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5 Signs You’re On Your Way to Long Hair

Avatar • Aug 23, 2012


Style Icon Khyla

By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom

Long natural hair is not something that happens quickly, it will take between 3 to 5 years to have that much desired hair down your back. If you are just starting your journey or if you have made some mistakes and wish to redirect your energy into results, here are some of the small but highly significant steps that will mark that you are on the right path.

1. No pain when handling your hair

As a child I learned to grit my teeth and bear the pain as my hair was combed with a fine toothed comb. My hair also did not gain length and often post combing it was easy to see why — huge hair balls always followed. It still remains very common to hear the word tender-headed especially in salons when in truth hair is being ripped out and hence the reason for the pain. You are making significant progress when you get to a point where you no longer associate pain with the detangling process. Some people do experience a general tenderness (dull ache/soreness) associated with combing and this is related to the fact that they are more sensitive to even gentle tugging, however pain should never be the result of combing.

2. No hair on the floor

The less the hair you see on the floor or on your clothes when combing, the better. Ideally you should only see hair in the tool that you use to detangle (so if you are finger combing, shed hair will be unravelled with your fingers or if you are combing with a brush/comb then the shed hair should be trapped with the comb). If you have a good method of combing that suits your hair texture then you will be able to greatly minimise breakage.

3. You are patient

Patience is a big part of handling natural hair. It is required in every aspect from the shorter periods of detangling and styling to the long term period of growth and retention where you have to give your hair enough time in appropriate styles to gain length. The moment when you realise that your hair cannot be hurried, the easier you will find it handle as futile attempts will be eliminated. For example, you can easily style your hair in 5–10 minutes but patience dictates that you must select what works best for your hair. It is easy enough to make a quick bun on dry hair but this will not work when hair is wet for someone with high shrinkage. In that case, it may be easier to place 5–6 twists on wet hair and pin them up into a style. Later when your hair is dry, you can style as you please.

4. You accept that your hair cannot do everything

Natural hair is versatile and in general can be styled in almost any way. However, not all hair can do everything well. Some people can wash their hair every day and it will look perfect. Other people simply cannot do the same as their scalp may become progressively drier or if their hair is longer, daily washing is unsuitable as it increases tangling. Some people can safely heat style their hair but others cannot. If your hair feels brittle or breaks after even a low heat blow dry, you may have to accept heat is not for you. Some people can sit in protective styles for months while others would either get hair unravelling or matting if they attempted to do the same. You have to do what works for you.

5. Your product hunt is over

You need to experiment with products to find which ones best suit your hair. There does come a point though when you eventually find your favourites. You can purchase other products because you want to try them out but it is out of curiosity and not out of necessity. You know what works for you and for what reason. For example if your hair feels particularly dry, you know which conditioner to pick out of your arsenal and how long to leave it on your hair for best results. If you need to add oil to your hair, you know which one or which combination to use and how often. You know that products will not grow your hair but rather help it to stay in good condition (i.e take care of the cuticle and maintain moisture).

Ladies, how can you tell that your hair is thriving?

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About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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Rachel R.
Rachel R.
8 years ago

I have notice a few things…1 co washing has been awsome for my hair.
2. I still oil my scalp with greasw after each co wash. 3. I moisturize and seal. 4. I two strand twist my hair and let air dry. Doing this every 4 to 7 days has helped my hair retain moisture,the products go on very easily,and helps to keep my hands out of my head so I’m retaining lenght now. I wasn’t before doing all these steps.

Likewaterforchocolat
Likewaterforchocolat
8 years ago
Reply to  Rachel R.

Thanks for this.

Simple works.

Lisa
Lisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Rachel R.

i also started co washing my hair and i can see its growing quite nicely but what annoys me is that it gets dirty must faster than before

Labeebah
Labeebah
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Just a thought, but it might not be that it’s getting any dirtier any faster, just that your tolerance for dirty hair is severely reduced. Since I’ve gone fully curly I wash my hair once a week with a co-wash usually somewhere in the middle of the week. Since I’ve started that pattern I find that I have way less tolerance for letting my hair get dirty. I just notice it more. It feels weird not to rinse my hair at least once a week where as before (when I wore my hair thermal straightened or “pressed”) I would go… Read more »

eyeconic1
eyeconic1
7 years ago
Reply to  Labeebah

I’m with you. With perms and other styles I would go weeks in between washes the least was 2 weeks. I swore you was doing something. LOL! Could never figure out why my hair was so dry and flaky,even tho I stayed at the shop. Now that I CARE ABOUT AND CARE FOR MY HAIR, it is a must that I wash me and my daughters hair every week. Who knew water loved black people hair. LOL! Im not scared anymore:-) I pay attention to what goes in my hair and my hair loves me for it. I only go… Read more »

Kaye
8 years ago
Reply to  Rachel R.

Rachel. I must admit, I’m still in the process of trying products, but I did realize what seems like a massive growth spurt in the past two months or so after going through a routine of washing, twisting, untwisting, then styling minimally as well. I used a mix of shea butter and some $2 gel I found and now my bangs are back. I also don’t shampoo unless I put something in my hair that I shouldn’t have or don’t like, but I notice even at those times I can honestly get away with just co-washing. I am soooo happy… Read more »

Grace
Grace
8 years ago

The more I read the more I get the confirmation that I need a trim! My hair has grown and is very thick, but yes I do have the ‘hair on the floor’ problem. And I know the more my ends split, it will not help the growth… Its just time and money getting in the way at the moment! But going back to point 4 it says some people cannot wash their hair too often because of it becoming dry… Well maybe this is my problem. I find when I shampoo, I spend forever washing the shampoo out. At… Read more »

Inf
Inf
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Maybe you should look into cleansing conditioners. As I am makes a affortable one and Curl Junkie has one…more pricey but decent nonetheless. There is also terresentials, a bentonite clay mix, that many naturals are using. I am on a no shampoo challenge for a month. I use cleaning conditioners twice a week, and terresentials on wash day. My hair is loving it. It use to be dry ALL the TIME…literally. That isn’t a issue anymore. OHHH…apple cider vinegar rinses are great to if you have build up issues.

Grace
Grace
8 years ago
Reply to  Inf

Thanks @Inf… I’ll definitely have a look at those products. Yes I do admit the first time I skipped shampoo I noticed a difference. It felt healthy and soft. Thanks again 😉

Lillian Mae
8 years ago
Reply to  Inf

I agree on the cleansing conditioner. I’m using the Lisa Rachel Conditioner Cleanser for Curly Hair. It’s a knock off WEN product, but it’s awesome,inexpensive, and effective!

http://www.lillian-mae.com/newly-natural/lisa-rachel-conditioner-cleanser-for-curly-hair-update/

Grace
Grace
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

And adding to that… I only wash my hair once a week. Please help 😉 x

Inf
Inf
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

It’s up to you, how many times you “wash”. I have a twa right now, bc’d after transitioning for 6 months…so I wash, gel and go daily. This is my regimen: Sat: Terresentials and DC. (Normally I’m home on sundays) Sun: moisturize, leave in natural state. Mon: wet, moisturize w/ leave in, style with gel. Rinse out at night. Tues: Repeat of Mon, except I wash with As I Am cleanser at night and rinse out conditioner. Wed: same as Mon. Thurs: Same as Tues. Fri: Same as Mon. I prob could skip rinsing daily, but it’s my preference at this… Read more »

Inf
Inf
8 years ago
Reply to  Inf

Ohhh and I seal with a dime size amount of Castor oil. It’s the only oil that doesn’t leave a greasy film on my hair. I do this after my night routines after the As I am cleanser.

Desi
Desi
8 years ago
Reply to  Grace

Have you ever tried to do a apple cider vinegar rinse? That always helps me to de-gunk my scalp and hair.

Inf
Inf
8 years ago
Reply to  Desi

I’ve tried apple cider rinses when I was transitioning. I don’t use them now in my current regimen.

Landry
Landry
8 years ago

Number 2 “No hair on the floor” is true to a point. Humans shed 50–100 hairs a day. If you are seeing hair on the floor that have a white bulb at the end, that is normal. If you are seeing broken hairs then that is breakage. BUT everyone has some breakage. I don’t know anyone that sheds white bulbed hair all the time. You have to look at the overall condition and length of your hair and then make a determination. I just thought this should be clarified.

Nikki
Nikki
8 years ago
Reply to  Landry

+1

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago
Reply to  Landry

I don’t shed anywhere near 50–100 strands a day, that would be a lot of hair loss per day, up to 700 strands a week? I hear this all the time but that # seems off.

Landry
Landry
8 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

Are you counting the number of hairs you shed a day? That would be difficult unless you are constantly searching for hairs on your floor, car, clothes,chair at work, etc.… 50–100 hairs she a day is accurate, and a normal part of the hair growth cycle, it may not apply to you, but it does to most people.

Unless you notice that your is thinning out overall, it is really not a big deal.

Jc
Jc
8 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

I agree with Barbara because the number 50–100 hairs per day is often quoted as a scientific fact when it is actually a theory based on mathematics. It is an estimate of how much hair should shed to allow new hair to sprout. It takes into account a maximum growing rate of 3–5 years but there are studies that hair could actually grow for as long 10–15 years. In the one study that actually measured shed hair on a population of Thai women, the average was 28–35 hair strands per day. Some individuals had as little as 15 per day. Also women… Read more »

goyta
goyta
8 years ago
Reply to  Jc

i agree with you. i thought for a long time now that that number was a little backwards. i’d be bald pretty quick if my hair shed that much. i know for a fact i might get about 30 hairs a day, but that’s it. that much hair would be noticeable. i hardly ever notice hair anywhere in my house, and i think that if you shed 100 hairs a day that would be pretty noticeable.

Lil-ly
Lil-ly
8 years ago

Patience is key! It’s really hard for me to keep a style for several weeks but I know my hair just loves that and it can retain lenght that way. So, yes, to be a long-haired black girl, some of us really need to be patient and gentle!!

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago
Reply to  Lil-ly

Gearing up the courage to go for long-term braids and twist (with hair extensions). People warn me about how I won’t be able to deal because of the itching, but that’s what the neem oil is for. 😉

jen
jen
8 years ago

do u use anything to make your neem oil smell better? i cant take the odor

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago
Reply to  jen

I must be used to it, since it doesn’t bother me. I try not to use too much if I’m applying it topically (not about to wash my hair), but I’m not sure what else to recommend.

Anyone else with suggestion?

Tash
Tash
8 years ago
Reply to  jen

That neem oil is the truth for scalp problems! I mix it in my conditioner, massaging it very well into my scalp and wash it out. That way the smell isn’t too bad. During the week, if my scalp itches, I spray a mixture of lavender oil and distilled water on the scalp which soothes it.

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
8 years ago

As a child I learned to grit my teeth and bear the pain as my hair was combed with a fine toothed comb.”

Lawd, tell me about it! >_< Very hard to believe your Mum who says “Nothing’s wrong with your hair!” when combing it is akin to a daily torture session. Don’t get me started on wash days. I think there’s a reason why I can only remember one — too traumatic.

Keisa S. Johnson
8 years ago

GREAT article, with tips that are on point. Agreed, great job!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/braidedupdolatest.jpg[/img]

Vonnie
Vonnie
8 years ago

All of these apply to me except the patiience part. But the others are right on. I remember when I was a child I would literally cry BEFORE I got my hair braided because I knew the excruating pain that was to come. If only my momma could see me now :-p Also about my product regimen, I pretty much have it down-packed at this point. I have retained a lot of length as I near my one-year hair anniversary (big chopped to a low fade October 2011; as of a few weeks ago am 3‑and-a-half inches all over and… Read more »

goyta
goyta
8 years ago

lately i’ve been washing my hair every other day and my hair has never looked better. it’s also so much more easy to manage than it’s ever been, and i think i’m well on the way to retention. i only finger detangle, so i rarely see breakage and even when i do it’s very minimal- like only about 3 or 4 hairs, but that breakage stems from my last run with the flat iron when i didn’t comb my hair out straight- and i ended up flat ironing bent angles and curls into my hair which gave it serious weak… Read more »

Faiza
Faiza
8 years ago

What oil can I use 2 make am hair grown long pls

Joma
Joma
8 years ago
Reply to  Faiza

No oil will help you grow hair faster but what it can do is stimulate the follicles.

My tips would be:

*Eating healthy as hair&nails are the LAST place your body delivers nutrients to.

*Exercising to increase the blood circulation to your follicles which means better nourishment for them.

*Scalp massages with castor oil and few drops of peppermint oil using an applicator bottle should help.

Hair growths on average 0.5inch as month so focusing keeping what you grow by babying your ends.

I hope that is helpful i’m sure other ladies will chime in with more tips. 🙂

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

I transitioning and no matter how much I condition, moisturize, and gently detangle, I always have a big ball of #2.

Lillian Mae
8 years ago
Reply to  Heather

How long have you been transitioning? I’d love to hear your regimen!
I transitioned for 2 years and was able to avoid having a “big ball of #2” by following these tips:
http://www.lillian-mae.com/transitioning-guide/tips-for-transitioners-future-and-present/

Hope you find them helpful!

Joma
Joma
8 years ago

I enjoyed reading this as it was to the point and helpful.

I agree it does take time to grow hair so that should be considered.

I have found my staples and love my Fro and have accepted it for what it is.

Staples:
Co-wash:Skala Shea Butter Conditioner
Leave-in/Sealer: Anita Grant Creamy Cafe Latte (Vanilla Scent)
Oil:OLive Oil
DC:Lavera Mango Milk Treatment

For a Wash n Fro:Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and Eco Styler Gel Ollve Oil

I fully understand how my products affect my hair and can tell my hair is thriving as it’s retaining length.

Kay
Kay
8 years ago

These are some very good points. I totally agree with sign#1 — there is no reason why your scalp should hurt while detangling your hair.

nelle
nelle
8 years ago

not only is your product hunt over, you get a mild heart attack at the thought that your product is sold out OR GOD FORBID discontinued.….I can’t even think about that right now. smh.

TheAlizTube
TheAlizTube
8 years ago
Reply to  nelle

+1
I think I’ll faint if that ever happened.

Trini
Trini
8 years ago

Excellent article. Numbers 3 and 5 became my reality early in my natural hair journey.

Katherine G
8 years ago

These are great tips.

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

No hair on the floor is numero uno for me. Hair on the floor is a serious sign of breakage. That and/or excessive shedding.

My hair has been thriving a lot lately. I did however get a few cuts so I’ve lost about 4 inches of length and its kind of like starting again on my journey — but its worth it.

luminous
luminous
8 years ago

I started retaining more length when I finally learned how to moisturize my situation. Although I was natural for well over a decade, my hair was never longer than arm pit length. I had really dry hair. Two years ago, I started to spray my hair with water and seal with an oil daily. This enable me to go from arm pit length to just above bra strap length but it stopped there. This past January, I finally gave up on shampoo and my hair has since passed bra strap length. Skipping shampoo also made my hair easier to detangle and… Read more »

Dicey
Dicey
8 years ago

I have minimal breakage with this regime, my hair was big chopped from middle back lengthed dread locks that I wore two years ago. I have 4c hair . I my hair that shrinks extremely tight the way my natural physiology intended. When my hair sheds it becomes tiny flat circles. I could not tell which end came out of my scalp or belong to the outside end of my strand.My hair is know approximately 75 % gray. I only finger comb with water only. I either wash and go or finger twist when wet. I never use heat appliances… Read more »

Michelle McCray-Whitton
Michelle McCray-Whitton
8 years ago

I put a sew-in in my hair and asked my mom to take it out for me… Well, she cut one of my braids and she pulled some of my hair out. It was bald and then I started back moisturizing my hair and taking biotin pills and its starting to make a difference slowly but surely. What suggestions do you have for hair. Its past my shoulders but my hair is pretty much starting over where my mom accidently cut. All for suggestions… Please!!!!

andrea
andrea
8 years ago

These are all on point for me right now. I have been transitioning for 14 months and checking out a lot of blogs & youtube. I have never tried the cowashing because I figured if you’re going to “cowash” u might as well just wash your hair. So I decided to go for it Saturday and it is so much easier I wish I would have done it a LONG TIME ago. My hair loves it feels so soft and it’s very very managable. I have 4b hair those coils are tightand I try not to comb it all (I… Read more »

Latoya
Latoya
8 years ago

This is reassurance for me that I am doing the right thing. I transitioned for a year, then did my chop in April of this year. I am loving my hair more and more each day. The only problem I have is major shrinkage. Twist outs will give me a little stretch for about an hour or two, then my hair completely ignore the twist and curl back up in my small, springy, tight coils. Not that I don’t love them, but I want to show people that I have a little hang time too sometimes : )

SEMAJ
SEMAJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Latoya

HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU NOW (SHRINKAGE)? I HAVE THAT SAME PROBLEM!!!

Tbird
Tbird
8 years ago

I never did a BC. I transitioned from 2 years of Just For Me Texture Softener. I’m still in the really bad habit of blow drying and flat ironing somewhat straight, because, to be honest, I love the straighter look. But the whole reason why i went natural was to be able to retain some length and repair my chronically straw-like, sandy hair. No matter what products I have ever used in my 27 years of life, My ends have always remained extremely brittle and I have never had any length past just grazing the top of my shoulders in… Read more »

QML
QML
8 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

I was in the same boat!! My hair was always brittle and dry. I know it may be scary…but one of the best things you can do for your hair until you get it back on track is to lay off the heat. Seriously… Blow drying and flat ironing your hair weekly, without it starting in a healthy condition, is drying and frying it! You are not really giving your hair the opportunity it needs to get healthy. I would suggest, if you MUST have straight hair, to do a full sew-in. Go to a professional, do not get your… Read more »

lena
lena
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

Read the book the science of black hair by Audrey davis-sivasothy she provides extensive guidelines on how to grow out hair…and she also illustrates and explains what can damage our hair which results to the hair not growing or retaining length. I was in the same situation as you then my sis told me to read this book and since then been enjoying my hair journey.

deborah
deborah
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

Hello, I think you are on the right track with conditioning your hair and keeping it moiturized. However, there’s also a case of too much moisturizing which also leads to breakage. It is also advisable to do protein treatments to balance the moisture/protein level. I’m not a hairstylist but from all the hair blogs that I’ve read this seems to be the theme and it worked for my once upon a time brittle hair. When in doubt visit yur nearest naturla hair salon or spend time on youtube watching one of the many natural hair divas. Trust me there are… Read more »

Cinnimom
Cinnimom
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

Hey Tbird: I know exactly what you mean. I was you for many years. I have always been natural but liked pressing my hair a lot but realized it caused my hair so much damage. One thing I have learned over the years that is Universal, regardless of Hair type is that you mess with it too much, you will Cause your Hair PAIN. You will ultimately have to start LEAVING IT ALONE MORE. All the Product in the world will not Save your Hair. LESS Manipulation Will. If you don’t want to wear an Afro, try Braiding it for a… Read more »

Daisha
Daisha
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

WOW. We are so much alike. I’m vegan. I have 4a/4b hair and, but I’ve found what works for me. My regimen: Pre poo: When taking down my hair I detangle with a mixture of Honey, Olive oil, Shea butter, and Coconut oil. I cover my hair with a plastic bag for about 10 min. Cleanse: Shampoo with Pantene moisture renewal 2–3 times untill hair is clean, but NOT stripped. Condition: Pantene Moisture renewal conditioner (rinse out) Protective style: I wear a protective style for 1 week. During the week (whenever my hair feels less than great) I spray my hair… Read more »

TaiTea
TaiTea
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

You are going to have to realize your love of the “straighter look” is incompatible with your hair and your goal of retaining length. If you read the blog/vlogs of any black woman with long hair you will see a reoccurring theme with them of long stretches of protective styles, constant moisture, and rare encounters with heat. So pick your pleasure, shorter but straight hair or protected/curly styled well moisturized hair that retains length.

Daisha
Daisha
7 years ago
Reply to  TaiTea

Did you reply this to me? It came in my email so I’m assuming you did. I don’t have straight hair and never will. I havn’t straitened my hair ever since its been natural. What made you think my hair is thirsty, lol, because I can assure you it’s not. Just because it’s short does not imply that it is thirsty…my hair is in EXCELLENT condition :).

Wendee
Wendee
7 years ago
Reply to  Daisha

I think TaiTea’s comment was meant for TBird; she just happened to hit “reply” under your post.…

mspenelope
mspenelope
7 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

Definitely stop using the heat. I went for more than two years without a relaxer. Thought I was taking good care of my hair but it wasn’t growing at all. But when I laid off the heat (in late 2011) it suddenly came to life and kept growing a little at a time. It is past my shoulders now and way fuller than it used to be.

SheaWarrior
SheaWarrior
6 years ago
Reply to  Tbird

You will need to employ protective styles quite religiously AND kiss heat good bye or reduce it to no more than 4 times a year. This is if you are serious about length retention and overall health. You’re hair is heat damaged which is why its dry, shedding, and breaking off. I had that same cycle for years my hair would get no longer than a couple of inches past the shoulder. My hair is now approaching an inch past APL and I’ve found that the more length it obtains the less I want to flat iron it. Also Curlformers… Read more »

Lillian Mae
8 years ago

Hi, I wanted to encourage you to not give up on your hair. I think the first step is to “come to terms with what your natural hair may be able to do” and from there start wearing your hair in those “curlier styles” now as opposed to waiting for your “hair to grow”. By wearing your hair curly, you will get used to seeing yourself with a new style and you will begin to like it. One thing I’d suggest is doing the porosity test. That helped me to determine why certain things worked and others didn’t for my 4a/b… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
8 years ago

Thread makes me sad. I tried loose for 8 years only to get the back of my hair to barely graze my shoulders. STill I cut it a few times because of split ends etc, but after 8 years of trial and error I gave up on long loose hair.

patricia
8 years ago

well i work over seas and my hair is really bad i tryed to were a afro but the water over here is really drying it out .i have been doing braids .so i think that this is also messing my hair . i have very soft hair so can you help me with this problem please .

Dabney
7 years ago
Reply to  patricia

I am curious to where you are working overseas. When I was in Austria, my hair was in bad shape because of the hair dye I used. Yet, the Summer in Salzburg helped my hair because of the humidity. If you are suffering with dryness, try using some hair conditioner mixed with some water that you have boiled and cooled. The Europeans have excellent water but it has lots of minerals in it whih are hard on the hair. Hope this helps!

Uzo
Uzo
7 years ago
Reply to  patricia

Hi Patricia! Used to live in France and it was definitely the water. It has a lot of minerals.…safe for drinking but not for hair. I used to filter it first using Brita or any other filter like that and fill a bucket before washing. The change was tremendous. The Brita took away most of those minerals. If your hot water boiler always has deposits after boiling the tap water in it for a long time, then definitely use Brita or any filter each time you wash. I also filtered my water before boiling to keep my boiler from having… Read more »

S.Howard
S.Howard
7 years ago

How do you seal after the co-wash and oil treatment?

Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn
7 years ago

Patience is definitely key. My hair was extremely brittle from braiding and a much regretted dye job broke my hair off about 2 inches. I had to start over completely with a pixie cut. I know everyone is different and you need to find the products and treatment that works best for you. But I started by eliminating ALL unnatural chemicals in my hair. I purchased some extra virgin olive oil and do a hot oil treatment twice a week and before I washed my hair. I use Dr Bronner’s Castile Hemp Soap. It is an olive oil based soap.… Read more »

Ayanda Losi
Ayanda Losi
7 years ago

You guys are really inspiring me to keep my hair natural .I shaved all of my hair when I was pregnant with my daughter in Nov 11 .It was relaxed and very long but I was not happy with my texture and it was extremely dry .I realised that using heat or straightening it makes it even worse . Been growing it naturally and it’s only about 5inches long . I used to have natural hair when I was in college and it was very long and manageable . This has helped me to realise that I just need to… Read more »

Charlotte
7 years ago

I have never had a problem growing my hair for whatever reason. My hair just grows, my hair is hip length again after I cut it last year and three years…no, more like a year and a half from shoulders to waist. But I have also never lost a lot of hair in detangling or anything. I tried so many products though on my hair to control frizz and ended up finding that for me it works best not to put products on my hair, for leave-in anyway, and to just seal the ends with glycerin. Now I have discovered… Read more »

Susie
Susie
7 years ago

I’ve been natural most of my life except when I turned 19 an relaxed . My mother always encouraged us to be god-given natural in every way. So after going bald around my edges I stopped relaxing . Following the crowd,bad idea. But my hair is mid-back at 61. Even with medical problems/meds. I can go extended periods without washing(don’t judge me lol) every week cowasing. Twice a month shampoo with essence hydration. Coconut oil sparingly,massages the hair an I wear any styles want. And thankfully both my daughters are now natural too. Healthy hair?…at any age.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/image-31.jpg[/img]

101Corkscrews
101Corkscrews
7 years ago
Reply to  Susie

Sixty what?!? You look AMAZING!

donalda
donalda
7 years ago

I need ppl with 4c hair to tell what they do to acieve long hair. It’s not rare for type 3 hair to grow to long lengths.

nikki
nikki
7 years ago
Reply to  donalda

u should check out Cipriani on the blog urbanbushbabes. she has long 4C hair and i’m sure that she’s shared on her website the regimen and practices that she’s used to achieve the long length of her hair.

Tolu
Tolu
7 years ago

Hi I need help from any who can help. I just started going natural and just tried out few product but the last time I washed my hair was horrible used tresemme natural bot shampoo and conditioner and after dried my hair and applied shear butter and coconut oil but my hair was hard and really hurt when I tried braiding so I want advise on wat to do to make my hair soft cuz my hair really hurt and thinking of going back to perm

Nikanaturally
7 years ago
Reply to  Tolu

You definately need to find moisture rich products. I have really dry hair and I normally use (Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, or a couple others in my rotation)I have a YT vid posted on my products. But, once you find a good conditioner, you also need a good leave in (I use Cream of Nature Rosemary & Lemongrass-awesome!!). Then to seal in your moisture you may want to try a lighter oil (like moroccan oil) your hair may not like the heave oils like coconut. I use them but give it a try! I always make sure whatever I… Read more »

deborah
deborah
7 years ago
Reply to  Tolu

After you wash your hair, don’t dry it completely. Either put the oil while it’s still wet or at least damp then braid or twist your hair. The main purpose of putting oil on your hair is to seal in the moisture( different purpose for your scalp) so if you completely dry your hair, putting the oil will just coat your strands and why it still feels dry. Water is the best moisturizer: keep it on your hair :D. Hope this helps!

Ndy
Ndy
7 years ago
Reply to  Tolu

This happened to me too when I was newly natural, I found out that my hair does not like coconut oil, it makes my hair hard and feel like straw. I tried making a sheabutter coconut mix and it did the same. After much experimenting I found out that my hair does not like coconut oil. I would advise taking that out of your routine at the moment try olive oil instead for sealing or some other oils. And like nikannaturally advise you need a leave in after washing, use a leave in that has water as the first ingredient… Read more »

Daisha
Daisha
7 years ago
Reply to  Tolu

This is what I do and my hair is really soft and healthy so maybe this can help you! I have 4a/4b hair and, but I’ve found what works for me. My regimen: Pre poo: When taking down my hair I detangle with a mixture of Honey, Olive oil, Shea butter, and Coconut oil. I cover my hair with a plastic bag for about 10 min. Cleanse: Shampoo with Pantene moisture renewal 2–3 times untill hair is clean, but NOT stripped. Condition: Pantene Moisture renewal conditioner (rinse out) Protective style: I wear a protective style for 1 week. During the week… Read more »

kat
kat
7 years ago
Reply to  Tolu

My hair does not like being braided or pulled during twisting
This makes my 4c hair Brittle
Just a side note that may help
I also started using ciprianas technique of curling the moistened and sealed ends around a bobby pin
So far so good if only to reduce getting tangled knots in that area

Dabney
Dabney
7 years ago

I can tell my Hair is thriving because it no longer feels and sounds like paper!

Raven
7 years ago

The first time I knew my hair was thriving, I had just put my deep conditioner in and my hair was hanging past my shoulders in twists. I couldn’t believe it. I started thinking back to what was I doing that resulted in such growth. I had begun incorporating more veggies and fruits into my diet and drinking water. Additionally, I started taking a multivitamin for women. My scalp likes to be clean, so cleansing my hair weekly works well for me. I also discovered that my hair absolutely love natural products that do not have a lot of chemicals.… Read more »

gift
gift
7 years ago

My hair ryt frm childhood has been very stubborn and short.in my 1st year in sec school, i started plaiting wth thread n using virgin hair fertilizer and coconut oil and it grew to my necl length.in my 3rd yr, i started braidin wth my natural hair bcos it ws d requirement of my skul,n my hair cut so badly. Nw, i decided not to relax my hair, and to apply a mixture of coconut oil,damatol,olive oil,honey,aloe vera,indian hemp moisturizer b4 shampoo n during conditionin,started 2 weeks ago n mr hair ws extremely soft dat i cud comb it which… Read more »

Lana
7 years ago

In March 2013 I decided to stop straightening my hair (flat ironing) at that time, it was a bit beyond my shoulders. Fast forward to today and I am on my way to waist length hair. When stretching my tresses, it now goes beyond the bottom of my bra. I’ve decided to wait until March 2014 to straighten again. This will not be consistent, it more so to change it up. I’ve also equated its not just what i put on my hair but also into my body. This has led me to start a company that has organic, made… Read more »

Leslie
Leslie
7 years ago

I have 4cxyz hair type. I have found in order to retain length I must sit under my steamer once a week and I MUST put oil,water and a butter on my hair/ends everyday to avoid matting and breakage. I started seeing my hair grow when i tried the Greenhouse Method I found on Youtube. I spray my hair with water and oil every night and sleep with a plastic cap and silk bonnet. The natural heat from your head opens your hair cuticles so the oil can set in and the Nattybutter/shea I use seal it. You must use… Read more »

Kristin
Kristin
6 years ago

I need help my hair is psycho, one second its soft and manageable and then suddenly its dry and hard and I just sit on my bed crying because it hurts so bad to comb. I dont put anything but evoo and jbco in my hair because I dont know what products to use and everything I try thats supposed to make it curly never works. I wash my hair with some random shampoo my mother bought. But idk what to do I cut all my hair off in like april and I only have like 3 inches now and… Read more »

Uzo
Uzo
6 years ago
Reply to  Kristin

Hi Kristin, I feel your pain. Don’t give up though. I am pure Nigerian and if you remember what Lil Wayne said about our hair, then you know we got “tough” hair:). First, I never ever comb my hair dry. I just try to pull them from the tangles carefully and and then most my hair with a mix of water, glycerin and coconut oil or olive oil. Then start a the tips to comb with a WIDE tooth comb. Also don’t use random shampoos. Avoid any shampoo with “cones” like dimethicone. Use shampoos with aloe Vera. Use moisturisers with… Read more »

Laetitia
Laetitia
6 years ago

4 out of 5 😀

Juanita
6 years ago

I’ve learned that if my hair is frizzy and lacks a curl pattern then I need to throw some water on it ASAP. I tried the LOC Method a few months back (just conditioner, oil, and shea butter) and my curls were popping! lol. That’s the most hydrated my hair has ever been. So, co-washing is my holy grail (I haven’t used shampoo in 2 years) and I use EVOO or shea butter as a sealant. Simplicity works best for me 🙂

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_20131204_095904_414.jpg[/img]

Maria
Maria
6 years ago
Reply to  Juanita

Love your hair Juanita–I think it’s similar to mine. I’ve been natural since 2010 and I have learned a lot. My hair gets frizzy easy and loves loves loves moisture. My hair is not as long as it could be because I did not retain length and I kept “over-trimming” in an effort to get a certain look I was trying to achieve. I have had very good results from the LOC method too and keeping my hair in braids under a wig this winter has definitely helped me (finally) retain some length. Keep up the good work;-)

Spirit
Spirit
6 years ago

For step two when you detangle isn’t it normal to have SOME hair shed??? I thought that was normal… Not gobs but some…

Daisha
Daisha
6 years ago
Reply to  Spirit

Yes but the hair should be in the comb/your fingers not on the floor, which was the point she was trying to make I see a lot of people were confused

Alice
Alice
6 years ago
Reply to  Spirit

Yeah, that’s normal. Our fingers aren’t going to catch everything that falls.

Sunny
Sunny
6 years ago

I’ve been natural for a few years and still have yet to hit any of my major goals. Or any magnificent boundaries. I am mostly discouraged with my natural process. It’s like even when I try to get into a good pattern or regimen, my hair is never healthy enough or where I want it to be. I wish this came as easy to me as it does for some women. I’m just… over my hair.

moni
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

I know exactly how you feel. Its been almost 4 years since my Big chop and im still struggling to find the right,products for me. Not Just that but i find it hard to find a regime that works with my time constraints but still looks good.all i want is healthy hair. Im so close to cutting it again.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  moni

Don’t give up moni. I’ve been there. Sometimes it can help just to do the basics and leave it alone (manipulation-wise) as much as possible. I remember being so busy I only had time to pull on a hat/wig for about a month. Afterwards my hair was in better shape than when I was anxiously preening and prodding it(!) If you can find anything to help relieve the frustration, without compromising your hair, then you might want to give that a try. Best of luck either way.

coffeeandfingernails
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

Don’t know whether this helps or hurts but I’d say it took me about 4 years to really feel like I was making progress after my BC. For me the biggest obstacle was having low standards for my hair–I thought it was *supposed* to be dry and unmanageable. Once I realized that didn’t have to be the case, I refused to settle for any products that didn’t meet that higher standard and by my 4th anniversary had found a combination that worked for me. That trial and error is frustrating as hell but so worth it once you strike gold.

Ariel
Ariel
6 years ago

I’ve been natural for 7 years, but I hadn’t really learned and started taking care of my hair myself until I re-big-chopped 2 years ago. I’m still trying to fine what works for me, but I’m learning every day (some are better than others) and becoming more comfortable in my skin (and my hair).

Aishia Rodgers
Aishia Rodgers
5 years ago
Reply to  Sunny

The main thing to do sweetie is not to give up. Re-examine your approach, take some hair vitamins and drink lots of water until you find what’s best for you. Sometimes it takes longer for some then others. It took me 2 1/2 years to find what worked for me. We can’t go off of someone else’s journey, your journey is your own. If I can be of any assistance email me: shekiarodgers@gmail.com. Even if I can only help motivate you. Good luck

Andrea Taylor
Andrea Taylor
6 years ago

I can tell my hair is thriving beacuse it looks a lot more full. I’ve been natural since Nov 12. This is the most hair I’ve had in a long time. I have never felt this good about my hair.

Rebecca Moseley
Rebecca Moseley
6 years ago

Co washing weekly and the LOC method and biweekly deep condtioning has my hair soft and healthy with minimal shed hair. My curls love it

WANTINGsupershortORlonghair
WANTINGsupershortORlonghair
6 years ago

Hi Rebecca, what are some of your fav deep conditioners?

Thanks.

curlyBlue
curlyBlue
6 years ago

How do I know my hair is thriving? I really don’t know. My hair has gotten thicker. My hair tends to grow longer in the front than the back. But, I haven’t conquered the scalp part. My scalp stays dry and itchy. Before going natural my scalp tended to be dry. I need to do more hot oil treatments. I recently went back to wearing protective styles. The last four months of 2013 I wore protective styles and my hair grew.

Aishia Rodgers
Aishia Rodgers
5 years ago
Reply to  curlyBlue

Try tea tree or neem oil or both sweets, it conquered those issues for my daughter and her scalp was both very itchy and dry. After I tried these on her I never looked back! Both products are also anti-bacterial which is awesome, and anti-microbial!!!! Hope this helps, also oil your scalp doing massages it should help stimulate.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  curlyBlue

Bit late to reply I know but if you’re still reading…I find putting oil near the hair root rather than directly on the scalp helps me. After a head massage some will transfer anyway but not so much. Hope that helps you and others.

BriA
BriA
6 years ago

I’ve kept my 3 products for 3 years.…..of course I’ll change up a deep conditioner and play with oils but my conditioner/leave in and moisturizer have stayed the same since I went natural.….right now my longest layer is about bsl hopefully it’ll be wl by the time my 4 years come around in Sep.

deborah
deborah
6 years ago
Reply to  BriA

Ria can you please share the three products and the deep conditioners that you use? My. Hair grows but it is thin on top and my hair line is struggling to come back. Not sure what to do.I am getting impatient.

Alice
Alice
6 years ago
Reply to  deborah

Taking vitamins and drinking water is the first step.

Chimere
Chimere
6 years ago

I’ve recently realized my hair actually does the best with protein. I thought I had 4b/4c mixed hair but, after changing up, it looks like it’s more 4b with 4a ends (serious ringlet like curls). I tried to stay away from using products that boast protein and do a lot of things I’ve seen online like, aloe vera juice, castor oil, etc. That actually didn’t do well on my hair as it still felt extremely brittle and was shedding something fierce. Detangling was even an issue and I took my time. I decided to just get my hair washed, braided… Read more »

cristen G
cristen G
6 years ago

Love thus natural state…not new to this 2nd go round…it does take time just stay true to it!

Vina
Vina
6 years ago

I am patient. I don’t realize how long my hair is until i get it flat ironed every 5 or 6 months. I love the length my hair at whatever length it is, as long as it’s healthy!

Alice
Alice
6 years ago
Reply to  Vina

Same here!

Celeste
Celeste
6 years ago

Great article. Makes plenty of sense to me.

Sydney
6 years ago

I notice that I still have shedding.…but I also keep my hair twisted and covered almost ALL of the time. Maybe that’s why my shedding seems so bad?? It can’t really fall out of my head if it’s all twisted and covered up, right? haha

Theresa English
Theresa English
6 years ago

have reread this and each time I see something I missed before. Be encouraged.

Theresa

Angela Cobb (Gigi)
Angela Cobb (Gigi)
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing this article!!! I’m so encouraged, I entered my 3rd year January 9th. I actually cut the back of my hair up, in a Bob for more volume and shape. I have very fine hair, I trim every 6 months. I find my hair feels silky, and my curls POP!!! In 3 years I’ve only straightened, 4 times!! In obsessed with my curls, but when I see my growth in totally amazed. I bc’d 1/9/12, my front/sides is chin length. I try not to compare my hair, and I’ve slowed down tremendously being a product junkie!!! Patient,… Read more »

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CuriousAquarius
CuriousAquarius
5 years ago

Less hair on the floor is truth! I changed up how I handled my hair in December and have been less hands on. I was shoulder length then and now Im 2 inches from BSL. soo close

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