Hair growth and hair enrichment products have always been in high demand. It seems like everyone is looking for that miracle product that will help their hair to grow longer, stronger, and fuller. There are several hair products on the market that will help promote hair growth by providing nourishment and hydration to your natural hair. But the key to growing your natural hair longer and stronger is to retain as much length as possible by protecting the ends of your hair and preventing them from breaking.
Although hair growth and length retention are two different things, the two are synonymous for achieving maximum hair growth and length. Natural hair, especially Type 4 hair is the most delicate hair texture and because the hair is so prone to breakage, you will need to use hair products that nourish and strengthen your delicate strands starting at the root. Fine hair is even more fragile and requires patience and a delicate touch when styling.
All hair grows according to a person’s unique hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle is made of four unique phases that include the active growing phase (anagen), transitional phase (catagen), shedding phase (exogen), and the dormant phase (telogen). Any single hair strand can be in any of the four hair growth phases at any given time, and each hair strand will go through this cycle according to your genetic makeup (DNA). Hair grows at approximately .3 to .4 mm per day which equates to about 6 inches of hair growth per year.
You may be thinking that your hair doesn’t grow anywhere near 6 inches within a year but in truth, many women experience breakage faster than their hair can grow. The inability to retain length gives the impression that your hair isn’t growing. Of course, there are other factors that can contribute to stunted hair growth such as prescription medications, hormonal changes, aging, stress, and various health and medical conditions.
You have to remember that hair is not alive, once the hair emerges from the scalp it requires you to put in the work to keep the hair nourished.The oldest section of your hair are the ends and they are most susceptible to breakage and damage. Damage can occur from heat styling, tension, daily manipulation, and various environmental factors that can cause stress to the hair.
How to Promote Hair Growth
One of the easiest ways to encourage hair growth is to use products that stimulate and increase circulation in the scalp. Applying stimulating oils and ingredients directly to the scalp accompanied with a light massage will help nutrients stimulate the scalp while improving blood circulation in the hair follicle. This will awaken dormant follicles or those that may be lacking essential vitamins and encourage the follicle to get to work. Stay away from hair products that contain drying alcohols that could lead to breakage. Products that contain mineral oil and petroleum can clog the scalp and should be avoided because they do not moisturize or provide hydration for your hair.
Best Natural Hair Products to Promote Growth and Thickness
Natural hair products that hydrate, moisturize and strengthen the hair are best for promoting length retention. Products that coat or fill in the cuticle are best for making your hair appear fuller and thicker. Here are some of the best natural products and ingredients to help improve scalp circulation, encourage hair growth, and give your hair a voluminous appearance.
Scalp Stimulating Essential Oils
Essential oils that stimulate the scalp and improve circulation can be applied directly to the scalp using a carrier oil, or added to your shampoo and conditioner.
- Thyme Oil – an antibacterial oil that supports hair growth, helps with the delivery of nutrients to the scalp and improves circulation. It can also improve hair thickness.
- Burdock Root Oil – a stimulating oil that helps improve circulation in the scalp, relieve scalp irritation that could clog the scalp, and stimulates the hair follicle. The oil has been used traditionally to reduce shedding and thinning hair, and it commonly used in hair restoration treatments.
- Rosemary Oil – a powerful oil that is best known for its ability to improve thinning hair, stimulate hair growth, and improve blood circulation.
Natural hair clip-ins work perfectly as a temporary option to give your hair a thicker and fuller appearance.They take no time to install and you can position them and wear them in any style that you choose. When selecting your natural hair clip-in extensions, choose a color and texture that closely mimics your own natural hair. Clip-ins are a great solution for those with genetically thin or low-density hair because they do not cause any damage to your own hair and they can be removed or installed quickly and easily.
Vitamins and Supplements
Adding vitamins and supplements to your hair care regimen is beneficial for supporting hair growth and fullness. Vitamins such as Biotin, Iron, MSM, Saw Palmetto, and Vitamin D are all popular for their ability to encourage natural hair growth and help with increasing hair density. Vitamins are recommended for fortifying and strengthening the hair while promoting growth.
Henna or Cassia
Henna is known for its ability to temporarily thicken hair. It works by coating the hair shaft to give your hair the illusion of fullness. If you suffer from thinning hair, Henna or Cassia may help the hair thicken over time but keep in mind that Henna can alter your curl pattern when used frequently. It is best to space out your treatments to avoid such. Also, be aware that Henna does have the ability to change the color of your hair.
Castor oil is an age-old remedy for promoting natural hair growth and increasing its fullness. It is a highly viscous oil that coats the hair strands to improve fullness. Castor oil also nourishes and protects the hair from breakage and premature shedding. It is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to promote hair growth and provides essential nutrients to the hair and scalp.
Methods for Retaining Hair Length
Length retention will allow you to see the benefits of using natural growth stimulating products for your hair. Wearing protective styles will give your hair a break from daily styling and other factors that could lead to breakage. By allowing the oldest part of your hair to be put away this prevents the hair from friction, manipulation, and stress that can interfere with your hair growth goals. Even if you love wearing your hair down, there are numerous protective styling options that will allow you to reach your hair growth goals while maintaining your personal style.
Low manipulation natural hair styles
Low manipulation hairstyles will help you to avoid unnecessary breakage and premature shedding. Low manipulation styles such as tucked hairstyles, braided and twisted styles are perfect for reducing your need to style your hair daily or use styling tools such as combs and brushes that could contribute to breakage.
Protective Hair Styling
Protective styling is another popular method for retaining length and encouraging hair growth. Many women have reported seeing a drastic increase in hair growth when wearing styles such as braids, faux locs, and other protective styles that require your hair to be put away for several weeks. This is because the hair is allowed a break from daily styling and in turn, allowed to grow without constant manipulation which eventually leads to breakage. Wearing natural hair extensions, sew-ins, and natural hair wigs are guaranteed ways to help promote length retention by completely protecting the ends of your hair.
There are hundreds of mainstream products that promise to magically grow your hair to great lengths, but none of them will actually increase the rate at which your hair grows. There may be some that address underlying causes for stunted hair growth, but the truth is that if your hair is breaking off faster than I can grow you will never see the potential of your natural hair growth. Practice incorporating natural products and protective styling habits into your natural hair care routine to maximize your hair growth.