When I wear my hair down (which, honestly, I rarely do these days), I always get questions about how I got my hair to this length. I don’t know why, but apparently there’s this myth that African hair (natural or relaxed), doesn’t grow or grow as quickly as other types of hair. This is not true at all. All hair grows an average of ½ inch (about 1.25 cm) per month, but it’s how you treat your hair that determines how much it will grow.
My hair, its texture and its color, is all natural. Right now it reaches the bottom of my back and I’ve had long hair most of my life. My mom did cut my hair when I was about 11 (when I started high school), but it grew back fairly quickly. I’m not super into hair and, honestly, I don’t do much to and with my hair. But I do try to keep it as healthy as possible. Some women swear by taking vitamins all day long, while others cut their hair according to the phases of the moon. In my opinion, there’s no mumbo-jumbo involved in hair growth. All that’s required is your commitment to treating your hair well. Below are my tips to grown your hair long.
I get my hair trimmed twice a year
This might sound weird if you want your hair to grow longer, but trims help get rid of dry, damaged and split ends. Damaged/split ends can work their way up the shaft of your hair causing even more damage. So getting my hair trimmed is a must! And with ‘trim’, I mean just removing ½ inch of hair, nothing more. I usually go to a stylist for a trim, sometimes my mom does it for me.
I only use moisturizing products
My hair is dry by nature (most ‘black’ hair is), so it’s best to use products that replace needed moisture. I try only to use shampoos and conditioners that are formulated for dry and/or damaged hair. For me, these products don’t have to come strictly from the ‘ethnic’ hair aisle, many mainstream brands make hair products for different types of hair, from oily to dry. When companies offer to send me their hair products to try, I always let them know that my hair is dry. Besides the right shampoo and (deep) conditioner, I use leave-in conditioners as well. Well-moisturized hair is less prone to dryness and breakage! Click here for my current hair routine.
I try to stay away from heat as much as possible
My hair is naturally very curly. Even though I like to wear my hair straight, I try to flat iron my hair as little as possible. I only apply heat after I’ve washed my hair (which is every two weeks) and even then I don’t put my flat iron on the highest setting. My hair doesn’t end up bone straight, but I don’t really mind. My day-to-day hair styles don’t require hair that’s bone straight anyway.
I rarely put my hair too-tight ponytail
With that said, you will rarely see me with a high, slicked-back ponytail. African hair is not as tough as it may appear, so you need to choose styles that keep its fragile nature in mind. Too-tight ponytails (or braids, for example) will eventually lead to breakage. Recently, I’ve enjoyed wearing my hair up in a messy bun. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this!
I don’t brush my hair that often
Yep, I bet you thought I brushed my hair all the time, right? Nope! There’s no need to brush your hair 100 strokes per night before going to sleep. In fact, the less you do to African hair, the more it flourishes. I only brush my hair in the mornings when I’m getting ready for the day. You can read all about the hair brush I use, in this post.
I wear a satin bonnet at night
Sleeping on regular cotton pillowcases will rob your hair of moisture. Your hair rubs against cotton and the rough cotton fibers can catch and pull your hair, leading to breakage. Best is to use silk or satin pillow cases. I actually still sleep on cotton pillowcases, but I do wear a satin bonnet to bed.
For me, all these things are crucial for having healthy, long hair. If you’re aiming for bra strap length hair and beyond, I hope I’ve inspired you somewhat. Thanks for reading!