I ran in to a childhood friend the other day and I instantly noticed how short and damaged her hair was. This was the first thing I noticed because when I met her as a little girl; I was amazed with how long and beautiful her hair was, especially since her skin was as dark as mines. When I was younger, it was rare to see a "full" Black child with as much hair as she had. I was in awe with how long her braids were without having to add extensions like the majority of the little girls did, including me.
As I finished up my conversation with her, I thought about all of the little girls that I've known over my lifetime that started out with a lot of hair and either lost it due to damage and breakage, or their hair seemed to just stop growing all together. My own daughter was born with very little hair and then lost the little she had to eczema. She was left with a couple of strands of hair in the very top of her head, but other than that she was as bald as her bottom everywhere else.
During this time I was still looking for hair care products that were gentle enough for her delicate scalp yet effective enough to manage and strengthen my relaxed hair. I had noticed that my friend's daughter's hair seemed to be pretty thick and growing steadily, so I asked her what she was using. She gave me the name of a product and of course I rushed out to the nearest beauty supply store to purchase it. When I got to the store I was disappointed with how small the jar was and how expensive it was, but even more disappointed when I read the ingredients; it was full of everything I was told not to use, so of course I didn't purchase it, so I was back to square one.
After searching tirelessly, I decided to formulate my own hair care products made of all the healthy ingredients I had read about. The natural ingredients did the trick of not only growing her hair, but completely ridding her of eczema and fixing my hair problems as well. Soon, not only did her hair begin to grow; it began to thicken up and past the other little girl's hair by double the length; then triple. Within only two years, my daughter's hair had reached the middle of her back while the other little girl's hair seemed to remain the exact same length. After conducting a few surveys and further research, I concluded that overtime the mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin and all of the other ingredients really does gradually stunt hair growth.
In my hair care workshops, I tell this story and each time I would have someone comment that when they were younger they used the "grease" products and they had long hair or that for years their grandmother pressed their hair using these products and they never experienced problems. (Of course just about every one of them were at the workshop because they were having issues growing their hair; so just by that my findings were somewhat confirmed) I would point out to them that maybe they didn't know their growth was stunted because they had never experienced the full growing potential that using natural products could give them; maybe they had accepted that ten inches of hair was as long as their hair would grow; not knowing they were depriving themselves of fifteen inches, which is exactly what I personally realized once I stopped using products that contained these ingredients. Last year I cut eleven inches of hair off; leaving myself with about three inches of hair, when before I didn't even know I could grow eleven inches, let alone cut that much off and still have some left.
So, give your hair an opportunity to reach its fullest potential. For six months try using natural products or ingredients; even if you can't use 100% natural ingredients; at the very least make sure your shampoo doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate and/or sodium laureth sulfate and your moisturizer is void of mineral oil, paraffin gel, petrolatum, and propylene glycol. Just avoiding these ingredients could make a difference as they have been established to cause drying, breakage and stunted hair growth.
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