African American men often tend to wear very short hairstyles that cling close to the head. Many view this as a necessity based on the amount of curl that is normally found in African American hair. There are, however, some who wish to wear slightly longer hairstyles without having to go the way of dreadlocks. These men are often left wondering how to grow African American hair.
The first factor to bear in mind is that African American actually grows pretty quickly. The problem is that the curl of the hair often creates weak points in the strand that break off easily. One solution to this problem is to use a chemical relaxer on the hair to straighten out the curls. Another is to use a steam iron for the same purpose. The iron, however, does not last as long as the chemical relaxer.
Another major problem that is faced by black men’s hair is a lack of moisture. African American hair is usually thick and coarser than Caucasian hair, meaning that it requires much more moisture to maintain good health. Often oil is added to produce a shine, but this does nothing to meet the needs of each hair strand in terms of moisture.
In order for black men to wear longer hairstyles, several factors must come into play. First, the curl in the hair must be relaxed. African American hair usually curls either in a tight “S” or “Z” pattern close to the head. Each bend creates a point of potential breakage that can prevent one from achieving the length of hair desired. Relaxing the curl helps to prevent these weak spots from forming, but must be repeated every two or three days or the hair will grow out and curl at the point of new growth.
Moisturizing is a critical part of the daily hair care routine if a man wants his hair to grow out to a longer length. Protein conditioners can be used for deep conditioning and moisturizing about every two weeks. The rest of the time, it is recommended that a good moisturizing conditioner be used on a daily basis as the hair is washed.
Finally, the most difficult part of hair growth encouragement for a man to master is being gentle when washing and conditioning the hair. Applying excess pressure to the hair or kneading it too much and creating tangles will make it more likely that hair will break off at one of the weak points created by the natural curl. This is especially true if combing is not handled very gently to avoid breaking strands while removing tangles.