There is a common misconception that 4c hair does not grow long. However, 4c hair has the potential to grow like any other hair type, maybe not as quickly, but definitely as long.
When the hair is taken care of, there can be a significant boost of hair growth. There are several ways to encourage hair growth for 4c hair, the key is consistency.
Healthy hair is happy hair, and here are some ways to keep 4c hair healthy.
How to Grow 4c Hair to the Waist
Interested to grow out your hair? Here are some tips:
#1 Protect Your Ends
Most people do not realize how important protecting your ends are. The ends of your hair are very prone to damage and should really be avoided when adding extra heat or chemicals.
When the ends of your hair become dry and brittle, then they start to split. The splitting of the hair will start from the end and work its way up, which is how breakage happens. A lot of the time, people who are wanting to see their hair grow get frustrated because they keep seeing the hair break off instead.
If your ends keep splitting, your hair will not grow past a certain point. If you want to see consistent hair growth make sure you are not applying too much heat to your ends – especially when flat ironing. Do not go over your ends with a flat iron many times, this will cause them to dry out faster.
Also, as much as possible, keep your ends from being exposed to the elements. Afro hair is very prone to damage because of its inability to retain the natural hair oils that come from the scalp like other hair types can.
You will need to help your hair maintain the necessary nutrients and moisture it needs by avoiding wearing your hair out when you can. Good natural and quick protective styles are chunky braids, twists, and cornrows. These are styles you can wear that will not pull on your hair too much and will keep your ends tucked in so they can stay healthy.
#2 Seal Moisture
Moisture is so important for growing 4c hair. After you wash your hair, you ALWAYS want to condition. It is best to do a deep condition about every two weeks.
Conditioners help the hair gain back the moisture it lost during the shampooing process. After washing and conditioning the hair, you want to use a leave-in conditioner or oil blend to keep in your hair.
Natural products are the best for ensuring that the hair stays moisturized. Typical drug store products contain alcohol and other ingredients that dry out your hair. Make sure you read the ingredient list when you are buying products.
Some ingredients you want to avoid when purchasing shampoos and conditioners are:
- Sodium Chloride (Salt)
- Synthetic Fragrances and Colors
Just looking at that list alone you will find that most of the products you see in a drug store contain them. However, it is very possible to create your own shampoo and conditioner, and it’s cheaper than buying all natural products.
Oils are also good sealants for locking in moisture. Great oils for hair are: olive oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil, and coconut oil. You can make your own blend of oils by mixing some of them together with essential oils – such as lavender and rosemary oil which are great for hair growth. You can also buy oil-based products.
#3 Stop Manipulating the Hair
It is so tempting to touch your hair! It is also damaging to style it all the time. Manipulating your hair on a regular basis is not good for it. It can cause the hair to become damaged.
Constant pulling at the hair from combing, straightening, weaves, or anything else needs to be avoided for the most part. It is better to put your hair in a style where it is out of your way, so that you can keep from touching it every day.
Even the simple action of twisting your hair on your fingers when you are bored can add stress to it over time, so get in the habit of leaving your hair alone. When the hair is not being pulled on all of the time, it grows longer and faster.
#4 Finger Detangling
Finger detangling has mixed reception. There are people who absolutely love it, and people who find it unnecessary. Finger detangling is simply combing out your hair with your fingers instead of a comb.
The reason why this detangling method is beneficial is because you pull out less of your hair and are able to untangle knots more gently. The other benefit to finger detangling is that you can feel what your hair needs.
If your hair is dry, running your fingers through your hair can let you know which areas need more moisture- preventing breakage. If your hair has split ends in a certain area, you can feel which areas of your hair need a trim.
If you are a person that has not been intentional about keeping your hair healthy, that could be the main factor as to why it is not growing as long as it can. Finger detangling is a great way to make you more in tune with the state of your hair and what it needs.
It must be done properly, however, to prevent dreading and not removing shed hairs. This process is also more time consuming than using a comb, so the best alternative would be to detangle with a wide tooth comb.
#5 Trim Your Ends
Trimming your hair may seem like the opposite of what you need to do to grow your hair waist length – but it’s not. When your ends split, the best thing you can do is cut them off.
If you allow split ends to keep growing, they will continue to split up the hair shaft and eventually your hair will break off. By cutting the split ends you seal the hair again so that it will grow out to full length. So, by cutting your hair you actually ensure hair growth!
Many stylists recommend that you trim your hair every 3 to 4 months, but if you keep your hair very healthy you can go longer without needing one.
#6 Protect Your Hair While You Sleep
Protecting your hair while you sleep is not only more comfortable, but it helps the hair retain moisture. Wearing a silk bonnet or scarf is best for sleeping, because it is soft and slippery and will not cause friction when you move your hair against it.
Sleeping without covering your hair can cause the hair to pull on your pillowcase when you move, especially if you toss and turn a lot. Even though you can get a satin pillowcase to solve this issue, a bonnet or scarf will lock in any moisturizer you have placed in it.
Night time is a good time to take advantage of what you can do for your hair, because it is a time when you are the most still. Applying oils and leave-in conditioners is great to do at night, and you maintain that moisture by covering your head.
Vitamins are very important for healthy hair growth. Your body needs certain vitamins in order to continue to function properly, this includes hair growth. You can take vitamins in pill form, or include a regular rotation of foods into your diet that contain what you need- which is the best way.
Here are the foods that Contain Vitamins for Hair Growth
- Eggs yolks
- Red Meat
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Chicken and Beef Liver
These are just some of the foods that contain these vitamins. A well rounded diet will benefit your hair growth tremendously. In addition to eating certain things, drinking water is also a healthy practice for hair growth.
The Final Word
Growing 4c hair down your back is no small feat! However, with patience and consistency you should definitely see your coils growing strong and healthy.
Hair growth is not just about putting products on your head, it is about maintaining a healthy lifestyle – and that will benefit you in more ways than one!