There’s this common misconception that black hair can’t grow long. It’s an ugly lie purported by those of another persuasion who know nothing about black hair at all. To put it all to rest, in this article I will share some hair growth secrets for black hair that you can start actioning today if you are trying to grow longer hair.
- All Hair Grows
- Hair Routines VS. The Hair Regimen
- I. Provide Support for a Healthy Scalp
- II. Use Powerful Growth Stimulators
- III. Recognize That Hair Types Don’t Matter
- Black Women With Long Hair
- IV. Eating a Balanced Diet
- V. Balancing Moisture Levels
- VI. Why You Also Need to Do Protein Treatments
- VII. Length Retention Tips
- The Truth About Hair Growth Secrets for Black Hair
All Hair Grows
Let’s first tackle the elephant in the room. Unless you are experiencing a health condition that directly affects the health of your hair, it’s always growing.
With proper hair care starting with good scalp care, you can experience good natural hair growth. I’m talking growing past shoulder length.
Hair Routines VS. The Hair Regimen
Many people use the terms “hair regimen” and “hair routine” interchangeably. While they are closely associated, here’s the difference:
You can have 1 hair routine or 5 hair routines. For example, you can have a wash day routine.
However, it’s ALL of the routines that you do to your hair that make up the totality of your hair regimen.
Your hair routines have different purposes leading to one conclusion – healthy hair.
Let’s go back to the example of your wash day routine. It’s purpose is to clean your hair and “reboot” your hair strands so that dry, brittle hair is transformed into moisturized hair. That’s the typical purpose of a wash day routine.
However, let’s say you add in a protein treatment (something you wouldn’t do every wash day), you’ve now added a routine with the purpose of strengthening your hair.
See the slight difference?
Keys to a Hair Care Routine That Promotes Hair Growth
Since we are talking about hair growth secrets (nothing’s really a secret! Just not many people are aware), let’s look at some keys to a hair care routine that has the purpose of growing black hair.
We’ll deal with maintaining the hair you grow in more detail a little later.
A hair routine that will help grow black hair will consist of:
- Stimulation of the scalp
- Cleansing, detoxing and moisturizing of the scalp
- Nutrition and Supplementation
Conversely, a hair routine that will MAINTAIN your growth will consist of:
- Moisturizing your hair based on its porosity levels
- Check out these two articles:
- a balance of using protein and moisture
- Gentle handling of your hair
- Styling techniques
Notice there’s much more that needs to be done to keep the hair you grow than actually causing your hair to grow. This brings me to the first of hair growth “secrets” for black hair.
I. Provide Support for a Healthy Scalp
Considering the fact that your hair grows from your scalp, making sure you give your scalp the proper care it needs is a very important step to black hair growth.
On wash day, you want to make sure you give your scalp a thorough cleansing with shampoo. Then, at least once a month give your scalp a good exfoliation.
Scalp exfoliation unclogs pores and increases blood circulation which stimulates hair growth.
Lastly, consider adding a scalp massage routine to your regimen. This will also support a healthy scalp.
II. Use Powerful Growth Stimulators
The next hair growth secret for black hair is to use topical growth stimulators like:
- Essential oils (see Best Essential Oils on Curly Hair)
- Natural oils: Jamaican Black Castor oil, Sweet almond oil, Jojoba oil and Camellia oil
- Hair Teas
Each of these can be used on your scalp to stimulate hair growth.
For the exception of Jamaican Black castor oil, the oils mentioned above are light weight and easily absorbed into the scalp.
And, Jojoba oil is very much like your scalps naturally generated oil: Sebum
Infusing natural oils with hair growth stimulating herbs can further speed up the rate of hair growth.
Note: While castor oil is known to stimulate hair growth, you need to make sure your scalp is clarified a little more regularly if you use it for that purpose.
Still, Jamaican Black Castor Oil is amazing. Read about my results using Jamaican Black Castor Oil on my hair for 30 days straight.
Then, mixing in herbs like:
And/or essential oils like:
You can also create hair teas blended with herbs and essential oils. They can be used as rinses and to blend up a hair mask on wash day.
Check out this article: Moroccan Hair tea Rinse for Strength and Growth
Using oils, herbs and teas on your scalp in conjunction with regular scalp massages helps black hair to grow.
Note: whenever using essential oils, do not use directly on the skin/scalp. Always mix with carrier oils (ex: olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil) to dilute them.
Essential oils while beneficial, are potent and can cause skin irritation.
III. Recognize That Hair Types Don’t Matter
One of the most important hair growth secrets for black hair to grab a hold of is based on your mindset. That’s because there’s so much “conditioning” (no pun intended) around the subject of Hair Types.
If you think your hair type matters in relation to growing long, healthy hair, let’s slay that demon. It doesn’t.
Well, it does but it doesn’t. Let me explain.
The hair typing system created by Andre Walker (Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist) is flawed. In fact, the only thing that the hair typing system is good for is comparing your natural black hair to someone else’s to see if you can achieve similar results with the same hair products or hair techniques they use. Even that is not a totally great way of determining your results.
The hair typing system has no actual bearing on if you can grow long black hair. In fact, it creates a bias which so many people have bought into.
There are these deceptions that black hair can’t grow long because of “reasons” like:
” It’s too coarse”
” It’s too nappy”
” Black hair is dry hair”
While those statements may be based on some of the characteristics of black hair, they do not define how long it can grow.
Black Women With Long Hair
There are in fact, MANY black women with extremely long hair. If you have been on social media for any length of time, you likely have come across some of them.
In case you haven’t, here’s a bit of inspiration for you:
Neeecieb13 on Instagram (creator of Shar Naturals hair care line)
Janet Davies (creator of Ominira Naturals, natural hair care line)
Kia Bell (Curlswithkia on Instagram)
CaribCurls on YouTube (nimsay8838 on Instagram)
Melissa Denise (on Youtube and IG)
22nd Century Natural Woman on Youtube
Ebony Bradley ( EbsCurlyTV on IG)
Lindsaychris12 on Instagram
My hair isn’t as long as the ladies above but it’s well on it’s way and I’ve discovered that everything I’m sharing in this article works. If you have fine hair like mine, you can realize an increase in length potential just as I have.
Need I go on? There are many more black women with long hair, black natural hair that clearly obliterates the notion that black people can’t grow long hair.
Notice that each of these black women have extremely long afro hair. Some have more kinky hair and some have more curly hair.
I hope these photos have helped clear your thinking of the lie that black hair can’t grow long.
IV. Eating a Balanced Diet
Your nutritional intake is a key influencer of healthy hair growth. Without a healthy diet, your hair cannot reach it’s full potential.
You can achieve some success with growing your hair without paying attention to nutrition. I’ve done it and so have many others but imagine if you fed your body what it needs so that all the added nutrients are sent to your hair follicles?
When you don’t eat a balanced diet complete in the vitamins and minerals your body needs, your body will then take whatever key nutrients you do give it and feed it to the most important organs. Those would be your heart, brain, lungs, kidney, liver, etc.
Your body is designed to function that way. Your hair isn’t vital to living so it only gets the nutrients that are left over, after your vital organs have had their fill.
Lastly, when your nutritional intake is on point (supplementing where short when needed), you’ll be less likely to experience hair loss.
V. Balancing Moisture Levels
Having adequate moisture in your hair is important if you’re going to grow longer hair. Moisturized hair is flexible and more manageable. There are several ways to infuse and balance moisture into your hair shaft:
- Pre-Pooing (pre-conditioning before shampooing/washing your hair)
- Deep conditioning every wash day
- Using a hot oil treatment during the colder months
- Using a leave-in conditioner sealed
There is some debate amongst people about the importance of deep conditioning hair. Using a deep conditioner on a regular basis does a lot for your hair:
- Helps maintain the hair’s moisture balance
- Deeply penetrates the hair with nutrients
- Improves your hair’s elasticity
Also, remember that moisturized hair is much less prone to getting excessive split ends. You’ll still get split ends from time to time because that’s part of the natural wear and tear on hair. However, you should not be getting split ends on a regular basis.
If you are getting splits often, it’s one of a few reasons:
- You’re not protecting your hair in different scenarios
- Your hair is excessively dry. Use conditioners with essential fatty acids in them.
- You’re using hair products with caustic chemicals in them. Switch to using hair products with natural ingredients in them.
VI. Why You Also Need to Do Protein Treatments
Protein treatments done at regular intervals are a necessity for strengthening black hair. That’s because our hair while naturally drier than other hair types, needs balance. You can’t just give it moisture and more moisture. That’s the fastest way to throw off your protein/moisture balance.
The frequency in which you use protein in your hair has to do with these factors:
- How much are you damaging your hair with chemicals, heat styling and mechanical damaging?
- Do you have fine hair?
- Do you have high porosity hair?
There’s also the type of protein to be used. If your hair is severely breaking because it’s weak and fragile, you need a heavy duty protein treatment. This is usually the case for those with relaxed black hair.
After a protein treatment, you need to balance all of that strength out with moisture – deep conditioning.
Check out this article: The Shocking Truth About Protein Use on Your Hair
VII. Length Retention Tips
Experiencing black hair growth has a great deal to do with retaining the length you grow. As mentioned earlier, you have a lot more to do to retain length than you do to grow it.
Here’s what you can do to retain the length you grow. Do as many of these as possible for maximum results:
Keep Your Hair Stretched
If you allow your naturally kinky hair to coil up on itself, that’s more change for tangling and ultimately breakage. An excellent way to reduce hair breakage so you can retain much more length is to keep your hair stretched.
Do protective styles that do not add stress to your hair and that do not require excessive manipulation to do or redo. Your ends need to be fully tucked away for the style to be truly protective.
Low manipulation styles
Hairstyles that require very little handling of your hair to do and/or maintain. They may or may not be protective. For example, buns, braids, and twist outs
Protection at all times
Protect your hair from breakage as much as possible. This goes beyond the styling process. Here are some scenarios where your hair can be exposed to breakage and solutions to experience less breakage:
- Sleeping on uncovered hair
Solution: use a silk/satin scarf and/or a silk/satin pillowcase)
- When commuting on public transportation
Solution: put your hair up until you reach your destination.
- Handling when doing your hair routines (cleansing, detangling, stretching, drying, straightening)
Solutions: Work in sections, use latex like gloves when cleansing/detangling; Gently stretch hair with a warm dryer or method that doesn’t put a lot of stress on your hair; use a high quality heat protectant and don’t straighten your hair often. Stretching is important for length retention. Straightening should be done on rare occasion (ex: no more than 4 times a year)
- Cut out all the trimming
Solution: Trim your hair as needed. There is no set timeframe for how often you need to trim. It’s solely based on your hair care habits. One thing a lot of the ladies photographed above have in common is they don’t trim their hair constantly. Here’s something to chew on: If you aren’t doing a lot to damage your hair, there’s no need to cut it often. To recognize more length, stop cutting off perfectly good hair, buying into the notion that you need regular trims to grow black hair. Our hair grows . This may require you to take responsibility for trimming your own hair.
The Truth About Hair Growth Secrets for Black Hair
Growing black hair may take a long time. It’s not a process you can rush. With hair growing an average of just a 1/2 inch per month, it will take you at least a year to grown 6 measly inches.
Yes, you can accelerate the process slightly with the techniques shared above but in full transparency, what’s required to grow your hair long is consistency with your hair routines. Then, patience is needed to stay the course.
Hair growth secrets for black hair are simply a laundry list of things that you don’t know to do or not do to your hair. It’s only a secret when you don’t know them. Now, you do so happy growing!