Who could have imagined that getting a “big chop” almost 18 years ago would result in a flourishing natural hair empire? With nearly 20 years behind the salon chair, Whitney Eaddy has successfully helped countless clients—including celebrities—grow long hair using natural remedies.
Since beginning her own natural hair journey nearly two decades ago, Whitney’s earned the title of “The Growth Guru” from her loyal clientele. She has also launched her own internationally known hair-care brand Juices & Botanics that inspires women of all cultural backgrounds to embrace their naturally curly hair.
We caught up with Whitney and chatted with her about her undeniable "growing hands" methodologies that continue to show radical results. She also taught us the most common mistakes we make when trying to grow our hair, how to protect our hair during these winter months, and more.
Hair.com: Why did you feel the need to go natural?
Whitney Eaddy: The moment I connected to my roots. I knew in my spirit that I was ready to cut off my relaxer, which at the time was damaged from color, chemicals, and heat from flat irons. People looked at me crazy because it was 2002, and women weren’t just big chopping so freely. Honestly, it was the most freeing thing that I’ve ever done.
HDC: It’s true. Many women would consider you brave for cutting your tresses. So, what was next after your big chop?
Whitney: Hair has always been a natural gift and passion of mine. After my chop, I was determined to figure out the enigma that is “Black Hair.” I have always wanted to see others love and see themselves the way that God does.
HDC: Why did you choose to make hair care for others your priority?
Whitney: I remember all of the “traumas” that I’ve endured related to my own hair. I know that universally, Black women have never really been taught how to take care of their natural hair types. That’s where I come in!
HDC: We heard that you've been crowned the "The Growth Guru." Why?
Whitney: The name “The Growth Guru” comes from my clients in celebration of the amazing lengths, healthy growth, and restoration they’ve experienced. It's a combo from them calling me “Growing Hands” and a “Guru.” It's also a double entendre because I am also considered a motivational figure as well.
HDC: We love that! So, why do you think people trust you to help them grow healthy hair?
Whitney: People trust me with their hair, because I always take great care of it. I treat every single client's hair like it is my own, and that shows. They can feel it with me and in the salons with my teams and methodologies.
HDC: Why did you think there was a need for your product line, Juices & Botanics?
Whitney: Ten years ago, I first got the idea to do a product line that really worked for natural hair types. I started studying Ayurvedic hair practices. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world's oldest medical systems developed in India. Then, I started the formulation process and knew that I wanted to infuse amla and hibiscus in all of my products for their powerful healing properties. Many of these practices and ingredients are a large part of the foundation of my methodologies.
HDC: With the winter months upon us, what natural hairstyles do you suggest to protect your hair from breakage?
Whitney: During the winter months, a protective style is crucial to help you retain moisture and length. You want to select a protective style that does not create too much tension on the scalp and one that does not require too much manipulation. You can do a protective style with your own hair, such as a two-strand twist, flat twists, comb coils, rod set, wigs, buns, ponytails, etc. Think: low tension and low manipulation when choosing a natural hairstyle. The way to know that a style is truly protective is that after you take it out, your hair should still feel moisturized and healthier overall.
HDC: What are three mistakes that you see people make when they grow their hair?
Whitney: The top three mistakes that people make when trying to grow their hair are:
Not getting proper or frequent trims. At my salons, we recommend a trim every three to four months. We trim the hair in the way that it grows naturally to ensure that you are retaining as much length as possible.
Lack of hydration. Without hydrating properly, it’s pretty impossible to lock in moisture, which is why most naturals complain about dryness. Moisturizing the hair involves the process of using moisturizing creams then sealing with oils to coat the outer surface of the hair to seal the hair shaft. Hydration is such a crucial step that is missed by so many people, and this is what’s keeping them from retaining moisture properly.
[Misusing protective styles.] The last thing is trying to grow your hair with selected styles that people claim are protective, but it turns out they do more damage than protecting. Any style that uses a lot of manipulation or tension can cause severe breakage and thinness throughout the hair. I tend to see so many people sacrifice the health of their hair for aesthetics and style.
HDC: What tips can you offer to readers who want to begin growing long and healthy hair?
Whitney: The first step to growing your hair is to develop a solid regimen that works for you. Including properly cleansing, deep conditioning, hydrating, moisturizing, and styling or protective styling with the best natural hair products.
During your journey, you also want to have a lot of patience and learn to listen to your hair. Lastly, make sure that you’re taking care of your stress levels and your body inside out (i.e., drinking enough water along with getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.)
Again a major key in retaining length is low manipulation and low tension.
HDC: What can we expect from you in the near future?
Whitney: There are so many amazing things happening right now. I am opening my very first full salon and spa in January 2021! Our new Her Growing Hands location will be in Addison, Texas, offering luxurious natural hair care and growth services, along with skincare and more. Also, my very first book, The Growth Guide, will be available in February 2021.