By Terez Howard
Black hair growth products should not be looked at as a miracle cure to growing natural hair. Traditional black hair care, including chemical relaxers and excess use of heat, cause damage and breakage. Even some natural hair care, such as tight braiding, can prove detrimental to your fragile strands.
If you want your hair to be long and healthy, black hair growth products can be used. These include hair growth supplements, hair vitamins and hair growth treatments, such as a protein treatment or moisture treatment. You must also maintain a regular, gentle hair care regimen.
We have been programmed to pull and stretch our hair into ways that prevent it from growing long. Natural oils, like castor oil, coconut oil and emu oil, as well as moisturizing products, like shea butter, strengthen hair, making it less prone to breakage and more likely to grow.
Again, these black hair growth products should NOT be viewed as a miracle cure to natural hair growth. Natural hair grows just like anyone else’s hair.
The three phases of growth are:
The Anagen Phase – the growth phase. According to follicle.com, 85 percent of hair is in this phase, and it can last two to six years. Genetics predetermine how long your growth phase is.
The Catagen Phase – the transitional phase. Hair growth stops, the hair follicle shrinks, the lower part is destroyed, and the dermal papilla (the group of cells that form below the hair follicle) also breaks away to rest.
The Telegen Phase – the resting phase. This is the time the hair follicle is at rest. At the end of this phase, the hair sheds. People shed anywhere from 25 to 100 hairs per day.
Hair Growth Supplements
The website treasuredlocks.com has a line of hair growth supplements that contain emu oil. Michael Hollick, MD, Ph.D., conducted a study involving hair growth and emu oil. In his study, he discovered a 20 percent increase in growth activity of skin that had emu oil put on it, compared to skin which received corn oil. The hair that grew from emu oil was thick and robust. Hollick suggested emu oil stimulated hair growth and skin growth. The study even showed that more than 80 percent of hair follicles that were “asleep,” or not growing, began to do so.
And yes, you can purchase pure emu oil to include in your hair care regimen. Rub emu oil on your scalp to help your natural hair grow long.
Be sure to drink plenty of water when you use black hair growth products. Hair growth supplements work best when you are properly hydrated.
Hair Growth Treatment
Rogaine is an FDA-approved hair loss treatment for women. This hair growth treatment contains the main ingredient minoxidil. Originally, this class of drugs was administered when treating high blood pressure. This “dose-dependent” drug, meaning you have to continue treatment to increase or maintain hair growth, should not be used if pregnant or nursing. Some of its side effects include a drop in blood pressure, weight gain from fluid retention and an increase in heart rate. Also, minoxidil is expensive.
A protein treatment or a moisture treatment are two home remedies that can be done for hair growth. These are more natural types of black hair growth products. Each of these hair growth treatments can be done by covering your hair in product, drying it under a hooded dryer and rinsing thoroughly. Pay close attention to the ends with a hair growth treatment, and apply the treatment with an applicator brush to saturate the hair.
Many hair vitamins show little results. However, the best way to choose proper black hair growth products is to recognize which ingredients in hair vitamins will promote natural hair growth.
MSM, an organic type of sulfur which occurs naturally in phytoplankton, has been known to soften and strengthen natural hair. More importantly, MSM has been known to lengthen the natural hair growth phase. Instead of that anagen phase lasting two years, let’s say it lasts three with MSM. So, if your hair grows 1/2 inch per month, your hair would grow 18 inches in three years, rather than just 12 inches in two.
Vitamin E also promotes hair growth. This hair vitamin contains antioxidants which improve circulation to the body, including the scalp. Since it contains an increased level of oxygen, Vitamin E can cause blood thinning and clotting when overdosed.
Other Black Hair Growth Products
Coconut oil – This natural hair oil, which works well as a softener and detangler, contains the proteins and oils that help hair retain protein. A lack of protein contributes to hair breakage and hair loss. Coconut oil moisturizes natural black hair and strengthens the hair shaft. It can be used in conjunction with a scalp massage or as a scalp conditioner.
Shea butter – This moisturizing product keeps natural hair from breaking, restructuring dry hair, thus allowing it to grow long. Shea butter can be applied directly on a freshly-washed natural head of hair.
Castor oil – Omega-9 fatty acids in castor oil will moisturize natural hair. A scalp massage with castor oil can promote growth and regrowth, leading to fuller and thicker hair over time.