By SIMONE HYLTON Special to South Florida Times
Healthy long hair is possible with proper, patient care.
Most women want to have long hair. The infatuation is undeniable when you look at the large amount of revenue weaves generate yearly for the hair care industry. I am often asked by clients, “Why doesn’t my hair grow?” and “Do you have some miracle product for hair growth?”
Quite frankly, in order for you to have the beautiful long tresses you desire, you first need to have a healthy hair regimen to retain the length. Natural hair is constantly growing, however, it tends to break very easily and, depending on your hair regimen, you could be causing it to break even more severely. Hair growth doesn’t happen overnight and if your hair is damaged it will take an even longer time to repair and then grow. So here are some tips for a good hair care regimen that will help keep your tresses healthy and give it a boost in the right direction for growth.
The first and most important part of your regimen is to have patience with your hair. When combing your hair don’t drag the comb or brush through your hair fast and aggressively. Take time and patiently comb your hair from the ends to the root. Dragging a comb, brush or pick through the hair from the roots to the end will result in popping and breaking the hair from the root which can cause pain.
We need to trim our ends regularly because our hair is weak at the ends and tends to split. I recommend a trim every three to six months depending on your hair and how bad your split ends are.
TAKING MULTIVITAMINS AND EATING GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Healthy hair grows from a healthy body. Many times if you have any deficiencies in your body it will reflect in your hair growth. Daily intake of great vitamins will result in healthy hair growth. Vitamin C, B vitamins such as Biotin (Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H), Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Vitamin A have been shown to be essential for hair growth. To maintain shiny, healthy hair and provide the nutrients your hair needs have a balanced diet with these vitamins alongside eating leafy greens. Leafy greens contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals and helps the body’s blood circulation by increasing oxygen uptake, which in turn aids the body in producing new hair. Leafy greens also have Vitamin A, which helps to produce healthy sebum, an oily substance secreted by the scalp which keeps hair from drying out and breaking off. We all should be taking a multi vitamin daily to make sure our bodies are getting proper nourishment and great hair growth will be a byproduct.
DRINKING WATER Drinking lots of water is another great thing for healthy hair growth. When you are hydrated, your hair and skin are hydrated. If your scalp is dry and flaky it’s an indication that your hydration is low.
LOTS OF SLEEP Proper rest is vital. Our body replenishes itself while we sleep and this is when hair growth happens. Appropriate sleep will help to maintain the body’s natural melatonin and cortisol levels within ranges which promote good overall wellness.
SLEEP WITH SATIN BONNET OR PILLOW CASE
Regularly sleeping with a pillow case or satin bonnet will help you to keep moisture in your hair and ultimately help to retain length. Cotton pillows and scarves will absorb all of the moisture out of your hair and leave it feeling dry. Dry hair becomes brittle and breaks easily.
DEEP CONDITION REGULARLY
You must condition your hair every time you shampoo. Deep conditioner is a critical part of your hair regimen. Deep conditioner is done by allowing the conditioner treatment or hair mask to stay on the hair long enough to penetrate the hair shaft. You can do this a few ways: (1) under a plastic cap allow the product sit on the hair for 30 min. (2) you can sit under the dryer in the cap with the product in the hair for 15 min. (3) The most effective way is to sit under a steamer with the product in the hair without a cap for 20 min. This process should be done at least once a month and incorporated to your hair regimen.
USE LESS HEAT
Heat on your hair every day is a sure way to lose and weaken your strands. Over use of heat can and will break the bonds of the hair. Hair will burn at 450 degrees and some people’s hair will burn at a lower heat depending on the thickness of the strand. If you must use heat, it should be in small doses and definitely not every day. It’s also good at some point during each calendar year is to try not use heat for about 4 months. It can be four consecutive months or periodically through the year.
INCORPORATE A PROTECTIVE STYLE INTO YOUR REGIMEN
Too much combing, pulling and tension can result in breakage and hair loss. A protective style is a style that frees you from excessive manipulation of your hair over a period of time and is a great way to retain length. Protective styles can last anywhere from two weeks to six weeks depending the style and it allows the hair to grow unobstructed.
Simone Hylton is the co-owner of Natural Trend Setters Hair Salon located in Tamarac. Contact her at Naturaltrendsetters.com or 954-486-1414.