I don't believe the common misconception that African American women must settle for short, fragile, unruly hair. After doing some research I think I have found the secret to long hair and it's a simple, yet effective hair care regimen.
The first thing you need to know is to cleanse your scalp more frequently. Whether it is because of cultural traditions or because of misinformation, black women tend to think it is better to wash their hair once every two weeks or less. Black women who get professional perms are usually told to follow up with their stylist in two weeks for a wash, set, and conditioning. However, that doesn't mean they are supposed to go two weeks without washing their hair. Your scalp should be cleaned at least twice per week in order to keep it healthy. At the very least, wash your hair once per week.
Wash Your Hair
The Curl Chronicles
Adopt regular trimming habits. Despite how contradictory it may seem, hair grows faster when you keep it trimmed. Cutting split ends allows hair to grow healthy by preventing any damage from progressing up the hair shaft. Your stylist knows your hair and will recommend a trim cycle. I recommend visiting your stylist at least once per month since the hair grows one half inch every 30 days.
Do not apply too much heat to your hair. Excessive heat can severely damage African American hair. Strive to avoid overusing flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers in your black hair care routine. Choose roller sets, wraps, twists or up dos that don't require excessive heat.
Cool It with the Heat
Chemicals can seriously damage African American hair. Avoid overuse of relaxers, texturizers, and dyes. Space out the time between relaxers from once every 6 weeks to once every 12 weeks. Avoid harsh dyes if you have previously relaxed your hair. I know some of you apply your own relaxers at home, so please follow the directions very carefully and do not stray from the directions. Do not keep the chemicals on longer than the recommended time in the hopes of getting straighter hair... It don't work that way!
Reduce your use of chemical products
Moisturize your hair
Moisturizing properly is essential to growing long hair. Condition your hair often to prevent dry, split ends. Avoid thick greases and oils that can accumulate and weigh down hair. Try a few light moisturizers until you find one that works with your specific hair type. It used to be that black hair care products in the "black hair care aisle" were all that African American women could rely upon when looking for solutions. Today, many of the mainstream, recognized brands such as Suave, Pantene, Phyto, and Vo5 sell top-notch conditioners that are wonderful for black hair.
A healthy body creates healthy hair. Never underestimate the importance of drinking a lot of clean, fresh water to moisturize from the inside out. Nourish your hair by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Eat foods rich in vitamins A, D, C, B12, and the other B vitamins, Biotin and Calcium. According to Harvard School of Public Health, taking a multivitamin daily is a good way to get all the nourishment and nutrition you need in order to stay healthy. Not only will you have a glowing complexion and a strong, healthy body; you will also have luxuriously shiny long hair.
Protein Treatments Conditioner
Your hair grows best when left alone. Opt for styles that don't require constant styling. Braids can help black hair grow long as long as they are used properly and not left in for too long. Make sure they don't stretch the hair tightly around the edges. Avoid harsh pulling or tugging on the hair. De-tangle your damp hair with the aid of a little conditioner to avoid breakage and hair loss.
Protein treatments help reconstruct and strengthen damaged hair. Hair is made mainly of protein so it is essential to use protein treatments regularly to rebuild and straighten the hair. Deep condition your hair on a weekly basis with a protein conditioner. Do not use protein treatments more than once per week. Overuse of protein can leave the hair dry and brittle.