THE REAL KEY TO GROWING YOUR HAIR LONG

By Hadassah Agbaps - June 26, 2015

Hi people, what's been on?
Boing!!!

I've been asked by a lot of people how I managed to grow my hair long with some resigning with the phrase "Oh, long hair must run in her family, can't you see her sister's hair too?"



The hair she was carrying that drew the remark.  She's natural too and working on her ends.  We straightened so she could see her progress. She's three years in.


Time is usually too short to explain but that's what this blog is here for abi?

So here's what nature and genetics gave me...
- Type 4b/c hair (believed to never grow longer than shoulders)
- Very porous hair (prone to dryness, split ends and knots)
- Fine strands (prone to breakage. The hardest type of hair to retain length with).
I read somewhere that fine haired naturals with very long hair are hard to find....true in a way because most featured naturalistas of the type 4 variety with waist length hair have dense, medium/thick stranded and low porosity hair.


Yet I managed to grow it almost down my waist stretched.

Clumping gives my hair the strength it needs


How???

Making sure my scalp was clear and healthy was one thing. Afterall the scalp is the soil from which hair grows. Most hair growing pills (Hairfinity et al) concentrate on fertilizing the soil (scalp) but that's where it ends.
P.S. if you genetically have fine, less dense hair, there's only so much those pills can do.

My major progress in length retention came from the ends of my hair not just from the roots.

The hair on the ends of your hair is older and more weathered than the roots.
There's no point your hair 3 inches a month and 4 inches breaks off at the ends. It's not that your pills weren't working, YOU weren't working...lol.

I'll convert my lemons to lemonade by saying that if genetics hadn't given me the kind of hair that takes no nonsense (it will just break, shikena), I probably wouldn't have developed and maintained a reasonable hair regimen.

I really do envy those people with genetically thick, medium/low porosity and thick stranded hair. These properties make it easier for the hair to withstand damage and break less. A feather could literally break my hair.

So knowing my ends are important in growing my hair long, here's how I baby them.

1. MOISTURIZE
 I don't play with moisturizing my ends
Infact how well a product works for my hair depends on how "boingy", moisturised and happy my ends looked. Straw like ends equals product fail in my book. I'm all about the boings.
If I fail to apply a leave in to my hair, I never fail to apply even just a dab to my ends. I start all product application (except shampoo) to my ends.

Products ready for their exam. Exam officer: My ends.
Only two out of the three products passed. The Denman brush has graduated.


2.  HIDE YOUR ENDS
The main reason I don't like people touching my hair is because of my ends (aside messing up a twistout on fleek!). That's the first part people touch and they aren't as gentle as I am with my ends.
I keep my ends protected by tucking them in when I style. Moisturize then tuck.

My favorite go to bun, the "cheat bun" has my ends comfortably hidden. So if I said no to opening up my bun, it's nothing personal. Just me jealousy guarding my ends.

3. KEEP YOUR HAIR UP AND AWAY
I love shrinkage for the fact that it manages to keep a lot of hair out of the way. God's perfect design.
No chance of my ends rubbing on my clothes and breaking off. When I straightened my hair, someone remarked once that I didn't want to flaunt my asset. It flew over my head because my ends are more important than flattery. I have other assets to flaunt like my life (being alive is an asset), my brain (the ability to think is an asset), my lips (I love how full they are), my eyes.....gosh...this will be an exercise in narcissism abeg!!!
So ends up and away.....the heat even encourages me.


4. PROTECT YOUR ENDS AT NIGHT

Satin bonnet, satin scarf, satin pillowcase, pineappling, take your pick. Point is your ends and any surface are sworn enemies especially if your ends are of the fine, feathery variety like mine.

5. GEL CAST IS A SUIT OF ARMOR
I love gel for the main reason that it protects my ends. It's like a suit of armor protecting my ends from invading forces like friction, dryness, heat, sun, dust etc. It also keeps my hair clumped. For my hair type, "united we stand, divided we fall".
I rate gels by how well they keep my ends moisturised while forming a cast which is one reason I'm willing to swap that Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling Gel. It dries out my ends!
I don't joke with stylers not just because of curl definition and clumping but also the protection they give my ends

6. STRENGTHENING TREATMENTS

I also don't joke with strengthening my ends and I'm of the opinion that there should be products for ends only!
Which is why I'm in love with my NappyGirl Haircare products (personal hyping but my ends made me do it!!!). I also love henna, coconut/palmkernel oil, manshanu, my modified Aphogee protein treatment, Aussie Moist DC etc because they reduce breakage at my ends. I don't see broken pieces of hair and the only thing that reduces my length is trimming. I like to groom my afro hedge (note: I didn't say scissors happy).

7. AVOID STYLES THAT STRESS MY ENDS.
I pet my ends a lot! I kiss them, sing them to sleep, prepare them breakfast but mehn most stylists don't care about them as much as I do!  Any stylist that can handle my ends gently is great in my book which is why I like Joy, the stylist at the salon. I don't care if you can braid for Africa, just handle my ends gently.
Ways you can protect your ends during styling are

- When doing braids, don't braid till the end, twist instead. Twists are easier to loosen.

- For children, protect their ends by using extension at the ends before putting beads (if you must put beads!)

- When flat ironing or blow drying, don't make more than two passes (one is the best sef) on your ends.

- Even if you have extensions in, don't let your hair rub on your clothes.

- Moisturise ends daily. Scrunch in gently. Don't rub.


So that's it from your ends obsessed blogger!

How do you protect your ends?

PRODUCTS

SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner
NappyGirl UberMoist
Ciccolatina Bamboo Leave In Conditioner
Gels/stylers
Protein treatment
Henna
Coconut Oil
Palm kernel Oil
Satin bonnets



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