How to Grow Long Curly Hair

By Adrienne Warber

Do you dream about someday having long shiny curls? Long curly hair is a little more difficult to achieve than long straight hair because of its delicate nature. However, it is possible with gentle consistent care and patience. Here are some ideas to help you achieve your goal.

Shampoo only once a week with a mild moisturizing shampoo. Shampooing more frequently can be very drying to long curly hair. Look for shampoos made for curly, dry or color-treated hair. In fact, some curly heads find they can shampoo every other week.

Gentle shampoo technique--Apply conditioner to dry hair prior to getting in shower to lessen the drying effects of shampoo. The hair should be hanging loose. Never pile your hair on top of your head. It will cause tangles. Tangles lead to breakage. Wet your hair in the shower. Pour a small amount of shampoo in your hand. Rub hands together to mix the shampoo. Apply the shampoo to the hair with both hands, concentrating on the scalp area. The water will carry the shampoo through your hair during rinsing. Rinse thoroughly. As you rinse, massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers. Now you are ready for conditioning.

Always follow a shampoo application with a moisturizing conditioner. Conditioner is essential to growing long curly hair, which breaks off when it dries out.

The longer the hair, the more fragile it is because it is older hair. Long curly hair is especially delicate. Curly hair is more fragile than straight hair because the cuticle remains slightly open, making the hair more vulnerable to breakage and drying out. Good conditioners temporarily seal the cuticle to retain moisture and protect against breakage.

Recommended conditioner technique--Wet hair. Divide hair into sections. Pour a generous amount of conditioner in your palm. Rub hands together and apply to a section. Repeat on each section. Your hair should be saturated with conditioner. At this point, you can detangle your hair. After detangling, rinse out the conditioner.

Detangle long curly hair with a wide-tooth comb or fingers. Only comb or detangle when the hair is wet and full of conditioner. The detangling process is much gentler on the hair this way. Combing dry curly hair separates the curls and can lead to tangles, frizz, and breakage.

Always use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner. To prevent split ends and breakage, the hair must remain moisturized. Leave-in conditioner can prevent damage and add shine and softness to curls.

Conditioner wash on days you don't use shampoo. Conditioner washing will allow you to detangle daily, moisturize your hair, and refresh your hair style in between shampoos. Detangling with conditioner prevents the large tangles that could lead to breakage. Moisturized curls are more likely to grow longer.

You'll need a light conditioner for washing and a heavier conditioner for conditioning.

Conditioner wash--Wet hair. Pour a small amount of light conditioner in your hand. Rub your hands together and apply to all of your hair. Massage the scalp with the pads of your fingers. Rinse thoroughly. Divide hair into sections. Pour a large amount of moisturizing conditioner into your palm. Rub palms together and spread the conditioner on a section of hair. Repeat on all sections. Rinse the conditioner out of the hair. You are now ready to apply leave-in conditioner and styling products.

Spray distilled water on your hair to refresh curls. Nothing moisturizes like water. For more moisture, add a few drops of jojoba oil. Your hair will remain soft, supple and less likely to break off.

Apply jojoba or coconut oil to hair the night before shampooing. This will coat the hair and protect it from the harsh affects of shampoo. Natural oils are another defense against breakage for delicate long curly hair.

Take a daily multivitamin. There are multivitamins geared toward growing hair. Eat a well-balanced diet. Poor nutrition can make curly hair grow in lackluster and extremely weak. A good diet will help you grow stronger hair, and healthy, strong hair is more likely to grow longer.

Select moisturizing styling products and snag-free hair accessories.

Protect your hair at night. Common cotton pillowcases can dry out hair and lead to long-term damage and frizz. Fragile long curly hair has more of a chance to grow longer if you sleep on a satin pillowcase. On days you must sleep on a cotton pillowcase, cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf. You will also find that the curls remain defined and soft when you protect your hair at night.

Tip

All hair care should be geared toward moisturizing the hair and preventing breakage. Handle dry hair as little as possible. Curly hair tends to catch on everything. When hair catches on things, it can break off. Organic sulfate-free shampoos are best. Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners contain conditioning ingredients such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, wheat protein, and keratin amino acids. Fatty alcohols such as stearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol are great conditioning ingredients. Look for gentle cleansing ingredients such as sodium laureth sulfate, sodium myreth solfate or cocamidopropyl betaine. Seamless handmade wide-tooth combs made from special plastic, resin, or horn are gentle on fragile long curly hair. Add jojoba to any shampoo or conditioner to make it more moisturizing.

Warning

Never blow dry or flat iron long curly hair. It is too damaging. Do not brush long curly hair. Brushing will cause frizz and split ends. Stay away from drying alcohol in hair products such as benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and denatured alcohol.