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10 Secrets to growing black hair long and fast | Natural hair care for black hair growth by C Collins

Copyright Š2012 Embrace Your Natural Hair This ebook cannot be copied in whole or in part. Purchasing or reading of this ebook gives you full access of the information for your exclusive personal use. It cannot be transferred electronically, emailed or shared electronically or through print. Doing so would be in direct violation of the copyrights of this ebook and the author. This ebook is the sole property of the author and the website. Disclaimer Make sure to consult you doctor before using any of these techniques if you are pregnant or have any health condition. The reader should use there best judgement when using the information in this book. Please consult you health care provider before making any nutritional or healthcare decisions. Results may vary for each individual. There is no guarantee that you will see results by using the methods in this book. The author shall have neither responsibility nor liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage directly or indirectly that is said to have been caused by the information provided in this


About the 10 Hair Secrets

For years the black hair community has been mislead into thinking that we are incapable of growing our hair long and healthy. We have purchase hundreds of miracle hair care products, used chemical straighteners, put our hair through vigorous treatments, harsh chemicals and manipulation. We have even purchased retail products that have promised longer healthier hair only to discover that many of these hair product only cause more damage.

Enough is Enough. In this book the focus is on methods you can use at home that both promote healthy hair growth, as well as aid in retaining hair length. This book has no fluff and is a straight to the point list showing several methods to allow your hair to grow Long, Healthy, Vibrant and strong. Table of Contents

1. Water and Hydration 2. The truth about Protein 3. How to Grow 1 inch in 7 Days 4. The Importance of Protective Styling 5. The Proper Way to Seal 6. Low Manipulation 7. The No Poo Factor 8. Deep Conditioning and Recipes 9. Why it's Better to be Cool 10. Protecting your hair while you sleep

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1. Water and Hydration 1. Water and Hydration

We all know the importance of Hydration, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Coily and curly textured hair has the tendency to become dryer more easily than most. It can often require more effort in order to keep our hair moisturized and prevent over drying and breakage. It’s no surprise that breakage hinders hair growth. However, hair problems and dry scalp are also attributed to heat and chemical treatments, so it is imperative that you know how to keep your hair well oiled and hydrated in order to prevent overdrying and breakage.

Water and Hydration Facts:

An important key to healthy, beautiful, shiny and long hair is hydration. A Sufficient amount of water plays a major role in allowing the hair to grow long and fast. Dehydration can make you feel tired but it can also cause drying of your hair shaft and scalp and ultimately cause split ends and hair breakage. Your hair follicles require ample nutrients in order to produce healthy hair and water is an essential nutrient. By drinking water in the right quantity, you can supply nutrients to your scalp and promote rapid hair growth. 8 -12 glasses per day is the average. A very important element of hydration is making sure to keep you hair and ends hydrated. The ONLY way to truly hydrate our hair is with water. It is very important that before applying your leave in conditioner or oils that you make sure that your hair is moisturized with water. Hydrating your hair with water and following with an oil will help to lock in moisture throughout the day. Another way to retain your hair's moisture is to avoid washing your hair every day. Regardless of how gentle the shampoo is, the very act of washing the hair strips natural oils from your hair and can cause breakage and dryness. Many shampoos also include petroleum, sulfate, alcohol and mineral oil that are very drying to the hair.

Things To Avoid To Retain Moisture: Refrain from wearing hats, if possible, as they absorb the natural oil from your scalp and prevent it from hydrating or moisturizing your hair. Flat irons, blow dryers and other similar heated hair tools can lead to dry hair that eventually becomes brittle and causes breakage. It is advisable to avoid blow drying the hair on high heat altogether. If you must blow dry your hair, use a cool setting.

Water And Hydration Myths: If your hair is naturally curly, kinky, coiled or wavy, then you have probably heard of the following myths.

Myth 1: Black women can't grow long hair: The Truth: Black women can most certainly grow long hair! The only challenge is that in the past we had put our hair through a lot of stress that had caused our locks to suffer. Hair dryers, relaxers, harsh chemicals, heat, lack of moisture, over shampooing, over manipulation, etc, have all lead to breakage. These days we are now learning that through proper hydration and hair care, we CANgrow our hair long!

Myth 2: Water and conditioning too often can dry out natural hair: The Truth: This myth has made many of us deprive our hair of the most crucial nutrient i.e. water. Curls, kinks and waves thrive the most when your hair care regimen is focused towards hydration. Water helps to enhance the hair's elasticity, reduce its breakage and improve curls. Myth 3: Oil can moisturize natural hair: The Truth: Oil is good for hair, but it is not a moisturizer! Moisture is hydration, which can be obtained with water as well as water-based products. Oils are lubricants and sealants that can trap moisture in the hair and prevent its depletion. Using oil alone as a moisturizer will only cause dryness over a period of time. Regardless of the fact that many hair product companies promote their remarkable "moisturizing oils" - oil alone as a moisturizer is a myth.

The Greenhouse effect Another great method for locking in moisture is the Greenhouse Effect. This is a natural and effective way of boosting hair growth due to the fact that it allows the hair to retain moisture more efficiently. The steam effect created penetrates into the scalp to increase the average growth rate. This method should be done at night. The idea behind this method is that by creating warmth and moisture on your scalp, you are also creating the perfect atmosphere to open pores and follicles which allow for growth. Steps for performing the greenhouse effect: Step1: Spray you hair with water until slightly damp. Step 2: place your hair in a bun, ponytail or braids. Step 3: Place a plastic cap over your head. To increase the effect add a scarf or additional plastic bags to increase the warmth. Step 4: Leave your hair covered overnight or leave on for an extended period of time. This will create a green house steam effect in your hair. Step 5: In the morning, remove the cap and allow your hair to dry naturally or blow dry on a cool setting Step 6: moisturize, seal and style your hair as usual. When performing this method, sometimes it's best to avoid using oils to allow for the pores to be open and prevent blockage. How often should this method be performed? 2 times a week should work well. Anymore than that and it is possible that it may weaken the hair and cause breakage. If you experience any unusual breakage due to

performing this method, you should discontinue immediately.


Humectants are used in skin and hair-care products to promote moisture retention. These hygroscopic compounds posses a chemical structure that attracts water from the atmosphere and binds it to various sites along the molecule. These ingredients are used in many products that are designed for dry, damaged hair. While they can be beneficial in certain circumstances, weather an humidity in the air can cause less than desired results. Low Humidity In low-humidity situations, such as a cold, dry winter air, there is often not enough water in the air for the humectant to attract to the surface of the hair. In this type of climate, you can only hope that moisture is not evaporated from the hair into the environment. Also, under these circumstances, there is some risk of the humectant actually removing moisture from the cortex of the hair itself, creating the problem it was intended to prevent. That tells us that in dry climates it is important to use conditioning products which rely on strong moisturizers rather than traditional humectants. High Humidity In high-humidity conditions, such as the summer, there is a high amount of moisture in the air. This can be very harmful for curly hair. If curly hair is dry and damaged, it is very porous, and easily absorbs water from the air. In highhumidity situations, this can cause curly hair to swell so much that cuticles are raised, making the surface of the hair very rough and dry. The cuticles can then become entangled with cuticles of the surrounding hairs and create a huge, tangled mass, which is prone to breakage. Also, curly hair swollen by excess water can lose its curl pattern, creating the dreaded summer frizz. As you can see, products heavy in humectants will only aggravate problems with humidity-induced frizz. Some humectants can also leave you hair feeling sticky when they become saturated with water. In tropical and subtropical climates, it is essential to maintain well-moisturized hair that is in good condition (which will be less prone to absorbing water from the hair). But it is preferable to use products containing fewer humectants or humectants with less hygroscopic capacity.

Due to the limitations of humectants in extreme weather conditions, it is evident that these ingredients probably function best for people with curly hair that live in moderate climates, with temperatures and humidity in the medium range. Glycerine Glycerin in the most commonly used humectant. Honey is another Humectant that can be used on hair. Glycerine and Honey both can not be applied directly to the hair. They must be combined with water. 1 part Glycerine or Honey and 3 parts water.

2. The truth about Protein 2. Protein Protein is vital for every organ in our body. It is also very important for healthy hair since hair is chiefly made up of proteins. Keratinocytes are responsible for manufacturing keratin, a source of protein necessary for hair growth. If you do not include adequate protein in your every day diet, hair loss may take place or your hair may become brittle and dull. Loss of protein caused by different hair care products or medical conditions can also lead to damaged hair. Deficiency of protein also hampers the hair texture. Moreover, IGF-binding proteins have an effect on whether our hair is straight or curly, so even the shape of our hair depends upon protein. All these factors reveal the importance of protein for optimum hair health, especially for black hair. Topical use of protein For long hair: Topical protein treatments fill the gaps in the shaft or cuticle of the hair, leaving it shinier and smoother. They also help to strengthen your hair, so if you have brittle or weak hair, suitable protein treatments may repair this issue. These treatments can allow your hair to be healthier and fuller than before. Protein treatments give your hair added strength and in turn encourage its longevity. Protein treatments that fortify weak hair generally contain vitamin B5 vitamins, antioxidants, soy, milk proteins and wheat germs that aid to restore the hair's amino acids and enhance its resilience against damage sustained from regular styling, chemicals as well as environmental factors. Available in the form of leave-in or wash-out treatments, these protein-based hair products are highly beneficial for the nourishment of your hair. These products can also go a long way in improving your hair's elasticity and strength. Curly and kinky hair generally tends to be quite fragile and dry even in its natural state. However, by using a protein-based conditioner you can improve the health of your hair immensely and it can be applied to any regimen. Irrespective of its numerous benefits for hair growth, protein treatments must be used only when necessary, even during the instances of severe damage, as too much protein can cause severe breakage and dryness. Popular intensive protein treatments for hair are typically designed for every four to six weeks while; gentle reconstructing protein products can be used at least once every week.

There are several protein treatment products in the market and most of these treatments are geared toward specific hair types. So, you should select a hair protein treatment that is explicitly made for your hair type. When using a protein hair treatment, make sure that you follow the instructions specified on the bottle or box so that you don't end up overusing it. The very BEST option is to make your own protein treatments using natural products you have around the house. Here are videos showing you how to make your own protein treatment: (click the link below to view) Natural hair Protein Treatment

Consume Protein For Hair Growth A diet consisting of high quality amounts of healthy protein can promote hair growth. Protein can be obtained from a huge range of vegetarian as well as non vegetarian foods. Among non vegetarian sources, proteins are abundantly found in eggs, fish, seafood, chicken, cow liver, turkey, etc. While, vegetarian sources of proteins that are recommended for healthy hair growth includes, beans, legumes, almonds, granulated lecithin, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, tofu, low-fat cheese, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, soybeans, etc. Dangers of Excessive Protein For Your Hair:

Protein is a highly beneficial ingredient in hair products that repair hair damaged due to heat styling, chemical processing or other abuse. Hair is mainly composed of protein (keratin to be precise), so restoring it can essentially aid to rebuild hair that is stripped of its natural strength. Yet, products containing protein must not be overused and its application frequency should depend upon the condition of the hair. The breakage is typically caused due to an imbalance in the elasticity of hair. Nevertheless, the stiff, dry feeling or brittle hair linked with protein-based reconstruct treatments can be fixed by adding moisture to your hair. You should opt for a protein treatment that contains rich moisturizing ingredients or choose to follow protein treatments with a deep conditioner to make the hair soft and retain its moisture. Adding protein to your regime may, in fact, make your hair very strong, which can in turn make it brittle. On the opposite end, extreme moisture can make the hair too soft. So, for "normal" elasticity, there should be a good balance between both protein and moisture treatments. Check The Status of Your Hair: If you are not sure about your hair's normal elasticity, you can try the stretch test. While you hair is still wet, gently stretch a few strands. In the case that they stretch and returns to their normal length, your hair's elasticity is normal. However, if your hair snaps and breaks, it implies that your hair contains excessive protein and you must seek a moisturizing treatment. Lastly, if your hair simply stretches quite far before it breaks and never retains its original shape than your hair requires protein and you must seek a keratin-based treatment. Normally, hair with balanced elasticity can stretch up to 50% when it's wet and can effortlessly return to its normal size.

3. How to Grow 1 inch in 7 Days 3. Vitamins and Supplements

Several factors can control the rate at which black hair grows and some of those factors are based on nutrition. As a matter of fact, deficiencies in particular nutrients can directly have an effect on the health of your hair. Having shiny, long and healthy hair makes us feel confident and beautiful so, if you are suffering from brittle, dry or thinning hair, taking certain type of vitamins and supplements may help your locks look smooth and attractive and address vitamin deficiencies associated with your hair problems.

A balanced diet high in vitamins and essential fatty-acids can combat hair damage, and help to retain its length. Vitamin and supplements can fill up nutritional gaps in your regular diet, so that the body replenishes the nutrients it requires to encourage hair growth. An effectual hair care regimen with regular protein or moisturizing treatments can help to enhance the hairs condition. Vitamins can also aid to fortify and thicken black hair, alleviate its breakage and extending the growth phase. However, while choosing supplements and vitamins for hair growth, you need to consult a professional nutritionist to determine the dosages that will be effective as well as safe. MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a type of sulfur that is found in foods like eggs, cabbage, broccoli, dairy products, meat and grains. This vitamin expands the anagen cycle (hair follicle's active growth phase) and allows your hair to grow for a prolonged period before the onset of resting and shedding phases. MSM other benefits include rejuvenating and brightening the skin, helping with joint pain and strengthening nails. Although sulfur can be found naturally in the body, research shows that there is less sulfer in our coily hair than there is in straight hair, so eating foods or taking supplements that contain MSM can help to speed the growth of our hair. Cooking foods containing MSM will deplete its potency so in many cases a vitamin supplement will be more effective.

Biotin and the B vitamin Complex: Vitamin B complex assists in metabolizing protein, which is a necessity for hair health. Supplementing one of the B vitamins, biotin in particular, helps to improve splitting, thin and brittle hair. Biotin is essential for healthy hair growth and it functions to prevent baldness. In fact, deficiency of biotin often leads to hair loss. Please be aware that biotin can be found naturally in foods such as seafood. If you opt for the supplement version, keep in mind that larger doses may cause acne. Vitamins A, C and E: Vitamins A, C and E are abundant in green vegetables such as, citrus fruits, berries and nuts. These vitamins fights free radicals and keep the skin, including the scalp, nourished and healthy. They also assist your scalp in producing sebum to keep the hair strands shiny and tensile. You can get these vital nutrients by eating salads on a daily basis, but if you happen to fall short of your nutritional goals, vitamin supplements hold up your defenses to maintain the good health of your hair as well as the rest of your body. Vitamin D: Research has shown that many African-American women suffer from vitamin D deficiency that affects the body's capability to absorb calcium. Calcium impacts numerous body functions, which includes hormonal functions and blood circulation that can stimulate hair growth. Most U.S based dairy products have added calcium, while vitamin D is generated in skin when it is exposed to sunlight. If you don't ingest dairy products, or don't receive enough sunlight then you may most certainly benefit from taking daily supplements. Minerals: Zinc, selenium and copper are all imperative to black hair growth. Deficiencies in zinc and selenium can lead to hair thinning and slow down the rate of hair growth while, deficiency in copper can bring about premature graying. Iron:

Iron deficiency often causes hair loss in females. However, doctors caution that if iron supplements are taken when it's not needed, it may do more harm than good. Due to this risk, you must first get tested by a physician to ensure that you are deficient of iron. Based on the result of the test, your physician can recommend an iron supplement to help prevent hair loss.

Flaxseed Primrose and Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for healthy nails, skin and hair. They add moisture to the scalp and stimulate hair growth. Dry hair may be a sign of deficiency of these fatty acids which can cause breakage, unmanageability and split ends. Foods like walnuts, salmon, kale and collard greens are all rich in omega-3. Taking Omega-3 oils can increase the shine and enhance the color of your hair. Other benefits are smoother skin, healthier nails, and improved memory. Beta Carotene: Beta carotene can be found in carrots as well as an assortment of yellow and green fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene gets converted into vitamin A and gets released in the body when required. It supports bone formation, hair growth and offers a protective cover for nerve fibers. Overall, your health condition as well as the prescription medications that you might be taking can also affect your hair condition. While vitamins and supplements are beneficial, excessive use of any vitamin can have adverse effects on the body. Therefore, get a blood report done to check for deficiencies and use the information to seek advice from a nutritionist so that you can plan the best diet or vitamin and supplement regime to grow healthy and long hair.

The Opposure Method - Grow 1 inch in 7 days! This is most commonly called the Inversion Method. By use of this method, many have claimed to have grown a half inch to 1 inch in 7 days! To understand it more, this method involves massaging oils into the scalp and then turning your head upside down for 4 minutes every day for 7 consecutive days per month (not a day more). How Does It Work? The idea behind it is that by massaging your scalp and turning your head upside down, blood high in nutrients rushes to your head and scalp therefore providing the optimum environment for hair growth. You basically are tricking your body into believing there are plentiful amount of nutrients which then may result in an increase in hair growth. It works in a similar way as many air growth supplements that contain agents, niacin being an example, that increase blood supply to the scalp thereby boosting hair growth. How to do the Inversion Method: Step 1: Prepare your scalp treatment You may choose to use a combination of castor oil, olive or coconut oil and mix it with a few drops of a stimulating essential oil such as peppermint oil or Rosemary. Place your oil mixture into a applicator bottle and heat in a bowl of hot water or place in the microwave for just a few seconds until it is warm not hot. Step 2: Apply the oil directly to your scalp and massage it in evenly. Move you fingers in a circular motion and move around your scalp. Scalp massage: Scalp massages are very beneficial for increasing circulation, strengthening hair strands and stimulating growth. Both the combination of scalp massage with inversion are said to increase the flow of nutrients to the scalp.

Step 3: After massaging the scalp invert yourself by either sitting on the edge of a bed and leaning your head forward until it is vertical or standing and doing the same. Stay in this position for 4 minutes (any longer and you may get dizzy) Make sure to get up VERY slowly, and make sure to repeat this process for 7 days straight then stop. Going any longer than 7 days will not add any benefit since it is said that your body will then adapt and no longer produce much benefit. This method is best performed for 1 week and then no inversion for 3 weeks. This method should not be performed if you are pregnant, sick or have any medical condition. This should only be performed by healthy individuals. Remember that results may vary. (Follow link below to see a step by step video on this method)

4. The Importance of Protective Styling 4. Protective styling Protective Styling can imply a number of things, however in general, it is a hairstyle that protects the hair from various harmful elements and situations, which include pollution, heat and intense weather, both hot and cold, to prevent your hair from drying out. It also helps to prevent the strain caused to the follicles of hair from regular styling and manipulation. In order to offer your hair a much needed break, you may opt to try a protective style and go for a few days, weeks, or even months without having to comb, brush, tug or pull on your hair. This styling helps to minimize the amount of damage on your hair, and allows it the opportunity to grow long and stress-free. Protective styling does not require direct heat or further manipulation of hair. If done properly, it can help to retain moisture, prevent breakage and split ends. Benefits Of Protective Styling: There are several benefits of wearing a protective style for your hair. You can change your appearance, try new options during vacation, or remain chemicalfree during pregnancy. Most women wear protective styles because it entails less manipulation. These styles are predominantly helpful for people who have shoulder length hair. When the hair reaches shoulder length, its ends tend to brush against clothing which can cause friction and a great amount of breakage. Other benefits of a protective style are obtaining longer and healthier hair. The hair is protected from the elements and has the chance to grow healthier and longer since it is protected and not manipulated on a daily basis. Another advantage is that you spend less time on your hair. These styles typically involve one styling day and the styles generally last anywhere between 1 to 4 weeks. Wearing these protective styles can also reduce the instances of acne that frequently occurs when hair and hair products come in contact with your face. Lastly, many women simply enjoy the variety and look of protective styling options. The protective hair styles vary from twist extensions, Bantu knots, braids, cornrows, weaves, two-strand twists, ponytails and many more. Protective styles are styles that help to protect your hair and ends from the elements

and high manipulation. Here are some great examples of protective styles. Buns:

A Bun is a great protective style, it covers the ends of the hair and always renders a timeless look. A loose bun to the back or side gives a graceful look that allows your hair to rest as well as retain moisture. Also, it is a style that is easy and simple to do.

Two-Strand Twists:

Twists work and look better on natural hair. Relaxed strands are normally slippery and too straight to hold twists in position without disentanglement. With this protective style, you can fashion twists in numerous ways while still shielding your delicate ends.


You can easily braid your natural hair or decide on braid extensions. Irrespective of whether your braids are natural or created with enrichment, you still have to care for your scalp and hair while you are wearing them.


Twists, just like braids, can be worn in various ways. You can wear mini twists, twist with extensions, chunky twists, etc in your natural hair. You can also twist your hair and pin it up for more styling options.


Once you apply the weave, you may not have to be concerned about manipulating your hair for at least 5-6 weeks! This protective style can offer wonderful results for growing your hair. Since your hair is braided; it is not subjected to the heat of the sun or harsh wind, rain or other environmental factors. However, for optimum hair growth, it is still essential to look after the hair, underneath the weave as well as make sure that it is well installed and not too tight.

Bantu Knots:

Bantu Knots are an attractive styling options that shield the ends of the hair because they are tucked. This style also aids in retaining moisture in the hair and encourages healthy hair growth. Cornrows:

Cornrows can also be worn in various ways, from basic straight to zig-zag patterns. It's up to you and where your artistic mind takes you. Cornrows styling can be fun and exhilarating! It is essential to keep in mind that even protective styles can damage your hair if not installed correctly. It is imperative to be very cautious while dealing with your hair, even if you handle it rarely. Also, avoid pulling your hair and pay proper attention while detangling. Some protective styles, like twists require a lot of detangling while removing them. Nevertheless, protective styling is an excellent way to maximize hair health, which is something that we all desire.

5. The Proper Way to Seal 5. Sealing your Ends

One of the most important processes of locking in your hairs moisture is by sealing your ends. Sealing ends involves the procedure of applying oil, conditioner, cream or hair butter to the hair ends, in order to lock in the moisture and prevent occurrences of split ends. The ends are the most delicate part of our hair and is also the oldest. It is for this very reason many African-American women experience split ends, breakage and have a hard time growing their hair long. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Apart from being gentle with your hair to maintain its length, you must also seal the ends properly Why do my ends remain dry? There are microscopic glands on our scalp that generate an oily substance known as sebum that helps to lubricate the hair and scalp. However, if your hair strands are very curly then it is difficult for the sebum to move down the ends of the strands. For this reason, your ends may become particularly fragile because of lack of natural oils. Also, because this is the oldest part of your hair, it has also had the most exposure to the elements as well as manipulation. Sealing your ends must be an essential part of your standard routine. Always ensure that your ends receive an adequate amount of oil after they have been properly moisturized. Here are a few effective oils that are great for use when sealing your ends: Jamaican Black Castor Oil:

With a thick honey like uniformity, Jamaican black castor oil can actually go a long way in sealing your ends. And, not only is this oil affordable, it is also organic, sulfate-free and promotes hair growth when applied to the scalp.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

The advantages of extra virgin olive oil are copious but the leading benefit is that the shaft of your hair can easily absorb this oil. It is one of the few oils that have the capability of behaving like water in their capacity to infiltrate the strands. It is a wonderful hair conditioner that helps to treat dull and damaged hair and reduce split ends. During the winter season, hair becomes terribly dry, due to lack of moisture. Applying some amount of olive oil to the scalp aids in locking in the moisture and makes your hair appear more lustrous. Thus, extra virgin olive oil proves to be an excellent measure to seal your ends. Just keep in mind that because it penetrates the shaft more than most oils, you may have to apply it more often. Coconut Oil:

Coconut Oil is known for its high moisture retaining ability, since it's very stable and cannot be evaporated or broken down easily. Coconut oil is a good conditioner and assists in re-instating damaged hair. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which basically fights fungi and bacteria on the roots and scalp and can prevent hair breakage. It also does not allow moisture to escape, which helps in keeping the hair soft, moist and prevents breakage. Coconut oil enters the hair shaft, which makes it one of the best oils for sealing the ends of dry hair. Camelia oil:

This oil is a best kept secret among women from Japan. The Japanese contribute longer hair growth to use of this oil and it it is also said to reduce wrinkles on the skin. Camelia oil is best when it is derived from cold pressed seeds of the Camelia Japonica flower (called Tsubaki in Japanese) without chemical or heat refining. Camelia’s benefits is that it can soften hair and make it more manageable, restores hair natural sheen, retains moisture and repairs breakage and split ends. This oil is best on damp hair in order to allow it to loc in and retain the moisture.

Tips for Sealing Hair: Step 1: Start the process with wet hair. Water is a true form of moisture that fully penetrates into the hair shaft. Additionally, hair also requires water to

maintain its elasticity. Specifically, water-based moisturizers for natural hair are vital in the conditioning process. Step 2: Apply the oil to the ends. Castor, coconut, olive, jojoba oil etc are all great for sealing the ends. If you have extremely dry hair, use Jamaican Castor Oil, which is very thick and has the uniformity of molasses. Step 3: After sealing with oil, protect the ends by wearing a protective style such as twists, buns or bantu knots. In addition, the less you manipulate your hair, specially your ends, the healthier and longer it will grow. Sealing the ends is extremely essential and must be included in your hair regime. This will ensure that moisture is retained in your hair and breakage is effectively prevented. You can seal your hair every week, but for those who love wearing their hair down, sealing the ends should be done more often.

The L.O.C Method The loc method is a method of layering products in a specific order to maximize moisture retention. This method uses the combination of sealants, moisturizer, oil and hair butter. LOC stands for liquid, Oil, Cream. This is a great method for keeping the hair moisturized and sealed. It consists of hydrating the hair with water which is the liquid, sealing in the moisture with oil and lastly applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle which prevents loss of moisture. 1. Water = Adds Moisture Water is the only method to truly add moisture to the hair. Water alone won't KEEP your hair hydrated. Hence the reason why there are other steps in this method. 2. Oil = Helps the Hair Hold on to Water Molecules This must be applied AFTER water. Make sure you use an oil that penetrates the hair

such as Olive oil, Coconut oil or Avocado oil. These oils increase the hair’s ability to hold on to water molecules and helps to keep the hair strong and prevent breakage. 3. Cream = Locks In Moisture Leave in conditioners are recommended for this process. The conditioner should be moisturizing and not have added alcohol and other drying products. This should act as a sealant. The purpose of the cream component is to seal and lock in moisture from the first 2 steps. It is bet to use natural products like Shea or Mango butter to lock in the moisture. These are more likely to retain moisture while still allowing the hair to take in additional moisture. Keep in mind that you can also use oils such as Castor, grapeseed or Jojoba oil due to the fact that these oils to do not penetrate through the hair shaft, allowing them to make for great sealants of moisture.

6. Low Manipulation 6. Low Manipulation Low manipulation is styling that keeps the strands from being touched or handled too often, which can lead to length retention. Many low maintenance styles can be worn, for many days, with minimal or no manipulation. This can offer your hair a much needed break from brushing, combing and also from harsh heat styling. Some low manipulation hairstyles are twist outs, braid outs, roller or straw sets, wash-n-go, mo, hawks, fro-hawks, buns, flat twists and pony tails.

Low manipulation styles generally help in maintaining a good length and can lead to thicker, stronger hair that allows you to achieve your hair growth goals. These styles are different from protective styles because this styling does not essentially mean that you tuck away your hair or cover your hair ends. There are a few easy low manipulation styles that you can depend on for your undisturbed strands. Improper manipulation and over manipulation are two bad habits that cause breakage, splitting, knotting and loss of length.

Improper Manipulation: Improper manipulation means not grooming or handling your hair in the proper manner, for instance; rough handling, brushing aggressively, combing when your hair is completely wet, detangling the hair from root to end, using very finetoothed combs, etc.

Over Manipulation: Over manipulation implies, touching and managing the hair too much causing unwarranted wear and tear of the hair. A few examples of over manipulation would be, playing or touching the hair constantly, picking the ends of the hair, allowing the hair to continuously brush against the clothes, etc.

If you intend to reach your preferred hair length as fast as possible; refrain from managing your hair too often. That will decrease the interference on your hair, and leave it to do what it is supposed to do, i.e. grow longer.

By touching your hair less, you avoid wearing down your ends. You will also benefit from having healthy and strong hair. The more you style, comb, or touch your hair, the higher the chances of causing damage to it. Even if you go chemical free and have an excellent hair care routine, damage from over manipulation will certainly get in your way. To resolve this concern you need to be tender with your hair. If you think that you are gentle or tender with your hair and if you are experiencing hair breakage then you are probably not being gentle enough. As stated earlier, you may want to minimize the amount of damage through less manipulation, since you cannot do away with it completely because you still have to untangle your hair, wash it, comb it and style it.

For predominantly fragile hair types you may want to lock your hair in a protective or low manipulation hairstyle. 80% to 90% of the time, and rather than detangling your hair with brushes or combs you may try finger combing as that can prevent breakage of hair due to tangles and knots.

Overall, give your hair a few months' of good hair care to obtain considerably healthier hair growth. With some basic maintenance together with the correct combination of natural ingredients and low manipulation; you can grow your hair long effortlessly.

7. The No Poo Factor 7. Using little to no shampoo

There are numerous reasons why you may want to avoid many types of shampoo, if you have natural wavy or curly hair. A large number of shampoos include drying, harsh chemicals that are particularly damaging for curly hair. These chemicals can make your curly hair unmanageable, frizzy and brittle. Shampoos help to clean dirt from your hair, but they may also get rid of the naturally produced moisturizing oil that makes your hair strong and shiny.

Shampoos are marketed as something that is vital for your hair but the truth is covered up. Shampoo is actually a detergent, similar to dish washing detergent, engine block cleaner and bathroom cleaner. As a detergent, shampoo can easily rinse out of your hair even in alkaline water, but it doesn’t take away the fact that it is very harsh and can damage your hair permanently. Detergent is harsh as it strips your hair of the moisture that protects your hair and keeps it strong and soft. Wouldn’t you want to avoid using the same kind of stuff that you use to wash your dishes, or clean your bathroom on your body or hair? Even some shampoos that claim to be organic, natural or herbal, contains harmful chemicals, in order to preserve the ingredients from turning bad after a specific period of time. Skin is very porous therefore; substances can enter our bloodstream easily through the skin and can remain in our body for a long time. Whatever is considered lethal to put in the mouth is equally toxic when applied on the skin, as well. Mineral oil is one of the main ingredients of many shampoos, which is derived when gasoline is extracted from crude oil. This mineral oil is added to the shampoo along with several other chemical-based harmful products, to coat the hair and offer your strands an artificial shine. Also, unlike other ingredients, mineral oil can't absorb in the skin, therefore, it acts as an obstruction on our scalp that prevents the natural oil from being released. This calls for more shampoo to clear off the mineral oil. In this way, shampoo is like a vicious cycle - the more shampoo we use, the more we need.

Additionally, conditioners add artificial oils to your hair, and they remain on your head just long enough so that you don't link the damage done to your hair with the shampoo that actually causes it. Also, you may have to wash your hair daily, not only to eliminate the dirt but also because the oil from the conditioner doesn't last long and have to be replenished. You should never forget that the oils that your hair needs are produced naturally on our scalp, as they have been apart of the human cycle for over thousands of years, ever before shampoos and conditioners were invented.

Chemical Ingredients of Shampoo: Following are a small sample of the toxic ingredients found in most shampoos along with their damaging effects. Sulfate: Sulfates are surfactants and detergents that may give rise to serious health threats. They are generally used in garage floor cleaners, car washes, engine degreasers and in almost 90 percent of hair care and beauty products that foam. During lab testing, animals exposed to sulfates experienced depression, eye damage, diarrhea, labored breathing, severe skin irritation and untimely death. Some of the common sulfate types used in shampoo is ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc. Petroleum Plastics: Butylene glycol and propylene glycol are petroleum plastics that act as solvents and wetting agents. They can easily infiltrate the skin and weaken the cellular

and protein structure. Parabens: Parabens are chemical-based compounds that are mainly used as preservatives to control the growth of yeast, mold and bacteria. Their use can lead to biological damage of the follicle. They can also strip off protective coatings, reduce gloss, fade color, increase brittleness and slow the growth of your hair. They also interrupt the endocrine function by imitating the estrogen hormone in our body and in turn, hormonal imbalance can create disorder in the body. They can also provoke allergic reaction in some people. However, the most hazardous effect of parabens may arrive in the form of cancer. Silicone: Silicones can be bad for your hair if they are used over a period of time. Silicone-based shampoos coat the shaft of the hair and seal out moisture by blocking the hair follicles. This causes your hair to become greasy, flat and dry and straw-like. Overall, you should try to avoid these types of shampoos and switch to more natural or homemade shampoos that do not include these ingredients Click below for an example on how to make your own natural shampoo Natural Shampoo recipe

8. Deep Conditioning and Recipes 8. Deep Conditioning

Importance of Deep Conditioning For Hair: Deep conditioning is a process where conditioner is left on the hair for at least 20-30 minutes or at times overnight. For the deep conditioner to be more effective, it is essential that heat (meaning a plastic cap to hold heat, not a hot iron or blow dryer) is also used along with it. Heat can make the hair shaft swell and open the cuticles, which can allow the conditioner to penetrate inside the scalp. In addition, deep conditioning promotes elasticity; and in turn enhances the strength of the hair by making it more resilient. This aids in length retention over a long period of time. It is very important to deep condition your hair, as a good deep conditioner can hydrate dry hair by infiltrating the shaft of the hair to reinstate moisture and prevent breakage. Moreover, a deep conditioner can assist in alleviating the regular damage we impose upon our hair through the use of extreme heat, environmental damage, manipulation and chemical treatments. Using a deep conditioner on a frequent basis can help to add "life" to your dull hair. You hair's moisture, elasticity, color, and basically overall health will improve due to the emollients as well as other moisturizing agents present in the conditioner. Additionally, other ingredients can help in filling the holes caused because of hair damage that leads to poor porosity.

Use Suitable Type Of Deep Conditioning Treatments: Any type of hair can benefit from deep conditioning, but it is absolutely necessary for coily, kinky textured hair. By nature kinky hair can become dry, so deep conditioning can aid in replenishing the moisture balance of the hair. Deep conditioning is recommended to be done right after washing the hair so that your

hair retains moisture. A deep conditioning treatment on a weekly basis is essential for keeping moisture in the hair. However, all deep conditioners are not the same. Therefore, it's crucial to find a deep conditioner that suits your hair type, is free of harsh chemicals and doesn't weigh your hair down, nor make your hair greasy. The deep conditioner you use depends upon the condition of your hair. If your hair feels squashy when wet and stretches quite a bit before breaking, you my want to use a protein conditioner in order to restore your hair's strength. On the other hand, if your hair feels brittle and simply breaks when any pressure is applied then you may opt for a moisturizing conditioner. The main aim is to get your hair to a stage where it is both strong and has a specific degree of elasticity. If you have hair that falls in the middle, excessive protein can make your hair hard while; extreme moisture can make it mushy. Moisturizing deep conditioners must be used in combination with protein deep conditioners in order to maintain a healthy balance.

Homemade Deep Conditioner Recipe:

Click here for a deep conditioner recipe

You can also make an effective deep conditioner at home using eggs for deep moisturizing and nourishing. Beat up one egg yolk and add one teaspoon of castor oil. Moisten your hair and massage some portion of the mixture on the scalp for 1-2 minutes and apply the rest on your hair. Keep it on for a few minutes before washing your scalp and hair clean with cool water. Egg is high in vitamin A and D and along with the castor oil, it can deeply condition and moisturize your hair. After applying a deep conditioner, put on your plastic cap and place a warm towel or warm wrap around your head, as that will open up the hair cuticles. Keep the wrap on for around 15-20 minutes before rinsing your hair and scalp with water. It is recommended that you use cold water to rinse, as it helps to close the skin pores on

your scalp and allows the hair shafts to retain the moisture and prevent loss of oils. Also remember to dry your hair naturally, whenever possible. Overall, deep conditioning promotes lustrous and healthy hair and locks the moisture in the roots. To maintain your curls and kinks and keep them shiny and healthy, you can make use of a good conditioner or prepare an effective conditioner at home, to enjoy bouncy, shiny curls!

9. Why it's Better to be Cool 9. Avoid heat and brushing

Styling can make your hair look beautiful, but if you are looking for healthy natural hair, you should avoid styling your hair using toxic chemicals, like the ones that are often used while straightening the hair. You must also restrict the use of hair spray or hot styling tools as these can cause damage to your hair. Styling such as brushing and using heat can also deprive the hair of its moisture and vital nutrients, thus hampering its growth.

Avoid Brushing Frequently:

Avoid brushing your hair excessively as this can damage your hair and make it difficult for you to grow it any longer. Also, strictly avoid brushing your hair while it's still soaking wet. Kinky and curly hair is normally fragile but, when it is wet, it's in the weakest state. Avoid The Heat:

Constantly striking your ends with a iron can thin, weaken and cause breakage. Using heat frequently can harm the hair or even break the cuticle. Therefore, if you have to use heat, keep it at a low temperature. Make sure to also use a heat protector sprays before using heated tools. Also try and avoid using the nozzles that come with hairdryers as they direct the heat onto one specific area which augments the damage.

Blow Drying:

Blow dry your hair with the cool setting, for too much heat can damage your hair shafts. Wet hair retains water under the cuticles so, when you blow dry your hair with hot air, the water forms bubbles and stresses or even breaks the hair shaft. It also may lead to damaged and dull split ends. The more often you blow dry the greater chance your hair will be subjected to more damage. Reduce the risk by blow-drying only when necessary. When you do blow dry your hair, dry it first using a cotton t-shirt and then use low heat or cool air. Turn off the dryer the moment your hair is dry. Try to let your hair dry naturally rather than using a blow dryer or you can make use of serums or creams before blow drying as it can shield your hair from heat.

Hot Rollers:

Hot rollers spell double trouble. Not only are these rollers hot, there are also dangerous when you roll them up too tight as it puts excessive pressure at the root. This can damage your hair follicles, which ultimately leads to breakage.

Curling and Flat Irons:

Styling tools such as flat irons, crimping irons and curling irons are amazing for great style, but they can be quite detrimental. Water typically boils at 212 degrees, and applying heat to the hair above that temperature can cause the moisture in your hair to boil and form bubbles inside the shaft causing breakage or damaging the cuticles. In a nutshell, brushing, flat ironing, blow drying, and use of curling irons and other styling tools in excess can lead to hair damage. Therefore, save your heating tools only for special occasions, and try to avoid using them more than once or twice per week.

10. Protecting your hair while you sleep 10. Satin pillowcase or scarf Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can cause dryness in the hair. If your hair gets matted, tangled or breaks while you sleep, wrapping your hair in a satin or silk scarf or sleeping on a satin pillowcase can help to prevent breakage. Ensure that you don't use a cotton scarf to cover your hair, as cotton has a propensity to pull hair thus causing more hair breakage. If your hair is naturally dry or if it is prone to breakage then it would be highly advisable that you sleep on satin pillows, and use satin scarves, to wrap your hair. Why should we use a Satin Pillowcase or Scarf? Satin pillowcases or scarves will not soak up the moisture from your scalp and head like cotton. Many of your pillowcase fabrics can steep moisture as well as oils from your hair and leave your hair dryer and more brittle in the morning. To avoid this, you can try wearing a satin head scarf or use a satin pillowcase to sleep on, as satin doesn't soak up moisture in as much as many other fabrics. Satin pillowcases are good for hair retention as they allow your hair to slide across the pillow easily while you turn throughout the night. This prevents pulling or tugging of hair when you are asleep. Dry locks break easily and you don’t want to contribute to unnecessary breakage. Many women go to sleep with their hair simply hanging loose or tied up in a ponytail, but sleeping on a satin pillowcase or with a scarf wrapped around the hair can help to avoid tangles and also keep it tame. Wrapping Method:

One way is to wrap the satin scarf around your forehead and bring it beneath your hair towards the base of your neck and tie up the ends. With this wrapping method, you must make sure that you don't get any strands caught in the knot, as it can be difficult to free the hair since you won't be able to see the back of your head. Another way is to gather hair in the scarf near your neck and tie the ends together atop your forehead. That way you will be able to see the hair easily and ensure that you don't tie the knot with your hair trapped in the scarf.

Overall, these natural and effective hair care techniques for African-American women are simple to follow, and if you follow these steps, you should see beautiful results in lustrous, healthy and beautiful always!

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