How often have you heard someone say “my hair doesn’t grow”?? How often have you said it yourself?? The thing is, if your hair isn’t getting longer, it’s not because your hair isn’t growing – it’s because you’re not retaining length. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule – if you have a medical condition or you’re under severe emotional distress, it can definitely have effects on your hair growth and you should consider seeing a doctor in that scenario. Length retention is the KEY. Think about it, if your hair is breaking at the same rate that it’s growing, your hair won’t get any longer. It is ESSENTIAL to take great care of your hair so you don’t lose all that precious length and you can reach your hair length goals if you have them! Maintenance is the main way to keep all that length. You can take all the hair growth vitamins in the world but, if you’re not physically taking care of your hair, it’s pointless! So here are some tips to get that hair long and healthy:
1. Deep Conditioning
When someone tells me their hair isn’t getting longer, the first question I ask is “Do you deep condition?” More often than not, the answer is no! Deep conditioning is SO important, especially for length retention. We all know that moisture is a necessity for our hair but deep conditioning is what will take that moisture to the next level. If done correctly, it actually allows the moisture to properly penetrate the strands. It’s unlikely you will retain much length without deep conditioning. BONUS: try steaming your hair or using a hooded dryer or heat cap while deep conditioning! It really gives the deep conditioner an additional boost and helps the conditioner penetrate deeper into the strands.
2. Pay Extra Attention To The Ends of Your Hair
I know a lot of us grew up with our scalps being oiled or greased but a lot of us have focused on the scalp and neglected our ends! Think about it, the ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair so, to stop the ends breaking off and hindering your length goals, you need to show them some extra love. This means using more product on your ends, sealing your ends diligently with an oil or butter and being extra careful when handling the ends of your hair. Don’t neglect your scalp – but be sure to give your ends the care they need.
3. Protein-Moisture Balance
This is something that can be a little tricky but it’s so important! Your hair is made of keratin (a type of protein). Sometimes, with detangling, styling, relaxing, washing, that protein gets depleted and it needs to be replaced! But with everything in life, balance is key. Protein brings the strength but you need moisture to balance it out. Too much protein and your hair can snap and break off. Too much moisture and your hair becomes weak and limp. If your hair begins to snap and break randomly, be sure to increase the moisturising deep conditioners. If your hair feels limp and mushy, you need a protein treatment. A good place to start is to do a protein treatment every 5-6 weeks and then use a moisturising deep conditioner every week. These things involve some trial and error so you’ll need to do a little experimenting to figure out what your hair needs!
4. Protective Styling
Protective styling is a winner when it comes to retaining length! A protective style is one where your ends are tucked away safely instead of being exposed. It is essentially you leaving your hair alone to grow and flourish in a healthy, protected state. So this can include braids, twists, wigs, weaves, buns etc. Here is the important bit: you have to make sure that protective style doesn’t turn destructive. So you NEED to keep your hair moisturised and you must make sure not to keep the style in for too long. Braids are not an excuse to ignore your hair for 6 weeks – nah sis! You have to keep it clean and moisturised. A mixture of water, some leave in conditioner and a few drops of your favourite oil in a spray bottle will do the trick.
5. Go Heat-Free (Significantly Reduce Heat Use)
This is probably the hardest thing to change or give up for a lot of people but heat is just NOT good for your hair. It can make your hair dry, weak and brittle. And heat damage is REAL and PERMANENT. If you get heat damage, you have to cut it off – that certainly won’t help your length goals. Try to avoid heat as much as possible. It may take a little longer to get your hair done but at least your hair will be healthier, longer and thicker! And if you must use heat, be sure to use a good heat protectant! My personal fave is the Tresemme Thermal Creations Protective Spray Heat Tamer.
Remember, your hair is growing, you just need to make sure it stays on your head! Do you guys have any other length retention tips?? Share below!