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How to Grow Natural Hair Fast!

Updated on January 10, 2015

Start with a Big Chop

When beginning a natural hair journey, you must first decide which method you will use to transition from relaxed to natural hair. The most effective method to grow long, healthy hair is to undergo a "big chop." The big chop is effective because it requires you to cut off all of your damaged hair, leaving only your natural, unprocessed hair behind. The best way to complete your big chop is to grow as much new growth as possible before cutting off the ends. That is best done by wearing protective styles such as braids or weaves for a number of months until you have a significant amount of new growth to start. While the big chop requires you to cut off more hair than other methods of transitioning, you will keep more hair in the long run. This is because you are less likely to suffer from breakage and can keep the inches you grow. Therefore, this is the fastest method for transitioning and obtaining optimal results.

Wear Protective Styles

Protective styles are hairstyles that secure and protect the ends of your hair from exposure and damage. Such hairstyles may include braids, buns, weaves, wigs, or any other style that conceals the ends of your hair. Wearing protective styles will keep you from over manipulating your hair and causing breakage. Protective styles also protect your hair follicles by retaining moisture better than straightening or otherwise styling your hair daily.

Choose your protective styles based on your hair type. Tightly coiled hair works better in braided or twisted styles, while curly hair may be better suited for updos or buns. Whatever styles you choose, always take styling precaution. Never tie your hair back using rubber bands. Instead, use elastic bands or nylons to gently pull your hair back. Rubber bands and tight ponytails may cause hair breakage. Also, refrain from braiding your hair too tight, especially around your edges. Protective styles run the risk of causing hair loss when not styled correctly. In addition to wearing protective styles, always wrap your hair with a silk scarf at night. Avoid sleeping on your hair without a scarf because that too may cause breakage.Based on your hair type, you can conduct research on what styles will work best for you. For more information on your hair type, see the illustration below.

Stretch Your Curls

As your natural hair grows longer, it will become easily tangled. The largest cause of tangled hair is often shrinkage. Natural hair can shrink up to 80% based on the hair type. Therefore, in order to prevent tangles and protect your ends, you should stretch your curls. There are several methods for stretching curls, but the easiest way is to braid your hair when it is most vulnerable. That is, when it's wet and when you go to sleep.After washing your hair, you should braid your hair in sections and let it air dry. Once it is dry you can unbraid your hair and your curls will be stretched.

It is important to braid your hair at night to keep it from matting up while you are asleep. When you wake up and unbraid your hair, it will be easier to comb and reduce breakage. It is also recommended to stretch your curls prior to straightening your hair with heat. Some choose to flat iron their hair every few months to keep their hair manageable and detangled. By stretching your hair first, you will need less heat to achieve your desired results. Therefore, causing less damage to your hair.

Massage Your Scalp

Scalp massages are an essential part of your hair routine because they stimulate circulation and promote hair growth. Being that you should not comb or brush your hair often, your scalp will require alternative forms of stimulation, such as massages. You may massage your hair while it is either wet or dry. While wet, you should massage your hair with conditioner to help nourish your scalp. While dry, you may want to massage your scalp with essential oils to further stimulate your scalp. Choose your oils based on your needs. For advice on essential oils see the link below.

Apply Lots of Moisture

The number one problem you may face while going natural, is dry scalp and hair. Kinky hair, in particular, may become especially dry. The key to solving this problem starts with applying lots of water. You will need to both drink water and apply it directly to your hair. A spritz bottle will come in handy for adding water to your hair between washings and while wearing protective styles such as braids. You will want to focus on spraying the crown of your head, your edges and your ends. Those tend to be the driest areas of your hair. In addition to water, you will need good moisturizers.

Choose a moisturizer that contains water as a first ingredient. You want a moisturizer that will quench your hair rather than just make it oily. Oily hair can still be very dry hair. The Shea Moisture products are very popular for natural hair and meet a variety of needs. Palmer's Coconut Oil Strong Roots Spray contains moisture as well as peppermint oil that really stimulates hair growth and freshens your hair. You can also moisturize your hair with hot oil treatments and homemade remedies. Just remember to keep your scalp clean and don't let the products build up and clog your pores.There are a variety of products out there, you will have to do your research and find out which products work best for you. For more information on how to moisturize your hair and seal in the oils see the link below.

Ocean air is great for natural hair!
Ocean air is great for natural hair!

Eat a Healthy Diet and Exercise

Eating right and exercise do not necessarily increase the rate that your hair will grow but they can reduce hair loss. Hair loss due to stress and a poor diet may hinder your natural hair results. Studies have shown that regular exercise including at least 30 mins of cardio 3-5 days a week can significantly reduce stress and increase endorphins. The endorphins from working out may promote a healthier hair growth cycle. Perspiration from cardio may help clear your pores and encourage healthy hair growth. In addition to exercise, you should eat foods rich in iron and protein for the health of your hair. Medications and allergies may also cause hair loss, therefore increasing your overall health is essential for optimal hair growth.

Keep Track of Your Progress

Overall, your natural hair journey is going to be a long, tedious process. You will go through ups and downs, questioning whether your natural hair is worth all the work! In the end, the best way to stay motivated is to set goals and take pictures to track your progress. Pictures are a great reminder that your hair is, in fact, always growing. Popular goals for hair growth include shoulder, armpit, bra strap and waist length hair. Once you reach a goal, take a picture and see how far you have come. While your hair may not always seem longer, it will be thicker and stronger than it was before. For further motivation, you can watch videos of others who have been successful in their journey. They are a great way to set realistic expectations on how fast your hair will grow. Just remember to stick to the advice you've seen here today and you will surely grow the natural hair you've always wanted!

Good Luck With Your Journey and Happy Growing!

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