It's been just over one year since my big chop! My hair has grown in length, thickness, and curl definition, and it's still one of the best decisions I've made in terms of healthy hair. Many people ask me how my hair grew so long/fast over the course of the year, so I decided to share my top 10 growth tips here!
1. Don't panic!
You did it! You've gotten rid of your damaged/old hair and are starting fresh. Seeing yourself with short (or shorter) hair than before can be scary, but don't panic! The new look will take some adjusting to, but that's it. After all, it's hair, and it grows back! Try not to panic, and instead prepare to have fun with your new look!
2. Create (and stick to) a routine
Whether you were growing out your hair by transitioning or you went straight for the cut, you're likely going to need to find new products and create a new weekly routine. My advice for keeping your hair as moisturized and curls as defined as possible is to layer a leave-in, styling/curl cream, and gel. Most weeks, I simply do a wash and go, as this keeps your hair detangled, defines every section, and is easy to maintain throughout the week.
3. Stay away from LONG term protective styles.
Many people might not agree with me on this one. While long term protective styles like braid or twists extensions are meant to keep your natural hair tucked away and protected so it can grow, more often than not, your natural hair will not be getting the moisture it needs to grow out your curls. If you are going to experiment with protective styles, I would recommend not extending the style longer than one month, and taking a break in between styles. Another reason I don't recommend long term styles right after the big chop is because you won't have a chance to adjust to/show off your new natural hair!
4. Refresh with water
Plain H20 is the best refreshing spray you can use. Plain water is great for both your hair and your scalp. At night, I section my hair into 5 mini-"pineapples". In the morning, I take down the sections, and use my trusty Muji spray bottle to spray water all over my hair, shake and fluff, and go! It takes less than 2 minutes, and you aren't adding more products into your hair everyday.
5. Hold off on the heat
It can be tempting to blow out your hair to see how long it is, but hold off on the heat! At least for a while, to allow your curls to find their shape and keep your new ends in tact.
6. Silk Pillowcase
This is one of the smaller steps that makes such a big difference! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase prevents dryness and tangling, and this in turn prevents breakage and helps with length retention! Silk pillowcases also provide benefits to your skincare routine, so it's a win-win.
7. Keep scalp healthy
Without a healthy scalp, you can't have healthy hair. Be sure to keep your scalp clean and clear, use a hydrating or growth oil if necessary, and prevent product buildup by focusing product application on the ends of the hair and working your way up. Also, find a wash schedule that best fits your hair. If your scalp tends to get oily or you exercise multiple times a week, increase the number of wash days per week. If your scalp gets dry from frequent washing, you may be able to go once a week and be fine.
8. Experiment with accessories
Having short hair, especially if it's your first time having short hair, can make you feel out of place or "not yourself", until you get used to it. Accessories are a fun way to find a new style you enjoy and adjust your look. Clips, headbands, scarves, hair ties to make puffs and buns and more are all easy ways to switch it up. Find inspiration online, there are so many great tutorials out there!
9. Take pictures
Merely looking at yourself in the mirror everyday will have you convinced your hair isn't growing. That's not true! Typically, curly hair grows at a rate of 1/2 an inch per month (not accounting for shrinkage). If you take pictures, you'll be able to see that growth more clearly month to month. There are many length retention/growth challenges on Instagram and Facebook that add a community feel to the process. If you aren't seeing growth through pictures, you may be experiencing breakage, and might need to reevaluate your routine.
10. Have fun!
Enjoy! Remember that your true beauty comes from within.
As always, feel free to message me here or on Instagram at any time, I'm always here and love to share what works best for me!