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By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven

I have pre­vi­ous­ly writ­ten about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of African hair actu­al­ly grow­ing at a slow­er rate. How­ev­er it should still get you to one foot of hair. I think that there is a huge dis­con­nect for us in the tri­an­gu­lar rela­tion­ship that is reten­tion, break­age and mechan­ics (i.e Hair does not gain length because the ends broke off. The ends broke off because they were either weak­ened or were pulled with exces­sive force.)

Truth is many of us are not will­ing to accept that WE are the rea­son why hair is not grow­ing. We want it to be genet­ics or a hair pro­duct. It sim­ply can­not be our fault.

Going nat­u­ral is not going to auto­mat­i­cal­ly help your hair get longer (espe­cial­ly so if your curl is tighter).
Here is what I have observed

1. Long haired nat­u­rals (with a type 4 tex­ture) LIVE in twists or braids (espe­cial­ly so in the begin­ning 2–3 years). The basic reg­i­men is wash, con­di­tion and twist up for 3–4 weeks (and even longer). Hair is out for a week­end or a few days and then back to to the 3–4 weeks of twists.

2. Long haired nat­u­rals with a looser tex­ture LIVE in pro­tec­tive styles. They do not typ­i­cal­ly twist up for 3 weeks but would reg­u­lar­ly do so for 1 week then bun up or wear off the shoul­der styles.

3. Nat­u­ral hair thrives in a heat free reg­i­men. This is espe­cial­ly true for peo­ple with thin strands. Peo­ple with thick­er strands can get away with mur­der. Type 4 hair is usu­al­ly assumed to be thick and this is sim­ply not true. Some have thick strands some have thin.

4. Most long haired nat­u­rals rarely if ever use exten­sions.

5. Trim­ming is more impor­tant than peo­ple make out. The less dam­age you have to your hair, the less you need to trim. It is not about trim­ming a quar­ter inch every 2–3 months but rather about exam­in­ing the ends of your hair and assess­ing how much needs to be trimmed and how often (i,e look for split ends!). Split­ting and thin­ning hair ends will not gain length. peri­od.

Mean­while the most com­mon ques­tions that peo­ple ask when it comes to grow­ing hair are
1. Which hair pro­duct to use
2. Which wash­ing method is best
3. How to avoid ‘chem­i­cals’ in hair prod­ucts
4. How to style hair
5. How lit­tle should we trim (empha­sis on lit­tle)
6. How should I mois­turise my hair
7. How can I make my hair soft
8. What can I apply to my hair/scalp to make my hair grow faster
9. What should I eat to make my hair grow faster

In my opin­ion, peo­ple have used dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and meth­ods in their hair care and still gained length. The fun­da­men­tal sim­i­lar­i­ties are what we should see instead of invest­ing time on the dif­fer­ences.

The sim­ple truth is that peo­ple do not want to wear 4 week old twists which have been washed week­ly and are a lit­tle puffy and unde­fined. We lis­ten to and do things that are not suit­able for our par­tic­u­lar tex­ture (i.e we do not lis­ten to our hair choos­ing instead to do what works for a dif­fer­ent per­son).

Ladies, what are your thoughts??

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178 Comments on "5 Habits That Lead to Longer Natural Hair"

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Spirit
I agree with this arti­cle, I have three type hair. Its cur­rent­ly 15 inch­es long (blown straight) accord­ing to my length check t-shirt, lol!!! I keep it braid­ed in platts usu­al­ly, I only wear it out like every 3–4 days on “pre-poo” day b/c I know when I get home from work/school I’m going to slather it con­di­tion­er and pure coconut oil (my pre-poo solu­tion) and put a show­er cap on it until morn­ing when I wash and re-plat my hair. I usu­al­ly wear bean­ies too, to keep it away from the ele­ments, to tuck my ends. Drink­ing lots of… Read more »
mariah

What is the loca­tion mois­tur­iz­ing method. How do you do it…jus stat­ing out.

Nikki

LOC stands for liq­uid, oil, cream (hair­dress)

saraphina john

I need your help I want my hair to grow longer.

Carla

I think the arti­cle is right on. My habits are sim­ply hav­ing a week­ly reg­i­men to:

* pre-poo
* wash
* deep con­di­tion (pro­tein treat­ment once per mon­th)
* mois­tur­ize and seal as often as need­ed (gen­er­al­ly every oth­er day)
* low manip­u­la­tion styling (or pro­tec­tive styling) 

and the hard­est part: keep­ing my hands out of my head except for dur­ing those activ­i­ties. :-p

Through tri­al and error, we all even­tu­al­ly con­clude which prod­ucts or ingre­di­ents work best for us indi­vid­u­al­ly. It’s a jour­ney worth­while. I think the mys­tery is over, but the fas­ci­na­tion is alive & kick­in’

12Gauge

Hered­i­ty can impact growth rates, just like hair loss. Not sure why soci­ety can accept that hair loss can be passed on genet­i­cal­ly, but the growth rate can’t?

Drink­ing water and exer­cis­ing are prob­a­bly two of the most impor­tant steps that any­one can do to help achieve a healthy head of hair and mois­ture.

Nikke
My biggest chal­lenge is I can­not stand to have my hair up, braid­ed or bunned for more than a few hours. I have been this way my entire life.…I tran­si­tioned to nat­u­ral for 2 years and am now com­plete­ly nat­u­ral. My hair is some­where between 3B and 4A with very fine strands. It sim­ply does not hold curl (no mat­ter how you try) and has growth but I think it would do so much bet­ter if I could learn to use pro­tec­tive styles. Any sug­ges­tions — I mean I can lit­er­al­ly take my hair down in my sleep!!!
Juanita

If it doesn’t hold a curl then there’s no way you’re 3b. Sounds more like 4b/4c

Nikke

My hair is exact­ly the same and I am some­where between a 3A/3B. I gave up on pro­tec­tive styles because that just did­nt work for me. I make sure to mois­tur­ize, seal, and keep my ends trimmed as need­ed. My hair is out 4 to 5 days per week but I sleep in a bon­net with a sat­in pil­low­case and in the 2 years since going nat­u­ral my hair is now total­ly nat­u­ral and at bra strap length. Do what works for you. Not every nat­u­ral­is­ta has to pro­tec­tive style.

herod

I made it to bra strap length In 16 mon­th of hav­ing my hair com­plete­ly chopped to zero inch­es. my hair grows fast and I have had my hair in twists for the past 16 months

Odester

I agree with you com­plete­ly on this. With me just 2 strand twist­ing my hair and leave for at least 3–4 weeks my hair has grown at a nice con­stant rate. I will twist for 3–4 weeks then take out the 2 strand twist for one week then wash on week­end. I take care of my sis­ter hair which is down to her back and all I do is keep her hair in 2 stand twist.

Maria
I DO NOT do pro­tec­tive styling –__- it was forced upon me when I was relaxed, and I will NOT go through it as a nat­u­ral lool I just can’t re-live that hor­ror… I know it’s a great way to retain length but nat­u­ral hair to me is the most ver­sa­tile hair their is out there.. And I couldn’t bare to leave it in twists for 3–4 weeks! My hair reg­i­men: — Cold water co-wash — 1 hour deep con­di­tion — Detan­gle in the show­er with my con­di­tion­ers in and my pad­dle brush — LOC method and put it in twists to dry… Read more »
Anddra-Nee

I do every­thing to my hair my self. Right now, I have braids in my head with some 2 dol­lar braid­ing hair and I debat­ing on how to cleanse my hair on my extreme­ly tight bud­get. I was con­sid­er­ing a water only reg­i­men that I feel like would work with the fact that I have braids in and i do not want any build-up in the braids… then I was won­der­ing if I should add oil at the end, but I am not in a posi­tion to pur­chase any oth­er prod­ucts then what I cur­rent­ly have… Help.

Cynthia

I start­ed goin nat­u­ral since march 2013 nd bc jan dis year 2014.have been using most­ly water, olive oil, leave-in con­di­tion­er, don’t no if Dats enof to get to my hair goal of waist length.nice blog

Aliyah

I’m a 3c/4a and I just took my twists down I’m retest­ing tonight . I also am going to start wear­ing a kinky curly w

DeMarca

Well I had long hair as a kid, when relaxed and Ive been nat­u­ral again for a lit­tle over 3 years and my hair is waist lengthed..Ive nev­er been a huge fan of bor­ing pro­tec­tive styling and up-dos so I wear my hair out..Ive nev­er had an issue with growth or retention..but I could see why its need­ed for some.. And I have 4A hair with low porosity..A friend in my col­lege class has waist lengthed relaxed hair and she always wore her hair in a bun unless she was feel­ing snazzy. She said that thats why her hair grew long.

Christina
My ques­tion is what do you mean by Twist up? Is that refer­ring to twiss that stay in your hair day in and day out? or does that mean the hair is twist­ed up at night time, whether you leave it or let it loose dur­ing the day?  Also, may­be it is just my self image of being plus size or may­be just my face shape and hair­line, but even though I like the Nat­u­ral looks on oth­ers, Some­times I don’t think they are suit­able for me. I haven’t relaxed my hair in over 2 plus years. I admit, I do… Read more »
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