I sure do hope you are keeping well and that your weekend is going well. I'm just chilling, going through my Instagram for questions you've been asking me a lot. Here's a couple of responses to FAQs:
1. "How long does African/Black/African American grow per month/per year?"
Well, scientifically, our hair grows 1/4- 1/2 an inch/month. This means that in 1 year you can retain anywhere from three to 6 inches of growth per year. This variation depends on your age, genetics, diet and general health and wellbeing. For example, pregnant women may experience hair growth spurts due to their hormonal changes, and many have had all their hair shed off once after birth. Alternatively, if you are stressed and unwell for some time, your hair growth might be stunted. To optimize growth, eat and live healthy. When it comes to hair, what goes in is literally what comes out! See this post here for details on my "hair growth formula".
2. "How often should I trim my hair?"
I've found that if I take extra good care of my ends, then I only need to trim my hair once a year. Yep! Some naturals might be gasping right now! LOL! Earlier on in my journey, some bloggers I came across trimmed their hair 4-5 times a year. I personally feel that this is not what my own hair needs. I've realized that with time, as we become more adept with our hair, we understand what it needs. In case you are in doubt, reach out to a SKILLED hairdresser that is NOT scissor-happy, and ask their opinion. Also, simply examining our hair in the mirror can give us a good sense of whether our ends need to go.
3. "What styles or best practices help you maintain your length?"
I am not a big fan of change. Well let me explain myself a little. My experience with 4C hair is that it really doesn't like to be manipulated much. Keeping things simple and consistent will help a lot! As I've said time and time again, TWO STRAND TWISTS are lifeeee!!! Yep! Deep conditioning on the regular is also fundamental. Trust me - low manipulation styles and regular deep conditioning sessions are the way to get longer hair. If there' s a secret to longer hair, that's it!
4. "What hair growth aids can I use to speed up my hair growth?"
Now...now...now! Where to begin with this one?! Let's take a step back and remember how we embraced natural hair in the first place. The process of returning to natural hair care in many ways is a mental one. For me, it was a process by which I took charge of my personal care - I wanted to be informed about how best to take care of my body as a young woman. This included learning to separate myths from truth, especially when it comes to hair products!
What am I saying? There is no magic pill that grows your hair back in 3 months! Unfortunately. Trust me, I'm disappointed as well. However, you can take supplements to maximize your vitamin/mineral intake - the goal of which is to ensure that your body is healthy enough to grow hair (Question 1 above). My favorites are a daily multi-vitamin, biotin, msm and b-complex supplements. Click here for a list of my favourite.
5. My hair breaks off and it's always dry - I don't think I'm retaining any length, what should I do?
Chronically dry hair can be caused by several factors. They may be environmental meaning your hair is consistently exposed to wind, sun, rain or even snow. Extreme heat or cold can mean your hair is losing moisture at a much faster rate than normal. If you aren't replacing lost moisture just as rigorously, you may find your hair feels really dry, breaks like a stick in a flame and your scalp flakes regularly. The best response to extreme dryness is to examine your hair regimen. (Click here for the steps I use on wash day.) What hair products are you using? What are they made of? (Click here for a list of my favourite deep conditioners) How often do you wash and condition your hair? What are your styling practices? (Click here for a few tips on protective styling) With a consistent hair regimen, you are more likely to see length and health retention in the long run retention.
Sending you love and sunshine!