grow my afro-textured hair to "incredible lengths" in just a short amount of time. But then I realized that growing black hair is just like growing any other kind of hair. What makes black hair different is the way it grows. We have kinky, coily, curly or wavy hair that grows out of the hair follicles in a spiral shape. The tighter the spiral...the tighter the curl pattern. So even though it may seem like our hair is not growing, it actually is. Here are a few "issues" and suggestions for obtaining and maintaining healthier hair:

1. Shrinkage: Since black hair has a curl pattern, the length isn't always easy to see because the hair "shrinks" up sometimes as much as 80%! Unless you straighten your hair or find ways to allow it to remain 'stretched' you might think that your hair isn't very long when it is.
2. Breakage: Breakage can be caused by rough handling, over processing, the wrong products and many other bad hair practices. Bottom line...if your hair is breaking as fast as it's growing, you will never see length accumulating!
3. Slow Hair Growth: A poor diet and lack of essential vitamins and minerals can slow your hair's growth. Take a good vitamin and eat well for health and your fastest hair growth.
4. Scalp Issues: Psoriasis, alopecia and many other scalp related problems can have the effect of stunting your hair's growth.

Once you understand the basics of growing black hair and take control of your hair's health, it can and will grow to great lengths. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Start a regimen that revitalizes your hair and will be easy to manage (you're more likely to stick with it!)
2. Steer clear of sulfates, mineral oil, and other harsh chemicals
3. Use a protein conditioner once a month to help strengthen hair
4. Remember: Moisture, moisture, moisture!!

Never let anyone tell you that your hair won't grow. That, my dear, is a myth!


  1. all great advice! I learned to accept the shrinkage a while ago, which really helped to alleviate the frustrations.

  2. Wow you summed up the basics to growing natural hair really well. Thanks for that!