Image: Kuawuane Burton Photography
The Growth Guru, Whitney Eaddy has taken the natural hair world by storm with her jaw-dropping hair growth transformations and knowledge for tips and tricks for healthy hair growth and retention. She recently sat down with us to talk about her journey, myths the hair world needs to debunk, and the best moisturizers we need and the conversation was priceless! Check out her story below:
Describe your natural hair in 3 words. . .
Magical, healthy & God-given
Share your hair journey and what made you want to help other women learn to embrace their natural hair?
I started getting relaxers at the age of two before I could even make my own decisions. I got this chemical treatment every six weeks until I was 19 years old. One day, in between relaxers I started feeling my roots and begin to feel curious about my natural texture. My first big chop was 2002 and since then I’ve done 4 of them. Looking back now, I think my first big chop was about me reconnecting with my roots and deprogramming myself from negative messages regarding my hair that was rooted in Europe’s beauty standards! I was then a 19-year -old, curious, slightly rebellious, college student and it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself! I’ve done all of the right and wrong things with my own natural hair! Once I finally found a routine and system that worked for me, I started putting together what has developed into Her Growing Hands methodologies. At the time, I didn't quite realize the magnitude of what I was cultivating, nor did I think that the healthy natural hair techniques that I was manipulating would have such an impact on my life and the lives of so many others that I’ve been fortunate enough to touch!
What has been the most challenging and empowering moments of your natural hair journey? What lessons did you learn?
The most challenging moments of my natural journey are like most women I think, the moments where you are completely lost and don’t understand your natural hair at all. I learned to be patient and to be kind to myself and my hair and I learned what my hair will and won’t do. I’ve learned what my hair’s characteristics are and I think that’s so important for women to truly learn their hair which is one of the things I focus on in trainings and Her Growing Hands Salons.
It is so important that women understand THEIR own hair. Because each of our crowns are different. I don't believe in the whole 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C philosophies. How can we take so many different types of hair and categorize them into a few buckets? Another thing is that the most empowering part of my natural hair journey has been to truly see myself in the light that God created me in without any extras (braids, wigs, sew-ins). Once the women learn to see themselves with the hair that God gifted them and feel comfortable in their skin with their natural texture that’s ultimately one of the purest forms of self-love.
For someone who is transitioning, what advice would you share?
For a transition, the first thing I always say is patience, patience, patience! Also trust the process and chop when you feel in your heart and your gut that it’s the time!
What natural hair myths do you strive to debunk?
There are three major myths that come across often. The first is that natural hair can’t grow! Our hair can do so many amazing things when protected and loved properly. Many protective styles out there are not properly protecting our hair and we have to look at what we actually call protective styling. In my methodology, anything that is installed to your hair that warrants hypertension and high manipulation ultimately will result in damage.
The second myth is that our hair requires heavy products. How many women come into the salons with heavy oil, butter, creams, and even grease all the while underneath their hair is parched and not hydrated at all. Most naturals are not retaining moisture properly! With my product line Juices N’ Berries, I hope to usher in a new way of taking care of our hair and ultimately result in the resolution of major hydration issues.
Another myth that I see is that oil is a moisturizer. Oil is not a moisturizer, although it is a natural conditioner that can be applied pre-or post styling to nourish your strands and scalp. Not to be confused with the conditioner that you would apply after your shampoo, oil is more like a daily conditioner if that makes sense. Proper hydrants are water-based. H2O is our best hydrator, but it's important to balance it with lightweight oil.
What are your top tips for healthy hair growth?
I will always say that the keys were healthy hair care and growth are low tension low manipulation and keeping your ends healthy. It’s almost like working out, it’s not a complicated concept, however, it requires discipline & dedication. It’s more about what you don’t do to your hair! Less is more! Give it the good stuff and leave it alone!
What were your top hair transformations of 2019?
I pride myself on meeting ladies exactly where they are and empowering them with the tools and resources they need to grow their hair to its fullest potential. Below are some of the top transformations I have seen in 2019:
Image: The Growth Guru
Image: The Growth Guru
Image: The Growth Guru
Image: The Growth Guru
Tell us about your brand and the products you created and what we can expect in 2020...
So I have a collection of products called The Growth Guru’s Healthy Hair Collection. Each product supports an important component of healthy hair growth. In July 2019, I launched NaturalU Hair Illusions. These are U-part wigs and drawstring ponytails that can be used as protective styling pieces. The great thing about these protective styling pieces is that they are natural hair textures, so they look and feel like our own curly and kinky hair. They also are very low tension and manipulation, so they leave lots of room for your hair to grow underneath.
The next part of the Growth Guru’s Healthy Hair Collection is Silken Luxury Sleep, which launched in September 2019. Silken is a line of 100% mulberry silk pillowcases, scarves and scrunchies. These beautiful and lush accessories serve to protect your hair and skin through moisture-retention. Not only that but 100% mulberry silk is hypo-allergenic, infused with natural proteins, reduces split-ends, reduces acne and is organic and environmentally-friendly.
Last, but certainly not least, The Growth Guru’s Healthy Hair Collection includes Juices N’ Berries, which launches January 2020. Juices N’ Berries hair care line is formulated specifically for thirsty hair. It serves to heal, hydrate, revive and promote overall growth in all-natural hair textures. As a hair growth expert, the number one issue most naturals struggle with is dryness. Juices N’ Berries is the one-stop-shop for mitigating those issues. The line includes a co-wash, a leave-in, hydration spray, and hair growth elixir. Be on the lookout for that one as it launches the beginning of 2020!
My Her Growing Hands brand also has some other exciting things coming 2020. So I encourage all naturalistas to stay tuned for some exciting news releases here pretty soon!