wash and go hair challenge
Growth & Retention

MahoganyCurls Healthy Hair Growth Challenge

stretched out old twist out

Hair growth and length retention are always at the forefront of my thinking when it comes to natural hair care – especially fine natural hair care.

When you want to see different results, you need to do things differently to see change occur.

Lately, I feel like my hair growth has stalled. I’ve been basically following the same healthy hair practices for the past 5 or 6 years:

  • No heat styling
  • No chemicals
  • No rough handling
  • Regular deep conditioning and protein treatments
  • Daily moisturizing
  • Low manipulation and protective styling

Now, I realize I’ve hindered much of my length retention by hacking off 6-7 inches a few years ago. I don’t know what I was thinking but I don’t plan on repeating that mistake. My only defense is I thought I could even out my naturally uneven growing hair. That was a waste of time.

About two weeks ago I discovered one of my favorite Youtubers, MahoganyCurls was hosting a one year healthy hair growth challenge. The emphasis is on “healthy” and I’m participating for the same reasons the rest of the ladies in the challenge are participating. I want to see just how far my hair can grow and how to do so by encouraging it to grow in its healthiest state.

Having fine hair has really hampered some of my length goals (that and impatience). Yet, I know that my hair can do more. Even if I don’t get all the way to waist length (my goal since forever!), I would like to get pretty darn close!

Rules of the challenge:

– No heat
– No trimming (except to clip out a single strand knot)
– Weekly washing/deep conditioning
– Mid-week hair rinsing and deep conditioning
– Daily moisturizing the ends of the hair
– Hairstyles to only include VERY low manipulation styles (the wash and go, twist out or twists).
– Protective styling is allowed but we are to watch the tension and manipulation applied to the hair. For ex: A bun is Ok but not too tight and not every day.

I’ve lived by each of these rules except for one…the mid-week rinse and deep conditioning. This may be the one habit that propels my hair to the next level. We’ll see.

The MahoganyCurls Healthy Hair Growth challenge goes on for one year and there’s a Facebook group where the participants can share progress pics, hair tips and more. Jess capped the group at 10,000 members so the group is close to closing if it’s not closed already.

I’ll be sharing my progress pics right here at Fine Natural Hair and Faith as well as whatever new things I may learn about my hair or just in general.

In my next post, I’ll share the products I’ll focus on using throughout the winter.

My starting pic for November 2016:


I’ll post a monthly pic sharing my results. I was going to say “and any setbacks” but I’m working toward not having any!


Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

2 Comment

  1. Your hair length is lovely, wish I had it. I’ve never been able to have long hair, except once and that was by accident.

    Back in the 1980s I had a jeri curl 🙄. I had the process done twice. I never did anything to my hair other than use the activator and plastic cap. The chemicals RUINED the collar of my favorate red wool coat (it turned white after dry cleaning).
    I decided to drop the jeri curl and get a new style. My beautician friend washed and blow dried my hair. WOW, the length of my hair was incredible! I’d never had hair that long before…it was past my shoulders. She was stunned and asked me if I had ever blow dried my hair while wearing the jeri curl and I told her I never had. When she started to cut my hair into the style I requested, I nearly pitched a fit, but she assured me that was nothing compared to what was left on my head. After that, I’ve near seen that length again 😥. If I had known about being natural back then, I would have tried it.

    Now, I’m 53 and my hair is thin as well as fine and I’ve been natural for two years. It’s grown some but very uneven lengths throughout. No fullness and my edges are very thin and make any hairstyle I try to wear unattractive on me. It’s frustrating because my hair is growing so slowly.

    Do you know of any product to help with the hair thinning? I use the Jamaican black castor oil. I use moisturizer, conditioner and shampoo for natural hair and the only chemicals I use is the dye my hairdresser puts in to color my gray. Is there something I can use to give me fullness? I can’t even make a bun for my hair…not enough length, hair or holding strength. This is both depressing and frustrating. I’ve thought about wearing wigs, but I get hot very easily and living under the Texas heat and humidity doesn’t help either. What to do???

    1. Hi, thank you so much. It sounds like you’ve been through the ringer with your hair. I wouldn’t use chemicals to cover the gray. They could be adding to the weakness of your hair. Have you ever tried henna? I cover my gray with henna. it turns them a reddish color but i don’t mind. If you mind, you can follow the henna treatment with another all natural substance…indigo, a natural plant dye.

      Keep using the JBCO. Add rosemary essential oil to it and do scalp massages regularly. Unfortunately at we age, our hairgrowth cycle shortens. Yet, I still believe that God longs to give us the desires of heart so pray about it as well and trust God to work it out.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: