How to Start!
1. Have an experienced hair care professional or stylist trim your split ends.(Please note, a "trim" or "dusting" removes between 1/8 to 1/4 inch of hair.) If you have badly split ends, an inch or two may need to be removed, but it is healthier for your hair in the long run. Remember, trim only for split ends-- otherwise have 1/8 inch trimmed every 8 to 12 weeks: hair grows just one half inch per month and if it is cut more frequently, you will not see any length, since it is being cut as often or more than it is growing.
2. Wash hair as needed depending on your hair type and health. This could be every three days with products that do not contain alcohol or harsh sulfates and are pH balanced. Do not over-wash (once is usually enough), as over washing can cause a dry condition, which will ultimately lead to breakage. While washing, massage your scalp. This will reawaken sleeping follicles and promote thicker healthier hair.
3. Use a regular moisturizing conditioner after every wash, but deep condition at least every week. One week use a moisturizing deep conditioner. The next use a protein or reconstructing conditioner. Doing so will make your hair healthy and strong.
4. Use a daily moisturizer or leave-in conditioner as black hair is prone to dryness. Apply the moisturizer (without petroleum jelly, petrolatum or mineral oil) to the hair from roots to ends and gently massage in. Do this daily or as your hair requires--you want your hair to feel soft and pliable.You may have to experiment with what works for you but Ultra Black Hair Creme Moisturizer, Doctor Miracles, ORS Carrot Oil Cream or Dudley's PCA Moisture Retainer are good moisturizers to try.
5. A light oil (olive, soybean)applied sparingly may be used on your hair after applying a water-based moisturizer in order to seal moisture into the hair shaft and give your hair a nice natural shine. These oils can also be used to relieve a dry scalp.
6. Avoid using blow-dryers as much as possible when drying hair as the excessive heat causes dryness, damage and breakage. Air drying hair is the best method. If the volume of your hair is increased with air drying you can do one of two things: first: apply moisturizer,then air-dry-- this will decrease the volume without causing damage; or second - apply moisturizer and use a dome or bonnet dryer on a cool or warm setting. Never use the highest setting!
7. To get your hair to grow long, you also need to comb it carefully. Be sure to use a wide-tooth comb with no seams and comb it gently from the ends first, as combing from the ends will detangle hair as you comb higher and higher. Never comb from the roots to the ends until your hair is completely untangled.
8. Avoid daily and/or excessive brushing of your hair, as black hair is fragile. Excessive brushing can strip the hair of its protective layers. If you trying to smooth your hairline, brush gently, use a soft boar bristle brush, and make sure your hair is completely dry and moisturized.
9. Make sure you also wrap your hair with a silk/satin head wrap or bonnet before you go to bed at night. Without this protection, your loose hair will move about as you sleep putting stress on your hair, drying it out, and causing split ends.
10. Treat your hair from within by taking a multivitamin. Use a hair vitamin that will increase your hair growth rate and lenghthen your natural anagen (growth phase). Also drink at least eight cups of water and eat healthy foods such as fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts, and by exercising regularly to provide good circulation to the scalp.
11. Relaxing - Now this is where all of your washing and conditioning treatments can either pay off or be sabotaged by damage. First of all, do not relax your hair more than once a month. Be careful not to relax hair “bone straight.” This robs the hair of its natural elasticity and causes it to break easily. Assess your hair before attempting to relax it. It may only need to be washed, moisturized, and straightened with a heat tool. If you must relax it, choose a mild relaxer or use a "press" creme supposedly it's organic and better than normal relaxers it only needs to be reapplied every 3 months and the hair won't break if you stop using it; ask your local hair dresser that deals with black hair about it.
12. Applying the relaxer: It is best to have someone else apply the relaxer because they have a full view of your head. Before you begin, rub a generous amount of scalp protectant in your hands and apply to the entire hair shaft. Petroleum jelly can be used. Pay close attention to the ends of your hair when applying the protectant. This is to protect hair that has already been processed. Next, apply the relaxer using the manufacturer’s directions. Follow the timing chart so you do not over process your hair. Be sure to wash out all of the relaxer with warm water. Apply a neutralizing shampoo and wash and rinse at least three times. If there are still traces of relaxer in your hair, continue to wash until all traces have been removed. Once all traces of relaxer have been removed, apply the neutralizing shampoo to the hair again. Leave the neutralizer in for 10 minutes. It is very important that you leave the neutralizer in for 10 minutes. Do not skip this step. Next, the neutralizer can be rinsed. Now you can apply the protein treatment, and then follow with the moisture treatment as previously discussed.
* HairFinity consultations are a good resource for finding products that will work for your individual needs.
* Make sure you have a healthy scalp, your hair won't grow if your scalp isn't clean and healthy.
* You may find this book: 'Ultra Black Hair Growth' a good resource to help you grow longer hair. The book discusses nutrition, moisturizing, hair care regimens, etc.
* Stop that chop-happy stylist! A chop-happy stylist is the hair dresser who grabs the scissors every time you show up. To grow hair long, you need to keep them from cutting so much of your hair. So how do you stop a chop-happy stylist and the scissors of doom?Here are a few tips:
o When you call to make your appointment let the stylist know over the phone that you do not wish your hair trimmed at your visit. It will be easier on both of you if this is settled in advance of your appointment. If you don't think this request will be accepted without argument, wait until the office is closed and leave a message. Be sure to be very clear in your message that you do not want your hair trimmed at your appointment. And ask them to call back confirming that your hair will not be trimmed.
o When you arrive for your appointment, remind him/her about the agreement not to have your hair trimmed.
o If you were not able to tell them in advance of the appointment be sure to speak up when you get there and BEFORE they start working on your hair. This way there will be no surprises for either of you once the appointment begins.
o If they still insist on cutting your hair and they try to tell you that a trim is needed to grow your hair, bring written documentation with you to show them that trimming is not necessary to get hair to grow long. Show them written proof that hair only grows 1/2 inch per month and that by trimming too much off, it will not grow long the way you want it to. You can get written proof from the book "Ultra Black Hair Growth" and from the "Long Hair Community" website.
o If the stylist tries to tell you they just want to make the ends even or neat, thank them for trying to be helpful but tell them you like it the way it is or that the way you style your hair needs the ends to stay as they are.
o If he/she insists that you have split ends which need to be trimmed off, tell them you appreciate that they care about your hair but you will let them know when you want your ends trimmed. (Note, if you trim 1/8 to 1/4 inch off your ends every 8 to 12 weeks, you wont have to worry about split ends, as you are just doing some preventive maintenance.)You don't want to cut 100 healthy ends just to get rid of 1 split end. Remember split ends are not contagious and will not spread to the other hairs.
o If all else fails remember "money talks". If they don't trim your hair when you ask them not to, give them a huge tip and they'll never trim it again, unless you ask. Just be sure to tell him/her the tip is for respecting your wishes. Don't be cheap either! A $2.00 tip won't do, make it $15-$20 and you'll never have to worry about the scissors of doom again!
* If your hair dresser cuts your hair behind your back without telling you, they don't respect your decision. If this happens it's time to leave and find someone who will respect your wishes.
* Wearing your hair braided will help your hair grow becuase no heat is being put on it. Just make sure to constantly moisturize your scalp and spray your hair with braid spray so the braids don't dry out.
* If extending time between relaxers, use Rusk Smoother Leave-in in wet hair. Wrap with a satin scarf, and sit under a heated dryer for 30 minutes.
* Trim your ends regularly to avoid the splits moving up the hair. Even though this seems like it may shorten your hair, over time you'll need to trim less and less and then the fruits of your labor will show.
* Wear your hair up to keep ends from getting dry and rubbing on clothing.
* Wrap your hair at night and cover it with a silk scarf or if the scarf slips alot use a satin pillow.
* It is rarely necessary to cut off more than an inch or two unless your hair is severely damaged.Getting hair healthy so you don't have split ends is the best way to get long hair.
* Don't overdo with all the stuff, your hair might get damaged.
* Try to keep ponytails and hairpieces off of your hair. It helps break hair in a specific place.
* Make sure your braids are not too tight becuase this can lead to thinning hair, espically around the temple area.
That's all for now folks! keep posting with more!