“For your hair to grow as an African woman, you need to have natural hair.”
There’s a Natural Hair movement happening and women of African descent are realizing that natural hair can grow. But that leads to the unspoken belief that you can’t grow relaxed hair.
This is a common statement thrown around about black women and their hair, but here’s the reality… It is a Myth.
A myth is a misconception.
A misconception is a view or opinion that is incorrect and is based upon faulty thinking or understanding.
So the idea that your relaxed hair cannot grow long as a “black African woman” is an incorrect opinion.
Okay. Let us look at the facts.
Facts About Your Hair
Did you know that Hair, on average, grows half an inch per month.
This is true for every human hair type, regardless of state or race.
This means that:
I. As an African, regardless of whether your hair is relaxed or in it’s
natural “Afro” state, it grows half an inch per month.
II. Whether it belongs to an African or Caucasian or Asian or whoever,
the hair on average grows half an inch per month.
So, your relaxed hair does grow, each and every single month, whether you see it or not.
Now, that brings up the question “Why am I not seeing any increase in length with my hair?”
Why It Looks Like Your Hair Doesn’t Grow
The black woman’s hair is one that is prone to breakage naturally.
This is even more true when that woman’s hair is relaxed.
Therefore, in order to prevent this breakage, a little more care is required.
Without this extra care, it will seem like your hair is not growing, because it is breaking.
So what can you do?
How To Grow Your Relaxed Hair
In order to grow your relaxed hair, a lot of things come into play.
Things such as:
- your wash routine
- your moisturizing regimen
- your relaxer use
- heat exposure and
- your hair type
… are just a few of the things that can have an effect on growing your hair.
You’ll notice, I didn’t say anything different from what you’ll hear someone advice a “naturalista” to do when taking care of her hair.
That’s because it’s all the same.
You need the same, basic hair care tips to take care of your hair, whether it’s natural or relaxed and you need to be CONSISTENT with it.
However, when it comes to my ladies with relaxed hair, there are 3 simple things that you can do to help you grow your hair.
Now, there’s no hard and fast rule for everyone but applying these tips will be a step in the right direction to actually grow your relaxed hair.
Step 1: Educate yourself about your own hair.
The honest truth is, it’s all about knowledge.
Knowledge is power.
You need to figure out what works for your hair in particular and move from there.
The more you know, the better you can approach your own hair journey.
Not sure where to start your education? Check out this list of the best blogs for natural & relaxed hair.
Step 2: Protective Styling Your Hair is essential for relaxed hair growth.
This is actually the main “secret” behind achieving growth of your relaxed hair.
What’s the secret?
Doing protective styles 80 – 90% of the time helps to retain your length.
Let’s break it down.
Protective hairstyles, like the name implies, are hairstyles done to protect the hair.
With the understanding that your hair grows monthly, you realize that there’s really nothing you can do to make your hair grow faster from your scalp.
However, what you can do, is reduce how much your hair breaking and this leads to more retained length and longer hair.
So when you have your hair in protective styles, your hair is growing undisturbed, underneath the protective hairstyle.
Some easy to do protective hairstyles are:
1. Twists and Cornrows
With cornrows, you can either:
- Wear it basic, using only your relaxed hair and putting on a wig when you need to be fancy, or
- Add braiding hair and do a style that you can use for every occasion and in every situation.
A quick note: If you do decide to go with adding braiding hair, make sure they aren’t so tight.
2. Crochet Braids
Better still, you can go for crochet braids which are much easier to apply and also great for protecting your hair.
By doing protective hairstyles, you prevent straining the hair, therefore, you’re preventing breakage.
Step 3: How you take down your protective hairstyles is important.
What does this mean?
Most people lose the length they’ve retained from doing a protective style when they’re taking out the hairstyle by ripping through the hair.
Remember that extra care we talked about earlier that’s required in taking care of the black woman’s hair?
Yes, it comes into play here.
If you want to retain the length gotten from your protective style and “allow your hair to grow”, it is so important how you take down your protective style.
Be careful, attend to the hair section by section and take your time.
You may feel like you lack the time or patience to do this properly and carefully but if you want your relaxed hair to grow, this step is very simple but also very important.
Well, that’s it.
Simple steps to guide you in growing your relaxed hair, because, the fact is,
“SIMPLICITY IS KEY TO RETAINING LENGTH”.
What is your special secret for growing your relaxed hair?
Let’s know in the comments section.