Over the two decades of my natural hair journey, I realized that I attempted learning more about hair growth than hair retention, and the truth is that hair retention may be just as important.
What is the point of learning all these tips for hair growth if you cannot see the growth at the end of the year?
After years of research, trial-and-error, reading and watching bloggers/vloggers I have discovered some tricks about length retention that I would like to share. Here are eight tips that I found most helpful in my own hair routine that has helped me retain length.
Tip 1: Have documentation
When I am in school, I keep a journal to show what I have learned about in classes and when a test comes up I use those notes for the test. So, I treat my hair routine the same way.
There are various ways you can document your length retention through a hair journal: photographs, writing down everything, online notepads and even a google document which can store everything. Some use Pinterest to find hair ideas and add them to a ‘hairstyle to try’ category.
I personally use a mixture of a physical journal and notepad/memo apps on my computer. After choosing whichever method works for you should keep track of all the products you are using, your current length, your length goals, and what your current routine is.
If you ever switch it up or you feel that your growth is stagnant, then make sure you record it. This method works for hair length retention because you will know exactly how to get to your goals.
Tip 2: Set a regimen
As I stated before, your hair journal will keep track of your regimen, but if your hair routine changes every week then you have no idea what is working for your hair growth or retention. A regimen is important because, in order to have hair growth and length retention, you must a set plan.
Your regimen should include:
- When you shampoo: every two weeks
- When you condition: every two weeks
- What styling products to use: water in a spray bottle, coconut oil, and curl hydrating creme
- What styles you wear: Updos, two-strand twists, Bantu-knot outs
- How you use each product: For instance LOC method product combinations that work for the Summer and a combnation that works for the Winter.
Sometimes a regimen can include hair masks, henna*, the use of hair dye, the use of heat and other things you do for your hair.
Tip 3: Do not manipulate your hair very often
This is a must if you want to have the best length retention. Try to stop changing your hair every day or wearing a hairstyle that needs a lot of attention.
Instead, settle for a long-term protective style likes crotchet braids, Kinky* twists, or Havana twists, or even faux locs. Or you can try a short term low maintenance styles like mini-twists, buns, two-strand twists and ponytails. Too much manipulation can cause friction which results in low growth retention.