When I first started my hair journey back in November 2009, I had no idea what I was doing. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to stop relaxing my hair and I wanted healthy hair (my hair was always healthy while I was relaxed but also want it to be healthy when I went natural). For those of you who do not know what BSL stands for, it’s an acronym for bra strap length.
About a month ago I was talking to my friend, Fina, another naturalista, and she was telling me that my hair is gorgeous. I laughed it off but was prompted to run and do a length check (something I rarely do) while we were still on the phone. I told her that my hair was almost BSL and that I was going to try to reach BSL by spring. STOP IT! Y’all see the picture!!! I HIT BRA STRAP LENGTH ALREADY!!! AHHHH!!! Lol. Okay. So why do you care? A lot of naturals ask me what I do to help my hair grow and retain length. I always laugh because I haven’t always been the most careful or patient curlista and I STILL have a healthy head of hair. So, if I can do it, YOU can do it.
Below is a list of things I do and/or have done that I KNOW work – not things I’ve researched! These steps/practices are tried and true and maybe some, if not all, might work for you, too.
Biotin: I haven’t been using Biotin regularly for a while BUT when I did I definitely saw improvements in my hair and nails. Personally I think it’s a cheap alternative to the hair vitamins on the market now. No offense to them but Biotin is a fraction of the cost and it works for many women. Check out my post “Biotin: The Hair Drug” for more on Biotin.
Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil has been amazing on my scalp, skin AND nails. I love that stuff and I will never be without it again. I personally think Pure Organic Coconut Oil is the best alternative, if you’re going to get some (that’s what I use). Check out my post “Coconut Oil: Why You Need Some NOW!” for more information.
Castor Oil: Last fall I did the Castor Oil Challenge hosted by Jenell of Kinky Curly Coily Me. It was her third season hosting it and even though I had seen her awesome results I was still skeptical. Honey, baby, listen my hair GREW! And, I mean like an inch in one month kind of growth. The truth is, I never applied it directly to my scalp which is how most curlistas use it. However, I never purposely avoided my scalp either. I just mostly used it for sealing (and still do) and it definitely helped me not only retain length but it did promote hair health. I SAW the growth so I know what Castor Oil can do. You can read “Want Longer Hair? Join Me for the Fall Castor Oil Challenge! for more Castor Oil Challenge information. (Visit her site to sign up Friday for the Spring Challenge. As if hair growth wasn’t enough, she gives away fabulous prizes to the curlistas who stick with it.)
Protective Styles: I wear protective styles all winter long and a lot during the warmer months, too. I rarely have my hair loose or exposed and I’m sure that’s played a major role in protecting my ends which in turn means retaining length.
LOC Method: I am in looove with the LOC Method. I have been doing it for the majority of my natural hair journey and I have seen a major improvement in my hair. Check out my DETAILED LIVE DEMONSTRATION in “Hair Tutorial: LOC Method & 2 Strand Twists” and check out my post “To LOC or not to LOC? That is the Question”. The liquid I use is water, the oil is Castor Oil (and will be for the duration of the winter) but the cream varies from week to week (right now I am in love with Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils – here’s my video on the products and here is my blog post).
Remember to experiment to learn what your hair responds [well] to and give your hair more of that. Likewise, you have to be aware of what your hair doesn’t like and discontinue using/doing it. This is very important. But, most important, have fun! I think a lot of girls take their hair too seriously and focus too much on length and growth when you really should try to enjoy your journey every step of the way.
Please let me know if any of these tips were helpful, if you have any tips to share with me and also let me know if you have ANY natural hair video requests. Thank you for sharing my journey with me.