Are you like me where you think in your head, "If my hair was that long, I would rock my natural hair like no one's business!!" The reality is that we all can have the hair of our dreams, but sometimes it comes with a little more tender, loving and care to our tresses, sometimes more than others.
The first thing to understand is that people that have the long hair that you might covet, their hair does not necessarily grow faster than yours. It is all about retention. Due to the nature of certain textures and curl patterns, retaining of the hair strand for a longer period of time can sometimes be challenging. Therefore we need not only keep the strands we have for longer, but keep them healthy and thriving.
So now, let's talk retention.. Here are GBD's TOP 5 methods to retaining your hair to preserve the hair that grows out therefore giving you the best opportunity to get to your desired length quicker and easier..
Tip #1 Gentle Detangling- Always detangle your hair in sections while it’s damp or wet, making sure to start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. Using the proper tools to detangle is imperative, so be sure to use a seamless wide-tooth comb. Some naturals also see amazing results with just finger detangling as well.
Tip #2 Moisturize and Seal your Ends- The ends of your hair tend to be the most fragile since they are the oldest section of your hair shaft and they need to be hydrated properly to prevent breakage and splits. Be sure to moisturize and seal your ends regularly for maximum length retention. Water and water-based products are the best moisturizers, while oils and butters are great for sealing in that moisture. Coconut oil, castor oil and hair butters are the top sealants among many naturals
Tip #3 Protect Against Harsh Fabrics/Material- Yes, those 500 thread count cotton pillowcases feel so luxurious, but they could be the culprit behind your stagnant hair growth. Cotton is a highly absorbent material that robs your hair of moisture while you snooze. Furthermore, the weave of a cotton pillowcase can cause individual stands of to tangle and break. Satin Bonnets and/or pillowcases provide a smooth barrier that hair strands can glide across sans hair damage and friction.
Tip #4 Choose Low Maintenance Styles- Daily styling and excess combing of natural hair can lead to less than ideal length retention. Many naturals swear by “protective styling,” which means they choose styles that keep fragile ends tucked away such as braids, twists or updos. Low-maintenance hairstyles are those that don’t involve daily styling such as a topknot that you’d only need to touch up two to three times per week.
Tip #5 Treat Your Scalp Right- Healthy hair growth starts with a healthy scalp. Ensure optimal scalp health by avoiding sharp pins and clips that could cause scalp scarring and damage the hair follicle. While cleansing your hair, make sure to massage your scalp with your fingertips instead of using your nails. You can also stimulate hair growth with weekly scalp massages.