2. Streamline your hair care routine to the simplest regimen possible to avoid over-manipulation of your strands.
3. Protect the ends of your hair as much as possible (whether by low manipulation/protective styles, finger combing, or making sure any split ends are trimmed properly)
4. Set up a regular deep conditioning schedule for your hair if you don't already have one.
5. Cut out heat (with the exception of a hood dryer for DCs) completely for the length of the challenge if you use any.
That's basically it. The purpose is to get your hair as healthy as possible while growing it out toward the length goal of your choosing. I'm aiming for at least shoulder length myself. My hair is three different lengths right now, which wouldn't be so bad if it were a bit longer. Sound good? If you have any questions, let me know.
Like any normal curly, I still like to experiment from time to time. I stick with the essentials, but I like to try alternatives. This time around I experimented with Rhassoul Clay as a cleanser/conditioning treatment. I wasn't sure exactly what to use, so I made my own mix. I used a few teaspoons of the clay powder, a teaspoon of conditioner, a teaspoon of olive oil, about 2 heaping teaspoons of Greek yogurt, and a few ounces of water and chilled rosemary mint tea. The result was creamy and smooth with a buttery texture as pictured above. My curls detangled like a dream. I coated my hair and scalp with the mixture and let it sit for 30-45 minutes. I rinsed it out to find the most frizz-free, defined naked curls I've ever seen (pictured below). I grabbed my leave-in and applied it while smoothing each curl. To give my hair a break from the headband, I used bobby pins to loosely pin up the side into a faux hawk (also pictured below).