Health is truly your wealth. These are powerful words not just on the topic of hair. You are only as healthy as your diet and what you choose to eat, as well as how you choose to take care of your body which is your temple, right? This question leads us to what it takes to grow healthy, strong, thriving natural hair. I am a firm believer that diet, exercise, use or lack of heat, hair manipulation levels and stress levels play an integral part in hair health. I have personally witnessed the difference in my hair growth rate and hair health as my diet improved from when I was in my early freshman college days. To fill you in, I was always on the go, stressed, working several jobs and eating take-out on a regular basis. My hair at the time was relaxed, and was always in a slick bun, edges laid flat with hair gel.
My hair seemed relatively healthy, because it was always in the protective style of a bun, however, I had numerous split ends, and obvious dryness, a direct effect of the relaxer and blow-dryer. Another observation, my hair would never grow past my shoulder blades. Fast forward a few years later to me having a great career, becoming more conscious of what I was eating, preparing my own meals at home, drinking plenty of water, and learning to take out time for myself. I was no longer being pulled in a million and one directions, and I decided to stop putting relaxers in my hair and stop using direct or any heat for that matter at all. The first major observation besides the fullness my hair was rapid growth. I transitioned and slowly cut all the relaxed ends off to where I had about a shoulders length worth of chemical free hair. My split ends were gone, with the absence of heat use, and my hair was not nearly as dry as it was in the past. I started using natural, organic products in my hair, and eventually began making my own natural hair products and conditioners that I still use to this day.
I became amazed at the texture, fullness, length, and strength of my hair. I was no longer dependent on chemicals and I was in complete control of the health of my hair. I extensively researched which foods aid in hair health and growth as well as the overall health of the body. I also researched which foods hindered or inhibited hair health, which ultimately was not very beneficial to the body, and I avoided these foods. I studied several natural oils and ingredients that can be used to clean the scalp, hair shaft and moisturize as well as condition the hair. Ultimately, I developed a hair routine and regimen that worked for me and that has allowed my natural hair to reach lengths that I never thought was possible for my particular texture. I always knew my hair would grow, I just never imagined it would grow (and is still growing) to its current length! Of course I realize now that this type of thinking was foolish. I believe that regardless of genetics, with proper care, maintenance and devotion, hair, of any type of texture can and will grow to great lengths.