I am not a proponent of using wigs or weaves for protective styles or to enhance hair growth, nor do I believe that you have to take a host of different vitamin pills for your hair to grow. For the most part, hair grows around four to six inches per year whether you use growth-enhancing products or not.
The real problem with our hair is that we have a problem retaining our six inches for the year. I have seen women who tell me that their hair can’t grow and it is stuck at that stage forever, yet when they change their styles to sister locks their hair reaches hip-length or women who claim that their hair can’t budge, and after wearing dreadlocks, they have waist length and tailbone length dreads.
The key to them having long lustrous hair is that their hair grew (without much intervention of products or them taking vitamins) because of low manipulation. Less is really more when it comes to having long hair. So the less handling that your hair gets, the better off it will be. The less combing and brushing or twirling and lifting the more length it can retain. Here are three ways to retain length without much fuss.
When you get conscious about hair, you’ve read all the information on the hair sites, you’ve heard what everybody has to say in the forums and you are ready for healthy, long hair, then cut your hair (only if it needs it, of course). The first thing to do is examine your hair ends, which is the older part of the hair for splits or outright raggedness, and then cut it off. Splits can’t be repaired and raggedy ends just look ugly and it makes your hair appear shorter.
Take them off at the beginning. If you follow your healthy hair regimen and you stick to all that you are supposed to do you may never have the need to do that sort of cutting again. Your hair maintenance may just involve a light trimming every three to six months until you reach the place that you may not need to do any trimming at all. Just get rid of the ends at the very beginning.
2. Low Manipulation
How can you wear low manipulation hairstyles without weaves? It’s easy, I have been doing it for years, I did it when my hair was natural and realized long hair growth and I do it now with my relaxed hair and my hair is still long. The process is to wash hair every week and use a conditioner for moisture and then seal in this moisture with a carrier oil (coconut, castor, olive), after which you style hair using a variety of lasting styles like roller setting, curly hairstyles, and buns and try to keep the style for at least four days. You can finger comb your hair when you moisturize during the week and until it is time to wash the hair again. For my natural hair, I did twists and fine plaits and for my relaxed hair, I do curly styles that require no intervention during the week. I always air dry.
3. Protect Your Ends
The older part of the hair is prone to break off as it is the most vulnerable, too much heat, too much combing or brushing, using synthetic dyes, contact breakage where the hair rubs on clothes, and wearing improperly fitted weaves and wigs are the main culprits when it comes to hair breakage for black women. Protect your vulnerable strands by moisturizing them as often as they need it, and keep them out of the way most times by doing buns or up do’s. Use silk scarves to tie the hair when going to bed at night or keep it tucked away when you are sitting at home.
The real key to keeping your hair length is to cut off split and ragged ends, do less combing and to protect your ends. It goes without saying, that internal nutrition can make a difference in the appearance and feel of your hair and should be taken very seriously in your hair growth journey. Have fun retaining your length!