“Excuse Me, Is That Your Real Hair?”

Tips on growing and maintaining long, healthy, thick hair.


I’ve probably been asked this question about 100 times. The shock value on the person’s face when I say “Yes” can be hilarious.

Usually, the follow up question is, “How did you get it so long?”

From there, a conversation sparks where a young lady and I are sharing what products we both use and ones that didn’t work so well. This scenario happened recently and I thought why not just write down some of my tips. So, here we are folks.

Before I begin, I have some disclaimers for everyone. In no way, shape, or form am I an expert on hair. These are just a couple of tips that I have gathered over the years.

Secondly, these tips will not make your hair grow overnight. Hair growth takes patience and consistency. Trust me, I wish that there was a magical potion that I can apply to my hair at night and in the morning; I would wake up with hair like Rapunzel.Unfortunately, there isn’t one so let’s stick to what we can do.

Also, these tips may not work for everyone and that’s okay. Try different products and see which ones work well with your hair and build a regimen from there.

I guess I should do a little back story on my hair. Well, I’ve never had a perm or put any type of chemicals in my hair to alter my natural texture. I never drastically cut my hair (even though I was tempted) and I trim my hair whenever the ends are looking crusty.

So let’s get to the fun part!

First key thing is to condition your hair. The conditioner I use at the moment is the Herbal Essences: Hello Hydration.
It has coconut extract which is great for your hair. I love the smell too! I use warm water to open up my hair’s cuticles so moisture can reach in. Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp, only on your hair strands. I concentrate the product on the ends of my hair because that can be the driest. I let the conditioner sit on my hair for about an hour and a half. Once I rinse the conditioner out, I use cool water to close my cuticles and seal in the moisture.

I try to include certain foods in my diet that I know are great for growing hair such as salmon, chicken, almonds, Greek yogurt, and beans.

I love salmon and it contains vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes hair growth. Chicken is a great source of protein and promotes hair growth as well. Almonds have a high biotin content can make hair grow longer and thicker. Greek yogurt is filled with protein and vitamin B5 which helps with blood flow to the scalp. Beans contain iron, zinc, and biotin and help to kick start hair growth.

During the year, I do what is known as “The No Heat Challenge” where I do not use any heating tools such as a blow dryer or flatiron on my hair. Whenever I do this, I can significantly see how much my hair has grown. Heat can damage hair strands and cause it to break off. Going a few weeks without using heat allows my hair to retain moisture and feel healthier.

When I do decide to use heat, I always apply a heat protectant first. I discovered heat protectants a couple years ago and it has saved my life. It acts as a protective barrier on my hair against heat damage. I have been using the TRESemme Naturals Heat Tamer Leave-In Spray.
heat tamer spray
Allow the spray to dry in before you start blow drying or flat ironing your hair. It leaves my hair smelling like sweet apple and not like burnt hair, which is a plus for me.

This tip might be a little silly but I still wanted to include it. Avoid doing your hair when you’re tired or angry or both. I find that when I decide to start washing my hair at 11 at night, I’m just trying to rush through the whole process. I end up losing more hair than I usually would if I was more awake and patient. Doing my hair is a process that I like to enjoy even though it takes forever some days (7 hours or more) so I do it when I have the most energy.

Lastly, focus on health not length. I know, this is coming from a girl with long hair but health is far more important. Think about it this way, having long hair that’s damaged will never reach its full potential. Eventually, you will have to cut it. Healthy hair will be more moisturized, fuller, and retain length. Retention is the goal here.

If you have any questions or would like to share your own tips with me, email me at [email protected]. I would love to hear from you guys.