Caring for natural black hair can be time-consuming, but the end result if done right makes it all worthwhile. The hairstyles you choose during your grow-out phase (right after the big chop especially) will determine whether or not you will be successful in having long hair.
Hair growth can be promoted by the type of styling you use. A simple style such as a short afro seems to be the best choice to begin with because it requires very little maintenance and handling as opposed to doing a lot of time-consuming twists, coils and knots too soon in the initial growth phase. Remember, the less you handle your hair, the more your hair has a chance to grow and not break off. Constant handling of your hair tends to cause severe breakage and will definitely slow down growth. A simple afro can be modified and dressed up with a scarf or headband, or you can simply part your hair on the side, roll a section of the hair and pin it with a bobby pin. These two styles require very little handling of the hair, and the less handling the better.
A daily regimen of extra virgin olive oil and water mixture is quite beneficial for your hair. The extra virgin olive oil is loaded with vitamins that are good for our hair, boosts its lustrous shine capability, and promotes a strong foundation for growth. Simply squirting the olive oil mixture in your hair twice a day and using a leave-inconditioner once a day such as Garnier leave-in conditioner or even Knot Today Lotion made by Kinky-Curly is the key to providing nourishment and conditioning to your hair on a daily basis.
Once in awhile at bedtime and after washing, moisturize your hair with pure Shea butter and place a satin cap on your head. While you sleep, you are softening the roughness out of your hair. As this is accomplished and your hair becomes softer, there is less chance of the coarse hairs rubbing together causing friction, breakage, and split ends. With a regimen such as this, your hair will be receiving nourishment 24 hours a day which creates a situation ideal for tremendous growth.
As the hair grows longer, use of protective styles (styles that do not expose the ends of your hair) can aid in hair growth because the ends are not exposed to combing, brushing, and all other factors that can lead to split ends and breakage.
After my big chop, my hair measured approximately 2-1/2 inches. I tried coiling my hair and doing a two-strand twist, but my hair was too short and it ended up being a total waste of time and energy, and all I had to show for it was finger cramps and a lumpy hairstyle. I stopped this method and simply began moisturizing my hair and wearing an afro, and now a month and a half later, my hair is now measuring 3.5 inches and is still growing at a steady pace.
To dress up your afro for special occasions, you can apply curl activators to help define your curls. Use a plastic pick or a wide-toothed comb to style your afro as metal-pronged picks are not good for the hair and literally rip out the hair with each stroke.
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