3 Tips for Stimulating Growth, Retention and Thickness
So since I posted my picture in December of my hair, bushy and blowdried, I've still been getting tons of questions and prompts for advice on three main issues: growth, retention and thickness.
It's the struggle. The one every naturalista has dealt with at some point during her hair journey (including myself). I'm pretty sure no one takes the leap into the natural hair world thinking, "I hope my hair stays exactly the same." It's not that we're obsessive about it, but chances are if you decided to go natural its because you wanted your hair to be healthier.
I wanted to share three keys pointers that helped me in my journey (some of which I had to learn the hard way). If growth, retention and/or thickness are issues for you, keep reading to find out ways to see improvement in your own journey!
1. "Keep yo' hands outcho head!"
I know it seems contradictory. As many video tutorials, blog posts and social media pictures that we've become glued to, we all lean towards trying the newest twist-out technique or protective style. Unfortunately, you may be stressing your hair (and yourself) out more that it can handle.
Limit the amount of time you spend styling your tresses. Avoid the temptation. Seriously. One huge myth that keeps circulating out there is that our hair is coarse and thus can take a lot more styling. In some cases this is true, but the overwhelming majority of black hair is fine and thick, not necessarily coarse and thick. Learn the difference, embrace the difference and alter your hair routine.
2. Less (heat) is more (growth).
This was a game-changer for me. Although I've been natural my entire life, I was on the HCF (hot comb/flatiron) loop for most of my adolescent life. The routine was always the same-- shampoo, condition (maybe), detangle, blow dry and straighten. Then during high school I decided to ditch the 4th and 5th steps (and sometimes 3rd) every once in a while. In college even more so, but it wasn't until a year after undergrad that I cut down heat to once, maybe twice a year. But it wasn't by personal choice...
I made the mistake as mentionined above of thinking that since my hair was thick, ultimately it was coarse and could handle anything. That was until I got a Dominican blowout. I was in a summer wedding and thought I was choosing the 'smart' alternative to straightening until after the wedding when I washed my hair and it broke off... in patches. Yes, patches. I panicked (understatement), was incredibly confused and then ultimately made the connection-- the heat was too high for my texture hair.
Learn from my mistake and give your locs a break from heat or at least high heat. Opt for blowdrying on low to remove access water and letting it air dry the rest of the way. I'd even recommend steam treatments. It's like a a sauna for your hair and helps lock in moisture. You can't go wrong with x-IMG out heat and testing the waters to see your true curls shine through. Which brings me to my last point...
3. Patience, sweet grasshopper.
I can't stress this last part enough. If you execute one or a combo of the two tips above, your hair will grow. Genetics and maintenance will decide how fast, but it ill grow. However, if you expect it to happen overnight, you'll be disappointed each morning you wake up not looking like the Urban Bush Babes. Instead, focus your time on moisturizing and pampering your locs with the love they deserve.
Remember, our bodies are our temples. Invest in your edifice.
I hope this helps! If you've seen similar success with the tips mentioned, then share the love!