“How did you grow your hair so long?!”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this question, so I’m going to answer it for all of you!
Let me start by saying that I’m not a professional; these are just the things that worked for me.
Before I begin, keep in mind that hair growth has a lot to do with ethnicity, genetics, and a healthful diet. So whether your hair is already damaged, or you’re looking to prevent damage, here are a few steps you can follow. I pray they work for you the way they worked for me!
) Keep Your Hair Healthy
Successfully growing out your hair will be much easier if it’s not damaged beyond repair. I used to have severely damaged hair. My EVERYDAY routine when I was age 16-18 was: wash my hair, blow dry it, straighten it, use hot rollers, spray a gob of Aussie Freeze on it, AND THEN repeat it all the next day — sometimes without even using heat protection! I’m so upset with myself for being so hard on my hair back then because it did so much damage, but I worked hard to recover from it. And do you know what? With the Lord’s help, I did! And I did it all WITHOUT cutting or trimming my hair. It’s possible!
2) Take a Break from Heat
I gave my hair a much-needed break from heat. I had dry, brittle ends from a straightener, so I stopped using it for a while. I even threw it away so I wouldn’t be tempted. While I’m in no way telling you to throw your heat tools away, I’m simply advising that you put them away for awhile. I stopped curling my hair every day, reduced it to about twice a week, and even did heatless curls as an alternative. (Here’s a tutorial.)
I know as ladies, especially Apostolic ladies, it’s difficult not to curl our hair with church multiple times a week and special events always around the corner. Personally, I feel my best and most confident when my hair is down and curled. However, saving your glory is worth setting the heat tools to the side for a bit. This doesn’t mean you can never use them again; but remember, everything in moderation.
For me, these changes made a big difference, but they didn’t change things on their own. If you have severely damaged hair, I suggest cutting out heat altogether for a while and giving your hair time to recuperate. Only use a hairdryer if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, let it air dry, or wash it before bed, and allow it to dry on a towel laid over your pillow.
QUICK TIP: For extra protection, cover the towel with a soft t-shirt to keep the towel from rubbing your hair roughly (steal your husband’s favorite — he’ll love that). Also, after washing your hair, use a soft infant/toddler towel to wrap your hair in. I am currently using my daughter’s old microfiber towels. You can also use an oversized soft T-shirt to wrap your hair in. (Thank you to my cousin for that tip.)
Lastly for this category: USE HEAT PROTECTION. I’ve heard of people simply using raw coconut oil or Argan oil as a heat protection and this works. However, if you’re looking for a less oily option, I recommend a spray.
Here are a few that I’ve used and/or have heard work well; these are not listed in any specific order:
- Perfect Defense
- Desert Essence Hair Defrizzer & Heat Protector, Coconut
- Not Your Mothers Shield Spray, Thermal, Beat the Heat – 6 fl oz
- TRESemme Expert Selection Heat Protection Spray Keratin Smooth
There are literally hundreds of heat products I could recommend, but at the risk of being overwhelming, these are just a few to get you started.
3) Oil Treatments and Deep Conditioning
A few oils you can try for your hair are raw organic Argan oil, coconut oil, castor oil, or rosemary oil. Make sure they are pure oils with no added ingredients. Sally Beauty Supply sells oils for your hair that have no added ingredients. I usually purchase mine from there or Amazon (yay for Prime!).
Here are a few “at home” options:
- Raw, organic coconut oil and Argan oil mixed with a hair mask of choice (mask is optional). For this, I don’t measure out my ingredients, but I typically use equal parts oil and hair mask — about a tbsp of each, depending on hair length/thickness.
- Mix coconut oil, castor oil, and rosemary oil with my everyday conditioner and apply that to my hair for 30 minutes (or longer). Sometimes I massage it into my scalp, but typically I just focus on the ends (anything below the neck), then rinse it out and shampoo and condition as usual. Again, no specific measurements, but I’d recommend a tbsp of each ingredient with the exception of the rosemary oil because it is so potent. About 3-4 drops will do the trick. It’s best to dilute the rosemary oil first.
- Combination oil treatment left in for a minimum of 30 minutes. Monat sells one that I LOVE.
- Deep condition at least once a week — more if I’m able to. There are so many suggestions on Pinterest with ways you can combine/use oils.
) DO NOT Wash Your Hair Every Day
I wash my hair every other or every two days, depending on the amount of product I’ve used. I have oily hair so I can’t go as long as I’d like. If you’re able to go longer, then go for it, but not at the sake of abandoning good hygiene. Focus on washing the roots. African American hair or curly, kinky hair can go up to a week without washing. Use dry shampoo in between washes to absorb excess oil. Remember to condition like crazy after washing! Massage your scalp while washing your hair, or even before/after washing; this will cause blood flow which will help promote new growth.
5) Take Your Vitamins
I noticed my hair grew the most while I was pregnant, and while I don’t recommend pregnancy as a hair growth remedy (joke), I do suggest taking prenatal multi-vitamins and/or Biotin vitamins, as well as Omega 3 rich cod liver oil. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven by research to help with hair quality and growth. Hair cells cannot absorb nutrients externally, so ingesting vitamins is really the best way to help with overall hair health and improve future growth. However, oils and deep treatments (listed above) will improve the appearance and shine of existing hair.
6) Products/Combs/ Brushes
I use a wide-tooth comb, pick, or Wet Brush to gently detangle my wet hair. If it’s dry, I use a pick. I haven’t used a bristle brush for several years as they cause breakage. I recommend using a gentle brush only to comb your head’s natural oils through your hair before washing.
7) Cutting/Trimming is Unnecessary
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to trim your hair in order to promote growth. Your hair grows from the ROOTS, not the ends. Stylists only trim the hair to get rid of dry split ends. You can correct those over time, but it’s just that — time. It takes dedication and patience to correct damage, so don’t get frustrated with yourself when you don’t see immediate results!
8) Pray Over Your Hair
Lastly, but most importantly, pray. There is no better hair treatment than asking for help from the very One who created every hair on your head. When I was little, my mom used to ask my dad to pray over mine and my sisters’ hair every night before we went to bed. I firmly believe this is key and will be your foundation when it comes to your hair. Just as our body is our temple, our hair is our glory and our power with the angels (I Corinthians 11:10). Let’s do our very best to take care of it!
Hugs and blessings to you all!
Until next time,