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10 Tips for Growing Out Natural Hair

By Alexa Alfonso @lexlovescouture
10 Tips for Growing Out Natural Hair

I am not going to be modest for second. My hair is F-L-O-U-R-I-S-H-I-N-G! While a lot of that has to do with me leaving it alone during quarantine. It is also because I've always made conscious healthy choices when it comes to my hair. My hair has grown tremendously since March. Below are some of the things I've done to boost growth.

Use as little heat as possible

When I was going into the office everyday I would use the blow dryer diffuser attachment every time that I washed my hair (once per week). I was not a fan of air drying when I needed to commute. As soon as quarantine began, I started letting my hair air dry. I can't say that this the only reason my hair grew a lot, but it was definitely a key factor. The diffuser is one of the least damaging attachments, but heat is heat.

PS - when I do twist outs I'll occasional use my hooded dryer because my twists take forever to dry if they are larger. So, I'm not completely heat free!

Avoid tight ponytails

Doing tight ponytails and buns can cause breakage. Doing it on occasion isn't the worst thing, but anything in excess is never good and leads to damage. I'll do a tight hairstyle for a special occasion and rarely in between.

When you see my hair pulled back it is really me slicking it back with gel and securing it loosely with a spiral hair tie. The spiral hair tie doesn't snag hair as much and this actually creates a larger puff or bun! If you found yourself pulling your hair back tightly every week, try switching to this method.

    10 Tips for Growing Out Natural Hair

Do a hair mask weekly

Deep conditioning is so important. I do one every week. Starting with hair moisturized is the perfect primer for any style that you decide to do. Think of it as the conditioner doing the work for you so that you don't need to manipulate hair too much while styling. My conditioning time takes the longest, but it sets me up for a super speedy wash and go or twist out.

Do protective styles

Protective styles are the best way to retain length and moisture. If you can swing it, try to do a protective style at least half of the time. I attempt to alternate between wash and go's and twist outs. Another option get a professional protective style like box braids or twists. These last for a few weeks and are a great way to give your hair a much needed break.

10 Tips for Growing Out Natural Hair

Refresh wash and go between washes

If I do a wash and go, I refresh it at the halfway point between washes. This helps infuse my hair with necessary moisture. It also allows me to avoid my hair getting super knotty. To refresh, I simply spray my hair with a misting bottling in sections until damp and repeat my wash and go routine.

Only detangle on wet hair

Never, I repeat never detangle dry hair. That is the easiest way to cause major breakage. The best time to detangle is in the shower while you have conditioner in. This creates a slick barrier that protects your hair from damage. Be sure to start from the bottom and work your way to the top when detangling.

Sleep with hair in a scarf or bonnet (with satin pillow case)

This is absolutely crucial! I never go to bed without my scarf on. This preserves your hairstyle and prevents damage. On the off chance that my scarf slips off, I sleep with a satin pillow case as a preventative measure. In addition to being great for hair, satin (or silk) pillow cases are also good for your skin.

Use an oil on scalp and when styling hairstyle

Keeping your hair and scalp moisturized is key. I use an oil blend (castor, almond, coconut, lavender, rosemary, peppermint and tea tree oil) that I make on my own on my scalp at night before bed. When I style my hair I use Shea Moisture curl revival oil. I also use another DIY oil blend (almond, coconut, and lavender oil) on my hands so that I always have a layer of protection for my hair when I'm touching it. This also prevents frizz!

Avoid falling into lazy patterns

Stretching too long between wash days. Sleeping without a scarf or bonnet. Pulling your hair into tight ponytails all week because you don't feel like doing it. Skipping the deep conditioner. All of these things can lead to you hair growth hitting a stand still.

Life is busy! I totally get it. Sometimes we don't have the time to give our hair the TLC it needs. Since I've gone natural, I've treated my haircare routine like a job. As in taking care of it is not optional, it's essential. This is definitely why I've gone from hair that was less than a centimeter to hair that goes past my shoulders in two years.

Like anything in life, you get what you give. So, don't fall into lazy patterns!

Don't be afraid to trim off bad ends

Trims are not bad. In fact, they are vital. It can be scary to lose some length, but I've noticed the biggest boost in growth after a good trim.

I personally will dust my ends on my own. I like the length of my hair to be in my own hands. It's curly sacrilege, but I prefer trims on stretched blown out hair over a curly cut. I get crisp clean ends and my curls really pop.

Ps - I actually strongly recommend going to a professional for a trim. You should only try at home if you feel extremely confident in your hair styling abilities.

10 Tips for Growing Out Natural Hair

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