Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a fabulous week. Today I want to talk about LENGTH RETENTION. Why? From a conversation I had with one of my bffs last night. We were talking about locks and why they seem to grow longer than natural/ relaxed hair. The reason I gave her was that those with locks retain their length more than those without, and then I had to break it down for her nice and simply the way I would like to do for you.
There seems to be a lot of confusion around this topic so I want to explain it as simply as possible. I still owe you another post on hair teams, but I just need to get this post off my chest J
Things to clear up:
Hair does NOT grow from the ends!!!! Please ladies. Even if you heard it a million times growing up and are still hearing it today, DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES!!
Length retention is basically saving and maintaining our length. The only way you can retain length is by having your hair NOT BREAK or by not cutting your hair.
Now that I mentioned not cutting hair I’m sure a bunch of you got excited like YES!!! I don’t have to trim my hair. However, that is NOT what I am saying at all. Trimming is very necessary in all of our regimens. It doesn’t have to be often 1 every 6months is fine. If you don’t trim or dust (baby trim) your ends they will cause breakage, as unhealthy ends are weak and brittle.
How to Retain Length…
1) Protective Styling
You know that saying “prevention is better than cure” it applies to hair as well. Keep your ends well moisturised and tucked away in protective styles in order to keep them healthy. Examples of the styles are wigs, weaves, buns, braids etc. Our ends are the hardest part of our hair to maintain so you will need to be patient. By protecting our ends we reduce the amount of thinning and damage that they will experience and this will result in stronger ends that do not break or develop split ends. NO BREAKAGE=LENGTH RETENTION!!
However if you so happen to develop these thinning split ends that is where is where our old friend Mr shears comes in. CUT THEM OFF. They will only get worse with time travelling up the hair shaft. When hair has split ends it is weak and breaks off when brushed/combed= no length retention.
2) Managing the Line of Demarcation
Another cause of breakage is the line of demarcation.This applies to all my relaxed ladies who are stretching or transitioning. It is the point at which our new growth meets our relaxed hair. Given the distinct difference in the two hair textures the area is very weak and prone to breakage.
Most people will encounter breakage here when stretching relaxers or transitioning. Therefore, management of our hair during this time is key. You will be required to do the following:
- Moisturise new growth to keep it soft and manageable so as to not promote breakage from brushing
- Reduce manipulation/combing of hair
- Do protein treatments regularly in order to strengthen the hair
- Do deep conditioners at least every two week to moisturize the hair and improve elasticity.
The photo below shows MY hair after about 5months of stretching my relaxer. I have labeled the different areas to give you a better idea of where the demarcation line is. You would have all seen this before. The difference between my relaxed hair and new growth is striking!!! It makes me always reconsider going back to natural hair when I see it. Lol
Now let’s put all this info to practice on our own heads to RETAIN OUR LENGTH. Has anyone encountered any challenges with breakage? If so what are they? And has the blog helped you to combat them? Also how are you managing your new growth? Your feedback is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated ladies so let’s discuss. Don’t be shy 😉