It is as Jill Scott says "For me, hair is an accouterment. Hair is jewelry. It's an accessory". For us African American ladies, our thick, bouncy curls are everything. The human hair is like our skin; it needs to be maintained because its integrity flows from the inside to the outside. Healthy hair is always quite obvious, and it is lovely to style or get any look you desire. Frayed or damaged hair, on the other hand, makes it less exciting to visit the salon. It limits what styles you can wear and not to mention it’s quite embarrassing to most ladies. Healthy hair routines start by understanding how your hair grows.
Let's talk growth!
It is essential to know and understand the cycle of hair growth to enhance your ability to care and tackle any problems with your hair. There are three stages in the hair growth cycle.
Anagen phase The anagen phase in hair growth is the general growth phase. It is the phase where your hair grows around half an inch a month. The anagen phase lasts for an average of 3-5 years, and the longer time your hair spends in this phase, the more it grows.
Catagen phase The catagen phase is also known as the transition phase. It occurs after the anagen phase and lasts about ten days. There is no activity of hair growth in this phase.
Telogen Phase The telogen phase is the final phase. It is a resting phase where the hair strands are released and falls out. Each hair follicle grows independently, so they enter the growth cycle at different times.
When your hair is healthy, it goes through each phase as it should. Excessive shedding or hair loss is not normal and is a sign of hair damage. To keep the hair healthy, it starts with eating right. Most foods are beneficial to hair growth, especially protein foods. These beneficial foods include:
Salmon and other foods rich in omega 3 help hair stay shinyGreek yogurt is an excellent source of protein. Protein is a fundamental requirement of healthy hair.Lean poultry foods contribute to fuller thicker hairCinnamon promotes circulationSpinach and most vegetables maintain soft hairEggs are also a source of protein and biotin that enhance hair growthOysters help to preserve the fullness of hairIron-fortified cereal is essential for prevention of hair loss
A simple routine to strengthen hair and retain its integrity is the D.P.O rule.
The D.P.O rule represents the application of Deep (intense hydrating) conditioner, a product packed with Protein (silk cream) and lastly intensifying Oil treatment.
A healthy diet and practical routine are an effective means to improve hair growth and health.