On average, hair grows about half an inch a month. For some, it’s more and for others, it’s less. If you’re starting with short hair, it can take two years to reach bra strap length, and three to four to reach waist length and beyond. Because of this it is necessary to have patience. Long hair doesn’t sprout over night or even in a few months. It takes time, effort, and consistency.

Moisturize and seal daily: I can’t say this enough but it’s very important to properly moisturize and seal your hair everyday, and even twice a day if your hair is dry. Moisturize your hair with water, aloe Vera juice or a leave-in and seal with an oil or butter. I like to do this in sections to make sure that I’ve gotten every strand on my head. I also focus on my ends, the oldest and most delicate part of the hair, to make sure they’re properly moisturized as well. Hair that is properly moisturized resists breakage, which helps to retain length.

Properly detangle: After moisturizing and sealing, knowing how to properly detangle will prevent breakage, which helps in retaining length. I always recommend detangling in sections, as well as coating the hair in conditioner. The conditioner helps soften hair making it more pliable, while sections allow you to slow down and be more gentle, while also ensuring that you deal with less knots and tangles at a time.

Don’t leave hair out un-styled: Unless I’m wearing an out style like a braid out or roller set, my hair is always in a bun or twists. This helps to ensure my hair stays stretched to prevent tangles and knots. Also, I always put my hair in twists after detangling.

Protective style: I wear protective styles during the work week. Protective styles help to retain length by reducing manipulation. But there are some misconceptions about protective styles. Along hair with products, they are not magic bullets and are able to grow hair super fast. Improper protective styling can actually do more harm than good causing extreme breakage and damage. You also must maintain your hair during this time and continue to moisturize and seal your hair every day, and wash and condition hair if it’s a long term style. Before installing, take the time to properly deep condition and moisturize you hair. During the install, remember to be gentle on your edges and make sure whatever style you choose isn’t too tight, which can put stress on the roots and lead to breakage. And after taking out the style, detangle gently in sections with conditioner, and cleanse and condition hair.

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