1. Moisturize. So basically for me, this is one of the most important things I can do for my hair. I tend to be pretty adamant about it most times, but I do tend to slack off from time to time. I would say never more than three days at the most though. When I moisturize my hair through the week, I usually use a mix of aloe vera juice and water to spritz my hair, and then I seal in the moisture with grapeseed oil or olive oil. If my hair is in a puff or undefined fro, I usually have to moisturize and seal like everyday. On the other hand, when I wear twists or twistouts, I can usually get away with every other day or every three days. Sometimes though, when my hair is feeling extremely parched, usually on my puff or fro days, I opt for a co-wash instead. I follow this up with a leave-in conditioner and an oil for sealing. I know some people spritz their hair everyday with water or some kind of moisturizing mist and that is definitely cool. If it works for your hair and your hair needs it, then of course do you. Cuz for real though, you have to do what works for you.
2. Deep Condition. I usually do this about 2 to 4 times per month under a plastic cap without heat or steam. I just wrap a towel around my head to produce my own heat…lol. If I don’t do this every week, then I do it like every other week. I would say it just depends on how my hair feels, whether it’s dry or tired or whatever. Also, I guess it depends on how tired I am :)…sometimes I just don’t feel like taking the time to do it. My hair does get a DC twice a month though. Anyways, I think this step is important for my hair because it brings my hair back to life so to speak. Afterwards, my hair is springy, bouncy, soft, luscious, strong, and just together. It just sets the stage for a great hair week.
3. Prepoo. I love prepoo’n! I always prepoo the night before washing my hair with warm coconut oil or maybe warm coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, and vitamin E. I love doing this because it keeps my hair strong, hydrated, and shiny after washing. My hair never feels stripped after a wash unless I’m clarifying. For me it’s an added step of protection for my hair. With my hair texture ( kinky/coily ), my hair tends to be on the drier side if I don’t take certain precautions to ensure that it’s fully moisturized…that sounds kinda formal, haha. Since my hair tends to feel so good afterwards, I just think I need it. Hey it works for me, and you gotta do what works for you right?!
4. Low Manipulation Styling. Now this is the business for my hair. I try not to manipulate my hair often because my hair is prone to breakage and dryness when I over-style or just mess with it too much. I know this is part of the reason it always took me so long to see any length in my hair in the past. I have always had a problem with changing my hair styles too often and just playing in my hair all the time. This is something I’ve had to let go of so as to be able to retain length. I don’t change my hair like four or five times a week anymore. I just tend to stick with a style or two for the week, and I’m good. I’m able to do this by wearing twists, twistouts, wash n’ gos, bantu knot outs, and puffs, etc. Basically just any style I can wear a few days without any major re-styling.
5. Healthy Hair Practices. This is something that is very important for length retention no matter what texture you have. This ranges from taking time to detangle your hair before washing to protecting your tresses while you sleep. It’s important to take time to care for your hair properly. I always make sure I have my hair’s health in mind when I am handling it. I don’t rough comb or brush my hair, use harsh shampoos, or use excessive heat on my hair. I just try not to do things that I know are harmful and damaging to my hair.
I know that sometimes it can be a bit much having to seemingly always be aware of what you’re doing to your hair, so I just recently found something that can save me and maybe you a little time in the future when it comes to our hair. I bet you’re wondering what can it be? What can save you more time when it comes to your hair? Well…It’s a SATIN PILLOWCASE!!! Yes, a satin pillowcase! Now I just recently bought one of these for my daughter and I, and I must say I am wondering where have these been all my life. I’ve known about them for years, but I just never thought to get one.
This is like the best thing ever!! I mean when you can go to sleep without having to do anything to your hair and have it look the same in the morning, then that’s what’s up! I will be doing a review on the one I bought in a couple of days…believe that. It‘s just too good not to.
6. Consistency and Patience. Well this is quite important when it comes to length retention as well, and it is also something that I have to keep in mind. I have a hard time being consistent and patient at times. Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything to my hair, or I get stuck in a same ol’ same ol’ kind of situation with my hair.
Sometimes I am loving my hair and it’s length, but other times I get frustrated and wish it was just long already. Then of course there are times when my hair won’t do what I want it to do for the life of me. I’m like really?! No matter what I do, my hair just wants to do its own thing. I just have to let it be and just rock my hair the way it wants to be rocked. At times like this,I am tempted to just let my hair go and just be frustrated, but of course I will have to pay for it later. If I want maximum length retention, then I have to just be patient and consistent with my hair. My hair will be the length I want it to be soon enough.
I just have to remember to enjoy it and take care of it in the meantime. Slacking off and being frustrated with my hair will cost me way more than I am willing to pay. Besides everyday is not going to be a great hair day whether your hair is relaxed or natural. It aint always gonna be peaches and cream…lol. I don’t know where that came from. Anyways, I guess it’s relevant.
7. Taking Care of The Inner Woman. So this is probably THE most important thing you can do for your hair. It’s not all about the physical. The way you take care of yourself is very important. Your hair can’t receive what you don’t give. If you’re not nourishing your hair from the inside first, then it won’t flourish on the outside. I’m not saying your hair won’t grow or you’ll go bald if you don’t feed your body, but you can’t expect your hair to achieve its full, beautiful potential if you don’t take care of the body from which it grows.
I know this from experience because before I knew that the inner was as important as the outer, my hair would grow but it would be thin and brittle. When I was at my worst nutrition wise, which was in high school, my hair was super thin and it broke off drastically around my edges and nape. Well crap, it just broke off everywhere. It broke off so much that I ended up letting my sister give me a jacked up haircut, and I proceeded to go natural…in high school.
Now imagine how awkward I was! Yeah, very! My hair did grow back, but my doctor told me I had to take care of myself because that was part of my hair problems, not just the relaxing. So changing my diet and not relaxing helped, and my hair grew back thick, full, and rather long. Did I refrain from relaxing my hair after this? No, I relaxed as soon as my hair reached my shoulders…yeah I know. I did however try to remain consistent in caring for my body though.
Just try it for a while if you haven’t already. I know your hair and your body will thank you. Hey that’s double the rewards! You can’t go wrong with a healthy head of hair and a healthy body. Just remember that the healthy body is more important than the hair.
I really hope this helps you all toward gaining and maintaining length. Hopefully it gives you a little direction on your natural hair journey towards healthy, thriving, beautiful, natural hair that suits you above all else. If you have some things that you do that are working for you, please share. You never know how others will benefit from the info you have to offer until you put it out there!
I hope you all enjoyed! Thanks for all the love you guys. I really appreciate all your input and continued support. Until next time my friends, Peace and Blessings, and HUGS!!!
Photo Credit: CoCo and Creme