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Curly Nikki

Rene’s Massive Hair Growth- 3 Year Anniversary!

By January 27th, 202125 Comments

Rene's Massive Hair Growth- 3 Year Anniversary!by Rene Syler of Good Enough Mother


Where did the time go? On this day, three years, I drove through a snowstorm to a local barbershop because I had had ENOUGH! After making the decision to go natural, I transitioned (the period from which you stop applying chemicals until you cut your hair or grow out all the perm) for as long as I could, which was 3½ months. The dual texture of my hair made it hard to prevent more breakage (you’ll recall was weak and falling out from chemicals reacting to the medication in my system from my hospitalization) so I decided to go for it. That meant the BIG CHOP!

I told you I was going to reveal my top 5 secrets right? There’s really only one. The secret is….. There is no secret! I know, bait and switch. But the fact is it’s all about good, basic hair care. If you are good to your hair it will be good to you. So what does that entail?

  1. NO SHAMPOO: Okay this is not new, you know I harp on this one. But I exclusively co-wash; that means use conditioner only to cleanse my hair. Shampoo has harsh sulfates, which strip the hair, leaving it frizzy, brittle and dry and dry hair is hair that breaks. Conditioner has enough cleansing properties to clean the hair without stripping it. I do clarify to get product build-up out but I do not use a clarifying shampoo (sulfates, hello? Weren’t you listening?). Instead I use plain, old, Apple Cider Vinegar cut with water and that does the job just fine.
  2. NO DIRECT HEAT! That means no curling irons, directional blow drying, hot rollers or anything else where hot metal is laid on my hair.
  3. HAIR VITAMIN: Um, you have to help yourself. I take Aphogee (you can buy at Sally’s) but there are myriad ones out there from which to choose.
  4. PROTECTIVE STYLING: I’m really struggling with the bang area of my hair. It’s a different texture, curl pattern, is more fragile and grows MUCH slower than the rest of my hair. I have decided that when I’m not going somewhere, I’m going to keep it twisted. Remember, you can grow as much hair as you want; the trick is retain the length.
  5. BE PATIENT! Hair grows ¼ to ½ an inch each month; anyone who promises more than that probably will try to sell you a bridge to nowhere. Be patient, enjoy he ride and don’t covet your neighbor’s curls!

Here’s a peek at three years of hair growth in under tw0 minutes. It’s been a helluva ride and I can’t wait to see what it looks like this time next year!

What methods have helped you to retain your hard earned length?


  • Anonymous says:

    She is gorgeous!

  • Bernetta says:

    I loved the video!! You hair looks really nice!

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Very nice! I love watching videos like this. I am still transitioning, but have 2 inches of new growth in 4 months. I am not sure how long I will transition for. I guess retaining length is different when transitioning, it is almost the upside down way, where you are babying your new growth more than your ends. But I do know that consistent moisturizing and keeping my hair in protective styles has helped with my growth.

  • Kinsmankid says:

    Very pretty! Thanks for sharing your hair story.

  • Jessica says:

    Beautiful hair Rene!

    To retain length I wear protective styles, no heat whatsoever, finger detangle , constant moisture, weekly DT and I always wear my silk scarf at home, so I keep my hands out of my hair.

  • Rene says:

    Hi Anonymous 6:27

    It's interesting because while the rest of my hair has grown like wildfire, this hair really needs far more TLC. Only in the last 2 months have I gotten really serious about it. So I use Jamaican Black Castor Oil on the scalp and just protective styling, flat twisting and clipping it back. I'm going to watch what happens over this next year but it really just needs a lot of extra care. Good luck to you with yours!

  • Anonymous says:

    finally someone who has the same issues with the front of her hair! the front of my hair is much shorter than the rest of my head. i've been struggling to find styles that i can wear regularly without damaging the front. do you have any more suggestions?

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair looks great! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    For me, length retention has been aided by:
    1) Consistent and Balanced Moisture- deep conditioning weekly, cowashing if my ends are feeling too dry, sealing the ends , appropriate use (not overuse) of leave-in conditioner, totally avoiding gel by using a thick cream/butter for edges. It is hard when you work up a sweat each day like I do, but cowashing once in the middle of the week works for me in keeping the salt (drying) content on my scalp and hair at a minimum.

    2) Keeping ends free of splits

    3) Overnight henna with a combo of aryuvedic herbs mixed in (plus some other goodies) every 3 weeks followed by a DC

    4) Being gentle with my hair

    5) Covering hair at night, after putting it in at least 1 french braid or a few twists (to prevent tangling and chaotic cuticle syndrome) 🙂

    6) Keeping it as free of tangles as possible at all times

    I can't wait to see your next update! Your hair is really thriving!!

  • hairscapades says:

    All of the lengths suit you, even the short:)!! I think that protective styling and weekly deep conditioning have helped me retain length. Now that I've introduced protein into my regimen, I think I'll regain the density and curl that I previously had as well (stronger hair … think I was over-conditioned, which resulted in breakage and excessive shedding).

    Can't wait to see what the next year brings!


  • Rene says:

    Thanks you guys!

    Anonymous 6:54 I just co-wash, with Aussie Moist or Tresseme; I never, EVER use shampoo and haven't for more than 2 1/2 years. For styling, I use a little of the same conditioner, some cheap gel, Jamaican Black Castor Oil in the slow-growing, then I do a flat twist in front and regular twist behind it (my hair in front is growing so weird). I let it air dry but might sit under the dryer to finish it off. It would be longer if I hadn't had a couple of significant cuts in the last three years, in an effort to even it out a bit. Re: the lady who liked it shorter: Yeah it was fine I guess, but this was one of the better pics of me with my hair this short. I really did not enjoy my TWA phase, even though it was easy to care for. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beautiful. What products do you use?

  • Anonymous says:

    I like both lengths on you…but Really like the short Curly Fro! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    You have a beautiful face and your hair suits you at both lengths.

  • Pecancurls says:

    Rene, congratulations on your three year anniversary!! I recently cut off the last bit of my permed ends in sept! I wish I could get your growth in that time. Your hair looks fab! I can't believe you get such great curl definition with a simple WnG. Keep doing you! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    My 2-year is coming up next month. My current hair length is about the same as Rene's.

    What's worked for me: going sulfate-free, absolutely no heat (ever), pre-poo conditioning & detangling, washing & conditioning in sections, limiting WNGs (unfortunately!) in favor of twistouts and braidouts, sleeping in a satin bonnet and/or scarf, retwisting/rebraiding or at least tying my hair up at night, SHEAMOISTURE products (love that stuff!).

    Even more important than the above: I fully accept shrinkage and don't trip about "stetching" my hair. I am patient when it comes to growth and don't obsess about length targets. I focus on my learning what works for my own hair not trying to emulate the next girl…kinky curly and ecostyler ain't for me.

  • Angel says:

    it looks like i can do everything except for no direct heat. that means i can never get my hair done.

  • sandy says:

    Love you, your work and your hair. Keep me grounded…imperfection is the new black has really helped me with my life.

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    Looks great. U looked so cute when u BC. Nice lil curly fro. LOL. Congrats on your journey. Cant wait until I reach 3 yrs. I transitioned for a year,and have been all natural for a year.

  • Sonya says:

    Very pretty.

  • Rene says:

    Hi ladies! Thanks so much for the kind words and encouragement. Let me say it went faster than I thought it would. Or maybe it's just because I'm old and time is speeding up. But I recall very clearly right after I BC'd being SO impatient! I wanted my hair to grow sooooo badly and honestly I didn't appreciate the TWA stage the way I should have. Now I look up and it's 3 years later and I think, "where did that time go?"

    @Ordered Steps Productions: It's all wash n go except the bangs. The bangs need more TLC, are a different curl type and don't really curl like the rest. Nor is it growing as well so I'm in heavy duty protective styling mode there. When I'm not out, they're twisted up and put away to come out and play another day:) The rest is just wash n go with conditioner and gel. I can get about 3-4 days out of it as I tie it up at night. But that is all. Nothing special.. just good, old-fashioned TLC 🙂 Good Luck to you all and thanks again!

  • Ordered Steps Productions says:

    Beautiful, Rene~!!!! How do you achieve the look in the current photo? Twist out or WNG? And what products are you loving? Looking FABULOUS, ma'am!

  • Amber Elise says:

    Beautiful hair Rene! My two year will be this June and I hope to be where you are next year! 🙂
    I like what you said about the shampoo. I've noticed major improvement since I've started using a mudwash.

    Stay beautiful!

  • Ashley Danielle says:

    My hair was growing quite well until a few months ago. I got really busy with finish grad school and couldn't spend as much time taking care of my ends so I lost a lot of length…about 2 inches. But I'm determined to protect my ends more and have been keeping my hair more moisturized. I also find that my hair is healthier when I drink more water, so that helps me a lot since I can't wear most of the longer protective styles.

    Congrats on you Napiversary!!

  • cafemochalady says:

    Yay Rene, love the story about your hair.

  • Bee Michelle says:

    Wow.. I'm almost to my 3 year mark and my hair is nowhere near that. I need to give it a lil TLC I guess. But the growth I've experienced is great for ME. It's longer than it has ever been with a relaxer and I've dyed it.. Blow dryed.. Flat ironed.. slept without a bonnet… lol.

    I've been really anti-care & Ursula has actually thrived.

    Maybe this year I'll actually take care of my hair & create an actual regimen. 🙂

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