Let's Talk Length Retention.

Source: blacknaps.org

I'm revisiting this topic because I still get a lot of  worried 'my hair is not growing' pleas from a number of ladies. The concerns include:

- I'm using all the 'right' products but nothing is happening
- When I first went natural my hair grew very fast in the first year and now it's stuck
- My hair has stopped growing

First thing I'll say is - hair is always growing. Everyone's growth rate is different and sometimes your rate may slow down (due to hormonal changes, age, diet etc) but typically hair will always be growing. What determines whether you'll see this growth is how you treat your hair (particularly the ends which are the oldest and most fragile).

I'll address each concern listed above and then throw in a few tips afterwards:


1. I'm using all the right products:

Sometimes it's not all about using product after product. Techniques and hair practices go a long way in determining the health and length retained. It is even possible that using so many products at the same time is contributing to breakage and hindering the progress you desire.

 K.I.S.S is the go - to acronym here (Keep It Simple Sister!)

 I used to be super excited to try products too and would do all sorts of stuff to my hair - multiple times in a week. There were times I'd have super confused strands from all this product they were being subjected to and sometimes, I wouldn't even know which product was contributing to the awful crunchy and brittle feeling of my hair as I was using so many at the same time.

When you keep it simple, you'll be able to narrow down very quickly which product your hair hates and eliminate it just as quickly from your regimen.

2. It grew really fast in the beginning and now it's stuck:
For a number of people, it seems after their 'big chop' they had an amazing growth spurt where the hair literally sprouted at an accelerated rate and then after about a year or so, all growth seems to have stopped.

I've found that in such instances, a switch up in hair techniques and even products sometimes is what is needed. At different stages in your hair journey, there will be a need to change some hair practices. The ends are getting more fragile and therefore hair cannot withstand all the manipulation it took in the beginning. Porosity levels may also change and so you may need to get rid of some products and then introduce new ones. These will help to maintain moisture levels which means no dryness/brittleness which usually equals breakage.

3. My Hair has stopped growing:
Remember what I'd said earlier? Most times because of bad hair practices, the hair starts to break at the same rate at which it's growing so it seems like the hair is not moving at all. Increase your deep conditioning, moisturize as often as your hair needs, keep your scalp clean and keep those ends tucked away.

Source: thirstyroots.com

Basically the best way to retain length is to first pursue the overall health of your hair by eating right, drinking lots of water, maintaining a clean scalp, deep conditioning often, moisturizing (shea butter is not a moisturizer and you should use this after a water based moisturizer or water itself)  and getting trims when necessary to prevent split ends from travelling up the length of otherwise healthy strands, damaging them.

Next way is modifying hair practices and cutting out too much manipulation:

In the beginning of my journey when I still had a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) I could get away with deep conditioning twice a week. When my hair started to get longer, this got more involved and I started to get a lot of breakage as I was manipulating it too much for the length I had so I had to switch up practices.

In a nutshell, you don't want to be a slave to your hair but getting a regimen that is best suited to your hair's needs and your lifestyle while being consistent with it will do your hair a world of good. And most of all, be patient and have fun with it!




8 comments

  1. Patience is really key. I just left [worrying about] my hair and one day realized it had grown significantly.

    Berry Dakara Blog

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    1. As in! I just got tired of obsessing over the hair lol. protective styling has helped me with this too and I noticed that this year, I've already retained more length than I did last year.

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  2. Thanks for the tips.
    I guess we get super excited and expect instant growth without waiting it out.

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    1. You're welcome Idy! I know right? It'll always grow.

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  3. You're absolutely right. Switching up is the key. What worked at TWA doesn't always work for longer hair.

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    1. Yes oh! I learnt that one the hard way.

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  4. Lol - I just commented in the previous post that I need to bring out my scissors! Trimming tonight! Excellent tips.

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    1. Thanks Maureen! Yup - trimming is very key!

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