When it comes to getting thicker hair as an African American woman, knowing the steps to take can be confusing.
Luckily, there are a few guided steps you can take that will ensure your hair is healthy and flourishing.
In this article, we break down the best methods to thicken your hair and get it to grow healthier and lusher than ever.
Use The Right Products For Thicker Hair
A lot of the times, we can struggle with knowing what our hair needs in order to achieve a certain level of growth and health.
Having thick hair requires you to pay careful attention to the way you nourish your hair. In order to do this, you need to make sure you are including the right products into your hair care routine.
There are different categories of products that your hair needs. From oils to moisturizers to conditioners and more.
How much of each product you use and how frequently you use it depends on what your hair is missing or needs the most.
Knowing what each type of product does can help you figure out what to invest more in when it comes to your hair care to achieve thicker hair.
Oils are an essential to achieving thicker hair. This is because oils promote hair growth and thicken the hair in the process by performing a special function not many other products can do.
The oils provide rich nutrition to your hair that prevents it from being thin and weak. They also seal in moisture and prevent your hair from losing water unnecessarily.
The best oils to put into your hair are natural oils.
Jamaican black castor oil is highly recommended for this purpose. You can buy this oil in its pure form or you can look for hair care products that have it as a main ingredient.
Castor oil is rich in vitamin E, which makes it great for improving hair strength, growth and thickness.
The oil coats hair fibers and nourishes them with the vital vitamins it needs to grow thicker.
This oil can be applied to the hair as a leave-in treatment for about a day before a hair wash. Or you can buy a cleanser that already contains this ingredient.
Olive oil is also another good natural oil for promoting thicker hair. It is rich in omega 3 acids.
Omega 3 acids help the growth and thickness of your hair to improve.
Olive oil is found in so many hair care products that it won’t be hard for you to add it into your hair care routine.
You can even buy products that are pure olive oil-based, just like with castor oil.
Another great oil to look out for is jojoba oil. This is also found in a lot of hair care products.
While research is ongoing, Jojoba oil is thought to be good for quickening the hair growth process. Apparently, it not only strengthens and thickens hair, but makes it grow faster than when other hair oils are applied to it.
Basically, hair growth and thickening are highly improved by adding more essential oils to your hair care routine.
Sometimes, moisturisers and their importance in maintaining healthy African American hair can sometimes be overlooked.
Hair moisturisers are an essential part of the road to thicker natural hair. This is because they provide your hair with the hydration it needs to grow strong.
Water-based moisturisers are especially good. Other substances may have the power to hydrate your hair, but nothing is as potent as good old natural water.
When you add water or other hydration to your hair, you prevent it from being too dry.
Dry hair is definitely something you want to avoid.
Dry hair is very brittle and is more prone to breakage, damage and thinning. This would hinder your hair from growing thicker.
Making sure that moisture is a part of your hair care routine will greatly decrease your chances of being set back on your journey to thicker hair.
Because you could be doing everything else in your hair care routine right. But as long as your hair is being deprived of moisture, it will undo everything else you are doing to nourish it.
A great way to ensure moisture is preserved in your hair is to get water-based products across the board.
Many shampoos, conditioners and styling products are water-based. A lot of products that come in gel form, especially, are water-based.
Another way to retain moisture is to maximise on the number of essential oils in your hair care routine.
We’ve already seen that essential oils are good for their nutrients, which promote hair growth, strength and thickening.
But they are also good for something else. Essential oils lock in water in your hair and make sure it doesn’t escape easily.
If you are looking to avoid problems with breakage, thinning and damage that will slow down your process to getting thicker hair, moisturisers are definitely your friend.
Hair conditioners are something to take very seriously if you want to achieve healthier, thicker hair.
Conditioners are important to your hair care routine because they boost your hair volume.
Good conditioners enter the hair shaft and feed your strands with nutrients that allow your hair to thicken, become fuller and more voluminous.
Hair conditioners are usually packed with rich ingredients like vitamins, oils and natural extracts.
These ingredients feed your hair fibers with a lot of nourishment. They make your hair stronger and less susceptible to thinning, which could lead to breakage.
The other great things that conditioners do is they soften your hair. Other than giving your hair a bouncier, thicker look, softening your hair is beneficial for other reasons.
When conditioners make your hair softer, they make it easier for you to comb and style it without needing to use too much force.
This is important because if your hair is too coarse to brush and style easily, it could end up getting damaged and breaking in the process.
Using a good hair conditioner post-wash or as a leave-in treatment prevents you from having hair-damaging troubles while getting your hair ready.
Conditioners also shield hair from damaging elements such as excessive heat, humidity and UV light.
This is why it’s important to have a good hair conditioner on deck in your routine if you want thicker hair.
Vitamins & Supplements
Vitamins are incredibly vital to your hair’s continuous growth and thickening.
Our bodies produce a lot of hair cells on a regular basis. But hair is not essential for your survival.
Because of this, our hair can sometimes be the last to receive the nutrients and vitamins that we take into our bodies.
Using hair products that have vitamins in them tackles this problem by giving the body an extra supply of vitamins to distribute to our hair cells.
There are a number of specific vitamins that are best for your hair growth and thickening.
B vitamins are especially good for hair thickening. B vitamins can be found in a number of conditioners as well as shampoos.
Vitamin D is also known to be really good for hair growth and thickening. As well as irons and proteins, which can be found in a variety of hair care products.
Looking for hair care products with these ingredients is a great way to make sure you are getting enough of them regularly.
Another option is to buy vitamin supplements, which can come in the form of tablets.
A lot of vitamin supplements can easily be bought from local pharmacies anywhere or online. And they are quite affordable.
It’s easy to overlook the lack of vitamins as a reason why your hair may not be growing and thickening the way you want it to. Vitamins seem like such a minor detail in a hair care routine.
But making sure you have a regular source of vitamins outside of just your regular diet can make a world of difference to your achieving thicker hair.
We all know that growth or thickness are not the only things we want out of our hair. Most of us want to look stylish or rock a great hairstyle too.
The good thing is with the right products, you can have both.
Styling products are mainly designed to give you a great hairstyle, but they can also be very beneficial to giving you thicker hair.
A lot of black hair styling products are made out of nourishing ingredients like essential oils, natural extracts, vitamins and more.
Looking for a styling product that has any of these ingredients as a main active agent will make it so much easier for you to maintain your chic look while keeping your hair healthy and thriving.
Getting styling products that are water-based or in gel form in also a great move. This is because gels or water-based styling products will keep your hair moisturised.
We’ve already pointed out that moisture is important to hair thickening because it prevents your strands from thinning out and potentially breaking.
So, using gel stylers or water-based stylers is definitely a smart move for achieving thicker hair.
Avoid Damaging Exposure And Treatments
Unfortunately, something that can hinder a good hair thickening journey is when you think you are doing what’s best for your hair, but you are actually using a method that is damaging to it.
The list of things that are really damaging to African American hair actually isn’t that long.
But those things that are damaging are easy to unknowingly do or get exposed to.
There are things that you can do to your hair that increase its chances of losing nutrients, thinning, or becoming dry and brittle.
In order to make sure you’re not setting yourself back on the path to getting thicker hair, you will want to avoid doing the following things.
Cleansing your hair is very good for it. The easiest and most efficient way to cleanse your hair is to shampoo it somewhat regularly.
Shampooing your hair takes out any unwanted dirt or substances. On a daily basis, our hair gets easily exposed to dirt and these unwanted substances.
But the problem arises when you begin to wash or cleanse your hair too excessively. This is because washing your hair too much not only removes dirt, but also strips your hair of nutrients.
We’ve already established that vitamins and oils are great for hair thickening because they encourage it to become stronger and to grow more.
If you shampoo your hair too much, you remove these vital nutrients from your hair, which leaves it with nothing to feed it.
This can make your hair easily and quickly become thin and brittle. And this then leads to hair falling out or breaking easily, which is the opposite effect to what you want.
The best way to make sure you are not over-cleansing your hair is to wash it only a couple of times a week, as opposed to daily, for instance.
Washing your hair with shampoos that don’t contain sulfates can also be a good move if you are trying to get thicker hair.
This is because shampoos containing sulfates can sometimes strip your hair of oils. And if you are trying to use essential oils to thicken your hair, the sulfate-containing shampoo will undo this effort.
There are many sulfate-free shampoos you can look to.
For instance, the Design Essentials Almond and Avocado Shampoo is a good option. It is not only affordable but is packed with many great nutrients that will keep your hair safe from damage while cleansing it.
This is sometimes a tricky one to avoid, because heat can be convenient in the styling process.
Blow-drying your hair, using a heat curler or any other styling method that adds heat can be tempting.
It’s easy to fall for the trap of these methods when you want to quickly dry your hair or achieve a slick, straight hair look.
But unfortunately, you have to give this up to maintain healthier, thicker hair.
This is because heat can damage your curl pattern and make your hair thinner, weaker and therefore more prone to breakage.
Instead of blow-drying your hair, you should air-dry it instead. Air-drying your hair will allow it to absorb the moisture from your wash.
This will ultimately lead to your hair strengthening and becoming thicker.
Avoiding heat curlers also helps your hair maintain its natural curl and prevents thinning that could lead to a lot of breakage.
Straight-hair slick looks are great every once in a while. But they are certainly not something to make into a frequent part of your hair care if you want to get thicker hair.
This is one of the harder ones to avoid because it isn’t necessarily in your control.
Weather elements like humidity are tricky because we can’t always predict how the weather will turn out and how it will affect our hair.
But there are a few things you can do to protect your hair despite the weather.
Humidity can be particularly damaging to African American hair because it blocks your hair from being able to absorb water and other moisturizing substances.
Since moisture is essential for maintaining hair strength and thickness, humidity is a big risk factor.
A lot of times, humidity can cause your hair to get frizzy. Some people like frizz because it gives your hair the appearance of being thicker and more voluminous.
But the truth is frizz can actually be a sign that your hair is experiencing damage from humidity and your curl pattern is being disturbed.
This is why it’s important to be able to counter the humidity to make sure your hair is getting naturally thicker in a healthy way.
What you can do to counter the humidity is invest in certain types of hair care products.
Buying hydrating products like moisturizing lotions, shampoos and conditioners is a good step to maintaining thicker hair.
For instance, the Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturising Hair Milk is really good. It works on all African American hair types, which is really convenient.
As long as you make sure you’re getting enough moisture in your hair care routine, your hair thickness will survive the effects of such harsh weather conditions.
Sunlight is not usually a bad thing, if you are getting the right amount of it.
Usually being in the sun can do you a world of good. But for your hair, too much sunlight can become damaging.
The reason for this is that excess UV rays found in sunlight can penetrate your hair and damage the keratin that makes up your hair.
This can then lead to your hair strands weakening and becoming dry and brittle. This leads to hair breakage, which isn’t good if you want thicker hair.
The best way to avoid hair damage from UV rays is to cover your hair up in some way when you are out in the sun.
Wearing scarfs, hats or other protective covers will prevent the UV rays from penetrating into your hair too deeply and causing trouble.
You can also look for hair care products that are specifically made with UV protection properties. Finding these only requires you to check the product label to see if it has these qualities.
You can also use products that are packed with essential oils and other hydrating properties to counter UV light damage.
You don’t have to avoid the sun completely to get thicker hair. All you have to do is make sure you have some kind of barrier to protect your hair and its thickness.
Wear Protective Hairstyles
Another great way to encourage your hair to grow thicker is to keep it in some kind of protective hairstyle.
These hairstyles are effective because they tuck away your hair.
This prevents it from experiencing regular stress from styling or being exposed to elements that can lead to its thinning and breakage.
Braids are a common and affordable protective hairstyle. They are easy to put in.
They also last relatively longer than a lot of natural hairstyles. This means they give your hair enough time to get stronger while you have them in or to recuperate from any damage it has already experienced.
Wigs are also a good protective style. With a wig, your hair is securely protected from the elements and any rigorous styling that could cause it damage.
If you are concerned about maintaining a natural hair look while keeping your hair protected, you could try some other styles.
There are plenty of crotchet hairstyles and flat twists, for instance, that you can try.
These allow you to maintain the natural hair look while also making sure your hair thickness isn’t getting hindered.
Trim Your Hair
This may be a painful one for some. But if push comes to shove, trimming your hair may be the best way to maintain hair thickness.
Sometimes our hair goes through so much damage that the best way to revitalize it and have it growing healthily again is to trim it or start entirely from scratch.
This is definitely a long-term approach. Because it means it’s going to be a while before you start to see the fruits of your labor to achieve thicker hair.
But for a lot of people, it is definitely a worthy approach. Trimming your hair gets rid of split ends, which stops further damage.
And an even bigger chop allows your hair to start growing afresh.
And if you pair this method with a refined hair care routine that includes the kind of products mentioned above, you’ll be sure to have thick, healthy, beautiful hair eventually.
Ways To Get Thicker Hair As A Black Woman, Conclusion
Figuring out how to get that healthy, thick, beautiful African American hair can feel like a minefield.
The threats that stand in the way of maintaining thick hair can be overwhelming. But there are definitely a few steps you can follow that can get you the results you want.
With the right products and the right knowledge about how to avoid hair damage, you will achieve your goal of having thicker hair in no time.