This year, we’re learning how to grow natural hair fast thick, long and healthy, and that’s on PERIODT.
In all seriousness, growing natural hair can be a challenge, especially when asking how to grow natural hair fast. There are some inherent obstacles facing black hair that stunt our natural hair trajectory, that our straight-haired counterparts don’t have to deal with.
For one, our hair is fragile, not “hard” as Eurocentric laws have taught us to believe. As such, it easily breaks and it struggles to retain moisture.
Even once we solidify our process and start to retain length, natural hair shrinkage is REAL. We can’t show off our new growth as easily as looser curls and straight hair can.
Again, there are multiple challenges facing naturals when it comes to growing natural hair.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
Ready to learn how to grow natural hair fast, no fluff and no BS? Let’s go!
Contrary to popular belief, natural hair can grow significantly and beautifully when the correct steps are implemented. And learning how to grow natural hair fast, although complicated, is not entirely impossible.
Although there are no “rules” when it comes to growing natural hair, there definitely is a tried and true method to doing so.
In other words, although every natural’s hair is different, learning how to grow natural hair fast is truly a science. There’s a method to the madness!
However, it’s important that we dissect the word “fast” before getting into the below tips. The objective is to first optimize our body’s natural hair growth cycle, because truthfully, our hair IS growing, but we’re not retaining the length.
Once we implement the below steps, we should address our lifestyle to further boost our hair growth. If we’re doing everything right, and our hair is still not growing, there are health and wellness tips we can implement.
In other words: eat your greens and exercise, sis!
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s how to grow natural hair fast in 2020:
Get a Trim
This first step is major key to starting off your natural hair growth journey. But it’s the one step many naturals are reluctant to take (totally understandable)!
A primary reason that many naturals fail to see growth is because their ends are already dead. And if you didn’t know: dead ends break off with the quickness.
Another reason: it’s because split ends will ruin split non-dead healthy hair!
First things off, dead ends can never be repaired. There’s no magic formula, no product in the world that can fuse broken keratin and disulfide bonds back together.
And dead ends are extremely fragile. Like I said, dead ends will, eventually, break.
So, with that in mind, the best way to fix dead ends is to just cut them loose.
Common amongst the natural hair community is the dreaded big chop, a term which essentially means to chop off all the dead hair at once. Those transitioning to natural hair are acutely aware of how painful it is.
But cutting off damaged ends at once basically hits the reset button on your hair growth, and will allow the hair to grow uninterruptedly without worry of breakage.
But it can be quite drastic, especially if a lot of hair needs to be chopped off. So if this is the case for you, cutting off the lower most inch or two will vanquish off the “deadest” of the dead ends. And this will benefit your natural hair growth since it’s these ends that split up to the top and will further damage healthy hair.
Cutting off even just a few inches will be the difference between consistent breakage vs. length retention.
Figure Out Your Porosity
Now that you’re starting off with freshly trimmed hair, the next thing to talk about is porosity.
Hair porosity is one of the most underrated facts about natural hair that must be understood prior to implementing a natural hair growth routine.
Why? Because this is how your hair best absorbs moisture and products. And this will determine how you create your natural hair growth routine.
Porosity refers to your hair’s absorption potential. So if you have low porosity natural hair, your hair’s absorption is low. It cannot absorb moisture and products effectively, and it’s because of how tightly closed the cuticles are.
In contrast, if you have high porosity natural hair, your hair’s absorption potential is high. Meaning that, in the presence of water and moisture, your hair will effectively absorb it, but will release it just as quickly because of how open the cuticles are. They just won’t close.
What’s a curl to do?
Figuring out whether you have low porosity natural hair or high porosity natural hair is the first necessary step to ensure that you’re using your products optimally.
If you’re low porosity, your goal is to figure out how to open your cuticles. If you’re high porosity, keeping the moisture locked in is an essential trick to master.
Figure Out Which Ingredients Work Best With Your Hair Porosity
Let’s be clear: much like skincare, not every natural hair product is going to agree with your natural hair. There are many factors that play a role into whether a product will work for you or not.
As a general rule of thumb, coconut oil is great for high porosity natural hair. This is because coconut oil is one of the few oils that are just the right molecule size to fit into your hair strands. It also possesses characteristics that fill in broken keratin gaps that is often associated with high porosity curls.
The result? A reduction in porosity.
This obviously isn’t a great thing for low porosity natural hair since coconut oil will decrease the porosity in the hair. Low porosity is low enough!
Another tip is that high porosity naturals must educate themselves thoroughly on the LCO vs LOC method. As another rule of thumb, high porosity natural hair will benefit well from using the LOC method.
Educate yourself on the right ingredients and regimens for high porosity natural hair and low porosity natural hair to make sure you’re implementing the right routine for you and your gorgeous coils!
Invest In The Necessary Natural Hair Tools
I hate to break it to you, but if you didn’t already know, natural hair is expensive. And that also includes our natural hair tools.
It’s unfortunate that we have to drop some serious coins on our hair, but that’s the price we have to pay to become our own natural hair goals.
First things first, drop the flat iron, the relaxer, the hot comb, and other damaging natural hair tools. These tools are incredibly detrimental to our natural hair journey, especially if you’ve been experiencing length retention issues.
Say hello to your new best friends: hair steamer, plastic caps, wide-tooth comb, and the spray bottle.
These natural hair tools are pretty much essential to your natural hair routine, especially a wide-tooth comb. A wide-tooth comb is the best detangling tool for natural hair and provides the least amount of breakage compared to other combs.
However, there are a few hacks to achieving the service that some (not all) of these natural hair tools provide.
For example, we know that low porosity natural hair needs heat or steam to open up the cuticles, which would allow products to absorb into the hair strands.
One hack to get the same effect would be to apply your deep conditioner in the shower. The steam produced by your shower will be enough to penetrate the deep conditioner into your hair, similar to what the steamer would do!
Apply your favourite deep conditioner, slap on a plastic cap and remain in the shower for 5-10 minutes to truly feel the effect. For added effect, leave the deep conditioner and plastic cap after you exit the shower and leave it on for an additional 30 mins as some steam should be trapped in the bag! Just make sure you wash out the deep conditioner with cold water to lock all that juicy moisture in.
Speaking of shower…
Solidify Your Wash Day Routine
Your wash day routine can make or break your natural hair journey. An adequate wash day routine for natural hair can ensure your products are working optimally, will reduce breakage and shedding, and won’t take you all day!
At a minimum, your wash day routine should look something like this:
♥ Detangle your hair the night before with a mix of your favourite conditioner and oil (olive oil is a universally great oil for all naturals) and leave overnight;
♥ In the morning, lightly massage your scalp (without adding any new product) to gently lift the buildup from your scalp;
♥ Get in the shower and let the water (warm, never hot!) run through your hair for 5 minutes, lightly working the water into your hair;
♥ Use a gentle shampoo on your hair, focusing on your scalp (or use a co-wash biweekly if weekly shampoo is too harsh for your hair);
♥ To add a boost of protein to up your hair growth game, do a rice water rinse!
♥ Follow up with a conditioner with slip, finger detangling gently;
♥ Get out of the shower and apply deep conditioner. If low porosity, use a hot steamer or the above steamer hack for 30 minutes;
♥ Wash out with cold water, apply leave-in conditioner and style as needed.
Moisture Over Everything!
Water is the universal hydrator. And our hair craves it more than anything!
Natural hair is dry, period. Our natural oils produced at the scalp cannot travel down the length of our spirals and curls.
So we need to manually add moisture to our hair via water (i.e. our wash day) and our products.
Look for hydrating ingredients in your products, like aloe vera, glycerin and honey. Water should be the top (if not second) ingredient in the list.
Stay away from drying ingredients such as SD-alcohol, propyl alcohol and mineral oil. Look out for hydrating chemicals such as ceteryl alcohol, which is a great hydrator and it comes from natural sources like coconuts.
Balance your moisturizing products with a protein biweekly or once a month protein treatment of choice, such as the Aphogee Two Minute Reconstructor.
Now, this is the part that is key to optimizing the above steps.
And that’s protective styling!
Protective styling is a game changer when it comes to growing natural hair. This is because there is no greater technique to retaining length than literally hiding your hair from the outside world.
Think about it – natural hair, when in its natural free form, is constantly exposed to the elements, our clothes, even our pesky fingers. And as we know, natural hair is incredibly sensitive and fragile. We don’t need that kind of energy for 2020, sis!
So, to truly see length, protecting our fragile ends will ensure that our hair from the scalp is growing and that the length is truly seen by protecting our ends. Just make sure your hair is properly moisturized prior to installing, and that the style isn’t tight and irritating your follicles.
The Bottom Line
At the end of your day, learning how to grow natural hair varies across the board. No curl is the same!
But natural hair is truly a science (one that is still not well understood), and the above tips have worked for many naturals across the board. Shift your mindset from growing natural hair to achieving healthy natural hair and your hair will grow regardless!