In all honesty, natural hair growth comes down to the health of your hair, your routine, and other steps you take on an everyday basis. While you may hope that you can grow natural hair in a flash, patience is fundamental to get the long, thick strands you desire. With that said, you may need to make some changes to your routine to start your journey toward longer hair. Here, we’re sharing a complete guide on how to grow natural hair, with tips from Cataanda James, the Senior Technician at the New York Technical Center for L’Oréal USA. Let’s get into it!
How to Grow Natural Hair: 8 Tips
From using the best natural hair products to protecting your hair at night, there are plenty of ways to boost natural hair growth. Here are eight hair growth tips straight from an expert.
1. Maintain a healthy diet. Just as a healthy diet is essential for your overall health, it’s also crucial for natural hair growth. In fact, what you eat is the foundation for healthy growth. James shares, “The blood vessels nourish the cells in the hair bulb, which is the base of the hair follicle, so what you consume is vital.”
There are lots of foods that can help with growth. According to James, these include everything from liver to whole wheat bread. Yep! Other examples of food for hair growth include cauliflower, kiwi, papaya, and green vegetables. The reason these foods can help you boost growth is that they are full of healthy vitamins and nutrients. Seek out foods with vitamin K, C, and A to take your hair care routine to the next level.
Is this advice sounding familiar? Per James, “Taking your mom’s advice and eating all your veggies and fruits is the best practice for continuous growth of your hair!”
2. Drink plenty of water. Not only does drinking water ensure that your body functions properly, but it also helps in your quest to grow out your hair. Water contains tons of minerals and vitamins that your body needs. Plus, since natural hair is always craving moisture, you’ll be able to provide your strands with hydration from the inside out to work your way to more gorgeous hair.
3. Use the right natural hair growth products. Whether you’re dealing with low or high porosity hair, all curl types need moisture and hydration. Choosing the best natural hair products for growth is key. What you might not expect is that the best hair growth products aren’t one-size-fits-all. According to James, they can vary from person to person.
Think about what your hair needs to be healthier—the same things are likely to aid in growth. James recommends the Monoi Repairing System, a collection of products that prevents future hair breakage and promises stronger hair that can grow longer. Keep in mind, if your hair is always breaking, it won’t be able to grow very long.
You can build a complete hair care routine using the system, starting with the Monoi Repairing Sulfate Free Shampoo and Repairing Conditioner. You’ll also want to stock your shower and medicine cabinet with the Monoi Repairing Hair Mask, which is an intense treatment that reverses damage, and the Monoi Repairing Anti-Breakage Spray for a leave-in conditioner that can help end shedding.
4. Get regular trims. You had to have known that this was coming. Getting regular trims is a must if you want to grow beautiful natural hair. While cutting hair does not make it grow faster—despite what you may have heard—skipping cuts can be problematic.
Trimming your hair helps to get rid of damaged, broken, or split ends, and what’s the point of having long hair if your ends are so badly out of shape? There’s also the factor that breaks can eventually travel up your hair and damage more than just your ends, and even lead to the hair completely breaking off—definitely not what you want when trying to encourage growth. Always make sure to get your hair trimmed at least every 10 to 12 weeks.
5. Scalp massages. Scalp massages are a great way to increase blood circulation to the hair follicles and increase hair growth levels. The more you stimulate the scalp, the quicker you can begin to see hair growth. A great way to incorporate this tip into your routine would be to do so during your cleansing session by including a gentle scalp massage when shampooing or conditioning.
6. Protect your hair at night. An excellent way to complement your natural hair routine is by protecting your hair at night. When you sleep on your curls, tossing and turning can cause a lot of friction and remove moisture from your hair. As you already know, moisture goes hand-in-hand with natural hair. Sleep on a satin pillowcase or cover your hair with a silk bonnet to maintain hydration.
7. De-stress. Loosening up may be an obvious tip, but it’s important to de-stress. Stress can get in the way of your natural hair growth and can even lead to hair loss. For this reason, it’s a great idea to minimize stress whenever possible. How about tackling two birds with one stone by indulging in a self-care session complete with a strengthening hair mask?
8. Take your vitamins. With your quest for natural hair growth, it’s not a bad idea to add vitamins to your routine. What might surprise you is that while biotin is often touted as the ultimate hair growth vitamin, it may not be the best option. According to James, “Like all B vitamins, the body doesn’t store biotin, nor does it naturally produce it,”
So, what vitamins should you take? A hair, skin, and nails vitamin is a great option for growing natural hair. “They contain all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs for proper nourishment,” James says.
Can You Use Home Remedies for Hair Growth?
Do you really need to go out to the store and buy a bunch of products? There are so many DIY hair growth treatment ideas and natural home remedies for hair growth that get recommended on Pinterest and Instagram; maybe those are the way to go. As it runs out, James reveals that there are home remedies that can help your natural hair grow. With that said, the best remedy to boost hair growth is to maintain a clean, healthy scalp and get regular trims. This means that staying consistent with a natural hair care routine and maintaining healthy habits are both musts to get results.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Natural Hair?
We can’t share the best hair growth tips without tackling this question: How long does it take to grow natural hair? As it turns out, like many things in life, how fast hair grows varies. James shares, “If the hair follicle is infected or weakened, this could temporarily slow down and even prevent hair growth,” continuing, she says, “If the follicle is permanently damaged or dead, there is no cell regeneration, and it will not regrow hair at all.” Generally, you can expect healthy hair to grow about half an inch per month.
Editor’s note: Wondering about hair growth for your edges? If damage has done a number on your baby hairs, here’s How to Grow Your Edges Back.
How Can I Speed Up Hair Growth?
Whether you want to rock a specific long hairstyle or are in the process of switching to natural hair, it’s not out of the norm to wish you could make your hair grow faster. While there are some ways to accelerate the length of your strands, it’s essential to realize that it’s not an overnight process. You likely have heard talks about how to grow hair faster in just a week, but James says it’s simply not possible.
How can you grow your hair faster? A good diet and regular exercise can stimulate hair growth. How does the latter work? James says, “It increases blood flow to the scalp resulting in better circulation, which promotes a stronger hair growth cycle.”
Scalp massages, which we touched on earlier, can also help speed things up. Indulge in a gentle scalp massage with the pads of your fingertips to increase blood flow. “The more you stimulate the scalp and get the blood flowing, the quicker you will begin to see growth,” she shares. So, what are you waiting for? Next time you’re washing your hair (or co-washing), give your scalp a nice massage.
Speaking of which, now that you know the best hair care tips for growth, make sure you know How to Wash Curly (And How Often to Do It).