5 Lessons Learned: Growing Long Natural Hair
By: Dani Faust of OkDani.com
Growing your hair to longer lengths requires patience, consistent effort, time, and consideration. While the journey to natural hair is a complex one, the journey to longer length hair is complex as well. You will learn a lot along the way including:
- your patience level
- if long hair is for you
- your staple products
- your go-to hair styles
- your perfect regimen
Your Patience Level
This will be revealed to you pretty early on in your journey to longer hair. You will have to take diligent care of your hair from root to tip each day if your hair is loose. Even if your hair is braided up, in extensions or weaves there is still daily care that must be taken. Your level of patience will determine the manner you choose to grow your hair out.
Your Length Goal
Is long hair for you? As it grows you’ll notice the time it takes to wash, detangle, add product, style, prepare for bed, etc. You’ll be able to decide on your ideal length goal and if long hair is really for you. You’ll see what length looks best with your face and what’s easiest for you to maintain. I grew to hip length because I set a goal to donate my hair, but my ideal length is between arm pit length and bra strap length.
Your Staple Products
In the time (which will most likely be years) it takes to grow your hair to your desired length you will have the opportunity to try myriad products. This is a great benefit because during all of your trials and experimentation you will be able to suss out which products work best with your hair. You’ll eventually find your staple products that make your hair look, feel, and behave at its best. It took me about a year to find my staple products, and now I can’t live without my coconut oil, Silk Dreams cleanser, and Giovanni Conditioner.
Your Go-To Hairstyles
Long hair is as versatile as it is annoying at times. You’ll not always want to wear it loose in a wash n go, or flat ironed straight. You’ll also notice better length retention (read: meaning you’ll get to your length goal sooner) if you don’t wear it out as often. This leads you to be creative and find styles that are easy for you to create quickly, that look good on you, and protect your ends. During your journey to long hair you will find your staple or go-to hairstyles that are best for you. My preference was a high bun, or a pinned up braidout. Easy and cute, and I’m out the door.
Your Perfect Regimen
Most of the emails I receive from women hoping to grow their hair out to longer lengths have to do with helping them create a regimen. I always tell them that they’ll learn the perfect regimen for them as they embark on their long hair growth journey. You will tweak your regimen as you go along. For some, pre-poo, oil rinses, henna, deep conditioning, multiple treatments each week works well for them. They have the time and desire to do those steps and they get good results from it. For others (like me) simpler regimens – of wash, deep condition, moisturize, oil, style and go – work best. Your hair growth journey is a long one, during this time you’ll be able to create the best regimen that garners the best results for you.
These are just a few of the many things you’ll learn as you go along in your hair growth and length retention journey.