This post was actually birthed as a result of questions from different people about how I have been able to retain good length in a short time, products I use and how they can grow theirs too.
I felt great need to really put up this post because I know it’s going to be of help to a lot of naturals especially those who have recently gone natural or are still struggling with their hair. The natural hair community is filled with varieties of dos and donts and rules. And I have to admit, It is can be a bit confusing or over whelming for someone who doesn’t have the have the right knowledge and realistic expectations of a natural hair journey.
Having a solid understanding of natural hair and all it entails before beginning this hair journey is crucial. That is why I strongly recommend spending good amount of time on researching about natural hair and its practices. It’s very normal to feel frustrated, clueless or too curious about our hair. So why not pick up your phone and google whatever you want to know. You can have your answers if you check the right sources.
Also, studying and listening to your hair at this early stage is important. No matter how badly you want your hair to grow, you have to listen to your hair. That’s why I have developed of personal habit of studying and listening to it. It works effectively to:
1) Shop for products and read ingredients lists wisely
2)Help avoid some certain product and technique that just don’t agree with your hair.
2) Help your hair adapt better in unfavorable situations the best way possible.
Here’s me sharing with you five tips to help retain length in natural hair effectively.
1) Sticking to a personalized effective Regimen:
What I mean by effective regimen is one that actually works according to your hair needs and likes ( fine or thick hair, porous or less porous hair, ), your lifestyle ( busy student or 6 to 6 worker or part time worker), your financial status ( on a budget or a cheapskate or happy shopper) and your personal preferences. ( the kinds of products you like using , DIY or store bought or big branded ones) For your regimen to work for you, you have to build it based on these solid foundations. Also, simplicity in your regimen is key. Less is actually more. Less amount of time, money, products… Creating is a simple and effective regimen that agrees with your lifestyle as a person and your hair profile is what you want to get out of this tip.
2) Constant Moisture:
I realized during the course of studying my hair that it really thrives better when it is well moisturized with a creamy or thick product that contains lots of oils and butters. So I try my best to maintain a decent level of moisture starting from wash day to wash day. After rinsing out my deep conditioner, I either begin to moisturize my hair immediately or put a shower cap on until I’m ready to moisturize. And on post wash days when my hair is starting to lose moisture and softness, I re moisturize it; I never allow it to become so dry. Basically I just re moisturize depending on how my hair is feeling. I’m not one to follow the daily moisture rule.
3)Low Manipulation Styles:
I cannot find myself to keep my protective styles in for more than 3 weeks just because I’m starting to miss my hair already by week 2. So for me protective styling isn’t really a solid option. I only do protective styles when I’m getting bored of my hair or I’m approaching exams. So I opted for low manipulation styles that would allow my enjoy my hair and also reduce handling and stress on my hair. I basically wear twists, twist outs, twist outs turned to puffs, buns, Bantu knot outs, updos and pompadours, and just recently flat twists. They are really effective and help retain length if :
1) They are done on moisturized hair.
2) Little manipulation is applied on hair
This is extremely important if you have really tightly coiled fine hair that easily forms knots and tangles. And that is exactly what I have on my head. The last thing I want to do is to go to bed without stretching it in some way. I stretch my hair either by twisting or braiding, or banding, or threading. I have come to realize that my hair retains moisture better in braids and twists. it is happier and feels better when in a twist out, braid out or Bantu knot out. If light stretching like twisting is done consistently, It would keep knots and tangles at bay.
I have fine and fragile strands that get damaged and broken easily. My ends wear out and get damaged easily so I feel the need to always trim them after a couple of months to prevent the damage from traveling up my strands.Trimmign hhas tremendously encourage length retention these past months. I highly recommend it even if you don;t have fine hair like me. It is crucial in your natural hair journey if:
1)You have fine hair
2)Wear more low manipulation styles than protective ones
3)Use heat from time to time.
6) Finger Detangling:
If you have very short hair, this might probably not be on your list. If you have a decent length of about 4 inches and above, you can rip the benefits of this detangling technique if done the right way. Finger detangling requires you to take your time to feel knots and tangles as you gently run you fingers through your hair. Yes, it may take more time than using a comb but it is absolutely more effective in retaining length in your hair because your hands would feel the knots better and in turn helps to be more gentle with our hair.
So these are the things I personally do to my hair to retain length coupled with studying my hair and researching. This really something anyone can pull of no matter their hair type or textures. I hope I have been of good help to someone reading this. I’m open to your respected opinions, contributions or questions. Thank you.
Until Next Time,