Many women, regardless of race and hair texture, covet long tresses. It’s not just the women, as several studies have shown that men are more attracted to women with long hair. It’s like a sign of beauty, and despite campaigns to stop women from being targets of superficial worth, more women than ever are going to great lengths to gain length! As the popularity of wigs, weaves, and extensions continue to climb, it’s an easy fix to gain length as you can add as much hair, human or synthetic, as you please.
However, hair weaves (especially human hair) come with hefty price tags that tend to run in the hundreds, and coupled with the labor required for installation can amount to $500 or more per weave.
Traditional routes to length
Vitamins, scalp massages, hair treatments, and even eating healthier fall under the label as traditional routes to obtain long tresses. Most of us know they work and with proper maintenance you can retain the length you grow, but even with these methods most hair only grows ½ in per month. That varies from woman to woman, and there are many women (like Elle from Quest for the Perfect Curl) who see more growth.
Untraditional routes to length
Yes, there are some slightly strange methods that have been proven to strengthen the hair and allow you to retain more length. High on the list of strange and even a little gross is bull semen. Yes, you read that correctly. If you are interested to learn more, you should read Bull Semen: The Latest Hair Miracle.
Another strange but surprisingly popular remedy to longer tresses is using Monistat Yeast Infection Cream on your scalp. People probably prefer this method because it is easier to assess in a short period of time. Even bloggers and vloggers have tried this method and claim to see as much as two inches of growth within a month. Since Monistat is an anti-fungal cream, women use it to eliminate fungus from their scalps that can inhibit growth. Despite the claims of this wonder growth aid, many have suffered from the side effects like migraine headaches, tenderness, burning, and overall discomfort from applying this to their scalps. A safe and popular alternative is diluting tea tree oil with a carrier oil and applying it to your scalp. Read more at Curl Myth or Miracle: Monistat for Hair Growth.
A dangerous path to longer lengths would be rubbing cayenne pepper or hot sauce on your scalp to stimulate circulation, which then stimulates growth. In only one study has the active chemical compound in peppers, capsaicin, been linked to hair growth, and in that study it was injected into mice and ingested by humans, so no study has proven that topical application will produce the same result. You are taking a big risk of using something spicy on your scalp as well as creating a greater chance of it getting in your eyes. This is not worth the potential for self-inflicted pain.
Misconstrued routes to length
An old wives tale that has been around for years is that dirty hair grows faster than clean hair. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as hair must be cleansed on a regular basis. What some misconceive as growth due to dirt build up is actually the low manipulation due to less handling from washing and styling. Also, shampooing too often can strip the natural oils in our hair that are needed to help keep elasticity within our strands to combat breakage.
There is another misconception that frequent trims make your hair grow faster. Cutting or trimming your hair has no effect on your hair follicles and their growth patterns. Trimming regularly will get rid of split ends and reduce breakage, but it will not make your hair grow faster.
Basically, take many of these so-called remedies for faster hair growth with a grain of salt. Your hair is growing, regardless of what you are doing, unless you have an illness that is stunting this growth. The real concern you need to address is length retention. Keeping your hair moisturized, clean, removing split ends, maintaining a low stress level, and eating healthy will collectively aid in length retention.
About the author: Sabrina, founder of seriouslynatural.org and contributor to several online publications, is a freelance writer who engages her audiences on the relevance of natural hair, beauty, and style.