While many Black women use extensions to achieve looks that call for longer hair lengths, one can also take steps to help her natural hair grow long and strong. While it may not be possible to mimic the super-lengthy tresses of your favorite R&B singer (who is undoubtedly wearing hair extensions), most sisters can have a head of healthy and beautiful natural hair that is all their own.
Choose The Right Shampoos and Conditioners
Many of the shampoos designed for Black hair have harsh sulfates (i.e. ammonium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate) that are designed to remove heavy product buildup; unfortunately, they also strip the hair and cause hair damage. Choose a mild shampoo with natural ingredients instead and follow up with a good conditioner. Trader Joe’s Nourish shampoo and conditioner are excellent choices for Black hair If you are wearing hair extensions while growing your natural hair out, make sure that you consult a stylist about any shampoo or conditioner that you use.
Minimize Heat Styling
Blow dryers and heat styling tools are incredibly hard on Black hair. Blot excess water from freshly washed hair with a towel and, if you can’t air dry, use the lowest setting possible. Use curling and flat irons infrequently as possible.
Use Protective Styles
As Black hair can be particularly damage prone (especially when attempting to grow out a relaxer), consider wearing buns, french twists and other styles that protect the ends of the hair from being exposed.
Choose Wigs Over Hair Extensions
Sew-in weaves and other hair extensions can cause Black hair a lot of stress. If you are attempting to grow your own hair, but are unwilling to sacrifice your long or versatile looks in the meantime, consider wearing wigs instead. Hair extensions tend to provide Black women the style choices they want, but the damage to hair can be costly in the long run.