Too often, naturals are concerned with hair growth. They want to make their tresses grow faster, longer, thicker and did I mention faster? The truth you ask? Hair GROWS. If you are noticing not as fast or as long as you want, most often it is because you are not retaining length. Length Retention is holding onto your hair longer and that means caring or keeping the oldest hairs (the ends) in better condition and healthier.
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Your hair is growing and while there are four stages of hair growth (Anagen, Catagen, Exogen and Telogen), and while all are not growing phases, they continue throughout our lives. While hair growth does slow down as we age, hair length can be hindered by things like manipulation, weather, hormones, illness and medications too. Despite all that, hair growth continues on in these four stages listed below:
Not what you expected but that is the truth on how to get your hair longer, stronger and achieve the length you crave. Here are the top four reasons you are not seeing the length retention you want and how to fix the problem.
Dry Hair will kill length retention
Dry hair is one of the main causes for breakage. When your hair is dry and malnourished it gives advantage to split ends, which obviously destroy your hair from the bottom up. Keeping hair moisturized is optimal for healthier hair and hair that will not be prone to dryness and water is essential.
There are even some oils that nourish you hair and not just sit on top of your hair, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc. These penetrate your hair shaft, creating moisture, making your hair less susceptible to damage. Despite that, know that the number one way to keep hair moisturized is through water.
Although your hair thrives with water on the outside, water on the inside is a powerful vehicle for hair growth. Drinking more water and ditching the fast food can boost the growth of your hair tremendously.
Steer clear of heat styling for better length retention
Stay away from the heat PERIOD. Excessive heat brings on dry hair as well as damaged ends. But you knew that though. Look, we often just want that bone straight look, but there’s a time in our lives where we have to choose the salad over the greasy burger. Figuratively speaking choose the healthy choice for hair’s sake and see the length retention take shape.
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3. Caress your body……of tresses of course. Spend time massaging your scalp, and detangling your hair. Many people praise finger detangling, however for me that never worked and my curls thoroughly made me pay for it with frizz and other types of disasters, so wide tooth combs are my friend. (If finger detangling works for you keep it up, that’s just my personal opinion.)
Not Getting Trims
Trims are a necessary component of healthy hair are maintenance. Some see them as a nuisance or counterproductive to long hair but they keep hair from splitting and become more damaged. They also help with raggedy ends that can cause more tangles and knots. I opt for two trims a year and my hair is growing steadily. The more chemicals or manipulation to your hair requires more trims but we do not need to trim our hair as often as we did when we were relaxed.
Neglecting Your Ends
As I mentioned earlier, our ends are the oldest hair and that makes them the most vulnerable to damage and they are the weakest of our hairs. Seal them, be gentle with them and protect them at all costs as they are the troopers that keep our length retaining possible. Once hair is moisturized (including your ends), you need to retain it so concentrate your efforts heavily on your ends and begin to notice how they stay healthy and remain on your head and not in your shower, sink or floor.