Currently i have long hair and have been learning alot so...
i do not have a relaxer i stopped getting them 5 years ago ( and i've only have 3 relaxers in my life time so this is all natural) so i can show you how to take care of hair without a relaxer. These are the some of the basics to growing long hair.
1. The shampoo, unfortunately many black women are using shampoos with alcohol and petroleum jelly. step away from them. Use Aveda's shampoo.. specifically the name is Brilliant...go to the website. I use it, i love it, it mouisterizes my hair and the products are natural. i have also heard that KeraCare is good.
2. Okay, step two condition it and then it is time to comb it out, Do not use a brush on you hair when it is wet,,it will hate you for it then break off in revenge. Put your your sections use a big tooth comb, to untangle it.
3. Do a hot oil treatment atleast once a month with extra virgin olive oil...repeat..EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil..not the regular stuff. ( I have also heard about protein treatments which can be very beneficial) unfortunately i have yet to take this step however my hair is doing great.
4. Okay on the daily basis you need to pay close attention to your hair...i recommend conditioning your scalp(3-4 times a week) and your ends(everyday) so that they will not get dry and unhealthy Petroleum jellly and mineral oil are weapons of mass destruction ( in other words do not use grease) it does so much harm to your hair it cannot be all explained here. So you ask what do I use...well natural oils grapeseed oil ( use it for hair it deflects heat so it is good for flat iron users like us)
jojoba oil(i use this for my scalp), extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, emu oil, coconut oil...all these natural oils and more love you..i promise.I also use Aveda's Brilliant ( the name of the brand) emollient for my ends.
5. Next..if you want your hair straight but still be natural it is time to get a freakin good flat iron.,i have the Chi..it does the job but I recommend getting the Sedu because of the good reviews. make sure to protect your hair..i have so thermal protector from Aveda. When flat ironing your hair do not let the iron stay on your hair for too long, just 1-2 quick swipes.
6. If you have a relaxer ( i have heard that Mizani and Affirm are the best relaxers) don't continue to relaxer all your hair everytime you go to the salon..just the new growth and try to stretch relaxers as long as possible.
7. You do not need to trim your hair everytime you go to the salon maybe every 3 to 6 months.
8. Wrap your hair in a satin or silk scarf to prevent damage before you go to bed.
9. Eat healthy, drink lots of water,
10 take multivitamins, and fish oil pills you can get from GNC.
Follow these steps and life will be good..the best part about flat iron (which i do once a week or every two weeks not everday since it will kill your hair) is that it is not stringy but thick and healthy, yet straight and light enough to blow in the wind.