In this collaboration post with the lovely full haired Tonkabelle of Wura’s Secret Hair, we intend to share our top tips that have helped us grow our own hair to our desired length.
As many of you may know, I offer a hair care consultation service. The first session I have with my clients involves me asking a series of questions so that I am able to advise them accurately. One of the questions I ask my clients is; what do you want for your hair or what are your hair goals? Do you want to guess what the number one response is???? Length!!!! is without a doubt the top answer I receive.
The fact is although there are now so many ladies who have grown their hair to their desired goal, there are by far many more who “seem” to have stunted hair growth, still move from one set back to another and generally are not happy with the length and health of their hair.
There are many practices that have helped me turn the state of my hair around. I choose the following top three because they are the ones that were a major change in how I treated my hair.
Three Techniques that Helped me Grow my Hair
Before I get into the three techniques, because I have quite a number of new readers (hey ladies!!!) I have to start by explaining that hair grows longer when we are able to prevent damage and breakage of our existing hair, ie, the hair we have already grown.
What I find is that so many ladies trying to grow longer hair become obsessed with how fast their hair grows. Many don’t realise that what they should be focusing on is caring for the hair they have already grown. Because no matter how fast your hair grows, if it keeps getting damaged and breaking off you won’t get the long hair you are looking for. If however you are able to prevent breakage and keep/retain the hair you currently have then with time your hair will get longer. Retention is the key or secret to longer hair.
If you haven’t already please read the section of Hairducation called How To care For Black Hair for general hair care advise that will help you prevent breakage and damage and help you retain/keep your hair so that it grows longer. Off course I share all my own techniques in that section too.
Now if I had to pick three things that really made a huge impact in me retaining/keeping my hair and growing it to its current length it would be the following
1) Reducing Manipulation
Manipulation in this sense can include combing, styling, playing with or generally physically handling your hair.
Black hair is fragile so must be manipulated gently and excessive manipulation should be avoided. Many ladies who have been successful on a hair journey note that they were able to retain more hair when they cut back on unnecessary manipulation because it often leads to breakage. Simply put; leave your hair alone.
Before my hair journey I would comb my hair several times a day…just for fun. I would experiment and change hair styles very frequently. I loved playing with my hair but all that excessive combing and styling was leading to breakage and shorter hair over time. Now I comb my hair once or twice a week max, I avoid experimenting with hair styles too often, instead I experiment with wig styles and extensions rather than my own hair. I basically try to leave my hair alone as much as possible.
2 Reduce the Use of Direct Heat
Direct heat such as blow driers, curling irons or straightners when used regularly dries out our hair internal moisture making it brittle and prone to breakage.
I used to wash and condition my hair often prior to my hair journey but I would blow dry it on very high heat settings every single wash day, I would style my hair using curling irons several times during the week, sometimes daily.
Now I avoid direct heat as much as possible and only use indirect heat (heat from steamers or hood driers when deep conditioning, rollersetting). If don’t have time to air dry my hair I will use a blow drier but only on the cool air setting.
3) Moisturising and Sealing
Surprisingly, before my hair journey I was aware of many good hair care practices, I simply ignored them because I didn’t think they made an actual difference.
Moisturising and sealing however was a practice I had never ever heard of before my hair journey. I would apply leave in conditioner to my hair on my wash day and nothing else until my next wash two weeks after. My hair was always dry and brittle and if it began to break badly I would apply a hair grease.
Hair that is well hydrated will have good elasticity which helps it fight breakage. Black hair tends to be drier than other hair types and needs our help to stay hydrated and fight breakage. We do this by moisturising and sealing our hair regularly.
Prior to my hair journey I never EVER moisturised and sealed my hair. When I started my hair journey my hair was in such a bad state I had to moisturise and seal twice a day. As my hair became healthier ot retained moisture better and I began to moisturise and seal once a day. Now because my hair is in quite good shape I moisturise and seal every other day.
The other practices which I know also contribute to me retaining my hair length is protective styling and moisture/protein balancing. I hope you have been encouraged by this blog post.
Don’t forget to go check out Tonkebelle’s tips on how she retains her hair on her blog Wura’s Secret Hair.
I relaxed my hair on 20th March and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of pictures of my results already but I have loads more to share as well as all the things I learned from my 6 months stretch.
I hope you’ll be back soon.