January 28, 2015

How Sticking to One Style Can Boost Length Retention


by Kanisha Parks of BlackNaps.org

If you’re anything like me, you probably love trying out different hairstyles. In fact, just this weekend past weekend, I tried a rod set which took way less time to poof up than it did for me to install those bad boys. I definitely think it was a combination of the glycerin in my hair and the humidity I clearly didn’t prepare for. My hair sucked up all the moisture in the air! No biggie though, this morning I went back to what works, box braids.

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Sticking to one style has definitely been the key to retaining length in my hair journey. For me, that one style is either box braids or Senegalese twists. I wear a set of braids/twists for anywhere from 6-8 weeks. I wore my last set for 7 weeks and saw some exceptional growth! The best thing about wearing them is that since I am on a growth journey, not “seeing” my hair for an extended period of time gives me something to look forward to and helps me really see the growth when I take my hair down. Plus, since my hair is put away, my ends are well taken care of and I never have to trim a great deal of hair.

But this method isn’t just for braids/twists. Some stick to bunning. Some stick to wash and go’s. Some naturals utilize stretched styling, wigs, or other extensions. The key is finding a style that works for you and your lifestyle and wearing it the majority of the time. Keep in mind that this method doesn’t mean you can’t still switch it up but if you’re on a healthy hair/growth journey, you’ll find that limiting certain hair decisions (such as coloring, applying heat, or trying out different styles often) can really help you see a difference in the health and length of your strands.

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Here are some of the reasons why relying on one style is beneficial for retaining length:

1. Low manipulation. Leaving your hair alone can be really important when it comes to being natural. Having your hands in your hair too much, especially if you are using hair tools, can lead to dryness, unnecessary shedding, or even breakage if you aren’t careful. When you stick to one style, you are more likely to be able to leave your hair alone rather than constantly manipulate it.

2. Perfecting your method. When you find your one style, it’s important to work it out until you have the style nearly “perfect.” This means finding out what products work best to achieve that particular style, what steps you need to take in preparing your hair for the style, and how to recover from the style. By perfecting your method, you cut down on styling time and increase the longevity of your style. Also, you can pretty much guarantee how the finished result will look.

3. Ease. Let’s face it: it’s not always easy dealing with our natural hair. But if you’re looking to make life a little easier, this method may be for you. Relying on one style makes things easier because it’s predictable. In other words, you have a game plan in place and it works.

If you pursue this method, make sure you choose the right style for you. For instance, if you know that wash and go’s cause major tangles, you may want to try something more convenient. If you know that protective styles like braids/twists tend to leave your hair dry or matted, you may want to try another style or reassess your routine.

For an example of this method in action, check out ChiGirlMakeup’s famous perm rod set:


What’s your style of choice?

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