Grow Longer, Stronger Curly Hair
If you’ve ever spent months—or years—growing out bangs or a pixie cut, then you know the struggle. On average, hair grows half an inch per month, or about six inches per year – but with curls, it can feel like a much slower process.
“Curly hair grows at the same rate as straight hair,” says Dr. Michelle Henry, board certified dermatologist and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. But, “The coils and curls keep the hair from growing straight down, giving the appearance of slower growing hair.” That’s why it can feel like gaining a few inches can take for-ev-er.
To grow long curly hair that’s as healthy as it is beautiful, you’ll need a game plan. Make your long hair
#goals a reality with these tips from our curl experts.
How to Increase Hair Growth for Long Curly Hair
Beware of Breakage
“When hydration is lacking, breakage can occur—the enemy of hair growth,” says Helen Wagmeister, Head Designer and Trichologist at Cosmo & Company Salon & Spa in West Palm Beach, FL.
Curly hair is susceptible to breakage not only because it’s thirstier than other hair types, but also because its structure is different. While straight hair strands are round in diameter, “Tightly curled hair is flat and ribbon-like,” Dr. Henry explains. “Its diameter is irregular (with thicker areas and thinner areas) and it has multiple turning points. Both the turning points and the thinner areas are prone to breakage.”
The solution? “Good moisturization is key!” says Dr. Henry. “Keeping curly hair well moisturized with a great product that can penetrate the shaft will help it thrive.” That means choosing a regimen designed for your curl type and pampering your curls with regular deep conditioning treatments.
Hair Growth Tips – Things to Avoid
- Never use a fine-tooth comb or a brush. Use a wide-tooth comb or our Double Detangler to remove tangles.
- Minimize heat styling. Shield hair with a heat protectant product (such as our Mongongo Oil Multi-Use Curl Treatment) before blow drying or using hot tools.
- Avoid tight ponytails and elastics made of rubber or with metal clasps. These can products can snag strands.
Stretch, Don’t Shrink
Depending on your hair type, your curls can shrink as much as 30 to 75 percent of their true length. To make the most of your inches, style with products designed to elongate your curls, such as our Curl Quencher® Hydrafusion Intense Curl Cream.
Eat for Healthy Hair
Both Wagmeister and Dr. Henry stress how important a healthy, balanced diet is for hair growth. Choose foods rich in lean protein, iron, and vitamins B12, D, and E. “It’s trendy to cut carbs, however they are necessary to provide the energy needed for hair-forming cells,” Wagmeister says.
Recommended Foods for Increased Hair Growth
- Complex carbohydrates Eat foods such as oatmeal and brown rice.
- Protein and iron-rich foods. Eat foods such as lean meat, salmon, spinach, almonds and walnuts.
In addition to eating healthfully, “adding Biotin supplementation can do wonders,” says Dr. Henry.
See Your Stylist
It might seem counterintuitive, but occasional trims are an essential part of growing out curly hair. Not only will regular salon visits keep split ends at bay, your stylist can reshape your cut as it grows—all the better to avoid the dreaded “triangle” look. This way, you’ll love your in-between length as much as the long, beautiful curls in your future.