I was talking to one of my cousins (who has relaxed hair) on my recent visit to New York about hair about how to keep it growing and healthy. We talked about why it's so hard for many black women to grow long hair. Primarily, the reasons why our hair does not grow past our shoulders, i.e. heat damage, over manipulating, instilled behaviors, etc.
She agreed and stated this is why she wears her hair up in a loose bun most of the time and doesn't apply heat. She let down her hair that was beyond her shoulders. I was very impressed and at the same time proud because "she got it!" Many people don't get it, so I rarely discuss hair unless I am on business or someone asks me a question.
But that conversation led me think about the commonalities that women with long hair have, whether natural or relaxed.
Women With Long Hair:
1) Do not over manipulate their hair. So you don't see them messing in their hair a lot. Most often than not, they usually do their hair once a week or go to the salon to get their hair done. Then wear it in a bun or an updo until their next appointment.
2) Wear simple styles. You rarely see them with a lot of different styles like braids, weave, tight twists. These styles often do more damage than good. Most women with long hair usually wear a wrapped style or loose up do's.
3) Keep their hair protect in protective styles to keep it from breaking, i.e. up do's, damp buns, etc.
4) Rarely apply heat to avoid damage but instead resort to wrapping hair, pin curls or roller sets.
5) Do not obsess over their hair. The old saying "out of sight out of mind" really goes a long way when trying to grow hair. When you continously touch it or fuss with it, you can further cause damage to it. So it's best to put it up and leave it alone and watch it grow.