Don't believe the common misconception that African American women must settle for short, fragile, unruly hair. The secret to achieving long black hair involves adopting a simple, yet effective hair care regimen. Many common habits actually subject black hair to abuse on a daily basis. To obtain substantial length, you must nurture hair growth while limiting the amount of stress afflicted on the hair. Essence.com reported that Debra Small, a hair expert and beauty salon owner from Louisville, MO, recommends tying up the hair at night to protect it. In the July 29, 2010 Essence.com article she also states that as a stylist for over 20 years she has seen many cases of baldness in black women due to the misuse of hair brushes, bonding and artificial hair. With proper black hair care, which includes proper nourishment of the body, you can have lovely, long, beautiful hair.
Cleanse your scalp more frequently. Whether it is because of cultural traditions or because of mis-information, black women tend to think it is better to wash their hair once every two week or less. Black women who get professional perms are usually told to follow up with their stylist in two weeks for a wash, set and conditioning. However, that doesn't mean they are supposed to go two weeks without washing their hair. Your scalp should be cleaned at least twice per week in order to keep it healthy. At the very least, wash your hair once per week.
Do not apply too much heat to your hair. Excessive heat can severely damage African American hair. Strive to avoid overusing flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers in your black hair care routine. Choose roller sets, wraps, twists or up dos that don't require excessive heat.
Reduce your use of chemical products. Chemicals can seriously damage African American hair. Avoid overuse of relaxers, texturizers and dyes. Space out the time between relaxers from once every 6 weeks to once ever 12 weeks. Avoid harsh dyes if you have previously relaxed your hair. If you apply your own relaxers at home, follow the directions very carefully and do not ad lib. Do not keep the chemicals on longer than the recommended time in the hopes of getting straighter hair.
Adopt regular trimming habits. Despite how contradictory as it may seem, hair grows faster when you keep it trimmed. Ridding your hair of split ends allows tresses to grow healthy by preventing any damage from progressing up the hair shaft. Your stylist knows your hair and will recommend a trim cycle. Black women who do their hair at home should trim their hair at least once per month since the hair grown one half inch every 30 days. Do not rely solely on a pair of scissors and a mirror, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you in order to avoid uneven, messy trims and unnecessary loss of hair length.
Moisturize your hair consistently. In an Essence.com interview, August 24, 2009, Doctor Reginald Miller, a well-known hair doctor, explained that moisturising properly is essential to growing long black hair. Condition your hair often to prevent dry, split ends. Avoid thick greases and oils that can accumulate and weigh down hair. Try a few light moisturizers until you find one that works with your specific hair type. It used to be that black hair care products in the “black hair care isle” were all that African American women could rely upon when looking for solutions. Today, many of the mainstream, recognized brands such as Suave, Pantene, Phyto and Vo5 sell top notch conditioners that are wonderful for black hair.
Limit manipulation of your tresses. African American hair grows best when left alone. Opt for styles that don't require constant styling. Braids can help black hair grow long as long as they are used properly and not left in for too long. Make sure they don't stretch the hair tightly around the edges. Avoid harsh pulling or tugging at the hair. De-tangle your damp hair with the aid of a little conditioner to avoid breakage and hair loss.
Use deep protein treatments. Protein treatments help reconstruct and strengthen damaged hair. The hair is made mainly of protein so it is essential to use protein treatments regularly to rebuild and straighten the hair. Deep condition your hair on a weekly basis with a protein condition such as Aussie's Three Minute Miracle or Reconstructor. UBH Deep Conditioner is a protein conditioner developed by Cathy Howe, who has documented her long hair growth for the past fourteen years using this product to strengthen her hair. Do not use protein treatments more than once per week. Overuse of protein can leave the hair dry and brittle.
Implement and maintain a healthy diet because a healthy body creates healthy hair. Never underestimate the importance of drinking a lot of clean, fresh water to moisturize from the inside out. Nourish your hair by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Eat foods rich in vitamins A, D, C, B12 and the other B vitamins, Biotin and Calcium. According to Harvard School of Public Health, taking a multivitmin daily is a good way to get all the nourishment and nutrition you need in order to stay healty. Use a multivitamin with those vitamins to help your hair grow. Not only will you have a glowing complexion and a strong, healthy body; you will also have luxuriously shiny long hair.
Things You'll Need
A good moisturizing conditioner
Wide tooth comb
Follow the instruction on dyes and relaxers. Never leave chemicals on the hair longer than the recommended time. Use wide tooth combs for styling and detangling.
Wash your hair often, using a gentle shampoo. Substitute your cotton pillowcase with a satin one.
Avoid products with petroleum or alcohol as ingredients. Do not leave braids and extensions in for too long.