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It is roll call time! We are getting to the end of the first quarter of the year and the question is…….is your hair longer now than it was in December? If your answer is yes, well done! If your answer is no, then this article is for you. If your desire is to finally see your hair gain length, then here are 5 steps that you can take to achieve that goal:

1. Give it time –  2-3 months

It is difficult to see hair growth on a week to week basis. Sometimes it is also difficult to see on a monthly basis as not all parts of the head have hair growing at the same time. However after 2-3 months, hair length gains are generally unmissable. You need to measure your current length and that is it, no more measuring until your 2 or 3 month set period is over.

2. Stop trimming. Opt for search and destroy

If you are addicted to fresh ends with hair that curls perfectly and tend to become scissor happy, this could be a big reason why you are not seeing length gains. Sometimes, none of that hair that you are cutting is damaged, it’s just older and needs a little extra conditioning, moisturizing or just to be tucked in. If you are not seeing hair length gains, opt for a search and destroy method during the next 3 months. In this period, only hair with a visible split should be cut off. No splits, no cuts.

3. Low maintenance AND No manipulation

For the next 2-3 months choose a hairstyle/s that you would consider low maintenance and either low or no manipulation. Low maintenance means that you will not require more than 5 minutes to style the hair and be presentable. If you require more than 5 minutes, it is not a low maintenance style.

A low manipulation style is one that needs a small amount of detangling for example a wash and go on hair that does not tangle easily. A no manipulation style is one where the individual strands are not handled on a daily basis, therefore detangling is not required. Examples include own hair twists/braids, braids or twists with hair extensions, wigs and weaves.  If you can keep a no manipulation style for 2 months without taking it out (except around the perimeter which often needs redoing every 1-2 weeks), you are well on your way to a longer hair length.

4. Find a washing routine, stick with it

If you are going to keep a no-manipulation style, never neglect your hair. You should continue to wash and condition it as you normally would, whether this is weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You should not increase or decrease your frequency as even hair washing does count as hair manipulation.

5. Keep your free hair stretched

If you want a break from a no-manipulation style then make sure that you always choose a stretched style to showcase your free hair. Stretching your hair minimises tangles which can cause breakage and damage. No heat stretching with banding, twists outs/knot outs/braid outs, curlformers or African threading will generally yield the least damage to your hair.

Ladies, have you tried these tips before? How do you break out of plateaus?

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39 Comments on "5 Steps to See Hair Length Gains in 2 Months"

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Caramel74
I wet bun everyday. I conditioner wash/detangle in the shower. Then I towel dry and rub some conditioner in hands, run my hands under water to add water to it, and apply it to my hair. Then I seal with argan oil and bun my hair. I take it down at night and put it in one corn braid in the back to keep it stretched and dry it a little more. I sleep with my hair loose so it can dry and I repeat process in the morning. My hair is all one length, so sometimes I get bored… Read more »
Loveothers4ever
I do rollersetting under a hooded dryer. I use ORS hair serum olive oil heat protectant, Moisturizer like Giovanni direct leave in and wrap my hair w/ rollers in a scarf sit under dryer. I mostly do co-washes with a deep conditioner, silicon mix +kanechom goats milk+ Giovanni nutrafix (amazon or vitacost.com). Moisturize and seal daily or every other day. My hair is thirsty. Biotin vitamelts and a multi vitamin helps as well. I only shampoo my scalp with shea moisture raw shea butter monthly or so. I rarely trim, works for me. I rarely use heat except the hooded… Read more »
Yvonne01
Hi Eva Try site: The science of black hair – this will help you to understand your a little better. Find out if your a protein sensitive as so products with protein in can cause breakage Your hair journey will long and you need to have a lot of patience. Finding out the right products that work for your hair. Kinky curl knot today is protein free but I use when I am doing the LOC method – liquid oil and cream – simple kinky curl knot today, jojoba oil and shea butter to seal the hair some people switch… Read more »
Eva

Hi,
my name is Eva and i have dry and fragile, they break as soon as they grow can you please give me some advise i dont know what to do any more everything i got not work please send me the name of some good product and how to use them and my font fall off cause i use to were braids please help me. email me please at maxlyne@yahoo.ca
thank you in advance,

olufunmigold

i do have a very healthy and llong relaxed hair..bt wanna stop relaxing n be using texturizer relaxer…can you educate me more abt using hair testurizer cos i want my hair more natural bt softened for easy combing n styling

Meg

We’re in the same boat. I have long, relaxed hair but I feel like its time to start a healthier regimen if I want to keep my locks. My only problem is my delicate front hair. Any tips please?

Hannah

thanks guys, i really find d articles and tips helpful but which hair styles helps in growing hair lenght

Rica

Not sure if you have worn a sew-in weave, but it is a great way to grow your hair. Your hair is braided and the hair extensions are sewn on. If you can find a person that is not heavy handed when they braid, you’ll be onto something good. When I do have my stylist install a sew-in, I leave it in for a max of 2-3 months. Always washing it like I would normally wash my own hair.

jausserehl

I used to dust but then i started search and destroy too. Lol. My growth rate is very slow and when i newly went natural i was a scissors fan and always cut…not trim…full on cut but now im usibg yarn for retention and it seems to be working. I just hate the detangling process.

T

What are good protective styles to retain and grow natural hair without the use of synthetic hair or weaves, braids etc?

Caramel74

Wet bunning

Bakka Karriem
Hello all, I just gotta say… I am loving the articles, replies, and tips. I put my hair in extention twists I December 2013 and kept them in. All I did was shea butter and conditioner mix (V05 passion, coconut, or mango and vitamin E)put itmon my scalp and new growth at night, cover with a scarf I didn’t care tommess up and it looks great in the morning. I also put conditioner sparingly on the braids themselves on weekends when I’m staying in and wrapped all weekend. My hair looked fresh everday I wore it out but I did… Read more »
Yas
I’m a type 4a/4b with teeny little curls that are fine and break easily. I probably stay in protective styling 75% of the year; but when I do need to work with my own hair, I find that air drying is a lot more difficult when you have some length. My hair is prone to high shrinkage and any sort of shrunken Afro (a la wash n’ go) can result in a matting detangling nightmare. Air drying never gives my hair enough stretch. I’ve banded it, threaded it, twisted it….these methods no longer work on my freshly washed unstretched hair.… Read more »
Lindsay Sanders
Thanks for saying this! I thought it was just me. I’m not natural but I’m doing a long stretch and my hair reverts because it doesn’t take to relaxers well (but I LOVE the versatility without heat and ease/less breakage I get when relaxed). I’ve been told my moisture problems are due to me using heat so I decided to lay off but I’ve experienced more breakage when it comes to detanlging matted hair, especially in the crown area. I’m doing a co-wash today, I’ll try the blow drying with tension and see if it works for me (my curls… Read more »
Loveothers4ever

I just do rollersetting under a hooded dryer. I use ORS hair serum olive oil heat protectant, Moisturizer like Giovanni direct leave in and wrap my hair w/ rollers in a scarf sit under dryer. I mostly do co-washes with a deep conditioner, silicon mix +kanechom goats milk+ Giovanni nutrafix (amazon or vitacost.com). Moisturize and seal daily or every other day. My hair is thirsty. Biotin vitamelts and a multi vitamin helps as well.

Sammie
My regiment: Waist length in 3 years is my goal, I’ve been natural for 1 year and 3 months with one set back, and I just reached shoulder length, my regiment as follow are 1. Hair supplements and root stimulation like steaming etc.. 2. Hot oil treatments 3. Deep conditioning 4. Moisturizing 5. Seal 6. Protein treatments every 6-8 weeks 7. Dust ends as needed 8. Remove build ups with ACV or shampoo that will wash deep, as needed 9. Protect 10. Stay away from things that causes setbacks, listening to my hair and being gentle, using a wide tooth… Read more »
Kim

I have to say that twist/braid extensions have always miracles. For me, it’s always been the best way to retain length & the growth is noticeable once I take them out. The only downfall is it can be expensive …& I can’t get them as often. So lately I’ve started using curlers & this works well for in between twists.

anastasia

All practices listed have dramatically increased length retention for me. I will also add that I had to give up my love of braid extensions (box braids, Senegalese Twists ) for my fine 4abc strands. The extension hair, regardless of quality and alkaline base removal, ultimately proved to rough on my hair for it to thrive.

TMC toronto meetup march 29th

#2 & #3 are key. I see more length when my hair has been put away for at least 3weeks
themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

imani
I’ve decided to try stretching my hair to retain growth & minize breakage. It seems to make sense bc I get too many ssk’s & msk’s. I have a lot of shedding so wearing it curly leads 2 a lot of matting & knots if I wear my hair out..which I do.I hate “protective styling” and so I end up with a lot of breakage from ssk& msk.I love my curls but they love on each other & cause me pain! I’ve decided to stretch my hair & see if I get better results.I’m sick of matted chunks of hair… Read more »
Coleen

I have theeeeeee exact problem as you. I have MSK…never had it before until June 2013 and my hair’s growth has slowed down drastically.

imani
Im not alone! Well I know part of my msk & ssk issue is excessive shedding.all those daily fallen strands get caught up in my tiny corkscrew curls and before I know it I’ve got msks s& ssks all over my head by the end of the week! Id have to detangle & pull shed hairs out my hair every night 2 avoid this issue. who’s got the time for that every night? Now I do bantu knots every wash day,leave them to dry (I use a diffuser on the roots) then they r pretty well stretched all week. Each… Read more »
Annabanana

Hey! I just wanted you guys to know I found the perfect conditioner that detangles my hair and I almost lose NO hairs when I’m detangling. I mix Shea Moisture conditioner with Henna and Placenta by Hask and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and by the time I wash it out and start my detangling process my hair is so soft and I see almost no shedding.

caribbeancurl

Search and destroy method only works if you can actually bring the hair in front your eyes. Persons like me who can only see the ends of hair at the front of her head have to either rely on “sampling” or just go ahead and trim everywhere.

Lindsay Sanders

I go by feel…my healthy ends feel different than my split ends. I usually just go a general trim but decided to use perm rods for more defined curls the other day. Found out my longer side has more splits than my shorter side (except for small one section that I can actually see) but managed to get them all.

Ang

When my hair was shorter, I did the search method by sectioning my hair and then breaking down each of the larger sections into smaller ones as I analyzed each strand. Pain staking? Yes. Have I gone from back of the neck to a little past armpit? (in almost 1 year) Yes. Search method, finger detangling, wkly cowash (monthly shampoo) .. It’s SO worth it!

Carmen

It is very hard for me to do the search and destroy method. I get cross eyed every time I have tried followed by getting major headaches. I wish I knew a better way to do this.

Ang

*did it standing in a mirror at shorter lengths … still do

lex
Though my hair is longer than it was in September I had a bad month in February and I think I canceled out some growth. Not to mention my biggest dilemma is one side is longer than the other. My big goal was 14″ by April and I think I may just barely make it. But it’s cool, I realize I’m too rough with my hair. I do wish I would’ve documented with pictures though, I only did a chart and x’d out when I gained .5″ every month. *sigh* Also I think protein/hot oil treatments (and elasticizers, I’m seeing… Read more »
Sophie

I’ve been trying to work on this. I put my hair in yarn twists about six weeks ago (redoing the edges) and I can tell from the roots that its growing at a good rate. I never saw the gains when my hair was out because I was impatient and did too much trimming. Nice tips!

Lolita

I have been natural for two years,my hair is still 7 inches my problem was I was trimming too much because whenever I felt my ends they were dry and not curling…I need to stay away from scissors because I already don’t know how to trim natural hair since it curls up and you don’t even know how much come off till you stretch the curl

Nekeya

Omg Lolita, you are so correct. I went natural June of 2012; I had shoulder length relaxed hair and I did the big chop (I went to a barbershop),so I am at my two year mark. I just took a set of braids out and when I stretched my hair it was almost shoulder length; then I go grab a pair of scissors and cut off about 3 inches because I thought it was dead ends. Sometime you just need a super deep conditioning treatment. Stay away from the scissors if you are trying to attain length.

Team Natural MKE

Have you tried finding a good natural hair stylist? I can do most stuff myself, but I believe trimming is best done by a good stylist (unless you’ve mastered it yourself 🙂

darkchildlovethyhair

Very insightful article, sometimes its hard not to trim ends when a split hair or two is found. I still haven’t mastered the search and destroy method but I will have to now cos I need me some length!

merry

i braid or twist my hair at night. whenever i do, i cut off the stray hairs at the ends with the little knots. imo, that helps to keep my ends pretty good.

Walter II Boykin

What is stretching the hair? And what is proper way to cite your fantastical articles?
Thanx
Walt B.

krissy

hello can any one give me some good products that grow natual hair??? i need some name of good products and where i can get them.??

Zett

Acai berry avocado conditioner it smells so good and works so well I’ve been using this for about a month now and my curls have never been so defined and soft the first time I tried it was on my niece hair then mine it works wonders both of our hair has grown 1/2 since we’ve been using this you can find it at Walgreen’s hope you like it as much as I did.

Dananana

Stretching is the act of styling the hair in such a way that its natural shrinkage is reduced. You can stretch your hair with heat (blowdrying, flat-ironing) or without (twists, braids, bantu knots, banding, threading, rollersets/curlformers). There are figuratively tonnnns of articles on this site about strectching. Here are a couple of my favorites:
http://blackgirllonghair.com/2012/05/4-natural-hair-straightening-and-stretching-methods-explained/
http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/09/cut-down-on-detangling-time-stretching-natural-hair/

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