When going natural, we women want to do just about the all natural hair styles we can think of, right? When transitioning or even when we “big chop”… it may seem like it takes forever for our hair to grow. Well, today we are going to look at some easy, simple ways to promote “faster” hair growth. Let’s go!
Hair Growth Science
Our hair is basically made up of 2 parts: the follicle (within the scalp) and the hair shaft (the actual strand that we style, moisturize, or twist).
The follicle is the birthplace of every hair. The base of the hair follicle, also known as the hair bulb, is situated deeply within the scalp skin. The cells in the hair bulb are fed by a dense network of blood vessels. These cells divide every one to three days—one of the fastest rates of cell division in the human body. The replicating cells slowly pile up, harden and get pushed up and eventually out of the scalp. This is the simple process by which our hair grows!
There are two characteristic presentations of black hair: black hair in its natural state (not chemically straightened) and chemically-straightened black hair. In its natural state, black hair curls, twists, bends and kinks in a variety of interesting angles along the hair fiber. Very rarely is there perfect uniformity in the distribution of these curls and kinks. Kinks are given their character at the follicle level, with the shape of the hair follicle contributing significantly to the shape and appearance of the emerging hair fiber. Kinky hair fibers are produced from elliptical or oval-shaped hair follicles in the scalp. (Caucasian and Asian hair fibers grow from round or circle-shaped hair follicles; these fibers tend to be slightly larger in diameter than black hair fibers and the follicles more densely distributed than black hair follicles.)
Sebaceous Glands (Oil Glands)
The sebaceous (oil) glands are part of the hair follicle. These glands produce sebum, our hair and skin’s natural oil,
and can be found on every part of the body except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. A healthy scalp produces about an ounce of sebum every one hundred days. Sebum comes from the natural breakdown of small cells within the sebaceous glands. Sebum’s main job is to condition the skin and act as a barrier to prevent internal moisture loss.
Water is the bets moisturizer for natural hair! Oils such as Olive, Coconut, Jojoba, or Almond are excellent dry hair solutions.
Some individuals may have naturally low sebum production rates, which can be a strong contributor to chronic scalp dryness.For many others, however, scalp dryness may be self-induced. When products are placed directly on the scalp, and are allowed to build up, scalp conditions become unfavorable and problems with scalp dryness and hair growth can arise. The scalp, like any other skin, needs to be able to “breathe.” Heavy, oily concoctions inhibit optimal functioning of the scalp by clogging the pores and creating an unhealthy environment for hair growth.
The shaft—the part of the hair fiber that we see on a daily basis—is composed primarily of keratin protein, lipids, water and different binding materials for these molecules.
The hair’s protein structure controls its various physical characteristics including its general appearance, its ability to absorb water and chemicals, and its overall strength and quality. Each shaft is made up of two to three layers: an outer cuticle, an inner cortex, and sometimes a hollow space in the center (medulla).
Textured Hair Architecture and Properties
All healthy hair has in common certain properties and characteristics. To understand these properly, we need to investigate black hair architecture, elasticity and porosity and how they each relate to healthy hair care.
Our hair’s robust infrastructure and properties are what enable these thin, threadlike fibers to endure a myriad of stressors over their lifetime. In order to successfully address your hair’s needs as they arise, you must commit to developing an understanding of these basic hair properties and how they affect your hair. You must know what your hair should be doing and how it should be feeling— and to what degree.
Source: Black Hair Science