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How I Achieved Long, Healthy 4B/4C Hair Without Using Hair Vitamins

Avatar • Jun 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.13.00 AM

by Tori (pictured above)

After posting length check or ‘before and after’ pictures on Instagram, I often get asked if I take hair vitamins, and the answer is no. I also often get asked, “how did you grow your hair so long?” or “what can I use to make my hair grow?” I never have the answer that some expect to hear. When asked this question in person, I sometimes get a look of disappointment, as if to say “is that ALL you’re going to tell me?” Well, unfortunately, I do not have a secret hair growth potion recipe to share. If I did, I would bottle it and distribute it worldwide (ha)! What I have been able to offer, however, are tips that can help you achieve your hair goals. So, before you go out and buy hair vitamins or magic hair growth potions, here are five tips to consider for growing long, healthy hair:

  • Healthy Hair Starts From Within

I know I may be ‘beating a dead horse’ here, but I always have to reiterate that healthy hair starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Do I eat healthy 100% of the time? Absolutely not. But, I do try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and a balanced diet. Your diet can affect your overall health, including your hair’s health. So, try to include more nutritious foods, vegetables, fruits, protein, etc. to fuel healthy hair from within.

  • Water Your Hair.

Literally and figuratively, we need to water our hair.  Think of your hair like a plant, you have to ‘water’ it to help it grow. Increasing your daily water intake can improve your hair’s moisture and health. Also, since water is the best moisturizer, spritz your hair daily to prevent excess dryness. Dry hair leads to breakage, especially afro-textured hair, which tends to be very dry.

  • Treat Your Hair With Love

This may sound corny, but, if you love your hair, it will love you back. Be gentle with your strands. Vigorous styling, harsh handling, and excessive pulling and tugging can lead to breakage. Hair that is constantly breakage is not retaining its length. So, if one of your hair goals is long hair, you are limiting your results by not treating your hair with love.

  • Just Leave It Alone

If your hair is like mine, it sometimes just wants to be left alone. Sometimes we get too carried away by wanting to try every style or product or technique. But, while we are busy experimenting or wanting to switch things up constantly, our hair length and health may be suffering. Give your hair a break sometimes. Just leave it alone.

  • Keep It Simple

In the beginning of my hair journey, I watched tons of product review videos and bought many of the products the ladies in the videos spoke about. My hair regimen consisted of a million steps and washdays would literally take ALL day. Over time, I learned that simple is better (and less stressful). No, I do not need to do fifty steps on washday and I do not need to use ten styling products all at once. Keep your regimen simple and

Patience
In addition to all of the above, the most important hair tip I can share is PATIENCE. Quick fixes are tempting but ultimately if you make healthy hair your priority, length can be achieved over time.

For those of you who have successfully grown out your natural hair without the use of vitamins, what tips would you give?

About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican-born natural currently living in Texas. I was reunited with my natural texture in January 2012 when I big chopped, after transitioning for a year and a half. I am still learning about my natural hair, and hope to share the knowledge and experiences I gain as I continue on my natural hair journey. You can find me on Instagram @bonafidestyle.

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Carleee
Carleee
6 years ago

Wow the comparison picture of your hair between 2009 an 2014 is INCREDIBLE! Perms are so damaging to the hair. Your natural hair was just waiting to be unleashed. It’s beautiful.

Miss Mo
Miss Mo
6 years ago

Wow, awesome tips. Thanks for this Tori. 🙂

Devi-An
Devi-An
6 years ago

Wow! Very prety hair! Looks really healthy and moisturized! Kudos to you for maintaining all that length since your big chop in 09′

Yemzi
6 years ago

Such lush hair Tori, thanks for sharing your tips — all 6 which I agree with and doing so it is great to be reassuraed x

Sambista
Sambista
6 years ago

Great tips. Thanks for confirming that I’m doing the right thing.

SuzyQ
SuzyQ
6 years ago

Unfortunately many people don’t want to hear that genetics also plays a role in hair growth (see the link attached)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5173315

She is correct that nutrients from the inside out is beneficial! We have to learn that healthy hair is more important then length.

ClipsCity
ClipsCity
6 years ago
Reply to  SuzyQ

You know what also plays a role in healthy hair? Finding a regimen that works for your hair type.
Genetics isn’t something that can be changed. You know what can be changed? Habits! So why not encourage people to be proactive about their hair growth instead of being complacent with “part of its genetics.” The other part is obviously care.

UsuallyaLurker
UsuallyaLurker
6 years ago
Reply to  SuzyQ

Not to debunk the idea that genetics is not a role, however you do realize that that paper is from 1971. The scientist in me can’t truly find validation in something that old. Of there are those standard publishings that stand the test of time, but even those studies get re-done over a number of years to still provide validation. Also not sure if you were able to see the whole paper or just the abstract. Because the abstract tells me nothing without looking at the actual data of the study. Not trying to be rude, just informing anyone who… Read more »

Pseudonym
Pseudonym
6 years ago
Reply to  UsuallyaLurker

It’s definitely a combination of genetics and habits, but I feel that defensiveness about shorter hair/the natural hair community’s obsession w/ long hair, makes a lot of people reject the possibility of a genetic component. Just as people with similar lifestyles and habits can have different rates of weight loss, weight gain, tanning patterns, height increases as children, etc., we have different hair growth rates. I have friends who don’t do anything in particular for their hair who can cut in to their chin-length or shorter “for the summer” and have hair almost to their waist by the next spring.… Read more »

Bobby J
Bobby J
6 years ago
Reply to  Pseudonym

I agree genetics does play some part in hair growth thats why naturals who BC at the same time & both take care of their hair and still end up with different lengths. I have been natural for a yr, when I BC I had 6 inches of new growth now a yr later that has double to 12 to 13 inches and I look at you tubers of ladies who started when I did and some of have less or more then me. The rate your hair grows is tied to you genetics, just like hair texture is.

JnB
JnB
6 years ago
Reply to  Pseudonym

I couldn’t agree more. For example, I loooovvveeee to eat but I have a high metabolism (inherited from my dad’s side of my family) and no matter how much I eat I don’t gain weight. If another person ate like I did they’d be big as a house. I don’t know why people refuse to believe that genetics would play a role in everything else BUT hair. Sounds like denial. That’s not to negate the effects of lifestyle. It makes a difference. However something will just be. Another example. High blood pressure and other disease states are hereditary. I know… Read more »

Liglisa
Liglisa
6 years ago
Reply to  SuzyQ

Some of us do know that healthy hair is more important than length but it doesn’t negate us wanting the length. Im willing to wait, stay consistent, enjoy the journey and see the results. I’m not obsessed with having length but desire to have length. Desiring it doesn’t make it obsessive as some put it. For me, it’s proving to myself that my hair can actually reach it.

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
6 years ago

Aw snap! Could your hair be anymore fabulous?

Dabney
Dabney
6 years ago

Yes Leave it alone! I am just now getting that! This is the key! We do too much to our hair! Nice article!

Eve
Eve
6 years ago

A style icon feature so we can see more pics of your hair?? PLEASE

r
r
6 years ago
Reply to  Eve

I knew her pic looked familiar she was a style icon before. Here’s the link
http://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/06/tori-4bc-natural-hair-style-icon/

z
z
6 years ago
Reply to  Eve

I know there was a feature of tori already done awhile back that has some photos of her on it as well… hope this helps.….. She is such a beautiful lady with some gorgeous hair.

Link ~ http://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/06/tori-4bc-natural-hair-style-icon/

tryna_browse
tryna_browse
6 years ago

I agree with the above steps 100 po cent!
Being healthy is the first priority the body takes care of the rest from there.

Remember hair and nails are waste protein, when you’re unhealthy (poor diet) and/ or stressed; whatever nutrients you intake goes to healing and mending other parts of your body. Hair and nails have last priority.

Exercise increases blood circulation and the nutrients are distributed to your hair and nails faster.

Length comes with time, but being healthy can be almost immediate.

Donna
Donna
6 years ago

Nice article. I agree with getting the proper nutrients 100%. However, a lot of us don’t get all of the proper nutrients via diet along. Therefore, I take supplements to help with this and it’s working out so much better for me.

Liglisa
Liglisa
6 years ago

I totally agree!! I do believe that anyone can attain length. I believe genetics may have more to do with the the amount of time one gets to long hair than it not being attainable at all. It may take one 3, 4, 5 years and others 8–10 yrs to attain long hair. I’ve heard too many women say that they were the only ones in the family with long hair. So simple consistent care and patience can get one to their hair goals. As she said, staying healthy in every aspect inside/out is the key to attaining those goals.

Barbara
Barbara
6 years ago

I agree with the leaving your hair alone part 100000000%. When I do that my hair is fine.

As far as vitamins I noticed it helped when I didn’t eat right. Now that my diet has changed I don’t notice a difference in my hair (and nails) when taking them so I stopped. They were beneficial when I was lacking nutrients.

I’ve always kept my wash/ styling simple but realize the wash and go is my friend and to not do twist outs to often.

Barbara
Barbara
6 years ago

I forgot to add how fitting that you are wearing a shirt that says ‚“Oh snap!” In your after picture. Lol.

JazzWife
6 years ago

Gorgeous, gorgeous hair. Relaxers are so damaging. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational photo!

Liglisa
Liglisa
6 years ago

I do not believe it’s wrong to express that you want length if that’s what you want. I’m patient enough to wait and remain consistent with my regimen. A patient person who is enjoying the journey will make sure the hair is healthy. Just at least be real about it. And some gurus have proven that long hair is attainable although they knew of no one in their family who had long hair. Evidence is not debatable.

linda
linda
6 years ago

I agree with every tips and especially with leaving your hair alone. As for vitamin supplements, I believe that too much emphasis is put on them especially when it comes to “the growth hair” part. Plenty of women around the world don’t take vitamins supplements but are still able to grow waist length and longer hair. Why? because hair will grow anyway as long as you are alive. Understanding our hair from a scientific standpoint leads us to do extra things our hair don’t need most time. Even when we have a not so balanced diet, proper hair care routine… Read more »

Liglisa
Liglisa
6 years ago
Reply to  linda

I 100% Agree with you!

bushtribewoman
bushtribewoman
6 years ago

I have an obsession with long natural hair, and I’m NOT afraid to admit it. It’s not that I think all naturals should wear their hair long, but for myself, I just think I look better with longer hair. So I’m obsessed with growing mine out. I really want long hair, so I will try these steps and I truly appreciate it. Now to address the “genetics” thing. I don’t think “genetics” has that much to do with hair length. I think it’s mostly habits too. True, I know many people who exercise and eat right, and they don’t have… Read more »

khadjia
khadjia
6 years ago

Some tips I would add in conjunction to this article is to use boar bristle brushes and natural hair masks. I am a huge fan of doing coconut milk hair masks (1 can coconut milk and 2+ table spoons honey. whisk together and leave on for at least 30 min.)

London
London
6 years ago

I 100% agree that genetics does play a role in hair length. Me and my cousin went natural the same day. Even though my hair is a big afro, hers is very similar to the young lady in the picture. Her aunts on her fathers side have crazy amounts of hair. She even has the widows peek hairline that runs on her fathers side. Genetics does play a role on how long and even thick your hair will be. We use the same exact products and wear similar protective style.

Yabby
Yabby
6 years ago

I could not agree more with the ‘keep it simple’ rule. I used to put way too many products in my hair trying to manipulate the texture. I finally learned that less is more by sticking to basic and natural products. I’m type 4 and I find that my hair is healthiest when all I put in a leave in conditioner and a good sealant (favorites are Jamaican castor oil and unrefined Shea butter)

Mary
Mary
6 years ago
Reply to  Yabby

You are absolutely right. All I use is a sulfate free shampoo. Leave in conditioner, and black castor oil. After washing and conditioning, I have/braid my hair wet,using black castor oil. There is also a product called head full of hair. In comes in a cream, they also have vitamins and products that you can apply on (every girls itch spot). I don’t use those though. When I use both products, I mix them and apply them to my scalp and my hair. After I braid my hair, I also just smooth some on my braids, by running the braid… Read more »

daalya
6 years ago

Amazing transformation! love it!http://ilive4fantasybecause.wordpress.com

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

this article came at a right time. there are lots of long haired naturals who have grown their hair long even before hair vitamins became popular and none of them even advocate for vitamins. Nowadays, it’s almost like it’s a necessity. It’s all about your hair care habits and diet.

http://www.themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Tisha
Tisha
6 years ago

If your hair doesn’t grow buy some vitamins. Do I use them? NO! My hair grows a half an inch every month NO MATTER WHAT. I became very ill. 31 days in the hospital. Blood count of 4. Iv medicine that has side effects you don’t want to think about and my hair grew HALF AN INCH! I was in physical rehab for 2 years learning how to walk and sit up and eat etc. and EVERY MONTH HALF AN INCH of hair growth. Was I eating the best food of my life? NO I got down to 85 pounds.… Read more »

Ayb
Ayb
6 years ago
Reply to  Tisha

Amen, Tisha! I take biotin and it has helped. Nothing miraculous but better than normal. My hair has never been ‘luxurious,’ so I know the improved condition and growth is due to the biotin. Someone like you with normal growth probably wouldn’t see much difference.

Jaybabe
Jaybabe
6 years ago
Reply to  Tisha

I think people overlook one major factor that you have no control over.….your genes. Some of us have rapid hair growth no matter what we do. I rarely drink water and eat healthy only some of the time. And yet my hair grows like wild fire. I recently had it cut(shape up) and I grew impatient so I started taking hair vitamins to see if that would increase my growth rate(It has been less than a month so I haven’t had a chance to see if it helped).But my guess is its not gonna grow any faster but we will… Read more »

Belinda
Belinda
6 years ago

I’ve put my hair on a diet as in no trims forces while. I’m tired of what others want my hair to look like usually that means ugly.
So in the meantime I’m just conditioning my hair taking WYLD woman and shaving my neck and trimming my fringe the sides and back sortvthemselves out.
We just put too much pressure on ourselves to look like ie beyonce but look what she did pixie one day extensions the next.
Until someone like her takes a real stand ans says short hair is ok men and image makers make parishioners of us all.

Liglisa
Liglisa
6 years ago
Reply to  Belinda

Everyone doesn’t want long hair because beyonce has it…I certainly dont, just like every black woman doesn’t wear wigs or weaves because they’re insecure with themselves. I desire long hair because I like 5 he way it looks nor to fit an image. There are men who like women with short hair as well as long. It’s not the reason I want it. A woman needs to feel secure with themselves and love them. Society may not make that easy to do but it’s attainable. Until that happens many black women will be depriving others of the real them which… Read more »

Dominique N.
Dominique N.
3 years ago
Reply to  Liglisa

I fully agree.

Kye Baski
Kye Baski
5 years ago
Reply to  Belinda

Her pixie was a weave too. Now Erykah Badu rocks it naturally- that sista is real!

Albert Carillo
Albert Carillo
5 years ago
Reply to  Kye Baski

Erykah wears a weave too

Ley
Ley
6 years ago

The science of black hair helped a lot the advice is almost the same

Shimon
Shimon
6 years ago

You also have to be careful with these so called protective styles. Natural hair is very delicate and you can’t just pull on it all the time. Just letting it breath and making sure it stays moisturized is the best thing you can do.

None
None
6 years ago

Mega-tek?

Epointer
Epointer
5 years ago

I don’t normally do reviews, but I do read many to help me make buying decisions. My granddaughter cut her hair, she is five. She has really long hair, except what she cut and all little girls cut their hair in the front. So I started looking for products to speed her hair growth. Then I though of myself, I have always had long hair, I’ve been natural for about 20 years, had great hair and used nothing other than oiling my scalp once a month with whatever I had. I started buying products (expensive I might add), the result… Read more »

trackback

[…] 1: Tori of Black Girl Long Hair. The left is her relaxed hair, the right her natural. Source Specimen 2: Kenyan born, Alba of Black Hair Information and CurlyCurvy. Relaxed in 2008 vs a […]

Lady4c
Lady4c
5 years ago

Awesome .. my hair kinda used to look like that before i went natural, soo motivated right noww! I wrote a blog on going natural for the blakc community! I loved doing but im not english or anything so id love some feedback or just commentsss on here. Help a sis out thanks so much x
http://whatswithmariss.weebly.com/blogzone/why-going-natural-is-such-a-big-thing

Vee Coily
5 years ago

Good tips, however there are a large percentage of people who can do all of this and the hair still will not reach even average hair growth. Some is genetics, health and certain medications slow hair growth. There are things you can do to increase slow hair growth, regardless of genetics. Genetics will not stop you from reaching long lengths, as long as your hair follicles are open. Start your hair growth journey with someone who believes you can achieve long lengths. http://www.coilyqueensrock.com/p/blog-page_6.html.

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