March 3, 2016

Tips for Growing Longer, Healthier, Natural Hair!

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Live

by Amanda
When it comes to hair growth, the concern is not so much how to make your hair grow, but rather how do you retain length. Breakage is a result of excessive manipulation, heat usage, chemical application, and wearing certain hairstyles. When you want to retain length past your shoulders, it is important to first evaluate your regimen. Then, you should consider your hair type. Density and curl pattern affect whether your hair grows out or down. Sometimes it will begin to grow out and then grow downward as you retain length and gravity takes over. Some textures, especially afro-textured hair, will always hover above the shoulders in a shrunken state, even though it could be kneecap length when stretched. Regardless of texture, if you are concerned about retaining length, evaluate these three areas in your regimen.

Loose hairstyles
Everyone loves wearing their curl hair big and loose, including me, but doing this consistently can come with a cost. The friction from your hair rubbing against your clothes or hand-in-hair syndrome encourages can cause split ends. The more you protect your ends, the less you have to trim. Try incorporating some updo styles every once in a while. If you prefer to completely protect your hair, consider wearing headwraps or protective styles like extension twists and braids. Remember that you want to protect your hair not neglect it. Make sure your extensions twists are properly installed, maintained, and removed with sufficient breaks in between.
Chemical and mechanical manipulation

Over manipulation will be the death of your strands. Whether you are processing your hair with permanent color or bleach, applying it improperly and too often can cause excessive dryness, which then leads to breakage. Using permanent color requires lifting the cuticle, and the damage caused by that process is irreversible, so be mindful of your hair’s state and how often you use chemicals and heat styling tools. The finer your strands, like most afro-textured hair, the less chemical and mechanical manipulation your hair can withstand. Consult a licensed cosmetologist to about color services or at-home coloring, keep your heat tools temperatures low (below 400 degrees), and do not use chemicals or heat often.

Everyone loves a voluminous twist out and braid out, but make sure you are not handling your hair everday. Some naturals swear by re-twisting their hair every night, but this can cause your hair to break off in wisps and porous ends over time. For overnight maintenance, put your hair in chunky twists or coif your hair into a pineapple before bed.

Skipping conditioner
Using a shampoo and skipping the conditioner is always a bad idea. Shampoo is formulated to slightly lift the cuticle and thoroughly cleanse away debris from product buildup, sweat, excessive sebum, and elements from the air. When you proceed to style without apply a conditioner or deep conditioner, you neglect to close the cuticle, making the hair dry and susceptible to breakage. Whether you use a daily conditioner, deep conditioner, or leave-in conditioner, always condition your hair.

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How did you maintain length past your shoulders?

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