Long, natural hair is the goal for thousands of natural women. Hair that stretches past the shoulders and hopefully down to the waist is ideal. Of course, natural hair tends to have shrinkage which can keep your hair from showing its true length so many naturals temporarily straighten their hair to see their progress. However, some naturals may be keeping themselves from reaching their goal length by doing any of the following “hair sins” below.
1. You manipulate your hair too often – Hair that is overly manipulated with constant twisting, braiding, combing, and pulling can keep your hair from flourishing. Manipulation should not be done daily. Your hair grows best when it allowed to just be.
2. You do not protect your ends – If you have finer strands like I do, our hair really needs to be protected at the ends. The ends of the hair are the weakest and can easily break or split by being exposed to your clothing and the weather for too long. Try to wear buns and other protective styles more often so you can keep your ends tucked in and safe. Using a protective oil like Jamaican Black Castor Oil can be helpful for strengthening your ends.
3. You do not eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet complete with plenty of water, fruits, and vegetables is key to growing not only longer but stronger hair. Your hair needs nutrients to keep growing at a healthy pace.
4. You are not patient – Your hair may take one to two years to grow down to your shoulders to grow out of a “big chop”. Hair tends to grow at about ¼ of an inch for people of African descent on average. However, we can still grow long, healthy hair. Additionally, you should not compare your hair growth progress to others. A combination of genetics, diet, and styling choices all influence hair growth.
5. You don’t maintain a healthy scalp – Hair grows from the root so a clean and healthy scalp is key to gaining length. I like to keep my scalp healthy by using Apple Cider Vinegar about once a week. This helps to clarify my scalp from oils, dandruff, and other product build-up that may be clogging my scalp and impeding my hair growth.