I’ve been following Monica, or “Mo”, from Moknowshair.com for a while now and can say that she has one of the best quality natural hair blogs I’ve ever seen. I enjoy her tips, tutorial videos, and product reviews because of her depth of knowledge about every aspect of obtaining natural, healthy, and beautiful hair.
Below are 13 tips from Mo to retain your hair growth over time:
1. Always deep condition your hair to ensure that proper amounts of moisture are installed into the hair shaft. This helps your hair endure all of the external elements and styling that will happen in the days after washing.Oils Mo uses for her hot oil treatments. View her video tutorial here.
2. Keep your scalp and hair clean. You may find that your hair sheds and breaks less when it’s clean and hydrated. I personally cowash once a week with As I Am’s Coconut Cowash, and I’ve found my hair to retain much more moisture than when I would wash it with regular shampoo. When adding oil to your hair, Mo suggests olive, castor and jojoba oils, which are awesome for balance, nutrients and health.
Mo in a satin bonnet made especially for big curls.
3. Always sleep in a satin scarf or bonnet to protect your hair at night, and if you pineapple your hair at night, it’s best to sleep on a satin pillowcase, too. I personally wear a satin scarf and bonnet at night and when I don’t, my hair is always tangled and dry in the morning. This is super important!
4. Avoid styles that pull too tightly for too long of a period of time. This includes braids and sew-ins. Those types of protective hairstyles are great for short period of time for me, but I’ve found that if done consistently, it starts to pull at my edges too much. It’s a bit counterproductive if I’m retaining length in the rest of my hair, but my hairline starts to recede o_0. If you regularly get sew-ins, make sure your stylist isn’t braiding your hair too tight!
Mo in one of her many protective styles.
5. Switch up protective styles. There are a ton of protective styles you can do without the use of hair extensions/weaves, such as buns and other up-dos to keeps your ends tucked in. Click here to look through Mo’s protective styling tutorial videos!
6. Trim ends only as needed. This could be as little a a few times a year, to every 8-10 weeks. This will keep your ends from splitting further up the strands, causing large amounts of breakage. I find that the less heat I use, the less often I need to go get my hair trimmed.
7. Drink lots of water. We all should be consuming at least half of our body weight in ounces of water (something I’m working on). This keeps your body hydrated and in turn causes your hair and skin to be more balanced in moisture.
8. Be very careful detangling your hair when it’s wet. I use either a Denman brush or a wide tooth comb and start at the ends and work my way up to minimize breakage.
9. Don’t blow dry your hair while completely wet. This is a habit I’ve recently gotten out of that I’d been doing for years. Now, when I blow out my hair, I detangle from ends to roots and braid it up into small sections. I allow it to air dry overnight (with my scarf and bonnet on) and in the morning I take down one braid at a time and blow dry each braided section straight. This cuts my blowout time in half because my hair is already detangled, stretched, and sectioned off when it’s time to blow dry and flat iron. Clever, huh?
10. Mo suggests to rotate protein treatments, hot oil treatments and other types of repairing treatments into your routine every 4 to 6 weeks each. This helps to keep your protein levels balanced and install extra moisture into your hair. Not over-doing your treatments will allow your hair and scalp to work themselves.
11. Eat lots of protein, veggies and foods with antioxidants. What you put into your body contributes to your overall hair health, too. The more nutrients you consume, the better the anagen phase of growth will be, resulting in longer, healthier strands.
12. Replace your brushes, combs, clips, etc. every 6 months or less and clean them every couple weeks or so. If you have been using the same tools for years, you are likely snagging and tearing away strands of hair unnecessarily with your boar brush whose bristles are matted, leaning and split. Your tools are just as important as your products.
13. Stick to a routine. It’s good to try new products that you think will work for your hair, but keep your regulars in rotation if they’re already doing a great job in keeping your hair healthy. Consistency is key for healthy hair because it needs a routine to get adjusted to and flourish in. Once you find what works, make it a point to stick to it for at least six months before switching this for that. For all you product junkies out there, you’ve got to give your hair a chance to respond!
Make sure you check out www.moknowshair.com for loads of great info about transitioning, techniques for different hair types, tips, video tutorials and more!