My hair has always grown super fast, almost to the point where my hairdresser once asked me, "Do you use horse shampoo?!" 

For the record, I don't. 

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Some might count this as lucky, and it has its benefits, but when you highlight your hair on the regular, it becomes pricey. Like, slice the normal waiting period between highlighting sessions in half (which is six weeks). After about two weeks in, I already see my regrowth waving hello. 

But if you wanted to get into the business of hair farming (that is on your own head only) then here are some expert tips on how to: 

Weak hair is often a sign of poor diet. Remember to add protein, fats, vegetables, fruits and possibly a good multivitamin into your diet.  According to Manrepeller our cells are coated with fatty membrane. In order for these cells to be healthy we need to feed it with the right nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for this, and when cells are happy and plump they will allow for optimal hair growth. So feeding your cells with healthy fats found in avo, salmon and olive oil is ideal. 

They also recommend things like avoiding restricting ponies or buns. Tying your your hair too tight adds stress to to your roots and weakens your hair. 

Nosizwe Hude, brand director of Mizani Africa notes that when it comes to natural hair that has been chemically treated (relaxed, to texturised to transitioning hair) vs. non-chemically treated  hair, which ranges from different curl types – recommendations would always differ according to the needs of the consumer.

(Which is why blanketed advice is not recommended, rather ask a professional who can analyse your specific hair type and needs if you struggle with stunted hair growth.) 

Royal Kulakade, an expert from Long & Lasting SA says, "When growing your natural hair remember to keep the hair and scalp clean and nourished by washing at least every two weeks." She notes that leave-in conditioners are great for optimising hair health, and, subsequently, hair growth. 

She also says that it's crucial to do a treatment every two - four weeks to nourish and protect the previously relaxed hair to prevent shedding. Natural hair is often quite brittle and dry and more prone to shedding. So the key when thinking about hair health and growth during this stage is moisture.

"To grow your natural hair without cutting the previously relaxed hair try different styles such as weaves, braids, dreadlocks, cornrows, etc. Take daily care of your chosen style by applying the specific aftercare product for weaves, braids, dreadlocks or cornrows."

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Riaaz Galiem, of hair salon Blue Lemon (which, according to Glamour is equipped to handle 3a to 4a locks) notes, "Growing long hair is a process that requires dedication and patience.

"When growing your hair it’s important to start with healthy short hair," she stresses. Basically, rather have healthy short hair than long hair that's riddled with split ends. 

We asked him whether protective hairstyles (braids, weaves and wigs) work to help grow your hair? "Yes and no. In a way it helps because you don’t notice the growth and when it comes out it is slightly longer. It also pulls on the root for the first two weeks and assist with the growth however, all the pulling on the root does tend to weaken the hair and will split easier."

Then, there are some general tips and tricks all hair types should consider when wanting optimal hair growth: 

  • Avoid heat tools, or use a heat protector when styling
  • The only way to repair split ends is to trim them. A regular trim every five - six weeks is essential, especially when your hair is coloured as it splits easily
  • Use a good moisturiser and treatment once a week to reduce the chances of your hair splitting
  • Avoid towel drying your hair vigorously and remember to always use a wide tooth comb when combing out the knots. It is also a good idea to comb out your hair when it’s dry.

Now go on (hair), live long and prosper. 

TELL US! What do you use to make your 4c hair grow? Let us know!  


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