As a fellow naturalista with (mostly) 4a hair, I can totally relate to the frustration that comes from wanting your hair to grow out, but because it’s curly, feeling like it’s not. Not even a little bit.

This feeling can be uber-frustrating but you know what? Don’t let your curly hair texture fool you. Although genetics do play a pivotal role in just how long our hair ultimately gets, everyone’s hair grows between ¼-½” a month. This means that if you take really good care of yours (ends included), you could end up with as much as 6” of new growth a year!

I’ll be frank with you—when it’s curly, it will probably appear bigger instead of longer. But when you braid, twist or blow it out (try and not overdo it with that last one), you’ll see that your hair is indeed making progress; especially if you apply the following eight things to your daily hair growth regimen.

Peppermint Oil

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Peppermint oil is awesome! It does everything from relieve headaches (including migraines) and unclog sinuses to soothe menstrual cramps and freshen breath. But what I really like about it is its ability to make my scalp feel all cool and tingly. Whenever that happens, it’s a sign that the oil is stimulating my hair follicles. When that happens, blood circulation increases and hair growth transpires.

As a heads up, peppermint oil is pretty potent. You might want to dilute it with some coconut or avocado oil. Then use it as a hot oil treatment once a week or apply a little every couple of days in order to keep dandruff and the overproduction of sebum at bay.

DIY Hair Growth Shampoo

We all need to wash our hair and scalp, there’s no doubt about that. But honestly, sometimes it’s the kind of shampoo we choose that works against us having the kind of hair growth that we want. Shampoos that contain sulfates are particularly drying. Also, certain commercial brands have far too many chemicals in them.

One way to work around all of this drama is to make your own shampoo. It might sound complex at first, but all you need is some castile soap, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin E oil, distilled water and a couple of your favorite essential oils. There’s a great recipe here. I’d be shocked if after the first wash, it doesn’t become a consistent part of your wash day routine.

Berry Salads

The peak season for strawberries is April-June. That’s good to know since berries are something else that promotes hair growth. Thanks to the high amount of antioxidants that are in them, strawberries (berries, in general, actually) are able to protect your hair from free radicals. As a bonus, the Vitamin C that’s in them will help your body to produce more collagen which ultimately helps to prevent hair breakage.

If you really want to take hair growth from the inside out up a notch, put those berries on some fresh spinach; it contains vitamins A and C, folate and iron—all of which your hair needs (especially Vitamin A because it promotes the produce of sebum so that your hair stays naturally conditioned).

Rose Petals

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Roses are interesting because there are some that are known as repeat bloomers (they bloom in May, June and again in September). Then there are those that pretty much only show up in the spring. It’s good to know that you have access to roses all throughout the year—your hair needs them.

What, you didn’t know? If you take some rose petals, boil them in distilled water, let them cool and then apply them as a rinse onto your freshly-washed hair, it has a way of making your tresses super soft. Some say that it’s also a great all-natural treatment for dry scalp as it provides a coat of protection from sun damage. The less damage you have, the more hair length you’ll get.

Niacin

If you’re wondering what niacin is, it’s Vitamin B in B3 form. It’s the type of nutrient that’s in foods like sweet potatoes, brown rice, tuna, turkey and broccoli. If you’re on a mission to get your hair to grow longer, you need to have plenty of niacin in your system. For one thing, it helps to nourish your scalp. Also, it strengthens your hair follicles and helps to treat dry brittle hair in the process.

Fermented Foods

Something that all of us need a lot of are enzymes. They’re what helps our body to absorb the vitamins and minerals that we consume on a daily basis. One way to get enzymes into your system is by taking a supplement, but another way to do it is by eating fermented foods. Fermentation is basically the process of changing a food from a carb to alcohol or an organic acid. Some foods that top the list include sauerkraut, miso, kefir, probiotic yogurt and pickles (yes, pickles!).

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Scalp Exercises

I know it sounds weird to exercise the scalp, but trust me, it works! Technically, what you’re doing is massaging your scalp so that blood circulation intensifies and feeds your follicles. If you want some tips on how to massage your scalp properly, read more here.

My recommendation would be to do it on wash day with an essential oil like peppermint, rosemary (it will make your hair thicker) or thyme (it helps to treat alopecia and prevent hair loss). Shampoo your hair, warm up the oil and massage your scalp for 10 minutes. Then deep condition your hair and style as usual. You’ll start to see a noticeable difference after 3-4 wash days.

Macadamia Oil

An oil that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves is macadamia oil. It’s an oil that comes from the Australian nut. Because it’s the kind of nut that contains 80 percent monounsaturated fats, macadamia oil is great for heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which makes it great for treating acne, eczema and psoriasis.

As far as your hair goes, macadamia oil is awesome due the fact that its fatty acids will strengthen your follicles while helping your hair to have a brilliant shine. As a bonus, macadamia oil significantly reduces frizz which is always a plus on beautiful-yet-really-humid days.

Some people use it straight out of the bottle. My recommendation is to pour a couple of capfuls into your shampoo and wash your hair with it. You’ll totally love how it makes your hair feel as you’re trying to take it from it is to oh so much longer!

Have any more tips to help see your curls flourish? Share them with us in the comments!