5 Steps to Longer Hair in a Year

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By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

2012 is nearly over and today it is time to reflect  for the black girls who want long hair. The big question is………have you met your hair goals? Is your hair longer than it was in January? If your hair is not gaining length or if you have had less than stellar results this year, this article is for you. These are 5 simple steps to reverse stagnant hair into long thriving hair

1.  Accept that what you are doing does not work

You are doing it all, protective styling, moisturising and  deep conditioning but still you have not managed to move your hair an inch. It is time to face the facts – your current routine despite having all the good stuff really does not work.

It is time for a critical assessment. Do you keep a protective style long enough to ensure that you gain benefit from it? Do you moisturise at the critical points when moisture is needed (when taking down a style and when handling free hair) and do you avoid handling your hair at its weakest state (soaking wet)? Could you be doing too much to your hair therefore causing it to wear away and compromise length?

If you do not see results within 2-3 months, you need to make this critical assessment again. Do not wait for 1 year to go by. You should be able to see small increments in your hair length every 2-3 months.

2. Know when your hair breaks

The reason for hair staying at a stagnant length is because it is breaking just as fast as it is growing. It is really important to know when your hair is most vulnerable to breakage and this varies from person to person depending on your individual strand thickness and choice of styling. The most common breakage points are:

-during takedown of a protective style (especially at the ends)

-during detangling (both conditioner combing and dry detangling)

- while wearing hair free (due to tangling, shrinkage, knots and regular handling)

Once you identify why and when your hair is most vulnerable to breakage, you will be able to know exactly when you must protect your hair from damage.

3. Try something new

Having accepted that what you are doing does not work, it is time to try to do something new. If you have been conditioner combing, try dry or damp detangling  for a little while and see how it works for you.  Compare your results after 2-3 months and decide which one really works best for you.  If you have never deep conditioned your hair, try doing it for 2-3 months and see if your hair improves or not. If you only use heavy oils or butters on your hair, try light oils and see if your hair would equally be happy with those. Do not write things off before you actually try them.

4. Know when to stop

I am really all for trying something new but equally you should know when to stop. If a technique causes immediate breakage, stop using it. Do not think perhaps your hair is shedding more than usual, assume that the technique is not working for your hair and must be adjusted to suit your curls and kinks or not used at all. If you are deep conditioning 2-3 times a week and your hair is not moisturised, stop and reassess how you are conditioning (is your conditioner working, do you need to warm it up first, could you do with some protein, do you use a leave in/moisturiser/oil after washing).

5. Have realistic expectations

Finally hair takes a long time to grow. Many naturals cannot retain 100% of their growth. If your hair is susceptible to split ends then cutting them off will impact retention but provided at the end of the year you have kept some length, do not be disheartened. There are a small proportion of women who can keep all their growth but I feel that it is more reasonable to expect between 3-5 inches per year with a regular trimming or dusting routine.

Ladies, what are your hair goals for 2013? Will you be trying to grow your hair out?

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141 thoughts on “5 Steps to Longer Hair in a Year

  1. Pingback: Five steps to longer hair in one year | Eazynet

  2. Another tip is to not buy another thing. If you are a product junkie or have been to natural hair expos, you probably have everything you need for your hair to thrive. Just mix the right motions and potions together until you find the right punch. Don’t forget your hair can get bored so using a new product (like a sample you got) may be just the thing to get your mojo back. And of course, eat better(ugh…drinks water now).

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  3. Remember also not to get too caught up on just gaining length. This journey is also about self acceptance and greeting reacquainted with your hair, which if you’re anything like me it’s been years since I’ve seen it

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  4. I loved using Nutress Hair products to grow out my hair! I was able to grow it out to a length where I was comfortable cutting it and it has been growing totally long and healthy ever since. Check them out!!

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  5. My concern is moisturizer braids help but! they do break the hair even if it isn’t done tight… I try to moisturize the braids too… so it won’t breakout too much when i take them out. Also! why do you call it naturals all of a sudden…all hair types are natural without chemicals… how about calling it virgin hair… just a suggestion…Anyway! any recommendations for extremely kinky coarse hair? Thanks. Sincerely, San

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    • I think we don’t call it “virgin” hair because that is too deeply associated with the relaxers everybody is trying to get away from. It assumed that relaxed hair is the default setting, which is increasingly not true.

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  6. I have very long hair almost down to my waist couple of weeks ago until I had few inches trimmed off, the ends where looking dry bcuz I have the ombre color goin on lol. My tried & tested tips to grow my hair fast is to massage the scalp when you shampoo & condition your hair every time you wash your hair. And use the pads of your fingers to massage not your nails. Scalp massage promote circulation & growth to the hair. It’s not instant gratification but your hair will grow faster than it normally would without scalp massage.

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    • light trimming–1/4 in or less cut. I like dusting regularly (every 2 mo or so) rather than trimming occasionally….works better for my damage-prone fine strands.

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  7. The most important thing is what you put in your body. Follow these great tips and also juice and/or get a VITAMIX and drink green smoothies EVERY DAY. I spent two weeks religiously having one green smoothie a day (kale or spinach with fruit – mango, bananas, berries) and eating well and at the end of those two weeks – when I had already relegated to my old ways – I realized I had an inch of virgin, pitch black, brand new looking hair! REally, it’s the only time I’ve noticed AMAZING growth. My hair is 3b/c and has always grown at a regular clip. But I’m in my late thirties now and I find that nutrition is KEY.

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    • Are you still doing that? If so have there been any changes in your texture such as how your air feels,moisture retention,strength,etc? I hve a Nutri bullet & just got a bag each of fresh kale & spinach & am about to start “green drinking” . Do you add anything elset o the smoothie, like yogurt or milk?

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      • just be careful about green drinking everyday. be sure to mix it up and instead of kale/spinach every single day try beets and carrots. there is some new online health literature about too much raw “cruciferous” vegetables in ones diet so I’ve been trying to alternate.
        When you do have spinach in your green juice, add some lemon or other citrus so that your body better absorbs the iron and vitamins. I like a bunch of different type of greens with an apple or pear and ginger.

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        • Thanks! I recently heard the same thing about cruciferous veggies on Dr Oz show a few weeks ago. So I’ve been buying organic mixed greens of different types as well as using fresh & frozen fruits,Greek yogurt, & ginger.

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      • I know this question wasn’t meant for me, but I juice and eat whole foods too…and YES,there was a change. About a month or so after switching up my diet to mostly beans, vegetables, poultry, fish, whole fruit juice, and gluten-free starches (rice, quinoa, potatoes, corn) I noticed that some areas of my head have grown much coarser strands, my rate of length retention increased, and the amount of breakage I experience has drastically decreased. I haven’t noticed a change in my moisture retention other than my hair getting drier when I’m not on top of my water intake game.

        As far as what to juice, I follow what CK suggested–alternating “green” smoothies with carrot or beet based ones. I like adding greek yogurt or soymilk to my smoothies.

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  8. No dimethicone in any of your hair products (shampoo, conditioner, sprays, crèmes, etc.). Research it. It’s bad for your hair and skin. It’s a cheap shortcut to make your hair “feel” silky, frizz free and tangle free… but long term effect is dry, brittle hair. It is liquid silicone (think plastic) and forms a barrier over your hair (or skin) that prevents moisture from getting in.

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  9. Hair weaves are of Devil and not of God. NAIL POLSHES, eye lashes Jewelry, necklace earrings makeup and etc ALL MAN MADE GOD DID NOT CREATE the devil uses all of those and etc to attack you.
    JESUS LOVES EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE LORD!!!!!!! JESUS IS LORD GOD BLESS!!!!!! :)

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    • Hair weaves are of Devil and not of God. NAIL POLSHES, eye lashes Jewelry, necklace earrings makeup and etc ALL MAN MADE GOD DID NOT CREATE the devil uses all of those and etc to attack you.
      JESUS LOVES EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE LORD!!!!!!! JESUS IS LORD GOD BLESS!!!!!! :) I LOVE JESUS CHRIST GOD HALLELUJAH ALLELUIA TO THE LAMB OF GOD AND THE LION OF JUDAH JESUS BELONGS EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE POST AND EVERYTHING ALL.

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  10. Hair weaves are of Devil and not of God. NAIL POLSHES, eye lashes Jewelry, necklace earrings makeup and etc ALL MAN MADE GOD DID NOT CREATE the devil uses all of those and etc to attack you.
    JESUS LOVES EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE LORD!!!!!!! JESUS IS LORD GOD BLESS!!!!!! :) I LOVE JESUS CHRIST GOD HALLELUJAH ALLELUIA TO THE LAMB OF GOD AND THE LION OF JUDAH JESUS BELONGS EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE POST AND EVERYTHING ALL.THE BLOOD OF JESUS COVERS ALL

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  11. Hair weaves are of Devil and not of God. NAIL POLSHES, eye lashes Jewelry, necklace earrings makeup and etc ALL MAN MADE GOD DID NOT CREATE the devil uses all of those and etc to attack you.
    JESUS LOVES EVERYTHING BELONGS TO THE LORD!!!!!!! JESUS IS LORD GOD BLESS!!!!!! :) I LOVE JESUS CHRIST GOD HALLELUJAH ALLELUIA TO THE LAMB OF GOD AND THE LION OF JUDAH JESUS BELONGS EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE POST AND EVERYTHING ALL.THE BLOOD OF JESUS GOD HOLY SPIRIT COVERS ALL . GOD BLESS

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  12. This is truly good advice. Especially #2. I’m super careful with my hair but I realized that I was causing unnecessary breakage (some breakage is normal). I was detangling 3x on wash day! During the pre-poo, then in the shower with condish and then when styling. I decided I may as well just do the latter. So, now I only detangle when styling on freshly washed hair. Otherwise, all the other detangling is a waste anyway.

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  13. Jimmie Johnson is 5-points behind the Sprint Cup leader Carl
    Edwards and will enter NASCAR predictions and offers decent betting
    value at +600 in Crown Royal odds with 3-career wins at Richmond.
    Gordon won here in 2001 and 2002 and has a streak of four straight top-five finishes on this
    track. A driver representing Roush Racing has claimed six titles in the last 13 races.

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  14. I truly agree that one must keep trying new things to find out what suits them and yes always have realistic expectation otherwise you would never be satisfied.

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  15. eating right plays a huge part as well. drink lots of water it hydrates the scalp and helps your skin fight acne .

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  16. Pingback: Resources For New Naturals, Transitioners, and Those Thinking About Going Natural | The Tee-Hive

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