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Little girl

Dear Rebecca:

I’m 14-years-old. I've been growing my hair natural for almost over a year now, and it’s not even on my shoulders. I’m so tired of being the only girl with short hair and weave. I'm also tired of being made fun of because of my hair.

I think I know the reason behind it as well: I use a lot of weave and braids since I’m in school, and don’t have a clue how to manage natural hair. So this summer, I have been trying a puff and trying to straighten my natural hair. I was wondering: is this the best thing I can do to finally get out of this short/medium length hair.

Dear Growing Slowly:

If natural hair is what you really, really want, then hang in there! Hair typically grows ½ an inch per month. Now, that is based upon the individual eating the right foods for healthy hair, exercising and drinking a lot of water.

Whenever I get asked how to grow long hair fast, my response is always to drink as much water as you can. This is necessary because water hydrates the body and helps to regulate the circulatory system, which feeds the hair follicle, which then stimulates hair growth.

There have been some reports that have shown that Biotin hair growth supplements can aid in the growth of hair. However, I would first consult with your health care professional.

So, here are my recommendations: drink as much water as you can, eat well (no processed foods, fast foods, or anything with too much starch), and exercise regularly. In this case, the miracle pill is water.

Good luck, and I know you will reach your hair goals!

Rebecca Mariolis

Sorry guys wanted to add that I wash with WEN and do simple box braids using Body Shop Body BUtter in Coconut and Curly Hair Solutions Extenzz as my leave in; Extenzz uses Lecethin to soften and fight shrinkage. The Body BUtter blends water with cocoa butter and other essential oils in a light pomade that isn't heavy and asborbs into my hair and scalp instead of sitting on it. If your pomade is rock hard at room temp then that is how it will sit on your hair. I use an old fashioned Goody comb on box braids which give nice crimps for day time. The more you use WEN the softer your curls will be.

Consider treating the problem from the inside out. My dermatologist recommended Biotin supplements, which are available at CVS or your local drugstore, for my damaged hair. Eggs also contain Biotin, but if you don't like eggs then take the Biotin vitamin. Beans such as chick peas, red beans, black beans etc are good for fighting hair loss, so are sesame seeds and brazil nuts. L-Methionine deficiency or Trichothiodystrophy can cause brittle hair, luckily foods like spinach, beans, eggs, oats and nuts are terrific for hair. And gelatin is good for hair, so adding Jello to your diet may help too. I really like Curly Hair Solution's Extenzz which fights shrinkage, I use it as my main leave in, along with Body Shop Body Butter in Coconut; those two leave ins work great for softening hair and a little goes a long way. Plus WEN is the only cleanser/conditioner I use. I wish these great products had been around years ago, they would have saved me many years of chemicals burns and expensive relaxers!

It is also likely that there is lack of caring for the hair under the weave and braid extensions. Moisturizing the hair (with water containing product) and sealing with oils is key. 4c hair can grow long (youtubers have proven this).

4c hair can grow past shoulders...This is is a misinterpretation due to "hair jump" or in negative terms, "shrinkage" when compared to straight hair. Think about...

Ms. Mariolis - although you offered the young girl solutions to helping her grow her hair, you failed to see the forest for the trees. The bigger issue is this young girls self- esteem. It is not okay to tease people about the length or texture of their hair. I have 4c hair and NO it will NOT grow past my shoulders. Perhaps next time include the very important fact that length isn't everything and weave's could potentially lead to permanent scalp/hair damage, not to mention the psychological toll. If you are going to advice young black girls you may want to read some literature ie. the bluest eye, etc.