When you want to talk about hair growth, a lot is dependent on the condition of your scalp. If you can get scalp care and health right, you can be about 90% assured that you will get optimal and healthy hair growth.*

Let’s get into it-

  • Drink a lot of water – I can’t say this enough. When you drink water, your body distributes it to the various areas that need it to function properly.  If you drink an adequate amount of water, your body will be able to deliver an adequate amount to its different parts. If you don’t, your various body parts (skin inclusive) will not get the amount of water they need.

To break this down a little: Imagine earning N500, 000 a month and then taking a pay cut and having to earn N50, 000 a month.  There are definitely some luxuries and even basics that you will deny yourself.  Same thing with your body – give it less water and it “spends” it on the most important things first (your scalp/hair doesn’t fit into this category) and then only if can spare it, “spend” on the less important things (hair/scalp, nails e.t.c).

Remember: Your scalp moisturizes itself from the inside out and when its water store is not replenished, can lead to scalp dryness.

Coloured scanning electron micrograph of hairs protruding from the surface of the scalp

Source

  • Clean your scalp periodically – There is constant cell turnover going on on the scalp. This process leaves dead cells behind.  Add the build up from waxy sebum and debris plus all the accumulation from products that were applied topically and you have a scalp that clearly needs periodic cleaning.

To break it down: Imagine not washing your face for an extended period of time. The scalp is skin. Treat it as such. I am not suggesting that you wash your hair every day, but you should have a regular schedule. You should wash your hair even when it is braided or you have a weave sewn in. I wash my hair even when I have my kinky twists in.

If the scalp is allowed to breathe, it will give the hair that is coming through from the follicles a good chance of breaking through and growing healthy. (If you had to eat and live in a dump, you won’t be as healthy as someone who lives in a more sanitary place). Plus if there is a lot of debris on the scalp, the hair may have a hard time pushing through from the follicles. After a while it will give up.

See here for tips on proper method for washing hair

The orange sticks are hair strands magnified several thousand times. The scalp is below. It is not as smooth as we think .

Source

  • Stimulate your scalp and improve circulation – there are several nutrient-carrying blood vessels running through the scalp and when stimulated, perform optimally. Two ways of achieving these are through massage and exercise.

         Massage

-  Use a scalp “stimulating” tea rinse (For example: neem, nettle, hibiscus, burdock, horsetail,  peppermint leaves e.tc. with a dash of rosemary, lavender, basil, lemon, peppermint essential oils e.t.c). Good for everyone including those with oily scalps that don’t want to use oil to massage.

- Use a herbal infusion to massage your scalp. For example: Nettle, Hibiscus, soaked in castor, jojoba, palm kernel or some other oil over a period of time (more on infusions later) and a mixture of any one of the essential oils mentioned above. Good for everyone. If you have dry scalp and need to oil your scalp, this is definitely for you. 

         Exercise

- The supply of oxygen to from your work-out aids in healthy hair growth.  I can’t explain this in a way that is not “techie” so I’ll stop here.

As you can see, from the examples I gave, I like herbal remedies for increasing circulation and stimulating hair growth. They are cheap, natural and work really well.

*If you are on medication or have a pre-disposing illness, you may not be able to get the results I speak about in this post. Also, if your hair follicles have closed up and stopped producing hair (that area will be smooth and hairless), this post will not work for you. 

17 Comments

chino aneke

You did a good job explaining as usual.

To add on the exercise one. Exercise increases blood circulation in the entire body including the scalp. This gives you an opportunity to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the scalp area and make the follicles flourish. Also, if you are like me and sweat a lot through your scalp, then this is also a good way to sweat out unwanted toxins. Lastly, If your hair is chronically dry, providing the follicles with adequate nourishment through increased blood flow will help regulate sebum production, provided that the dryness is caused by decreased sebum production.

Reply
lizzy orji

i have neglected my hair for a while, am goin 2 resume now! tanx 4 reminding us. using steam, hot comb n weave on has made me loose more than half my hair. i used 2 ve hair that reaches my back before, now i weep wen i see my hair. am going back 2 threadin, dat use 2 b my secret. but this time i ll make it with yarn (wool),will post sm pics. trust me u ll fall in luv wit em, it takes abt 2 days 2 make. my oda secret is deep conditioning. i keep mine ova d night.

Reply
Oluyemisi O.

Can you tell me more about the herbal infusion, recipes etc. I have very dry scalp although I drink water obsessively. Great informative post.

Reply
newly_natural

Hello NN,

I’m newly natural, just did a massive chop (went all the way low) and want to make sure that I’m doing everything possible to make sure my grows and does so in a healthy manner. As a result, I am interested in doing some of those massages you spoke of in this post. So I’m with Oluyemisi, I need help with herbal fusion recipes and where to find the ingredients.

Thanks!

Reply
Lola

Hello,

Great job here! Do you have any advice for closed follicles that have stopped producing hair? I am 25years and I have several patches in the middle of my head that are smooth and have stopped growing hair. I noticed it about 7years ago when it was not so obvious. Four years ago I cut my hair and let it grow natural hoping it will all grow back but it didn’t. ANy advise please?

Thank you

Reply
Natural Nigerian

Hello! Unfortunately there isn’t anything that can be done if a follicle has stopped producing hair. That smoothness you described is indicative of such a situation. I would advise that you arrange to see a trichologist. I am sadly not convinced that they will be able to help. Hopefully, if you have Alopecia totalis or Alopecia Universalis you may be able to grow hair back. Though it is incurable, it is also temporary – downside is that its duration is unpredictable.

Reply
Folu

Great post: I like that each tip given is explained in further details, and the language used is easy to understand.
I will however like to see information on the role of genes in hair growth, some like me have tried every possible tip but indicators point at grandmas and grand aunties on both sides of my parents that have scanty little hair and never even had enough to perm or style…infact one was almost completely bald …what can i do :(

Information also on how covering the hair constantly with a scarf or cap affects hair growth is essential on this blog…sometimes I hear dont sleep without covering your hair, sometimes i am told covering your hair all the time is chopping it off, leave it open at least over night to breathe…NN what do you say?
On a last personal note, relocated to Lagos few months ago (ajah axis) I badly need a place for great styles and care for my short cropped natural hair that I have tried growing for two years now!

Best wishes NN and happy blogversary

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berry glam

true tlk every one..just done the swich…and am commited to the learning process

Reply
petrosa

I use to have a full long and thick hair. That i cant comb myself. I do have to comb woth hot comb. i had to apply relaxer when i got tired of the stubborn hair. But now i really want to back to natural, because of the front hair and to have a healthy hair.
Then I lost my hair due to swimming alot – chlorine water. breaks hair alot too
Thanks for sharing.

Reply
nnenna

how do u wash your hair in a weave? I taught it will destroy your hair under neath, and how do you remove all the dirt? will they not just get stuck to the weave[attachment]. am really thinking of going natural.

Reply

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