Hair growth was my top concern when I started out my natural hair journey in 2008. I always had hair that was pretty healthy, since I couldn’t afford to damage it with expensive hair styles, dyes and other products. But this doesn’t mean that I sidestepped all damage– I still received relaxers a couple of times a year and that did a number on my strands.
My hair grows pretty quickly, so I had to get relaxers done every two to three months and when I did do it, I had my entire head done each time. I didn’t know better at the time — I was a teen. And since I was 9, that’s how the adults relaxed my hair.
I eventually wanted the hair I used to have — the soft, tight curls that poofed around my head. I didn’t want the sleek look 24-7. I wanted options and I wanted healthy shiny hair without having to rely on chemical products. So I started my journey to natural hair and along the way, I learned great insight into what it took to grow my type of hair successfully.
Coconut shampoo and conditioner, a great natural alternative
As I ventured away from chemical hair products, I started using coconut shampoo and conditioner from the Kirk’s Castile brand. I loved the smell and the fact that it was made with coconuts, which I now know is a great ingredient for hair.
I would sometimes leave in the conditioner, even though it’s supposed to be washed out. It made my hair shiny and kept my curls defined. It was amazing how a natural product could offer better results than the expensive chemical hair products sold in stores.
At the beginning, I wasn’t put on to coconut oil* just yet, so I started off with olive oil*. To this day, I still love using it for my hair. I also use it to maintain my daughters’ lovely crowns of hair.
I don’t warm it up or anything, I just apply it to my wet hair or mix it into a bottle of water and spritz it into my hair after washing it. It keeps my hair looking well-moisturized for many days. And we know how important that is for hair growth.
Amla & shikakai* for luscious long hair
I later came across the concept of using herbs for natural hair care. I was already consuming them in my smoothies, but learned that they could also be applied externally.
I currently use Amla, Shikakai* and Brahmi for washing my hair. And what I love about them is that they also act as a conditioner. The herbs are popularly used for growing hair longer and thicker. I still juggle between using this (in the form of a soap bar) and the coconut shampoo.
Exotic smoothies are deliciously nutritious
I seriously believe without a doubt that taking in lots of nutrition plays a major role in the health and growth of your hair. It was during this time when I saw the quickest growth.
I started drinking smoothies with herbs and fruits that I had never heard of but learned were “superfoods”. This includes amla, moringa, baobab and schizandra.
These are filled with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that transforms your body into a healthy environment suitable for healthy hair growth.
Seaweeds are a friend indeed
I later found out that my seaweed smoothies were also causing my hair to grow. There are a variety to choose from, but my favorites happen to be Irish moss, kelp and bladderwrack.
Seaweeds are filled with 92 minerals that your body needs and promote healthy thyroids — an issue a lot of African Americans battle with. Unhealthy thyroids can cause hair fall and stunt hair growth.
Exotic oils like Moringa and Baobab
I like to mess around with ingredients that aren’t generally found or used. It seems that these are the ones that end up giving amazing results.
These are are my favorite exotic oils are moringa and baobab, which are great for skin. When you have a healthy scalp, your hair tends to grow like weeds. Plus, they’re packed with all sorts of vitamins that your hair needs.
Paddle brush* for detangling hair
I stopped using combs many years ago. Aside from parting my hair, I never use them. Instead, I have fallen in love with the paddle brush.
I use it to detangle my hair in the shower, while it still has the herbal shampoo or coconut conditioner in it. Not only does it detangle my hair fast, but it’s painless too. I use it on my children as well. I even notice that the paddle brush* doesn’t rip out loads of hair like my comb does, which stunted my hair growth in the past.
Everyone has their own arsenal of natural hair remedies that they like to use. If you don’t yet have any, give these a try and let us know how they work for you!