Growing Healthy Hair

Healthy African hair
Photo: Djomas/Shutterstock
Q: I am a black woman who would like some tips on how to care for my natural hair. I have been having issues with trying to get it to grow. It is quite uneven and parts of it look like I've taken a razor and cut it off.
And each time I wash it and assess it, nothing seems to have changed, my hair just doesn't seem to want to grow. So I was wondering how I can take care of this uneven hair problem and get my hair back to a healthy growing course.

A: Well, one of the first things you may want to do is see your doctor for a check up. This will allow you to make sure there is no medical reason for your hair's apparent unwillingness to grow.
There are medical conditions that can affect hair growth. Certain medications will also affect the way the hair grows, and if you are taking any medication, you should ask your doctor if possible side-effects include those that affect hair growth.
You also need to evaluate your diet. Growing healthy hair requires a balanced diet that is high in protein (since the hair is made up of proteins). Make sure you are getting the proper nutrition.
There are a number of vitamin supplements on the market that claim to help you grow stronger, longer hair, but apart from the general benefits of vitamin supplements to the diet, these have no proven benefit in growing the hair. You will be better served to use a basic multi-vitamin and well-balanced diet.
Aside from this, you should make sure to be caring for your hair properly. The hair should be conditioned every day, whether you wash it or not. In addition, weekly deep conditioning is good to help strengthen the hair and keep it free of split ends.
Furthermore, remember to treat your hair gently. Always use a wide tooth comb whenever possible as brushes and finer-tooth combs can lead to stresses on the hair and breakage.
Be sure to look for signs of damage (frizz, rough texture, signs of breakage) and address these issues whenever they are encountered. Silicone based detanglers and sheen products can help you in combing the hair to prevent over-stressing.
See also:
What do split ends look like?
How fast does hair grow?
My hair is not gaining length. Why?
Will trimming the ends encourage hair growth?