On this natural hair journey, one word most commonly thrown around is “SHRINKAGE” Yup, natural hair usually shrinks up to 50% of its actual length, making it look like you have short hair even though in actual reality - a girl’s got inches!
It’s not such a big deal but sometimes you just feel the urge to show off your length that you spent all this time grooming and taking care of - it doesn’t seem fair that your hair just shrinks back in! Not today pretty mane!
This is why I have compiled these 7 tips which will help greatly in length retention so you can show off your inches in style.
Wash your hair in sections; Your hair stretches when it is wet but the process of drying makes it shrink so bad! This is why you have to section your hair into several parts and wash each so that your hair retains length. Washing all of your hair at once leads to knots, tangles, and even breakage.
Detangle your hair when wet: Another tip is to never let your hair dry completely. Detangling is way easier when your hair is damp because the comb glides through your hair easily without friction. Moisturize, detangle, and style while it is still damp so that it doesn’t break or shrink. This way, you retain length.
Trim your hair regularly: Some people say you have to trim every month or two, I say trim according to your hair needs. Don’t just cut your hair because someone else says so, properly examine your hair and do what needs to be done as you feel so.
Make low-manipulation hairstyles: Be wary of styles that are “protective” in name only. Make hairstyles that require less manipulation like medium-sized braids (too-big braids pull on your hair and cause breakage)
You are what you eat: I cannot overemphasize this! Your hair not only needs food, but specific nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc that directly contribute to hair growth and strengthen hair follicles. You can not only eat but apply these foods directly to your hair as a hair mask. Click here to see a complete list of foods that you need for hair growth.
Ditch the heat: Repeat after me, “Heat is not your friend!” Your natural hair does not need that heat because it can fry and dry your hair, leading to breakage and hair loss (no length there) If you constantly have to cut your hair because of heat damage then you’re definitely not retaining any length.
Stop touching your hair: I know you have this unbreakable bond with your mane that makes you want to touch and feel it every second but your hair does not need that, so STOP! Constantly touching or messing around with your hair leads to knotting, tangling, and split ends which means you have to trim your hair. No length retention there!
Moisturize, seal, and protect: Baby your ends! The less you have to trim your hair, the more you retain length so make sure to moisturize always and seal with oil. Yes, oils like coconut, jojoba, olive, or castor oils are perfect sealants that help to prevent split ends and retain length by protecting your ends.
After sealing, protect your hair always by sleeping with a silk or satin bonnet at night to prevent your cotton pillowcase from sucking the moisture from your hair and leaving it dry and prone to breakage.
Remember, it is not a one-time thing. You have to be consistent to see results and that is what these tips are for. So which of these practices do you currently do? Tell me in the comments!