Welcome back, Curlies!
With Summer in full swing, it’s time we talk about the ways in which we can grow our hair as well as maintain health.
There are a few simple things that us Curlies can do to achieve this, however I’d also mention that what might work for me may not necessarily work for someone else, so you may require trying out one particular method more than the other. An example of this is, if you have recently transitioned from styling your hair with heat to now being a complete natural, you will require a slightly more intense routine.
I also want to reassure some of you, because one of the most common issues I’ve come across myself is also a common issue amongst many of us, which is we expect instant results and unfortunately that’s not the way things work. A major part of having healthy hair in general, is having a consistent routine which overtime will maximise growth and the health of your tresses…
…So let’s get straight into it!
W A T E R
The most obvious thing and probably a thing which you’ve probably heard repetitively throughout your life, is that maintaining a good balance of water daily is good for your health in general. It’s also really great for your hair. I think a lot of the time, the reason people don’t drink as much water is because we’re always constantly told it’s good for us without being explained why. I’m going to explain why, so thank me later 🙂
Water acts like a catalyst and without it our hair becomes extremely brittle. Think about a plant, without water it’s leaves will become brittle and eventually break off. Similarly, the ends of our hair will begin to split and thus completely weakening the strands of our hair.
Water helps with our bodies’ vitamin balance. Vitamins help with our hair’s moisture and nourishment, especially from our scalp, so therefore producing stronger, healthier strands and revitalising the hair which we already have.
A lack of water causes dehydration and overall dehydrated hair can stop hair growth and completely diminish the health of our hair, but probably most noticeably will cause an itchy scalp. An itchy scalp will then create dandruff, which isn’t good for us Curlies because we already have to battle with build up from our hair products which sometimes focuses on our scalp, so by controlling our water levels you are automatically increasing the strength, moisture and potential growth of your hair.
T R I M Y O U R H A I R
I can’t brag about this one enough. You NEED to trim your hair!
I’d choose healthy hair over length any day! This one doesn’t need much of an explanation, I’d say every 3 months (at the absolute maximum) assess the ends of your tresses and take an inch off. Whether that be you getting your hair trimmed or you doing it yourself, always remove the dead ends to allow your healthy hair to grow and flourish. I know when you trim your hair there’s always that anxiety attached to it and you don’t want to lose a drastic amount of length that you’ve spent months growing, however the more regularly you trim your hair, the faster your hair grows and essentially the less you have to trim in the future.
N A T U R A L O I L S / V I T A M I N S
I will only ever recommend the most natural hair products and on top of this, the use of oils and some vitamins. Oils and vitamins are extremely important during the Summer months, because we need to protect our curls from the extremely harsh summer rays. You might find that during the day, if you spend a lot of time out in the sun, your hair soaks in all of the moisture from the products you put onto it, and gradually your hair may even lighten. I’ve found that throughout the last few months, my curls have lightened and have become an auburn brown and although I like this, I also know that the individual strands of my hair have weakened as a result and are more prone to breakage. To protect this, I recommend sealing your hair with a few products to ensure that even if you lose moisture throughout the day, you’ve protected the individual strands as much as you can.
Using the following oils are perfect examples of hair ‘seals’:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Castor Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Argan Oil
- Baobab Oil
- Almond Oil
- Jojoba Oil
On a daily basis, I use Coconut Oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I’ve noticed that if I apply Coconut Oil throughout my hair before I apply any other product, my hair maintains a natural sheen throughout the day and overall it controls the level of frizz I might get. Similarly, Castor Oil is great to apply to the ends of my hair and maintains any frizz or obvious breakage through my ends. I also apply Castor Oil to my edges and my eyebrows as it generally stimulates hair growth!
The right intake of vitamins is potentially something which helps with hair growth. This isn’t something that I’m heavily into, but I do take Vitamin-E tablets every now and again which is good for hair growth. You can also get a lot of Vitamin-E in Avocados which I’d use in a home-made hair mask.
H A I R M A S K S
Talking about hair masks or “masques” as some call it, these are ESSENTIAL throughout summer months and are probably the most relaxing thing to do because I look at it like pampering your hair!
When you think about it, a good hair mask will really help with the overall look of your curls. You don’t always need to buy a hair mask, you can make them at home and use natural ingredients, too.
Natural ingredients that work really well in a home-made hair mask are: Bananas, Yoghurt, Honey, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Eggs and Avocados to name a few! Obviously slapping them all in a blender and mixing together might be a little too heavy for your hair, so I’d recommend at least one oil and a more heavier/creamier product and mixing it together. By mixing an oil and a thicker product together you are giving your hair a perfect balance in nutrients targeting your scalp as well as a remedy for damaged or weakened curls!
If you are someone like me, who needs a little more protein to remedy your curls, I’d suggest trying out the Palmer’s Manuka Flower Honey Protein Pack, which is a great repairing deep conditioner and helps to restore moisture and shine naturally.
There are also hair masks which state that they are for “heat damaged” or “coloured hair.” I’d recommend these whether or not your hair is heat or colour damaged, just because they have great deep-repairing properties in general.
I purchase my hair masks from a hair and beauty supply shop in Peckham, but you can also purchase these from Superdrugs or Boots. If they don’t stock them in your local store, like mine, you can always purchase online!
P R O T E C T I V E S T Y L I N G
When the heat is just too unbearable to have your curls free, try a protective style!
A hairstyle I’ve been rocking lately is a half-up pony tail or my trusted favourite; a messy bun! Sometimes the best thing you can do for your hair is bulk it up with a leave-in conditioner and then wrap it up into a protective style. That way, you aren’t overwhelmed by the heat but also you’re giving your hair a break and an opportunity to repair itself with a good leave-in conditioner or hair mask!
I N V E R S I O N M E T H O D
Now, leaving the most interesting one (for me, anyways) until last!
This is something I’ve tried out and it’s spoken about quite highly throughout the Curly Community. I’ve tried this on and off, and I don’t want to lie and say “I’ve seen great results!” so perhaps this is something that I can update you on a little later if I start to see that it’s making a difference?
For those who are quite new to this or don’t know what the inversion method is, this is when you flip your head so that you’re facing downwards, and massage your scalp with an oil for a few minutes (no more than five) and you practise this for one week every month. The reason you don’t repeat this every single day throughout the month, is because eventually your scalp becomes accustomed to this and therefore the method begins to become ineffective.
The purpose of this is that by tilting your head downwards, the blood in your body rushes to your scalp and, along with an oil of your choosing, stimulates growth from your scalp. I’d recommend focusing on problem areas, so for example I have an area of my scalp which is quite sensitive and that was caused from tight ponytails and heat damage from when I would accidentally burn my scalp with straighteners! By gently soothing the scalp by method of massaging, you are stimulating your hair follicles and helping to generate growth. I’ve tried this a few times, and often when I blow dry my hair on a cool setting, I tilt my head downwards and massage my scalp while doing this. Not only is this meant to generate growth, but it also helps to maintain the definition in your curl patterns rather than causing them to loosen.
The oils I’d recommend whilst doing this are Argan Oil, Castor Oil or an oil with a peppermint base. Anything with peppermint has quite a soothing scent but you can also feel it stimulating your scalp as you massage it in!
I hope the above tips, tricks and advice help you throughout the Summer months! These are all methods and tips which I continuously use throughout the year, however with the exposure of the sun currently, they are extremely helpful in maintaining healthy hair!
Why not give it a try? Let me know how you get on and if you have any other methods to maintain health and growth, then please share! If you’ve tried the inversion method, or are recently trying it out, then let me know how you are getting on!