10 Effective Ways to Encourage Natural Hair Growth

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how to encourage natural hair growth

If someone promised you a ‘magical product’ to grow your hair overnight, they lied to you.

In this article you will learn about some of the best hair growth tips that will encourage healthy hair growth.

SUMMARY:

  • Focusing on proper nutrition by having a healthy balanced diet is fundamental in hair growth
  • Moisture is key in promoting hair growth. Lack of moisture leads to dry and brittle hair that breaks easily
  • Protective styling reduce manipulation hence encouraging length retention
  • Massaging your scalp improves blood circulation and therefore increases nutrient supply to the hair follicles

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Before I did the BIG CHOP and went natural , I strongly believed that there is that one ‘product’ that will do the magic for me and so I went crazy on trying all sorts of things that promised long luscious hair.

Don’t get me wrong, some products will stimulate growth but if you don’t take good care of the new growth, you will end up losing some significant hair.

How to encourage natural hair growth

1. Proper nutrition

The foods we take contain healthy nutrients that are beneficial not only for our bodies but also our hair. Therefore, focusing on proper nutrition is key in encouraging healthy hair growth.

In many cases hair loss is also associated with some nutrient deficiency and taking a healthy diet can help in reversing it.(1)

Vitamins offer a wealth of benefits to the hair. Vitamin A helps with maintaining healthy hair follicles; Vitamin C maintains healthy collagen levels in hair follicles, while Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant that works to reduce free radicals and UV damage to the hair.

Read this article to learn more about vitamins and minerals that are essential for hair growth.

Mineral deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Minerals such as iodine, zinc, iron, and manganese are important for healthy hair development and should therefore be included in your diet.

Similarly, consuming omega fatty acids is essential for hair growth. The oils are packed with nutrients and proteins that will boost your hair growth. (2)

If you’ve been taking a balanced diet, your hair may already be packed with hair strengthening nutrients that it needs, keep up! If you’ve been missing out on essential nutrients, you may want to consider supplements to provide you with nutrients such as biotin, folic acid, and vitamins which are all good for hair growth.

Related Article: The best fruits that encourage hair growth

2. Moisturize properly

Just like any other part of the body, hair needs moisture to maintain its softness, elasticity and strength.

A good way to ensure your hair is well hydrated is to develop a simple routine. During your wash day, you can go for an intense moisturizing routine using methods such as the LOC (Liquid Oil Cream), LCO (Liquid Cream Oil), Max hydration method or steaming.  Follow this with a simple routine of spritzing water every other day or whenever you feel the hair is starting to get dry.

Hair that is lacking in moisture becomes dry and brittle hence more prone to breakage which will discourage length retention.

To learn more about the moisturizing/hydrating techniques mentioned above, read this article.

3. Protective styling

Wearing protective hairstyles is one of the best ways to encourage hair growth. Protective hairstyles minimize the stress of environmental factors on hair by keeping the ends of hair tucked away to avoid any tugging or manipulation.

Protective hairstyles may be worn for weeks giving the hair a break from excessive manipulation. 

Some of the most common protective hairstyles include braids, cornrows, crochet braids, wigs, and Bantu knots.

Wearing some hairstyles such as a wash and go too often may leave your hair prone to frizz that could cause breakage as such hairstyles are not protective in nature. 

Wearing protective styles does not mean that hair grows instantly; it is just a way to keep your hair in particular patterns that prevent breakage and limit shedding.

It’s important to note that neglecting your hair even in a protective style will leave it dry and flaky and this eventually leads to breakage. The hair and scalp should remain well-nourished and moisturized prior to installing the style and while you have the style on.

4. Scalp massage

Besides being relaxing, research indicates that scalp massages improve hair thickness by lengthening living hair follicles and stimulating them to produce thicker strands. (3)

Massaging the scalp improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels below the scalp which in turn helps hair follicles to grow exceptionally as they receive nutrients more efficiently.

A typical scalp massage involves the use of fingers in gently applying pressure on the scalp. In some instances, massaging tools and devices can be used to mimic pressure from your fingers. Here is a good tool that can be used to massage.

5. Protecting the hair while sleeping

Sleeping on your normal bedding may leave your hair tangled and matted increasing your chances of hair loss while styling. To avoid this, sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase to avoid friction with your hair.

You can also protect the hair when sleeping by wearing a satin bonnet or wrapping the hair using a satin/silk scarf.

If you are struggling to find a satin bonnet that can cover a huge volume of hair you can check this Satin Bonnet, it is double layered and made for long hair, braided hair and dreadlocks.  

6. Use gentle hair products

Hair products are great but you must check the ingredients in the products and ensure the product is made for your hair type.  Some products are made with harsh ingredients that will damage your hair instead of nourishing it.

The products you use should be gentle and packed with ingredients that are beneficial to the hair.  Go for shampoos that in addition to cleaning agents, they also have conditioning agents to improve the hair elasticity and prevent hair breakage.

Conditioners should consist of ingredients that help to seal the cuticles, minimizing, and improving on hair sheen. Leave-in conditioners and other hair products such as oils should protect hair from damage and make detangling easier.

7. Hot Oil Treatment

If you want to keep your tresses growing nourished, healthy, stronger, and longer, it’s time you embraced hot oil treatments.

Hot oil treatment involves coating your hair strands with oils that have been heated up. Research indicates that treatment of hair with plant-based oils showed faster penetration into the hair shaft. Heating the oils further improved penetration. (4)

You can use a single or several oil blends to prepare your hot oil treatment. The treatments work by sealing in your cuticles thus strengthening and protecting your hair. Besides protecting your hair other benefits of hot oil treatments include:

  • Reduced split ends
  • Reduced Frizz
  • Dandruff relief
  • Increased blood flow in the scalp thus promoting healthy hair
  • Reduced dryness

For more details on Hot Oil Treatments, read this detailed guide.

8. Inversion Method

If you’ve been looking to grow your hair you’ve probably heard about the inversion method. The big question is, does the method really work?

The Inversion Method involves hanging your head upside down to increase blood flow to the scalp thus promoting hair growth.

Whilst there isn’t substantial research on the inversion method, when combined with the scalp massage and using growth stimulating oils, this method has been reported to work by several hair bloggers.

Green Beauty on this video has done a very good illustration of the Inversion Method.

It’s best to use essential oils to massage the scalp during the inversion method. Essential oils such as peppermint or lavender have been shown to stimulate hair growth in animal studies.

9. Avoid excessive manipulation

Are you one of those people who pull their hair while in deep thought, or cannot let your hair sit in one hairstyle without changing it? While you may not realize it, over manipulation of hair actually causes frizz and breakage. 

The next time you are tempted to twirl on those strands,  remember that it’s doing more harm than good. Put your hair up in a bun, cover it in a scarf, or put on a hat. Beyond the gentle brushing or styling, give your hair a break.

10. Incorporate herbal remedies

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the is no such this as a ‘magical product’ to promote hair growth but a combination of products and good hair care practices will encourage hair growth.

With that said, incorporating herbal treatments in addition with all the practices mentioned above will give your hair a boost by encouraging faster hair growth and treating common scalp conditions.

Are there any effective hair care practices we may have missed? Share your tips on the comments below, we will appreciate it!

Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.

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