Hannah Pool: The new black

The most common complaint about Afro hair is that it doesn't grow as quickly as other types of hair. This is a fallacy. When Afro hair first grows, it is curly, which means that it takes a while to look like it's doing anything. Then, all of a sudden, a curl drops and, bingo, you seem to have gained an inch overnight. And if you want to ensure it's in as good nick as possible, there are things you can do.

Before you accuse me of hair overkill, after all that business with driers and ceramic straighteners, I feel I can't leave it there without advice on giving your hair a boost. It's pretty obvious that good hair isn't just about whether or not you over-process it. Like glowing skin and strong nails, great hair is also about what you are - or aren't - eating. Dry, brittle hair, if not down to over-processing, can be due to a lack of essential fats - omegas 3 and 6 (think salmon, mackerel and other oily fish). Poor hair growth and dull colour is generally down to zinc deficiency, while hair loss usually indicates more serious causes such as hormone imbalance, thyroid problems or other things worthy of a trip to the GP.

Super foods for hair are yellow, green and red fruit and vegetables (that's pretty much all of them), seeds and nuts, olives (and olive oil). Things that stimulate circulation are also said to help hair growth, so give yourself a head massage every time you shampoo. And, most importantly as far as I'm concerned, resist the temptation to wash your hair too often.

Afro hair doesn't need frequent washing; in fact, it positively hates it. It took me ages before I'd admit in public that I never wash my hair more than once a fortnight - and, if I'm honest, it's more like once a month. I rinse pretty much daily to stop product build-up and to get rid of surface grime, but that's all - anything more, and I'm left with a dry frizzy mess.

No, it doesn't smell, my head doesn't itch and nor is it greasy, but thanks for your concern. In fact, the only problem is putting up with the "Ooh, once a month, really, is that all?"-type comments when I 'fess up.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.