The way you handle your hair every day will make or break your hair. You have to handle your hair gently, handle it as though you are caring for fine silk. This is how you retain length and limit split ends. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
1. When you detangle your hair, you should detangle from ends to roots. Always start from the bottom and work your way up with a very wide tooth comb. If you are natural, only detangle your hair when it is wet with a lot of conditioner or oils and in small sections. Also, if you can... try to use a seamless comb. I don't use a seamless comb, but it is best.
2. Aim to moisturize your ends daily with a water based moisturizer or butters/oils. If you are a natural who heat straightens, you will not want to use a water based moisturizer. It will revert your hair. When you wear your hair straight use some all natural butters or oils to maintain moisture and sleekness. Keeping your ends moisturized helps keep hair on your head. A lot of people advocate sealing in moisture with an oil, but I don't find this necessary. Again, do what works for you.
*tip: putting moisturizer on your new growth helps you stretch your relaxer and soften your new growth.
3. Avoid putting anything on your scalp except as a pre-shampoo treatment. It is my belief that a clean scalp helps your hair grow. Many will say that they have dry itchy scalp and need to put something on their scalp. I used to have this same problem. When I stopped using shampoos with sulfates and starting washing my hair at least once or twice a week. Most of my scalp issues ended. Also, I noticed when I stopped putting oil/grease on my hair, my scalp balanced itself and started secreting its own natural oils.
*tip: to help with a dry itchy scalp make this mixture and massage it into your scalp about a 1/2 hour before you shampoo your hair:
a table spoon of jojoba oil mixed in with about 15 drops of rosemary essential oil, 10 drops of ylang ylang essential oil, and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint will stimulate growth. The rosemary and ylang ylang will regulate sebum production. You can change the measurements to suit you. Just don't over do it. Also, avoid rosemary if you are pregnant or if you have high blood pressure.
4. At night you should always cover your hair with a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillow case. Try not to wrap your hair every night. Wrapping your hair every night may cause one side of your hair to be thinner than others. Rather than wrap your hair, you can do a cross wrap. As soon as I get someone to hold the camera for me, I will show you how to do a cross wrap. At night, I typically sleep in a bun on satin pillowcase.
5. Keeping your hair in a protective style, ie: bun, french roll (anything that keeps your ends away from the elements) will really help you retain length. This is true, especially in the winter time when your hair is rubbing against rough wool coats and scarfs. Keeping your hair up helps to stop split ends.
6. Always remember the key to growing long healthy hair is retaining length. Many people focus on the scalp using growth aids and other things. Growth aids may give you a best in growth. However, if you are not taking care of the hair you have, you will never see increased length.
Hope these tips helped. If you have any more questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org