Here goes…*drumroll*…there is nothing you can put on your head/hair to make your hair grow. I know there are tons of products in the ethnic hair care market that implicitly or explicitly promise long locks if you use their product. I am sorry to report that those are merely enticing words. Your hair grows in cycles and there is a mixture of hormonal, genetic, and lifestyle factors that will ultimately determine the length of your hair.
Hair growth is a product of internal bodily functions. Similar to the way that your heart beats, your lungs inhale and exhale and your eyes blink without the assistance of outside factors, your hair has a growth cycle that results (on average) in about 6 inches of hair growth each year (breaks down to about ½” each month).
Therefore, the things that we do to ourselves internally can affect our hair growth cycles. For example, telogen effluvium, where more follicles than usual enter into the resting phase at one time, often happens when we go on extreme or crash diets for an extended period of time. This problem is usually reversed once we return to more balanced eating. In other words, the things we put (or do not put) into our bodies can affect the hair growth cycle. In situations where hair is lost due to illness or disease, it is still an internal process.
Other factors that can be problematic for our hair are the chemicals that seep in through the pores that are all over our body, including our scalp. Dyes and bleaches penetrate the cuticle layer which is there to protect the innermost layers of the hair structure. Perms and relaxers break the bonds of the hair and then re-form them in a different manner thereby making the hair weaker.
If you want to make sure that your scalp is conducive to hair growth, make sure that you are getting the nutrition you need. This should entail plenty of protein (as your hair is mostly protein), vitamins (studies suggest that vitamin D is important) and minerals, like iron. Healthy fats are also important, as several members of the Cute & Kinky team will attest to the fact that low-fat diets have often left their hair brittle and dull. Exercise is also important. It helps reduce stress (another hair enemy), helps carry blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body including your scalp, and nothing goes better with healthy hair than an energized and well-functioning physique.
You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.