Natural Hair needs to be well conditioned.
There is no easy way to say that. Natural Hair does not mean un kept hair or un combed hair. If you do not detangle and condition hair the hair will loc and become damaged.
To avoid damage to your hair please go to a professional who is familiar or specializes in natural hair. Also keep up on your trims.
This is very important. Don't be so concentrated on length. Length will come naturally when you keep up on your trims and treatments. Not Getting trims will cause breakage.