Instead of me saying what must be done to retain length, let me tell y'all what you shouldn't do.
1.) Play with Your hair too much- low manipulation is the way to go. I see people trying 50-11 styles a week, yet wonder why their hair stays the same length. The more you play in your hair, the more susceptible it is to breakage, Period.
2.) Trim/dust too often or too much- I suggest two ways to go about trimming your hair. Either on a set schedule or by how your hair feels/looks.
Now if your hair is feeling/looking like it needs a trim every 1-2 months, then you need to reevaluate your regimen.
Trimming/dusting on a set schedule(every 3-6 months) helps maintain your ends and saves your from a big cut in the near future. You should never have to trim more than an inch if your taking care of your hair well.
Same for trimming by how your ends feel/look. This should not be a normal occurrence
3.) Slack on Moisture- Your hair should NEVER feel dry for more than 2 days. Once you know your hair is dry, it's time to either:
Moisturize and seal
Do a hot oil treatment
Clarify then do a moisturizing dc treatment
Or Do a protein treatment
I have done posts on all of these which I will link when I get home
4.) Doing the Same thing and expecting different results-
If you have been relaxed or natural for many years and have also been on a hair journey for many years, yet your hair is still breaking and won't get past a certain length(let's say SL-APL)...Something is wrong.
If you're relaxed and:
- using heat often-stop using heat
- relaxing often- stretch it using various methods to do so
- airdrying- try rollersetting
- tried all the above alternatives, plus others and nothing is working...relaxing may not be for you. YEAH, I said it! Sorry, I strongly believe relaxers can cause more harm than good for SOME people! Not ALL
If you're natural and:
- get tangles from twists- try braids
- do wash-n-go's, try twist, braid, or bantu-knot outs
- using heat on a weekly basis- try other ways to stretch your hair(banding, threading, curlformers, braids, etc)
- tried all of the above alternatives, plus others and still can't retain length- maybe look into long term protective styles or locing. You can also research/try heat training in a healthy manner(yes, I believe it can be beneficial for some).
Having healthy and long hair can be difficult to get, but I also believe it shouldn't take too much work. I think it's time we start focusing on what we shouldn't do, instead of the LONNNNGGGG list of what should be done and go from there
Have a SAFE and fun weekend y'all! We're going through a heat wave around my parts and I'm so ready for it to end!