View Full Version : Newbie Advice - All You Got

January 24th, 2014, 02:57 PM
Okay. So, Im a secrecatry at an accounting firm & we are waiting for Tax info (which means not much to do - which means lots of time online). I am getting SO many good tips by reading through these threads!! Up until today I have just been kinda passivly floating along wanting my hair to grow, but not really knowing what to do to help it along. I mean, dont get me wrong, I pamper my hair & have my "routines" & "rules" & all. Now that i am reading yalls posts I feel kinda clueless al of a sudden! ;)

So, yall hit me with whatever advice, tips, dos, donts ... even basic stuff I dont know. For example: I almost ALWAYS wear my hair down ... had no idea it was bad for it. Also, when I do wear it up I use ... (cringe) ponytail holders!!!! (gasp)

I do oil treatments, wide tooth comb when wet, boar bristle brush, try to use as little heat as possible (have to blow dry a little since I heavily exercise in the mornings, shower, & cant go to work with sopping wet head), but thats as far as it goes with heat, when I shower daily I use only condidtioner (2 times) then wash with sulfate free shampoo every 4 or 5 days (& stretching).

Hit me ... :)

January 24th, 2014, 03:25 PM
I think if you have all that time... your best bet is reading up on things. We can't put all the forum knowledge into one thread. ;)

January 24th, 2014, 03:27 PM
right on lapushka.

January 24th, 2014, 03:36 PM
But I wanted to add, judging from what you wrote (forgot to mention this), seems like you're on the right track! :D

January 24th, 2014, 03:42 PM

January 24th, 2014, 03:50 PM
I agree it's hard to put the forum in one thread or paragraph. I'm glad you're practicing healthy habits but I'd like to mention vitamins, plenty of water, and protein for hair growth. I'd like to welcome you here and mention about heat free styling there are heat free curls. Could you work out at night wash your hair and do heat free curls and so fourth.

January 24th, 2014, 03:58 PM
Welcome! It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. I have been here around 6 years now and I am still learning. My hair seems to have a mind of its own. What once worked can change and then I have to try something else. The good news is that I never get bored. The basics, like no heat, stay the same but most of it is a try it to see if you like it challenge.

January 24th, 2014, 04:03 PM
I agree that you are best browsing through as much as possible, but I would add a couple of key things to keep in mind.

1. Only change one thing at a time, otherwise you won't be sure what is working and what isn't!
2. There is rarely, if ever, a rule that applies to all hair. Everyone has different limits (you'll find plenty of diverse opinions on blow drying, cones and dye as testament)

Maybe a few things to make sure you read up on..
- Oiling
- S&D
- Types of damage and how to spot it
- Safe detangling (TT, seamless combs etc)
- Shampoo bars
- Bun/braid tutorials
- Sleep caps and silk pillows

And be sure to check out the "conventional products" board for lots of neat toys! I found I kept my hair down much more until I started getting my first pretties :D

I would add, you shouldn't necessarily worry about blow drying your hair. I do and I had no problem growing to TBL, just make sure the temperature is never enough to be uncomfortable against skin and it is hair-friendly. I would be more concerned about how often you wash your hair. It is at it's most fragile when it's wet, so even if you are only using conditioner you are risking damage. Have you considered dry shampoo? There is a thread handing around about exercise and long hair.

January 24th, 2014, 04:07 PM
I would add, you shouldn't necessarily worry about blow drying your hair. I do and I had no problem growing to TBL, just make sure the temperature is never enough to be uncomfortable against skin and it is hair-friendly.

I agree with this. I wouldn't freak out about so-called "blowfrying". You "fry" only when you blast your blowdryer on *hot* and full speed. And that's not careful blowdrying. I am my second time growing out to TBL, am currently hip, and my hair's been blowdried for years, years, years, years. On warm, though, not hot. Not even cool. Just warm. As long as you can keep your hand in the airstream without it burning or starting to feel like it is, you're peachy.

January 24th, 2014, 04:20 PM
I'm going to second Cania about the daily hair-wetting. If you're worried about the humidity making your hair frizzy, shower caps aren't just for oilings and looking silly! Excessive conditioning can also break down protein bonds in hair (http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/12/signs-that-youre-over-moisturizing/) and isn't necessarily better for your hair in the long run. Even though I condition a lot, and I used to use only conditioner, I still never conditioned more than twice a week and from what I understand, the coconut oil I add afterwards prevents protein loss. Correct me if I'm spewing nonsense, folks!

January 24th, 2014, 04:20 PM
Not everything works for every hair type.
Patience is the key to attaining beautiful, healthy hair.
Helpful factors: genetics, healthy diet, moderate exercise, handling hair gently

Refrain from rough handling, blow fryers (as much as possible), wearing your hair down (only occasionally, if possible. Be sure to detangle during the day with a wide tooth comb. Don't wait until nighttime to address any snarls!). Stay away from bleach, hot irons, hot curlers, straightening.

Don't over shampoo. Dilute both your shampoo and conditioner.

Always detangle before you brush and before creating your hairstyle.

Detangle with a widetooth comb, working slowly, in small sections, from the bottom of the strands up to the roots.

Learn new hairstyles to prevent hair boredom. Torrin Paige on You Tube has many tutorials that will inspire you.

Keep away from rubber bands. Use soft scrunchies or ribbons, or cut off panty hose to secure your hair.

Never braid or twist your hair tightly. Avoid pony tails as much as possible.

Keep your hair tools clean. Wash them every week.

"Less is more" also applies to your hair!~ The less stuff on it, the better.

If you use hair oils, use them sparingly.

S and D (Search and Destroy) is a good method for controllng those pesky white dots, fairy knots and split ends. Be sure your shears are sharp. Dull shears will only result in more white dots.

Many here swear by silk/satin pillow case covers for protecting your ends at night.

Confine your hair over night so you don't have to mess with much detangling in the morning (when you're in a rush).

If you use elastics on your braids, be sure you take them off the same way you put them on. Never just pull off the elastic band.

When shampooing, try center parting your hair so that you have a section on each side. Try and keep the sections separate as you shampoo and rinse and condition. Keeping the sections as separate as possible helps combat snarls.

Shampoo in one direction at a time: top of head to nape, then from front to back

Never, ever, brush your hair when it is wet. Hair is weakest when wet.

Daily scalp massage (in the bent at the waist position) helps nourish your follicles.

If you try a new hairstyle that pulls your strands in a different way, your scalp might protest and HURT. If this happens, take down the style and let your scalp rest for a day. Next day, try the style again..but only keep it up for an hour or two. Little by little over the next 2 weeks, gradually let the style stay up for a longer period of time. This method helps acclimatize your follicles to being drawn in a different way..and you'll be able to wear the style with little to no discomfort.

Above all, don't give up! It takes time to grow your hair and there will be times when it seems it isn't doing anything. Keep at it...and don't be disheartened by nay sayers who take a dim view of you wanting to grow long. As someone said here, "I'm not here to decorate your world!". Have fun!

Katie Maree
January 24th, 2014, 04:33 PM
I'm new as well and I've been hearing a lot about oiling but I don't really know how it works or the purpose of it... could anyone explain it to me or direct me to the appropriate thread?

January 24th, 2014, 05:45 PM
Our old articles section has been archived, check here (http://web.archive.org/web/20111221210032/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=66) for an article about carrier oils, and here's one about oils (http://web.archive.org/web/20110124092513/http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=25) and herbs. The purpose of oiling to mostly to prevent moisture loss after washing. The majority of people use it on their ends after washing, but others use it for massaging or treatments. If you want to see any threads about it, go into "Advanced Search" and look up "titles only" using keywords like "oil(ing)", "coconut oil", "EVOO", etc. There's quite a few other articles floating around the internet, as well.

Katie Maree
January 24th, 2014, 06:19 PM
Thanks, I'll check them out!

January 24th, 2014, 06:55 PM
I'm new as well and I've been hearing a lot about oiling but I don't really know how it works or the purpose of it... could anyone explain it to me or direct me to the appropriate thread?

Here is former LHC member Ktani's article on the drying capacities of oil:

LHC member Heidi's oiling tutorial on You Tube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjVwPKMQDYk

I don't use oil myself, except for a few drops of mineral oil for detangling purposes.

January 24th, 2014, 06:56 PM
My apologies..double post.

January 24th, 2014, 07:05 PM
After all the good suggestions from others I would only add a tidbit that helped me out when I was trying to decide on One thing to try. Look at the polls and projects section of threads when trying to decide things like which new oil to try on your ends. There are many many threads that ask 'did this or that work for you?' It's very helpful to see what works the majority of the people here and it helped me get ideas on where to start with my experiments.

January 24th, 2014, 08:14 PM
Get yourself a couple hairsticks (I found some inexpensive ones on eBay) and start watching YouTube videos on how to make different buns. Ditch the ponytail holders, it's a tough habit to break but it's so worth it. Get yourself some spin pins too. I got mine at Walmart, but they're sold at other places too.

January 24th, 2014, 08:43 PM
I'm new here too....try looking up the thread "Hair Don'ts" you might like that one.

I am not too good with technology or the search engine on the LHC , so I find it faster that f you have a question about your hair just google your question followed by "long hair community" into your google browser.....so for example if I was looking for a shampoo for people with fine hair I would google " shampoo for people with fine hair long hair community" and all the previous threads from LHC will pop up. Good luck on your grow out :)

January 24th, 2014, 08:45 PM
what a great list from Madora!!

January 24th, 2014, 10:14 PM
what a great list from Madora!!

Glad I could help, hairpleasegrow. I might add:

Try Feye's self trim method if you're thinking of cutting or trimming back a bit.

Don't become discouraged if a style doesn't jell at the first attempt. Keep practicing until you've made it.

Don't rub a towel all thru your hair to dry it. Instead, place the towel over your head so that one end hangs on one side of your neck and the other side hangs opposite. To dry, press the two towel sections together (with your hair in the middle) with the palms of your hands. Keeping pressing with your palms down the length of towel wrapped hair. Do not wring or twist! Undo towel and gently detangle with wide tooth comb (if you like).

January 25th, 2014, 01:45 AM
Thanks very much for that list, Madora, it gives a lot of really great places to start. I've been going over old threads rather than asking what can be age-old questions, and many links are down (but some accessible through google) so it's really good to have the basics covered :)

January 25th, 2014, 08:44 AM
Thanks very much for that list, Madora, it gives a lot of really great places to start. I've been going over old threads rather than asking what can be age-old questions, and many links are down (but some accessible through google) so it's really good to have the basics covered :)

You're welcome, Avenie!

Don't be shy asking questions. There are various ways of solving a problem and it helps if you have input from folks who have experienced the same issues.

If you can stand more hints:

1) When using bobby pins or hairpins, do not cross them like this--- X ---. This puts too much pressure on that part of your scalp. Try placing them parallel to each other instead (//).

2) When braiding, try and keep each strand separated after each crossover. Hold the braid in one hand, then use your other hand like a rake (fingers spread outward) and then slowly go down the hair to separate the strands. This helps keep the hair from self-braiding as you braid down the length. Braiding short hair isn't that problematic..but once your hair grows longer, you'll understand the need to keep the strands separate when braiding.

3) Hair toys: Be sure to check that have no sharp edges that might snag your hair. On barrettes, be sure the clasp is well made and snaps together tightly.

4) Comb: check for any rough seams. Some people file down those edges. I prefer to find a comb that is ready to use.

5) Be sure to comb out your hair every day. Detangle first!

6) I believe in the power of brushing with a pure boar bristle brush. Brushing helps keep your hair free from lint, removes dead hair cells, exercises the hair follicles, and in time, leaves your hair soft and shiny. There is no set amount of strokes you need to brush. Just try and be consistent and brush every day. Since brushing can sometimes lead to static-y hair, follow each brush stroke with the palm of your other hand. That motion helps reduce the static.

January 25th, 2014, 09:14 AM
Read the ingredients list on your products and try to understand the functioning the different 'families'. Some great information on ingredients on the Sciencey Hairblog, Naturallycurly 'curl chemist' series by Tonya McKay and Natural Haven blog. All aimed at wavies and curlies (two thirds of the world) but useful to straighties too.

January 25th, 2014, 09:56 AM
Know your hair properties. What works for one type of hair may not work for you. Once you know your hair well, it'll be easier to decide if something is more likely to work. And make changes slowly!

January 25th, 2014, 11:04 AM
Pretty much just adding to what others have said but:

1) You can find combs made of sanded wood or bone that don't have seams. They're usually wide-toothed.
2) Yeah, go slow with everything. If you find something that works, you want to know exactly what that thing is.

January 25th, 2014, 11:09 AM
The Ursula's standard newbie advice resurrection thread, with additional links within.
Good stuff.

January 25th, 2014, 11:29 AM
The best piece of advice I found was to not be discouraged if things don't work out for your hair, even if they work for everyone else. For example, a lot of people here sing the praises of coconut oil, but it doesn't do anything for my hair.

Don't be afraid to experiment! I think that's half the fun of growing your hair out.