Stunted, broken and short. Does it sometimes seems like your hair never grows? No matter how hard you hope and wish, it may seem as if those strands aren’t budging. Well, here are some ways to coax those stubborn hairs to grow. Check out this list of do’s and don’ts by Chicoro, author of Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time, featured on Coco and Crème.

Do’s and Don’ts

• Don’t use bleach and hair dye. It may be hard to cancel that longstanding appointment with your colorist, but these evil twins degrade the protein in your hair. Weak hair is more prone to breakage and usually breaks at the same length. What to do? Skip a few appointments, let your hair grow stronger and watch it lengthen.

• Don’t detangle your hair with a brush. A brush can be hard on delicate hair. Bristles may get snagged in tangles and burst through knots, tearing hair as you brush. Guess what? This tangles hair even more and forces you to restart the entire process. What to do? Detangle hair with your fingers when it’s wet. This process is gentle and slow and protects vulnerable strands.

• Don’t get your hair cut unnecessarily. Regular haircuts help prevent split ends, but they won’t magically spur hair growth. What to do? Stick to regular appointments and remember that hair grows unevenly.

• Don’t blow-dry hair. Moisture levels in tresses automatically adjust to match moisture levels in the environment. Blow-drying removes all the natural moisture, which makes hair prone to breakage. What to do? Let your hair air-dry!

• Don’t let strands dry out. Hair contains water, which helps keep it moisturized, flexible and pliable. Oils and oil-like substances help lubricate strands so they slide past each another and line up in the same direction. What to do? Moisturize and lubricate hair each day to stop strands from drying out, snapping or wrapping around each other to knot and tear.

• Don’t leave your hair unprotected. Sun and wind weaken protein in the hair and cause it to break down. What to do? Cover your head and hair when in extreme environments. Also, use protective hairstyles to keep ends from drying out and to help strands grow past their breaking point.

• Don’t let your hair journey go unrecorded. With no visuals to show how much growth you’ve achieved, you’ll be tempted to think your hair isn’t growing. What to do? Set a goal then begin documenting your progress with photos of your tresses at different stages. Remember to keep a record of what products and techniques you use.

If you don’t see hair growth or still seem to lose strands, there may be a medical reason behind it. Click here to learn more.