An important part about growing your hair is finding the balance between wearing protective styling. Even when I was relaxed I would wear sew in weaves or wigs as a method to reduce the amount of manipulation I did to my hair. Now that I am natural and spend a lot of time researching new things to do to my hair I have found that weaves and wigs are only the tip of the protective styling iceberg. They usually involve wearing your hair in a bun or braids for a few days or weeks, require little combing or tinkering daily but still require oiling your hair and wrapping it up at night.
Now that I have chopped a bit of my hair off I won't be able to achieve some of these protective styles but here they are anyway!
This is Toni and she is a part of the natural hair Youtube trio My Natural Sistas. She was my inspiration for the pompadour I did a while back. In this style she puts her read hair into a bun then adds weave braids to it to create this exaggerated bun with a matching braided bang. I used to see these styles and think "I don't have enough hair to pull this off" or "I have to wait until I have been natural for at least two years until I can do something like that!" all lies! If you can at least pull your hair into a bun, no matter how snatched, leave the rest to the magic of weave!!
If you like Toni's hair you might want to check out the page she shares with her sisters on Youtube. They do videos about hair, makeup, outfits and even hairstyles for natural children. All of them are very easy to replicate.