If you are like me, you are constantly researching better ways to improve your beauty regimen. With constant new trends and new products to try, it can be impossible to use them all and keep up with. In order to do what every blog or influencer suggests would cost too much money and take A LOT of time. Most of these newer products promise long and strong tresses easily influencing purchases, but in use, they usually leave me feeling disappointed. Despite advertising, no product can actually make your hair grow. What you use is very important in growing longer locks, but your technique and regimen are the foundation. What we do to our hair is what helps our hair grow, more than what we put on our in our hair.
In the years that I have been natural, through trial and error I’ve learned some things that are tried and true at every length and stage - from teenie-weenie afros to navel-length. Folks of all textures and styles have embraced many of the same techniques.
Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts that may help you in your journey of hair self-discovery.
Do - use protective styles. Braids, Bantu knots, crochet braids, twists, weaves...you name it! Protecting your hair from breakage and constant manipulation has given many people the lengths they’ve desired. You are allowed lots of versatility also!
Do - detangle only on wash-day or with damp hair! Dry hair + combs/brushes = breakage. If you are styling your hair dry, consider using oil like Nuele or a spritz of water beforehand. Hair doesn’t have to be soaked to detangle but definitely NOT dry.
Do - create a routine and stick to it! Repetition will help your hair in general. If you condition your hair 3 times a week and shampoo once and you’ve noticed that it’s working, keep at it! Your consistency will also make it easier to detect when a product is or is not working for you.
Do - finger comb whenever possible. Using brushes and combs are essential for deep detangling, but can easily pull out your hair when it is weakened.
Do - remain patient. It’s a virtue! Time will add up. Doing progress photos help keep many motivated! Consider 3,6 and 12-month progress photos and length checks! There’s been plenty of times that I thought my afro was not growing to find out that it grew a significant amount! Shrinkage is real.
Do - moisturize. Most naturals have an arsenal of moisturizers and conditioners, varying from creams to gels. Add Nuele to your products - with ingredients like Jojoba oil and Argan oil it is sure to seal in moisture - especially after a wash day or spritz. Whatever you use, remember to stay consistent! All hair needs moisture, but curly hair yearns for it.
Don’t - manipulate your hair too much - Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave your hair alone! If you can stretch styles out, prolong a protective style or maintain some curls without much effort take advantage of it. There’s no shame in this if it can save you from pulling hair out later on.
Don’t - believe the hype. No product can actually accelerate or make your hair grow - be wary of any products or methods that swear by this claim. Try things and weigh them by how they benefit and affect your hair personally, not anyone else’s!
Don’t - overdo it. Do not overuse deep conditioning, hot oil or protein treatments, etc. Whatever you use, make sure not to use too much. Too much conditioning can weaken the hair, too much protein can make the hair brittle. Try rotating each treatment between 4-8 weeks apart, to give adequate time.
Don’t - set yourself back with heat damage. Try straightening once a week, or once a month, or once every 3 months! Some naturals silk press only once a year for trims and length checks! The amount is up to you but heat damage is always a risk when using tools like blow dryers, hot combs, and straighteners. With Nuele, you can straighten, moisturize and protect your hair from heat.
Don’t - be afraid of trimming when needed! If you want long healthy hair you must get rid of damaged ends. It’s always scary when you see your stylist chop off way more than you expected, but they’re not trying to set you back! Your hair won’t retain length if the ends are damaged, the damage will just travel up the strand. It’s okay to be scissor happy when the scissors are cutting off dead ends.