My most recent length check. I am slowing passing waist length. My end goal is tailbone length.
- Don't wash with just shampoo: Even though I'm back to using shampoo, I still don't use only shampoo. I dilute it with water and aloe vera juice. I am still able to effectively cleanse my hair, but the aloe vera juice adds moisture into my hair, as well as prevents shedding. I've found that for me, using just shampoo, causes more damage to my hair than other cleansing methods such as baking soda or cowashing.
- Moisturize and seal daily: I have to moisturize and seal daily, and when I don’t, I can see and feel the difference in my hair. It is dull, dry, and the ends are breaking off. Even though this is inconvenient sometimes, especially when I am super tired, I know that it is imperative to the health of my hair.
- Do everything in sections: I first realized the importance of sectioning my hair around my 1.5 year natural. Washing, conditioning, detangling, and styling my hair as one whole was not only stressful, but it also caused a lot more breakage. Since then, whether I have two sections, four sections, or eight, I never attempted anything with my hair unless I section first.
- Add protein: This is new but necessary. I use a protein conditioner on my hair once a month focusing especially on my ends, which is the oldest and most fragile part of my hair. Since I started doing this, I've noticed that I have significantly less breakage and that my hair, in general, feels a lot stronger.
- Stick to what you know: This is the hardest tip for me, and unfortunately for me, it's one of the most important. Sometimes I try to deviate from methods that I know are perfect from my hair, only to be disappointed when it doesn't work...which generally means that I have to contend with breakage and a mini-trim to undo it.
- Leave single strand knots alone: Natural hair and single strand knots go together like frosting and cake, lol. Because our hair is so curly, it sometimes knots upon itself. Many people recommend cutting hair to keep them at bay. I don’t do that. So long as the knots aren’t causing damage to my hair, such as split ends or tangles, there is no reason to cut them out except for an aesthetic reason.
- Trim when necessary: I trim my hair once every 3-4 months. Because I take care of my hair really well and am gentle with my ends, I don’t get split ends that often, and there is no reason to trim your hair if you have no damage.
- Ignore people: I often get unsolicited hair care advice from my friends and family, and I have to put them on ignore. I know what works for my hair, I know what doesn’t. Often times, I get advice that works for that specific person, but wouldn’t work for me. Getting advice and using it is ok, but also know when to ignore the advice because it wouldn't benefit your hair.
- Have patience: This is biggest and most important piece of advice I have for growing long hair. The tried and true method to growing hair long is taking care of it and having patience. I don’t care how many hair growth pills and vitamins you take (and truthfully, you should not be taking that many), you won’t go from a fade to waist length in a year. Be realistic with your goals. Take care of your hair. And have patience.