Of all the races, It seems as if black women have the most difficult time growing long hair. Of course, that’s a perception that’s not actually based on reality. There are many women of color who do know how to thicken and grow black hair.
See this post: Non-Negotiable Practices of Naturals Who Retain Length
Below you’ll find the truth about growing black hair thicker and longer.
Characteristics of Black Hair
Before we get into the tips for how to grow black hair as well as how to grow thick hair, let’s look at the characteristics of black hair across the board.
While we each have different porosity levels and curl types, a few things all virgin black hair has in common are:
- Our hair type is the driest on the planet.
- Black hair is the most fragile hair type due to the make up of our hair
- Our hair is generally considered quite healthy when unprocessed.
- Black hair is also curly hair even though it’s not apparent to some, due to the tightness of the curl.
Over time, black people’s hair can become quite damaged with chemical processing. For so long, in the American black community, it was quite common to chemically relax the hair. This has led to damaged hair that appears to just not grow. Even worst, thinning hair occurred.
That leads me to sharing some keys for healthy hair. The obvious first one is to avoid chemical processing of any sort.
Keys for Healthy Black Hair Growth
If you want healthy black hair that grows in thick and long, avoid chemicals at all costs is necessary. The second of enemies to fine hair is heat.
While heat styling from time to time doesn’t usually cause a problem when the hair is protected properly, using heat to style natural hair regularly is quite damaging.
Especially for those with fine hair.
Hence, following a hair regimen that supports all the intricacies of black hair from hair follicles down to the ends of the hair strands is what will help it to grow thicker and longer.
In a nutshell, there are seven keys for healthy hair:
- Having a regular systematic wash day routine
- Caring equally for your hair and scalp
- Maintaining your hair’s balance of moisture and protein
- Trimming your hair as needed
- Avoiding chemicals
- Protecting your hair from damage at all times
- Preserving your hair by handling it as needed
Learn more about these keys to hair health in addition to nutritional requirements in the Master Your Hair Manual:
4 Remedies to Thicken Black Hair
There are proven ways to thicken and grow black hair and some methods overlap. However, there are also specific ways to thicken black hair.
Let me be clear though. The thickness of your hair (known as hair density) is genetic.
What you are about to read will help you to slightly and/or temporarily increase the thickness of your hair. You have to know this so you don’t set up unrealistic expectations.
If you possess a head of fine hair that’s also thin hair, you won’t be able to thicken your hair but so much. You can grow it longer but thickness is inherent.
That doesn’t mean you can’t achieve some level of thickness. With the “remedies” below, you can achieve some level of success for gaining thicker hair. I can speak to this personally.
Conversely, when it comes to gaining thicker hair, there’s two ways to achieve it:
- Actually thickening your hair
- Creating the illusion of thicker hair
The Illusion of Thicker Hair
To create the illusion of thicker hair, you can achieve this by simply getting a layered hair cut.
Additionally, you can also use a volumizing hair product to make the hair appear thicker. This is temporary but can work well depending on how you are styling your hair.
Actual Hair Thickening
To actually thicken your hair (if even ever so slightly), try one or more of the following:
- Use Henna full strength, at least monthly.
- Regularly do a scalp massage with Jamaican Black Castor Oil – This helps with hair growth but also thickness because with diligent massaging of the oil into your scalp, sparse areas can fill in, reducing the appearance of hair thinning.
- Apply fresh aloe vera to the scalp before washing.
- Pre-treat scalp with warm olive oil before washing.
If you are going to try all of the remedies for thicker hair above, focus on doing 1 or 2 methods at a time before moving on to the next.
This will give you sufficient time to see if what you are doing is working.
20 Tips to Grow Black Hair
Keeping it 100% real with you, hair growth comes a bit easier than hair thickness. However, recognize that hair growth is also about length retention.
So, while you may be able to grow your hair, the real progress happens when you are able to retain most of the hair that you do grow.
For longer hair, below are 20 different tips that support healthy hair growth. Moreover, some of them also support length retention.
- Use Amla or Fenugreek, herbs that stimulate hair growth.
- Add essential oils to your hair products. Those like rosemary oil, peppermint oil or spearmint oil for hair growth.
- Do a hot oil treatment made with a combination of natural oils like coconut oil, olive oil argan oil and almond oil. This reduces split ends.
- Keep hair moisturized to prevent dry hair, which leads to breakage
- Keep hair strong by using light protein treatments or silk protein treatments. This will also reduce breakage so your hair can grow (great for fine hair and high porosity hair)
- Eat a healthy balanced diet including healthy fats like Omega-3 fatty acids. Poor nutrition can cause hair loss.
- Consume vitamin C and vitamin E to boost collagen and prevent hair fall. Can be added to smoothies
- Use hair products containing vitamin C or add it to a hair oil which you can use to massage your scalp with.
- Use a hair mask that increases blood circulation in the scalp. These will contain essential oils as well. (See best essential oils for curly hair)
- Focus on having a healthy scalp by keeping it clean and free of build up.
- Take a supplement containing biotin and/or MSM.
- Do cardio exercises that help you sweat; thereby, unclogging your hair follicles and improving circulation in your scalp.
- Invert your head when massaging it. This forces an increase in blood flow to the scalp that can help stimulate hair growth.
- Drink bamboo tea for hair growth. The rich silica content helps with producing collagen which is necessary for growing fuller hair.
- Incorporate tea rinses as a final rinse to your wash day routine. Hair teas contain natural DHT (responsible for hair loss) blockers. Check out this Moroccan Hair Tea Rinse.
- Steam your hair. Steaming infuses the hair with moisture and unclogs the pores, both of which help with hair growth.
- Exfoliate your scalp. The importance of a clean and clear scalp can not be overstated.
- Consume more water, internally and topically. Drinking sufficient water and keeping your hair exposed to water hydrates your hair so it’s always in an environment for growth.
- Use shampoo containing caffein and/or niacin. Both are known to stimulate hair growth. OGX makes an anti-hair fall shampoo containing both.
- And, likely the best way to promote hair growth is to leave your hair alone. All hair grows (barring health conditions). The less you do to “handle” it, the more length you can retain to see the growth you’re looking for.
Simple DIY Hair Recipes to Thicken and Grow Black Hair
If you are someone who likes to create their own hair products, below you’ll find a few recipes that can help to either thicken or grow your hair.
Also, whenever possible use organic ingredients and distilled water.
This recipe is not completely DIY. Instead, it can transform a regular shampoo to promote hair growth and thickness.
- 1 tablespoon of shampoo
- 1 teaspoon of Fenugreek powder
- 1 teaspoon of Amla powder
- 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Fenugreek-Amla Hair Growth Mask
- 1 part Fenugreek powder
- 1 part Amla powder
- 2 tablespoons of Aloe vera powder
- 5-10 drops of a growth stimulating essential oil
Mix all ingredients with warm water to the desired consistency. Distribute throughout your hair. Put on a plastic cap and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes under a heating cap.
Castor Oil Hair Thickening Treatment
- 2 tablespoons of castor oil (optional: use Jamaican Black Castor Oil)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of almond oil
- 2-5 drops of rosemary essential oil
After blending all of the oils, the oil blend can be used for scalp massages or a hot oil treatment.
Herbal Hair Tea
- Fenugreek powder: 1/2 tablespoon
- Amla powder- 1/2 tablespoon
- Henna powder- 1/2 tablespoon
Blend the powders and slowly add hot water. Allow the mixture to sit over night before straining out the powders and using the tea as a hair and scalp spray.
Don’t toss the strained powder though. You can add this to a deep conditioner or apply it directly to your scalp after washing. Sit with it in your hair for 30 minutes before rinsing and moving on to styling.
Now that you have an arsenal full of tools for how to thicken and grow black hair, it’s time to map out a plan.
Here’s a hair planner that can help you incorporate all of the hair routines you want to focus on:
If you want to further your knowledge on growing black hair, read these supplementary articles: