Breakage is far from anyone's list of favorite things to deal with. Having trouble with length retention is a known problem, and you should not feel ashamed. Transitioning and current naturals run into this often enough. We all know it too well. One minute the progress is full force and then out of nowhere, there's a halt. What happened? Here are a few things that you need to know to learn how to retain hair length. But first, let's figure out what's causing it.
- Not Cutting Ends
- Lack of Moisturizing
- Too Much Attention
- Friction Against Ends
- Too Much Heat
- Improper Diet/Water Intake
HOW TO PREVENT IT
- Protective styles are your best friends. By keeping heat and manipulation down to a minimum, you are allowing your hair to grow without any hindrance.
- Every 6 weeks trim ends if needed. Please! The longer you go without cutting off those ends, the more will be cut off when you decide to chop them off. Seriously. The breakage trails up the shaft and 1 inch of split ends can turn into 3 inches easily.
- Too much attention to your hair is not necessarily a good thing. This could mean that a lot of tension and/or heat is being applied. Over saturating the hair is another way of showing too much attention. Do you know how much your hair can grow when you give it a rest every now and then?
- Have a hair care regimen that includes moisturizing your hair from root to end. Your ends are very fragile and need the most attention. Be sure to concentrate on the ends with your moisturizer or oil. Lack of moisturizing leads to annoying knots at the ends of your hair or split ends will occur. The only way to get rid of them is to cut them off. Don't compromise your progress.
- Suffer from mid-shaft breaks? Then you may want to finger-comb your hair rather than combing. Finger combing for detangling is more timely, but it does result in less breakage. Protein treatments can also help with strengthening your hair to withstand daily maintenance.
- Shampoo and Condition at least once a month, but it's best to do more often if a lot of product is applied in the hair. Sulfate-free shampoos remove dirt, bacteria, and buildup that's clogging pores in the scalp and shaft. Conditioner has proteins and vitamins that strengthen the hair and feed it the nutrients needed. Washing your hair once a week is great, every two weeks is perfect. However, cowashing is an alternative for in-between washes.
- Drink at least 40 ounces of water a day. It may seem like a lot, but the amount of water and nutrients you take in will surely come in handy when you aren't able to keep up with daily maintenance (or regularly moisturizing). I've witnessed someone who only oiled their scalp every 10 days and consumed 3 liters of water a day. His hair is growing like wildfire.
- Learn your hair's porosity. Each type has it's own lion to tame and they are not similar. Low porosity and high porosity has needs that cannot be compared nor treated the same. Knowing your porosity is just as important as the other steps. Why? This allows your to purchase the right products for your hair and use specific methods to be sure to maintain moisture in the hair.
Everyone's circumstances are different, so use this as a reference. Each suggestion is vital in your success in having healthy hair. Please remember that what goes in the body is just as important as daily maintenance.