How to Grow Long Hair for Women of Color

Growing out those luscious locks takes patience.

Photo: Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images

Dying for long, luscious locks? Then it's time to play the waiting game. Your hair may seem slower to grow than others', especially if you have super-tight curls. But the main requirement for anyone growing out her hair is patience; there's really no magic formula. All you can do is take extra-good care of your hair. Avoid anything that might cause your precious strands to break off, and you'll be well on your way to having long, fierce locks!


Look for shampoos that claim to help your hair grow. Although they may or may not work as advertised, chances are they contain proteins and B vitamins that will improve your hair's condition, making it less prone to breakage as it grows out.


Get the ends of your hair trimmed frequently. Sound like the opposite of what you're trying to accomplish? Well, maintaining smooth, blunt ends helps keep any split ends from creeping farther up your strands, causing more damage and, eventually, the need for a more drastic haircut.


Invest in a high-quality deep conditioner. Ethnic hair tends to be on the dry side, and dry hair breaks off more easily than well-moisturized strands. Apply a deep conditioners to your hair once a week -- or more often, if your hair really needs it -- and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing. You can use a cream variety or a hot-oil treatment. Look for brands formulated for ethnic hair. You can also use moisturizing shampoos and leave-in conditioner creams or sprays to combat dryness.


Go easy on the chemical processes. Perms, relaxers and coloring don't stunt your hair's growth, but they might damage hair follicles and make strands more prone to breakage. You can still go to the salon, but if you're really trying to grow out your hair, consider stopping these treatments or at least getting them less often. Tight braids or cornrows can also pull at and stress out hair follicles.


Use that flat iron sparingly. Straighteners can make tight curls look longer temporarily, but they cause breakage and split ends in the long run. Same goes for curling irons, blow dryers and other heat-styling tools.


Prevent tangles, which can lead to hair breakage. The exact process will depend on your hair type, but a light detangling spray is a good choice for anyone with tangle-prone hair. Using a wide-toothed comb can help prevent both tangles and frizz.


Give your head the spa treatment by performing a little scalp massage, which can stimulate hair follicles. Use your fingertips to gently massage the top of your head for a few minutes each day.

Tips & Tricks


If your hair is really slow to grow, see a doctor to rule out a medical condition or nutritional deficiency that could be causing the problem.


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