It takes a lot of TLC to keep natural curls shiny, springy and beautiful. Could your daily routine be holding your hair back from achieving its true health potential? Review this checklist from to see if you’ve been handling your natural curls with the proper love and respect.

Don’t constantly touch your hair. Are you guilty of absentmindedly pulling, tugging and twirling your tresses? Be warned: The more you manhandle your hair and scalp, the more oil and dirt from your hands and fingers can attach itself and dirty your strands, clog pores and dull shine. This means unless you’re styling, detangling or washing your hair, hands off!

Don’t rip out knotted hair. When stubborn knots won’t budge, resist the urge to yank or comb it out. Also, don’t untwist your hair at the base of the scalp then move down the strands’ length—as this can cause breakage and split ends. Instead, patiently detangle knotted strands with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb, working your way toward the hair root.

Don’t forgo a trim because you’re trying to grow your hair out. Instead, trim your hair about four times a year. This well-timed regimen addresses split ends and single-strand knots, and it revives hair to give your tresses the extra boost it needs.

Don’t hit the sack without protecting your hair. After a long day, it’s easy to drift off to sleep without wrapping or covering your hair. One day can’t hurt, right? Well, it won’t, but don’t make a habit of it. Sleeping without a protective silk or satin cap or scarf (or pillowcase) can dry out your hair and cause breakage and shedding.

Don’t lose hope if your hair doesn’t grow quickly. Be realistic. One week of healthy hair routines will not automatically help you achieve your goals, but it will start you in the right direction. And, be patient. It takes years for hair to grow long and strong. Focus on maintaining your hair’s health and let tresses grow at its own pace.

Now, here’s a definite “do” for moms: Shower your daughter with praise about her natural curls. Click here to learn more.