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sevenfourteen's avatar

How do I grow out my (ethnic) hair?

Asked by sevenfourteen (2419points) April 16th, 2009

I’m mixed (half black), and for all the goods in it I have VERY thick, curly hair that grows… well it doesn’t grow. I have it chemically relaxed but the ends are still curly. It’s easy to straighten but breaks a lot and I have to cut it before it gets a chance to grow. It also has a lot of damage in the back around the top of my head.

I really want long hair again but my roommate says it’ll take till senior year for it to be nice and long (we’re sophomores in college now). I know she’s probably right but I don’t know what to do in the meantime. All I ever do it blow dry it curly (which just looks like a mess) and put it up. I was thinking about braiding it for the summer but I work at a restaurant (in the least diverse state in America) and can’t find any way to braid it so that it would look cute enough to work in. I used to have tracks but I work out a lot and the sweat messes them up.

I think I’m stuck, does anyone have any suggestions/tips on how to grow it out and still have it be functional in the meantime???

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16 Answers

Facade's avatar

Stop straitening it. Use the right products. It’ll grow (just like everyone else’s).

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

I would suggest asking a stylist, Use good products, Don’t use things that will damage your hair (straighteners/blow dryers) but if you do; use a protector, and try to use a cool setting, You should get an inch cut off, Just the damaged hair and don’t cut it after that..

aprilsimnel's avatar

Diet is also important. Eat healthy foods. Drink lots of water. Not so much sugar. My hair is almost 3/4 of the way down my back after 2 years of growing it from shoulder length. When you get a trim (every 6–8 weeks), make sure it’s just a trim of the split ends and that’s it. Chemicals and too much heat cause breakage. Find out from your stylist how you can wear your hair naturally as often as possible. I wish I had more suggestions, but I don’t think we have the same type of hair. I’m a 2A/2B/3A, where it sounds like you may be a 3B or 3C. See this site for more details.

If your hair is long enough, perhaps you could french braid your hair in the meantime for work. Is it possible to put some frizz-ease-type product in your curls and keep your hair off your face with a hair band?

Darwin's avatar

As @Facade says stop straightening it, either chemically or with heat. Consider a deep conditioning treatment every now and then to keep it from getting too dry. Find a good stylist who knows about your type of hair and get just the ends trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks. Get a good hair product and use it. Lay off junk food, make sure you get enough protein (especially fish such as salmon), and add in a multi-vitamin to make sure you get enough nutrients. Drink water every day, especially in place of sodas.

When she has to, my daughter simply puts it up in a bun, but makes sure not to pull or tug on her hair too much.

tinyfaery's avatar

Please do not call your hair ethnic; your hair has no culture.

Beside what is said above, consider that some people just cannot grow their hair very long. My wife’s sister has straight, thin hair, and her hair will not grow more than an inch or two past her shoulders. This might be the problem.

Try to be happy with what you have. I always wanted crazy, curly hair, but it will never happen

Facade's avatar

Also, going here would help you figure things out. Look around. The ladies there know what they’re talking about (most times).

sevenfourteen's avatar

@tinyfaery – I call it ethnic only because I’m trying to find people who know what I mean when I say it’s crazy and hard to manage. I don’t want to take the more blunt route and say “black people please help me with my nappy hair”. And I do love my hair, I just need it to grow because I’m stuck in the inbetween phase.

@everyone- thanks, I guess the best option would just be to wait it out and not force it.

(@facade, the link was to this question)

VS's avatar

I am the process of growing out my non-ethnic hair, but the concept should be the same. Hair grows better in a healthy environment. I have my ends trimmed (or trim them myself if I see them looking particularly raggedy). Conditioner or hot oil treatment is essential. Good luck! That in-between time can be soooo frustrating.

sevenfourteen's avatar

Thanks, that was a pretty good website. Maybe someday I’ll have the goldilocks of my youth.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Braids. Seriously. Braiding your hair helps it grow.
Drink lots of water (sounds silly but I believe it works and so do many people I know).
For an herbal solution you can rub nettle powder into your scalp.

Also using chemicals on your hair an excessive heat can prevent it from growing. It grows better naturally.

LauratheRockStar's avatar

Perhaps your hair is all grown out by now. :-)

I’m mixed too but I’d have to say that all mixed hair is different. My sister and I have totally different hair, what works for her does NOT work for me.

What works for me is taking better care of it. Not washing it every day but washing it maybe twice per week. I just started using a product called “Design Essentials” and actually following the directions (you know leaving the conditioner in for minutes and all that). I’ve noticed a CRAZY difference in my hair.

Braids don’t even work for me, because then I just have to un-dred them at the end. :-)

Hope it’s beautiful and you’re loving it.

BBQsomeCows's avatar

do you have any (ethnic) shampoo?

tinyfaery's avatar

what a wonderful new asset to fluther~.

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