5 Tips for Natural Hair Length and Edge Control

woman wearing twisted braids hair growth

Growing out your beautiful natural curls is an exciting adventure that is not without its challenges. You may think you've perfected your curl care technique, only to realize end control is still eluding you despite your best styling efforts. Adding length and volume can bring out the best of your style. However, when hair growth is slow or stalled entirely, it's easy to lose patience.

Don't give in to the urge to cut your curls quite yet. Every hair type grows at a different pace. Curly, wavy, coily, and straight locks all need a healthy hair care regimen to thrive. That starts from the ends to the roots when it comes to adding long, luxurious length. If you aren't sure where to begin, take a look at these 5 tips for gaining edge control. You may just find longer, voluminous locks waiting to take your style game to the next level.

1.) Moisturize for Healthy Edge Growth

Growing natural hair starts with developing a curl-friendly moisturizing routine. Hydration is key for adding inches to your lovely locks. Start by prioritizing what your hair doesn't need -- sulfates, parabens, silicone, and other nasty additives that cause dryness and breakage. Stick to all-natural shampoos and deep conditioning products that provide plenty of slip so you can easily comb through your ends without shedding. Castor oil is a fantastic ingredient to look for when choosing the right styling products. This all-natural curl booster lubricates the hair shaft to reduce breakage, dandruff, and flaking.

Woman applying deep conditioning treatment to natural curly hair

Keratin is another essential ingredient to look for. This naturally occurring hair protein fortifies your edges for new hair growth. For thicker hair types, stick to washing your locks once a week to keep your hair nourished without drying it out. If your hair falls more on the wavy side of the curl spectrum, 2-3 times per week is sufficient.

When your natural hair is in a growth period, it's a good idea to work in an extra boost of hydration beyond your usual wash day routine. Oil mixtures are a great addition to your nightly routine. Apply from ends to mid-length before bed and wake up to luscious, longer hair!

2.) Seal Your Ends

Once you've mastered a moisturizing routine that works for your daily schedule, it's time to enhance edge growth by sealing those ends. Curly hair typically has a high porosity meaning your lovely locks will absorb and lose water quickly. As a result, high porosity hair is prone to breakage which makes it more difficult to grow out.

One way to lock in that hydration is by using lightweight hair butter on your ends. Hair butter promotes edge growth by sealing the cuticle, preventing fraying, and keeping your curls moisturized. Classic shea butter, coconut butter, and jojoba butter are some of the best natural hair products for curly hair growth. Coconut butter is particularly helpful as an anti-fungal and antibacterial which promotes a clear scalp alongside radiant hair. You can also use argan oil to prep your hair before styling and get all of that extra moisture locked into each strand.

Don't forget to protect your hair while you sleep. A silk pillowcase or bonnet is essential for moisture retention. Never go to bed with wet hair as damp locks are more susceptible to breakage. Once you've established a nightly routine, maintain consistency and you're sure to start seeing results.

natural whole foods and supplements for healthy hair growth

3.) Supplement Edge Growth With Whole Foods and Nutrients

Many supplements on the market can benefit hair health. When choosing which ones to take for natural hair growth, you should look for supplements backed by research. Studies have shown that fish oil, aloe vera, ginseng, and coconut oil can directly benefit your hair by promoting hair growth or preventing hair loss.

If your hair growth is feeling stalled, natural hair growth supplements can help. Some of the best supplements for natural hair growth include aloe vera, ginseng, fish oil, and coconut oil. Ginseng is an excellent herbal supplement to include in your morning routine. You can also enjoy the benefits of ginseng in tea. This herb promotes the active growth phase of hair follicles, allowing you to skip the wait and enjoy longer hair, faster. Fish oil can also be taken as a supplement to improve elasticity, boost volume, and prevent hair loss. If you're looking for a way to incorporate aloe vera and coconut oil, try combining these two healthy hair supplements into a DIY hair mask.

Looking for more DIY face mask ideas? Try an onion juice treatment! This all-natural, nourishing trick may sound strange, but onion juice is excellent for increasing circulation to the hair cuticles and promoting edge growth. Mix with a light scent like rosemary and leave it on your scalp for 15 minutes. Repeat twice a week for best results.

4.) Try a Protective Style

Protective hairstyles are a fantastic solution for growing out natural hair without compromising style. You may have heard it said that protective styles can make natural hair grow faster. While this isn't exactly true, protective hairstyles can strengthen your hair and give your edges time to grow out. Braids and twists are the best styles for hair growth because they're lightweight and don't pull on the root. Braids strengthen hair by wrapping the strands tightly to shield the cuticle from the elements. Similarly, twists create a denser, rope-like structure that is less prone to breakage and splitting.

candid image of a young black woman with hair in colorful protective style braidsProtective styles are also a great way to give your natural hair a break from harsh styling while your locks are growing out. You can still enjoy the best-trending hairstyles for natural hair without the commitment to color and other hair treatments. Be sure to switch out your protective hairstyle by your stylists' recommendations. Leaving a protective style in for too long or trying to extend the life by re-wrapping twists and braids can weigh on your edge growth. So book yourself a salon appointment, get your style started, and remember to stop by for touch-ups.

5.) Lower the Heat

Long-term high heat exposure is the number one enemy of healthy ends. Heat causes your edges to split and fray by disrupting the delicate keratin protein structure. To take our style lesson back to chemistry class, molecular bonds are broken by intense heat. When it comes to healthy hair care, this manifests in telltale split ends that indicate your hair has had a little too much time in the sun.

Heat damage can ruin your edge growth in a variety of ways. The most obvious culprit is natural sunlight. Harsh UV rays are known as cellular disruptors. That means if you're trying to grow out long summer locks, prioritizing sun protection will be number one on your summer bucket list. Try to minimize direct sun exposure when enjoying time outside. A high-quality, hydrating sunscreen designed for natural hair care is a great option for hair and scalp protection. Seal your edge growth by applying sun protectant spray or serum from ends to mid-length. Use sparingly along the scalp and root line, then go enjoy your day.

Looking for the best sunscreen for curly hair? Sun Bum's natural hair and scalp mist is a favorite! If you're running low on sunscreen, you can also rock a cute hat, wrap it, or keep your edges protected in buns and twists.

The second factor to consider when growing natural hair is your home styling routine. Heat styling is often more frequent and long-term than seasonal sun exposure. Daily straightening, curling, and blow drying often have a more significant impact on your hair's health over time. Avoid direct heat application to the ends of your hair whenever possible. If using a straightener, try turning the heat off and gently flipping the ends of your curls. 

When it comes to blow drying your hair, traditional high-heat dryers can deliver a damaging amount of heat directly to your ends. If you've ever encountered frizz and hair shedding after a shower, high heat could be the problem. Curly hair is extra sensitive when wet as the water causes the strands to become brittle and susceptible to breakage. Break up with your old-school hairdryer instead and try the low-heat lifestyle! RevAir's innovative reverse air design supports healthy hair growth without stalling your daily routine. You can dry, smooth, and style natural hair 3x faster than traditional hair dryers without frying your curls.

Check out RevAir in action and learn more about the low-heat lifestyle.

Amazing hair growth is just an adventure away. A few simple healthy hair routines can dramatically improve edge growth for curly hair. If you're looking for more ways to enhance your home hair care routine, check out The Beginner's Guide to Moisturizing Natural Hair and reach out to the team at RevAir for personalized tips and recommendations. Happy styling!