Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ask the Expert: Hair Growth Tips

Ask the Expert:Hair Growth Tips

Q: What do you recommend to promote hair growth?

A: Many women are concerned with hair loss, hair thinning, hair breakage and alopecia. Here is an article I wrote to give some practical tips for growing beautiful hair.

3 ways to Grow Healthy Hair Naturally

by Chanelle Washington

"I like my hair, but I wish it were longer." How many of you have felt this way after transitioning to natural hair or starting locs? Longer hair can mean more styling options and for some it’s just esthetically beautiful. I am sure you’ve noticed some sister’s coils and curls seem to grows like wildflower, while others grow at a slower rate. Well, I am going to share my info & insight on growing longer natural hair from a holistic perspective.

Nurture the scalp and hair follicles.The focus with taking care of hair should be maintaining its strength and resilience. Since both the scalp and follicles are alive, they should be treated like living parts of your self. Give it plant-based nutrients and stimulation to encourage blood flow.

Without blood flow, there’s not much hair follicles can do. Since follicles are in charge of making your hair grow, massaging them gently for a few minutes every day gets them the blood they need to produce hair as fast as possible. In addition to scalp massage, stimulating essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and some citrus oil deliver an aromatic experience.

Experience the benefits of herbs for natural hair care.
Since I started my locs 5 years ago, I have cleansed them with sulfate-free hair cleansers/shampoos. My signature blend consists of sage, rosemary, nettle, oat straw and horsetail. Herbal infusions are also the base for my hydrating hair mist which I use to refresh my scalp and locs daily.

If you are a DIY beauty babe, experiment with your own blends. Try an aromatherapy scalp treatment at home. Gather a dark glass bottle, a nourishing carrier oil base like olive, jojoba or sweet almond and add 10 drops of essential oil oils per ounce. Apply to scalp or affected areas 3 times per week.
Essential Oils to Encourage Hair GrowthLavender

*Always follow safety guidelines when using essential oils. Some are to be avoiding for hypertension or pregnancy. 

 Indigofera's Solutions for Hair Loss and Thinning

Protect the hair you haveAs your hair grows from a healthy scalp and follicles, protect it. Remember, no harsh detergent based shampoos. Deep conditioning treatments are key to growing healthy hair. Look for ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil, and rich moisturizing plant butters. If you color your hair and want to grow longer tresses, be consistent with your deep conditioning and steam treatments. Avoid bleaching your natural hair to go lighter. Find a natural stylist with a color portfolio to discuss the best method of achieving blazing bronzes or vibrant reds. If you wear straight styles, alternate your look occasionally. Try a rod set, twist out or braid set.

Prevent Hair Breakage.It is not a surprise that natural hair, especially medium to tight curl patterns crave moisture. By now you know to give your coily mane the best nourishment you can find. The next step is to preserve the moisture so your hair is not prone to breakage. Hydrate, nourish and hydrate some more. Plant based lotions, creams or butters should be used on damp hair depending on your hair texture; fine, medium or thick. Revitalize moisture with an herbal infused hair mist. It may sound cliche'-ish, but it works. Lay off the heat styling, detangle with your fingers, sleep on satin and give your system a boost with a vitamin supplement. There are many great hair, skin and nail formulas to enhance your nutrition. A fatty acid imbalance can contribute to dull and unhealthy hair. Supplements rich in Omega 3 acids can nourish hair by feeding the hair follicles, thereby stimulating growth as well as shine.

       A few more hair growth tips.

  • Fine or color treated natural hair requires extra TLC
  • Avoid trauma to your scalp with from too much tension, tight weaves and braids
  • Consult a Natropath, Dermatologist or Holistic Practitioner if you have chronic illness, alopecia, scalp trauma or genetic thinning
  • Relax and give your therapies a chance to work
  • Keep a hair diary and photo journal
  • Live a drama free life ( Yes! Stress can cause hair loss)
  • Talk to your GYN if birth control or hormones are effecting your hair

(JMO) Just My Opinion! If you are suffering from significant hair loss or thinning and you have not been successful with methods similar to those I have shared, find a professional natural hair stylist who can offer you hair replacement or hair extension options. Do not feel like, "staying natural" means you can not enhance your look with advanced creative techniques. Remember it is your hair and your self- image.

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