how to: grow & maintain long healthy hair

This is so long overdue! One of my most asked questions on social media is how did my hair grow out of no where. My hair literally stayed one length for years, no lie years. Then I began to baby it, and ever since my hair grows like unwanted weeds in your backyard lol.

A little background history: My hair was long my entire life, then one year around my 8th grade year, my mom gave me the go ahead to do whatever I wanted to my hair. So, being the young impressionable child I was, I chopped off all my hair into a bob with blonde highlights. (please don’t judge me, NO I will not be posting photos lol). I blame Rihanna but since that big hair cut, my hair had no idea what to do. I was young so my hair was also in the process of thinning out because back then my hair was 3x thicker than it is now; unruly, frizzy and just a complete want to be curly mess. The blonde quickly was dyed black, and I just let my hair grow out. For around 4-5 years my hair remained at a constant length around let’s say bra strap length. While I liked that length, you know what they say, “you always want what you don’t have” so here I was dying for long dark locks! I began my research into hair care which was quickly stopped due to my pregnancy. Yes my pregnancy made my hair grow (not a great deal) but 2 weeks after I gave birth my hair fell out. My close friends literally watched my self esteem disappear as I was shedding hair like a cat. I would shower and the drains clogged, my brushes would be filled with hair every day and my mom hated sweeping all my hair up (I left legit trails of hair). I was depressed and unfortunately they tell you everything except that your hair will literally leave you without permission lol. A bulk of my hair that fell out was the perimeter of my face (go figure) so ponytails and buns were no longer a choice, and the overall density of my hair went from full to thin. At first, I just figured all the new growth from pregnancy was falling out, but when I began to see bald spots I became legit desperate. Here I was back to researching what could I do to grow my hair back and healthier than before. For the first year of Harper’s life I wore extensions but I honestly was too lazy to keep up with it. I realized step one had to be my water intake. Around 2 years ago, I decided to rely solely on water. Every now and then I will give myself juice or soda, but I made a vow to take care of myself and increase my water intake. As of lately I’ve been consuming 3 liters daily πŸ™‚ The water alone is a great step to take for hair growth. It seems obvious, but we forget to drink water because of the “temporary” fix from juices and soda. Consuming a fair amount of water is also how your hair will get that natural healthy shine we all love and adore. Aside from water I figured out how to make my hair grow without vitamins or supplements.

First was my hair care routine. Since I knew my hair was going through it, I decided to leave it alone. I rarely put heat on my hair and would wash it and let it air dry. I think an important part to my hair growth was that I slept with my hair out and 9/10 walked around in loose buns. Tugging on your hair too tightly isn’t the best thing because it’s realistically pulling on your hair so I would always just let my hair breathe. The only time I did my hair was when I had somewhere to go, but even when straightening I only pass over a section 1-2 times. I do not put products in my hair when styling because like I mentioned, I wanted my hair to breathe. Your scalp has all the needed oils to care for your hair which is important. I washed my hair around every 2-3 days yet when doing so, that first time I would wash my hair I used a shampoo and conditioner. I would let my hair get oily and when I went back to wash it I did not use shampoo or conditioner. I would drench my hair and massage the oils from my scalp so that those oils could naturally penetrate the rest of my hair. While shampoo’s and conditioners are great, allowing your natural oils to work throughout your hair can be your best friend. Also, would you believe me if I told you most people do not know how to correctly wash their hair? Well they don’t. Shampoo is strictly for your scalp because putting shampoo on your ends could further dry that hair out. You have to realize that the hair on your scalp is freshly grown and can take more damage where as your ends, usually your split ends or where dryness is, is due to the hair being old so we don’t want to add extra damage. Therefore, conditioner is for your ends. When applying your conditioner to your ends your replenishing moisture to the hair as well as resupplying the lipids and proteins needed yet if you were to apply to it your scalp, you can easily clog the hair follicles which isn’t great for hair growth. Seems like a no brainer, but I kid you not I’ve told so many people this and they never knew lol. Even though my hair is at my desired length, I still wear my natural hair for at least a week every single month! I know we love to style our hair but it’s just not realistic if growth is your goal (in reference to applying heat).

Another fun fact about me is that I don’t go to the hair salon. ever. lol. Which means no I’m not going to sit here and say “for your hair to grow go get a hair cut every 6 weeks”. Every now and then I will wander into the bathroom and see scissors and cut my hair but its more so because I simply just cut off dead/split ends so that they cannot further travel up the hair strand.. I don’t “trim my hair”. So, I can’t tell you the last time I had a actual hair cut. I have your average amount of split ends (fact: even people who don’t torture their hair will have split ends) and like I said I just cut them which is easy to do. But since they cannot be escaped, I know how to seal them πŸ™‚ When I am wearing my natural hair, I drench my hair in aloe vera gel. I apply it to my scalp just for the benefits, then all over my ends. It truly acts as a gel, and because of this it will seal your ends while it dries. When you wash the product out and straighten it (if thats what your going to do) your hair looks like there is no damage at all. My updated length photo is my hair straightened after the aloe vera gel sat in my hair for 1 day.

Also,
1) I do not use any specific shampoos or conditioners as long as they are sulfate and paraben free.
2) Your brushes are important. I use a copper brush as well as this one. (I use these on Harper as well)
3) Again, I do not use any products in my hair aside from the aloe vera gel.
4) Sleep with your hair out or in a very loose braid/ponytail!
5) When Brushing your hair, start at the tips making your way up.
6) Do not shampoo every single time you wash your hair, but do apply conditioner to your ends!
7) Be mindful your hair will not grow overnight. It is a true process but can be sped up.
8) Following these steps, my hair grew anywhere from 1-5 inches per month.

Here are some photos for reference of growth over the years.

*do you see that hair loss?*

*if you’re still reading. 1 thing you do not know about me is that I am allergic to boxed hair dye. So, in all my photos my hair appears dark brown/black yet in reality it is brown with hints of reds! & I’m just too lazy to try alternative dyes lol*

Thank you for reading, I hope all these tips work for you! Be patient!!!

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12 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 8, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    Are you mixed?

    • ajanarie
      January 9, 2018 / 4:45 pm

      yes I am πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous
        January 9, 2018 / 4:49 pm

        What are you mixed with?

        • ajanarie
          January 10, 2018 / 6:42 pm

          My dad is Cambodian, and my mom is mixed with multiple races.

  2. Zakiyyah
    January 9, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    This was really good help thank you

    • ajanarie
      January 9, 2018 / 4:46 pm

      Your welcome. thank you for reading.

  3. Anonymous
    January 9, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    Is there a specific type of aloe gel brand you use?

    • ajanarie
      January 10, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      The one I use is by the brand “Amara” from amazon. If you go back into the text, and click the pink text that says “aloe vera gel” it will take you to the exact product. Thank you for reading

  4. Anonymous
    January 10, 2018 / 3:14 am

    Great article, where can I find the aloe Vera gel ? Thank you for your time.

    • ajanarie
      January 10, 2018 / 6:42 pm

      Thank you. If you click the text “aloe vera gel” in the article it will take you to the direct link of the bottle I use. All text that is pink are direct links! πŸ™‚

  5. Anonymous
    January 12, 2018 / 5:21 am

    Love reading you’re blog!!!! Would love to see more post about your fashion sense, who inspires you, must have items.

    • ajanarie
      January 12, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      Thank you! Those are definitely coming, the winter weather has been a complete drag for me! lol

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