How can I really get my hair to grow like I want it to?

I've had about the same length of hair since I was in the 7th grade. I went through the whole "reinventing myself stage" and cut my hair from slightly below shoulder length when curly and mid back when straight to a short little bob, Afro looking when curly and jaw length when straight. I loved it for a good while until I realized I couldn't wear my hair naturally anymore because I didn't like the way it looked that short. So I straighten it almost all the time. Over time, It would grow little by little but the ends would be so damaged I'd go on a cutting spree and cut it right back to the length i started at. It kind of was a vicious cycle. Now that I'm a junior in high school my hair is a lot different the curls are less tight which I kind of like but there's a lot of breakage in the back. Like from mid ear to ear and down its all pretty short hair which I assume to be breakage from heat damage and I have some of it in the front of my hair too. I don't straighten it as nearly as much as I used to but i know I still do it quite a bit, when I remember I'll use heat protectant. My routine is mainly just conditioning in the shower and shampooing every week or so and I use some curl boosting hydrating creme and dry Moroccan argon oil after I get out. I never dry my hair with a towel, I just pat it dry and then rap it up for a couple minutes in a cotton t-shirt and then add my products. But I'm really tired of it being at this length. I don't enjoy the length and the way it looks curly and it's just looking bad when straightened. I want it too grow so bad. I can't even really put it up when it's curly because of all the breakage, I have to constantly wear headbands when I put it up to hide the damage. When it's straightened it's not easier to deal with either because there is still the issue of breakage. So I'm kind of stuck. What can I really do to make it grow? What are some easy affordable things that can ease my struggle? I really just want hair at least to shoulder length again but I need some help. Any real pointers? I could use all the help I can get!

1 Answer

Ouch! This cycle is definitely not healthy. You’re going to have to make a choice- either stop flat-ironing your hair entirely (or just nearly) or continue to flat-iron and cut constantly. I know it’s easy to make excuses to oneself but if you really want to go natural then go cold turkey, or else the heat damage won’t get any better. From what I can see, your hair isn’t short enough to do a “big chop." You should still get trims regularly to get rid of the heat damage, because you can never reverse heat damage. However, it the meantime while you wait for your hair to grow, you can do protective hairstyles and do twist outs or bantu knots or something to kind of “fake" the curls. I understand your pain girl! I had to chop off 11 inches of heat damaged hair in January but I never looked back (I still have some of the bad ends left though.) Mostly be patient about the growth. It takes a long time for any growth the be visible in curly hair. You can take some vitamins (I used biotin for a while) and these make your hair grow way faster.