How To Grow Natural Hair And Textured Hair By Lupita Nyong'O's Hairstylist Vernon Francois

Everything you need to know to grow your curls extra long.

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We know a six weekly trim is the key to keeping hair healthy, but the long hair addict in us just can't bring ourselves to commit, especially when it seems like we'll be stuck with shoulder length locks forever and ever amen.

Yes, you should stick to the regular trim, but if you're frustrated with an involuntary lob that refuses to grow then we've got just the thing.

Lupita's go-to hairstylist and textured hair master, Vernon Francois told us his secrets for growing natural and textured hair seriously long whilst keeping it healthy. Now get growing (and trimming)!

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Sunday's 💛

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Vernon Francois' Top Tips For Growing Natural Hair

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

The way that you dry, style, detangle and handle your hair are all important for healthy hair growth. Kinky and coily hair textures tend to be naturally quite dry so it's important to get and keep as much moisture within your strands as possible.

2. Get your routine down

Eating right, drinking plenty of water, only using sulfate-free shampoos, plus covering your hair in a silk cap at nighttime - all of these tips will help.

3. Only use the good stuff

Choosing products with the best ingredients for your hair texture is important too, which is what my collection is all about. My PureFro range encourages strong and healthy hair growth for kinky, coily and tightly curled hair types; with Kalahari melon oil, which is rich in fatty acids, to help improve the hair's structure and panthenol to help improve its sheen.

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What should you avoid if you want to grow natural hair?

If you want to grow your hair, I'd say avoid wearing it tightly pulled back all the time. Doing this can create tension on the follicles at the base of the strands in the scalp, which can eventually make hair weaker - so mix it up a bit by wearing a variety of styles.

Prevention is better than cure, so don't fall into the habit of wearing your hair in a protective style like braids or a bun every day with the mindset, 'I'll do something with it when it's out'.

Even if you're wearing a wig you can care, prepare and protect the hair underneath with a product like my Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray.

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How long does natural hair take to grow?

I'm aware of a study by The International Journal of Dermatology which showed that Asian hair grows the quickest and African hair the slowest; but in my experience hair growth rate varies from person to person.

The reality is that your DNA, lifestyle and diet all have an influence. I highly recommend my Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray to encourage healthy growth; it has Mafura oil in it which is extremely nourishing for the hair and scalp.

How can your diet help hair grow?

There are lots of foods that help hair to grow:

  • Vitamin B7 is important because it supports keratin production, which is what hair is made of. This is found naturally in eggs, salmon, avocado, cheddar cheese and whole wheat bread.

Should you avoid dyeing your hair if you want to grow it?

Damaged hair breaks more easily than healthy hair because it's usually brittle, which can give the impression that hair isn't growing very quickly. Colouring hair is one of the causes of hair damage.

If you do want to colour your hair, I'd recommend visiting a professional stylist and going for a semi-permanent dye which is less harsh on the hair. There are some colours available now that are oil based which are more nourishing for the hair too.

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