Growing Long Curly Hair

Growing Long Curly Hair

Why Doesn't Your Hair Grow?

The way our hair is, is all due to genetics. Genetics plays a huge factor in determining how the density, the curl pattern, the thickness and colour of your hair but also how long and fast it grows too. Hair growth is dependent on how long an individual's hair will stay in the growth phase. This is called the anagen phase and it is the longest phase in the entire hair growth cycle.

In fact, our hair length is actually defined by the duration of the anagen phase on the human scalp which can last anywhere from 1 to 10 years however on average the period is somewhere between 3 and 5 years. On the rest of the body, the anagen phase lasts a few months which explains why the hair on our head is longer than the rest of our body. At any time, 85% – 90% of hair follicles will find themselves in anagen phase.

At this point in the cycle our hair follicle is building the hair itself – adding new cells to the bottom of the hair which then creates a longer hair strand bit by bit. Normal hair growth (otherwise known as 'hair shaft elongation') is somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5mm per day. Besides managing our internal health, there isn't anything we can do to make our hair grow faster. So why does it seem like our hair grows more at some times than others?

Length Retention

It is length retention. If your hair is nearly always growing you need to make sure your doing as much as you can not to damage or break the growing hair so it can grow to its full potential before naturally falling out. This means give your hair a little extra TLC. This is particularly important for textured hair types which tends to be drier than other hair types and therefore more prone to breakage. It is also harder to see progress in growth with curly hair compared to other hair types as it grows in a curl rather than straight out so give your hair patience, especially if you have recently done the big chop.

So here are some tips for retaining the length of your hair:

Protective Styling

On a general daily basis, I wear my hair out curly but this does mean I have to detangle my hair every night and it can be a lot to maintain otherwise my hair will get really matted fast. Sometimes, if I feel like my hair is getting a little out of control or like I'm losing a lot more hair than usual, I will leave my hair in a protective hairstyle for a week to just give my hair a break from me and the world. I usually opt for 2 or 4 cornrows and deep condition my hair with natural oils and butter's to seal in moisture.

Since I work full time and want to look presentable, I will redo the cornrows every morning to make sure they are neat but the key to this method is as little manipulation as possible. Make sure you spray on some leave-in conditioners so the hair doesn't get dry. The way I look at this is like an intense recovery or rehabilitation for my hair to just give it what it needs and after a week my hair is a lot healthier and in a much better state and looks a lot longer. But do this for as long as you feel is necessary, a week works for me but you may need two weeks or even a month just make sure you wash your hair thoroughly so you don't experience any product build-up.
When you put your hair in a protective style, don't forget to regularly moisturise to help aid healthy hair growth.


Detangling is critical step, if you mess this up you will be left with a lot less hair on your head. I suggest you should always start by dampening your hair with water/ a detangling spray and then sectioning your hair while detangling, as smaller sections make it easier to handle, all curly hair is prone knots and tangles. Detangle from the bottom up, if you comb from the roots you will be causing more knots and breakage so starting from the ends is a lot better for your curls. I highly recommend finger detangling on wet or damp hair as this reduces breakage and helps to define curls. Alternatives for this include a Denman brush, which is great for clumping the curls together, and a wide tooth comb. When picking a wide tooth comb, look for wooden ones or combs with rounded teeth as sharp teeth can create more tangles and cause split ends.
Be gentle when you detangle your hair, you don't want to be causing more hair shedding than necessary. Start at the ends and work your way up.

Overnight Styling

Loads of people tend to opt for protective styles such as cornrows, plaits, twists, buns. Overnight you can also sleep in a satin bonnet and a satin scarf/ durag or even just on a satin pillowcase. This will reduce breakage, maintain your hairstyle and your edges while you sleep. I feel this is so important so I am going to do a post purely on night time hair and how I do mine soon. All good men with long hair know that this step applies to them as well. It doesn't matter which gender you are, you can not sleep with your hair out and free. I know it can be difficult to build up the motivation, but if not this will be YOU:
I hope that you enjoy this guide and that it can help make growing long curly hair. Try these steps and be consistent if you want results; leave me a like and comment below so I know how you find them and let me know your cheats to length retention.
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