We all know that natural hair in its purest form increases length retention for most of us, but that is just a fraction of the battle.
When I was natural, I knew that no matter how “virgin” my hair was that if I did not implement certain techniques that my hair would break off just as much as chemically treated hair would.
Below are techniques that are widely used among the natural hair community to help with an increase in length retention but which work wonderfully well for relaxed hair too.
Finger combing is a popular detangling technique that is used throughout the natural hair community. It is a great alternative to regular combing and I personally attribute finger combing to the majority of my length retention that I have had so far as a texturized head.
When the technique is used correctly, it can result in complete removal of shed hairs and tangles without the the mechanical damage that can come with using combs and brushes.
Twists, Braids, Twist outs, Braid Outs, etc.
Styes such as the ones as I mention below are common styles that are worn among any naturals. While buns are a popular protective style among those with chemically-treated hair and can be effective with length retention, redo-ing buns more than once a week can be counteractive for some.
Hairstyles such as braids and twists (with or without extensions*) and braid/twist outs are great for low manipulation which is a big factor for retaining length.
These styles do not require heat, they are get up and go styles, and these styles can last from 4 days with a braid/twist out to regular braids lasting for at least 4 weeks.
Make stretching relaxers easier by “banding” and “threading”
Banding and Threading are techniques used among naturals to stretch hair to the max without using heat. These techniques can also be used to stretch new growth during long-term strecthes which can decrease the urge to use heat or relax earlier than you would like.
They are also good backups for when you are not in the mood to rollerset your hair. This also leads to smoother airdrying without the use of a blowdryer.
Braids and Bantu Knots are also great for creating smoother airdried hair
Since we are on the topic of airdrying, one of the major problems among those with chemically treated hair is tangles during airdrying. Within the natural hair community, bantu knots and braids are some of the ways that aids with the airdrying natural hair while reducing tangling.
These methods are especially helpful because not only does it help with more stretched out smoother hair, but it also helps with holding moisture in during the airdrying process and allowing for your leave ins to penetrate even more.
So that’s it guys. I hope that these techniques aid in your length retention effots and makes your journey to healthier longer chemically-treated hair a breeze.