I am always asked how I grew my hair long and so healthy looking. While using the right products are an important part of maintaining your hair, growing hair comes from living a healthy life. I believe that healthy hair starts with a healthy body.
Once your hair grows out of your scalp it is dead and technically can’t be healthy, but for all intents and purposes, we will define ‘healthy hair’ here as hair that is free from split ends and damage. There are things you can do to ensure that the hair you grow will be as strong as possible so that it can withstand the damage that we do to it everyday.
These are my practical tips on approaching growing your hair long and healthy, that will also get you on the path to a healthy body.
1. Cleanse your scalp
A lot of naturals prefer to use their conditioner to clean their hair because shampoo can be so drying to our hair. I can understand wanting to keep your hair from drying out, however, conditioner won’t clean your scalp. Scalp is skin and you wouldn’t use lotion to clean your skin, basically, that’s what regular conditioner is to your scalp.
When you aren’t properly cleaning your scalp, you essentially are allowing sweat, dead skin cells, toxins and chemicals to sit on your scalp which in effect becomes a breeding ground for infections and fungal diseases. These infections, when left untreated, can lead to loss of hair.
I like to use my Detoxifying Clay Cleanser to clean my hair and scalp. The kaolin clay is effective at removing the toxins and refreshing the scalp while conditioners keep my hair clean and moisturized. You can also use shampoo just on your scalp and then allow
the runoff to gently remove the dirt from your hair or use a no-poo or low-poo cleanser.
2. Condition your hair
Now that you have cleansed your hair, you want to use a good conditioner on your hair. A good conditioner will consist of natural oils that will help to replace the oils lost when you cleaned your hair.
Most commercial conditioners are full of silicons that will coat your hair and give it the illusion of shiny hair, however, these ‘cones won’t replace the oils or aid in the overall health in your hair. I’m personally not against ‘cones, but I prefer to use products that will nourish my hair.
Deep conditioning treatments, such as the Restoring Hair Treatment, are also necessary in maintaining your hair. This takes conditioning to another level because you are now adding heat or steam to help the oils and butters to penetrate your hair to replenish and fill what was lost. Look for oils such as; coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil; these are oils that help to either penetrate your hair or reduce damage.
3. MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE
We love moisture for our curly hair. Moisture is simply water. You want to make sure that you are getting water into your hair to maintain its elasticity. Elasticity can be measured by how long it takes your hair to snap when you expand it. Healthy hair with enough moisture will expand to a certain length and then revert back. Dry, damaged hair will simply snap when pulled. You can test this on one of your shed hair strands.
On the other hand, you don’t want too much moisture in your hair either. Too much of a good thing can be bad and when you have too much water in your hair, this can cause your hair to dry out and too much conditioning can create limp hair.
I like to wash & condition my hair once per week. At this time, I am able to get enough moisture into my hair. I then seal with my Moisturizing Hair Pudding which is loaded with oils & butters to seal in moisture. If it’s dry out, I layer the Sealing Hair Butter for extra protection, or if it’s humid, I use my Get Set Hair Jelly to block out the extra moisture in the air.
A lot of women avoid exercise because they think that this is going to ruin their hairstyle. What they’re missing out on are all of the benefits that exercise affords our body and hair.
When you exercise, you are getting oxygen to your cells and organs. Your cells play a vital role in getting information to your organs and oxygen is needed for this process. Exercise helps this process by getting your heart pumping and increasing the oxygen your body takes.
Exercise also reduces stress and increases serotonin. Stress is a very dangerous thing and can lead to excess shedding along with a variety of other health issues. So, while watching Real Housewives of Atlanta, get up and move around to get the blood flowing and the serotonin levels high.
5. Eat Healthy!
Last and most important is making sure you are eating as healthy as possible. Eating healthy gives your body all of the nutrients it needs in order to function properly. Your hair, skin and nails will receive these nutrients last, so imagine if your diet consists of only processed food. Your body is going to give what little nutrients it gets to the important organs which means your hair will be dry and brittle, no matter how much conditioner you’re using.
There are foods that are plentiful in certain vitamins and minerals that will help your hair to grow strong, however, you want to vary your diet so that your are giving your body everything that it needs.
You want to stay away from processed food and lower your sugar and salt intake. Adding more vegetables to your diet will keep you full longer and diminish your need to snack and will help sugar cravings (says the woman with the sweet tooth).
Some women like to take vitamins that are targeted to growing your hair. If you aren’t eating a healthy diet of good fats, your body will not absorb those vitamins properly. So, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you think taking vitamins is a shortcut to healthy hair.
Growing long and strong hair shouldn’t be your only endeavor, but rather the byproduct of living a healthy and plentiful life. If your only goal is to have hair that grows a certain length, you will disappoint yourself. Similar to dieting, they tell you not to weigh yourself every day or else you won’t notice results, the same goes for your hair. What has always surprised me in my hair journey was to look back at pictures of me from 6 months to a year ago and then realizing the growth. You won’t see it on a daily basis, but it’s happening.
Comment or tell us about your tips for growing your hair.