Interview with Chicoro, author of Grow It

Grow It Cover Art

Grow It, by Chicoro has been out since 2009, and continues to be a must have handbook for those looking for practical advice for growing out healthy natural hair. Chicoro lays out a step by step routine that deals with uneven hair growth, thin ends, and "hair jump." Yes, I said "hair jump."

Chicoro deals with the amazing quality of afro curly hair to jump from waist to neck length with its curly springy abilities. Others call this shrinkage, but Chicoro really discusses the phenomenon of natural hair reminding us how truly unique our hair is.

Graciously, Chicoro agreed to talk about her book, upcoming projects and how to grow our beautiful natural hair healthy.

NH Grows: 1. The introduction of Grow It just hit me so hard because I really felt your disappointment with your hair when you secretly held a clump of it in your hand during class. What would you tell someone who may be dealing with hair breakage or hair loss similar to what you went through?

Chicoro: I would tell that person that when a painful, disappointing situation arises in your life, that it is to be looked at as an opportunity to make changes. More specifically, when your hair is breaking or when hair loss is happening, your body is signaling to you that you have an issue that needs to be addressed. Start documenting what you use on your hair, when you use it, the ingredients, the frequency and how your hair looks and feels after application of the process or products. Pay attention to how you handle your hair. Look at what you are eating and examine how you feel about yourself. Then look around at your external life. Is your job stressful? Is school eating you alive? Is there someone in your life draining your peace of mind? Is money a worry for you? Breaking hair and hair loss are clues that something in your life may not be working for you. Pay attention. You are capable of identifying this challenge and resolving it.

NH Grows: 2. What do you say to some people who may question your ethnic heritage, saying that allows you to grow longer hair?

Chicoro: I would say that genetics do play a part in how long your hair will grow. I would also say that we don't have the "Genetics and Genes Play Book" printed out to use as a reference, either. What that means is that you can never know how your hair will respond to process based, knowledgeable hair care. I would encourage the person to focus on her own hair and learn to bring out its unique beauty. You never know what may happen or how long it will grow!

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NH Grows: 3. The second part of the Grow It process is to wash your hair frequently. Now some long haired naturals wash their hair once a week, once a month or twice a month. Why do you recommend at least once a week?

Once a week is an arbitrary or baseline starting point. Hair care can be overwhelming and many of us just don't know where to start. Thus, the once a week suggestion is to help the person new to hair care to get oriented.

NH Grows: 4. A part of the Grow It process is to “listen to your hair.” Give two practical examples of how you are “listening to your hair” when caring for it.

Chicoro: 'Listening ' is visual, with your eyes and tactile with your hands. Do a baseline. Take photos of your hair and record how it looks and feels. Every time you do something like wash it or condition it, examine how your hair feels and looks. Is it rough to the touch? Is it silky and soft? Is it dull and coated? Does it have a sheen? It's really about getting to know your hair and what it likes and what it doesn't like. The responsibility is yours.

NH Grows: 5. In Grow It, I love the fact that you address uneven growth as a natural occurrence. You introduce the Goal Point Method which helps the natural to look at that long piece of hair that is longer than the rest, and use that long piece of hair as a measuring stick for the rest of the hair. How did you arrive at the Goal Point Method?

Chicoro: On a consistent basis, this is how my hair grew. I came to this understanding by "listening" to my hair from examining it and touching it and seeing a piece of it drop down my back every time I would get it cut. It was a realization I came to from just paying attention to my hair and its growth pattern. Once I noticed it, I started to research why this might be so. The information that I found confirmed what I had observed. I named it the Goal Point Method because it was hair at the point I wanted my goal length to be.

NH Grows: 6. What are five things you recommend for the newly natural to encourage healthy hair growth?


    1.Set Goals: Decide what are your goals for your hair.
    2. Take Action: Based Upon Goals:Cut or trim your hair only if they are aligned with your hair goals.
    3. Moisturize Hair:Water is what moisturizes your hair. Keep your hair moist.
    4. Safeguard Ends: Protect your ends even though you may not have a lot of length. You can wear shower caps or bonnets to keep hair moist, at night or when you get home from work or school.
    5. Focus on You: Take time to focus on yourself. Hair is the first thing on your body that suffers when your life and body are stressing.

NH Grows: 7. What five things should the newly natural avoid if they want to grow longer hair?


    1.Cutting: Cutting your hair to keep your natural hair shaped symmetrically and evenly will impact your length.
    2.Coloring or Bleaching: Coloring your hair can weaken the structure of your hair and make your hair porous and lose moisture.
    3.Not Protecting: Wearing hair loose and out in afros and puffs all the time can dry out the ends. Healthy ends are what helps you gain length.
    4.Supporting Tight or Heavy Extensions: Using heavy extensions and many small, tight braids can weigh down and break newly growing hair.
    5.Passing the Buck: Putting the care and responsibility of your hair into someone else's hands is a mistake. It's okay to get it your hair done by someone but never forget you are accountable for what ultimately happens to and with your hair.

NH Grows: 8. Are there any new projects that you are working on that you would like to share with our audience?

Chicoro: Yes! One question that I get over and over is, "What products should I use?" I am currently working on a book on how to choose products for your hair. It popped up between another book I am writing about caring for yourself. I hope to have them both out by Feb 2010. Books are funny, they come to fruition when they are ready, not necessarily whenYOU want them to arrive. Both books are part of the Beautify Bit By Bit book series. They represent book #2 and book #3. Grow It was the first book in the seven (7) book series.

To read more natural hair interviews, from authors, dermatologists, and those who are growing thick long hair, Click here.