Are black women with long, luscious, natural manes hiding something from the rest of us? Well, no, not really, says a Long Natural Hair Care blogger on who shared how she got her tresses to grow past her waist.

     • Moisturize and “seal.” Do this process in levels. First, wash hair with conditioner or a moisturizing shampoo. Next, deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner once a week, after your regular wash. Finally, follow up your deep conditioning session by sealing your hair with coconut oil before you begin to style your hair. (Payoff: Strands are less likely to snap and break, and hair stays well-behaved.)

     • Protect your ends. First, trim any split ends. And when washing hair, moisturize your strands’ ends. Use protective hairstyling—alternate between letting your hair down and keeping it in updos that hide your hair’s ends. At night, stop hair from snagging, pulling or snapping by wearing a satin bonnet or by sleeping on a satin pillowcase.  

     • Stop the manipulation. That means limit touching, styling and doing anything else that causes you to constantly handle your hair. Aim to comb and brush tresses only on wash days if you can. And leave hair be during daytime hours. Opt for lasting hairstyles, such as twists, twist-outs, braid-outs and buns, or rock flatironed, rollerset styles that don’t need heat touch-ups each day.

Click here to read how to protect your tresses from another hair-growth assassin—sun damage.