August 04, 2008

Hair Growth Experiment

I've decided to commit to not cutting my hair (with the exception trims when needed) for an entire year to see how long it will actually grow. I have attempted to do this several times, but have failed because of either getting 'scissor happy' or attempting way too many styles (changing styles weekly) which resulted in hair breakage because of the constant combing and/or brushing.

As I was checking out some of my favorite hair care sites, I came across several topics on hair growth. The most important disclaimer I found on each of the sites about hair growth is that it is not an overnight process, which is not a problem in my case since I am giving it a year. Hair grows approximately 6 inches a year.

So by the end of my experiment I should have about 6 inches of growth added to my now 4 1/2 inches in some places and a little over 5 in others. My goal is to be able to wear all of my two-strand twists or box braids in a single ponytail without having to use clips to hold the hair (short hair) in place.

The first step to hair growth is a healthy diet. Diet and exercise both contribute to healthy hair. Along with diet and exercise, hair grows when you are not stressed. Stress can cause hair to fall out. Make sure that you take time out of your day to relax and get a good night's sleep.

Combined with the above, I find that my hair seems to grow faster when I simply leave it alone. When I keep styling, combing and brushing down to a minimum (protective styles that last for more than a week like twists or braids) I notice that my hair doesn't break off as much resulting in longer, healthier hair.

Also to prevent hair breakage it is best to stay away from heat i.e. blow drying, and chemicals like hair dyes. Also it is important to trim your hair - cutting split ends. This may seem like it is defeating the purpose of growing hair, but split ends are a major cause of hair breakage. And the object is to grow hair and retain length, not have it break off even shorter.

When my ends feel 'crunchy' - brittle and I notice tiny hairs in the sink, I know it is time to trim. Just 1/4 inch or less will do. I also notice that when I keep my hair in protective styles versus wearing it out, my ends don't get that 'crunchy' feeling as often. For the most part I trim my ends once every 4 to 6 months.

Foods, Vitamins, Supplements:

Again a healthy diet helps promote hair growth. Well balanced meals that include proteins i.e. meats, eggs, cheese, nuts, and foods high in vitamin B, C, E, A and K aid in hair growth. Fish has good protein as well as essential fatty acids and natural oils.

Vitamin B - Green vegetables, beans, sunflower seeds, nuts and peas.
Vitamin C - Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, melons and berries.
Vitamin E - Avocados, rice bran, nuts, dark green vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Vitamin A - Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cantaloupe and apricots.
Vitamin K - Seafood, dairy, figs, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, brussel sprouts, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, soybeans, wheat, yogurt, egg yolks and liver.

Hair Growth Tips/Sources


Peace and blessings...