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Tips for growing long natural hair

Tuesday July 4 2017

There is no substitute to taking the time and making the effort to understand what makes your hair happy and doing it. PHOTO | FILE

There is no substitute to taking the time and making the effort to understand what makes your hair happy and doing it. PHOTO | FILE 

TRICIA WANJALA
By TRICIA WANJALA
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Q: My friend just bought a course that promises to teach women how to grow natural hair long.

What are some key takeaways from such educational materials?

A: Investing in hair-growth programmes is one way to gain knowledge on how to succeed in your personal hair growth journey.

There are several ways to get this same knowledge, mainly through experience. Your own experience is vital – you must learn to understand your hair. Each individual can use the exact same products, follow the same diet and live under the same climactic conditions, but still experience vastly different rates of hair growth and retention. There is no substitute to taking the time and making the effort to understand what makes your hair happy and doing it. The key ingredients to long hair are:

  •   Water. Hydrate constantly internally and hydrate your hair daily or every other day.

  •   Protein. Use protein in your diet and alternate protein treatments with moisture treatments.

  •   Hair vitamins. If your doctor has no problem with it, take hair supplements to accelerate the growth of your natural hair.

  •   Reduce friction. Use oils to lubricate your hair and to seal in moisture. Sleep on satin or silk.

  •   Avoid manipulation. Natural hair likes to be left alone. Avoid combing, playing in it, excessive styling, brushing or tight braiding. Use gentle protective styling like buns, twists, plaits and even wigs.

  •  Patience. A healthy dose of common sense, bearing your genetic blueprint in mind, will help you to manage your expectations. Just understand that your hair type and growth rate will most likely imitate those in your immediate and extended family. If you do not have any Rapunzel-lookalike relatives, it may be more realistic to aim for shoulder length rather than waist-length hair.

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