I am so gassed about my recent feature on OnyxRose, she called upon me and my fellow YT vloggers Elle of “Quest for the Perfect Curl”, along with Laila-Jean of “Fusion of Cultures”, to share our tips on retaining length.
Check out the awesome info that we shared and be sure to visit OnyxRose to see all the great info she has going on there.
In my opinion, the most important tip for retaining length is paying attention to how your hair reacts to certain manipulations or “situations.” If you find that you lose a lot of hair or get a lot of breakage doing twists, don’t do them as often – keep the actual twists in for a longer period of time before you convert the style to a twist out, and maintain the style by keeping your hair in a bun or pineapple at night instead of retwisting.
Or, if you can without an excess of tangles, nix the style altogether and opt for wash and gos – this has been my primary style since I decided to go natural because it’s easy and low manipulation. When I style my hair, I use a product with more hold (like a gel or curl cream) to keep the strands clumped together so it doesn’t tangle around itself as much when it shrinks. Regarding “situations,” you may be able to wear your hair out, but try to not let your hair interact with harsh fabrics, such as wool or 100% cotton. One time, I wore my hair out with a sweater on, and my hair actually got caught in my sweater – I could feel it (I have thick strands)!! When my hair is touching my shoulders I try to wear bandeau/off the shoulder tops or softer fabrics, like silk or chiffon. I also like cotton/poly blends for my tshirts because they are softer, and I wear my leather jacket instead of a wool one. It all goes back to listening to your hair; if something you are doing is eating up your ends or causing breakage, stop doing it!
I believe I’m able to retain length because I reduce the amount manipulation done to my hair. I keep my hair in protective styles, where my ends are tucked away, 90% of the time. I also don’t use any hair combing tools on my hair unless it’s wash day, any other time I use my fingers if I need to detangle and smooth the hair. The other thing I do is keep my hair moisturised which starts with my weekly deep conditioning treatments, my moisturising leave-in’s as well as moisturising and sealing with an oil when needed. That’s pretty much it, i’m very consistent with these steps and it’s really benefited my hair.
If you want to retain length, keep your hair moisturized– especially if you love rocking stretched styles like me. I love me some flat twist outs, two strand twist outs, and braid outs because they give me an opportunity to rock my beautiful afro without too much shrinkage. Whether your hair is in a protective style (like braids, weaves or a bun) or loose, moisturizing your hair is very important. Moisturizing properly is something that many naturals still have difficulties with because it’s not a simple or easy thing to do. It requires time, patience, and a commitment. Can I get an Amen sista? But once you learn the basics of moisturizing it gets easier.
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.