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Grow and Retain Long and Healthy Afro Hair

25 Oct

Becoming Natural is a fantastic adventure ! It is a way to rediscover one of our hidden nature. Most of us have not seen our natural hair for decades and have many misconceptions about its true nature. We all know the apprehension of becoming natural, whether it is the fear of how we will look with our natural hair or wondering where to start when becoming natural.

If you are considering becoming natural, but still have some apprehensions, just know it is perfectly understandable ! Many of us have gone through that ! Just remember that nowadays there is plenty of available information as well as massive support networks to guide you through your steps. It is potentially the best moment to start your natural journey.

You could start to watch more youtube videos of women in their natural journeys as it will certainly inspire you and help you to demystify many aspects of our natural hair…and help you realise that after all it is not that difficult. Once you start doing it, you will start to get the hang of things.

You can choose to Big Chop (cut the relax hair) or to Transition (grow your natural hair while keeping the relaxed texture) according to your desire ! Whichever option you choose, please put loads of fun and patience in your journey. We will give you the right map to navigate through your hair journey, so, remember to enjoy every step of it ! And be patient !

If you have been natural for years rocking about the same hair length, thinking it is your ‘genetically determined length’, this guide will interest you. You are certainly thinking that if your hair could grow past shoulder length, you would have known by now ! But the reality is, you don’t know what you don’t know ! 🙂 And that might be the reason why… (Please watch Kimmaytube Hair Growth Journey)

More and more Afro women are growing healthy long hair, whether they are of mixed ethnical background or NOT.  If you want to grow your hair past your plateau length, you will need to abolish certain engrained habits that destroy your hair, so you can embrace new ones and get the results you seek. If what you have done until today didn’t give you the results you wanted (your hair is still not strong and/or long), you have to CHANGE STRATEGY. The results you want should dictate what you do (within reason and integrity of course)!

When we start a new journey, we often feel vulnerable of not knowing what to do next, so, the guide will provide you with the ‘step by step’. You will need to be consistent. The key to your journey will be to learn from the feedback YOUR HAIR will give you. We have gathered key common advices and methods from women with healthy afro hair longer than ‘BraStrap’ and have crammed everything into this guide to help you achieve your hair length goal. So let’s get started ! You will only start to see results as you apply the knowledge… That is the rule of the game..

 

With Love, Erika B

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Grow & Retain

25 Oct

There are two main aspects to getting long and healthy hair. Hair growth and hair retention are two different part of the same coin. Hair growth is genetically determined, but can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. While hair retention (which is the ability to keep the growth so it would not break) is mainly achieved through external handling. The blog will cover both aspects.

Hair Growth: Influence of Diet & Lifestyle

25 Oct

The health of our hair comes from how we treat it externally as well as from within. The growth rate of your hair is determined genetically and can be influenced by your diet. A balanced diet is necessary for a healthy scalp and hair. Our hair grows from the roots which are embedded in our scalp. The roots (follicles) are fed by blood vessels. So, our follicles are receiving nutrients ( amino-acids – basic blocks that will form proteins, omegas, iron…) and hair can only grow when sufficient nutrients are available.

(Credit to PR Charles Sisterlocks)

Diet Impact: The Importance of Water

25 Oct

Water is our hair best friend ! We will discuss later in the guide how important it is to moisturise externally, but now, lets discuss how important it is to moisturise internally.

Water is a key element as it does help you to digest and metabolise the nutrients so they can be used by your body. Water helps the body to process and flush out toxins faster. Drinking water will promote healthier scalp and healthier hair. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it begins to dry out. The skin and hair are the first and most noticeable areas of dryness from dehydration.

Diet Impact: the Importance of Nutrients

25 Oct

Why are nutrients so crucial? What happens if we have deficiency?

Having moisturised hair will not help your hair to grow faster, it will just reduce risk of breakage. The growth rate of your hair is determined genetically but can be influenced by your diet.

Correct food is key to healthy hair growth. A mix of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein…) and a big supply of oxygen is necessary for a healthy hair growth. Your hair can fall or grow slower (which mean not reaching your ‘genetically determined’ optimal growth) if you have nutritional deficiencies. When your body has nutritional deficiencies it does re-prioritize the distribution of nutrients, so vital organs (like your heart and lungs) are served first, (hair follicles will not be considered a priority in that case). Nutrition is a key part of your hair growth regimen. Your hair ultimately reflects the overall condition of the body. When your health is at risk or you have nutritional deficiencies, hair may stop growing or become brittle. If your body is in good health, then, it is possible to maximize genetic growth cycle.

The needs (minerals, protein, vitamins) of your follicle (roots) MUST be satisfied so you can reach your optimum hair growth.

Certain food deficiencies will leave your hair to dry, stringy and dull, and occasionally your hair will shed. Generally nutritional hair loss can be restored once the deficiency has been corrected. So, let’s start eating properly !

When you are healthy it is possible to maximize your genetic growth cycle by eating the proper blend of amino acids (Protein forming blocks) and B-vitamins.

Diet Impact: the Importance of Protein

25 Oct

Hair is composed of keratin proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Hair is composed of 20 amino acids. A poor diet can potentially still allow your hair to grow at a normal rate, but a lack of protein in your diet can slow down or stop your hair growth altogether; your hair could even start to shed.

There are four key amino acids needed to produce keratin protein (i.e. produce hair): cysteine, lysine, arginine and methionine. Methionine and Lysine must be sourced from our diet. Arginine and Cysteine can be synthesised by the body. But if your nutrition is poor, their levels will be low. A quarter of our keratin is made of Cysteine. By increasing the availability of those 4 amino acids, it’s possible to combat hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.

Protein Table

Diet Impact: the Importance of Vitamins

25 Oct

Lack of vitamins in your diet can lead to potential loss of hair and substantial degradation of your hair health.

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Diet Impact: the Importance of Essential Fatty Acids

25 Oct

Essential fatty acids are fats that the body needs but can’t produce itself. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids aid in hair growth. Omega-3 fatty acids can help with blood circulation and cell growth, which are important for your hair follicles. Essential fatty acids help to increase nutrient absorption at the hair follicles. A lack of essential fatty acids can generate dandruff, dry, brittle hair or eczema all of which may lead to hair loss.

Most popular sources are walnuts, fish oil, flaxseed oil etc. Because hair needs essential fatty acids, if you are on low-fat and non-fat diets you are at risk for nutrition-related hair loss. Essential fatty acid deficiency causes a drying-up of the scalp and skin. These are vital nutrients that support follicular health. When the follicle is not healthy, hair loss or thinning occurs.

Diet Impact: the Importance of Trace Elements

25 Oct

Diet Impact: Quick Summary

29 Oct

Diets should contain protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, and an appropriate amount of fat for optimum hair growth.

The needs (minerals, protein, vitamins) of your follicle (roots) MUST be satisfied so you can reach your optimum hair growth. When you are healthy it is possible to maximize your genetic growth cycle by eating the proper blend of amino acids (Protein forming blocks) and B-vitamins. A lack of protein in your diet can slow down or stop altogether your hair growth, your hair could even start to shed. Lack of vitamins in your diet can lead to potential loss of hair and substantial degradation of your hair health. A lack of essential fatty acids can generate dandruff, dry, brittle hair or eczema all of which may lead to hair loss. A balanced food diet would be ineffective without proper blood flow to the hair. It may be beneficial to increase the circulation.

Now is the time to start planning your diet ! 🙂

Lifestyle Impact

29 Oct

Do you Smoke?

If you do, be aware that your body is potentially more dehydrated than normal and you will need to compensate for that loss in moisture. Plus, smoking can deprive certain internal organs of oxygen, and we have seen above the consequences of oxygen deprivation on hair growth.

Do you Drink Coffee?

If you do drink coffee on a very regular basis, be aware that your body is potentially more dehydrated than normal and you will need to compensate for that loss in moisture.

Do you Sleep enough?

Regular sleep cycles help your body regulate melatonin and cortisol levels, both of which affect hair growth. Sleep is necessary to maintaining your body and when your body doesn’t get enough, it begins to shut down side processes like hair production. Each person has different sleep needs, so be sure to get the right amount for your body.