Most of us natural or permed are always on the quest to retain the length of our tresses. How many of you have cringed the moment you see the scissors being pulled out of your hairstylists smock? As women we most likely believe that our hair is our beauty and our strength. I personally have never been obsessed with length but recently as a natural I decided to concentrate in retaining length and paying closer attention to my hairs natural growing cycle. Now lets go ahead and start by getting rid of misconceptions that are out there in the universe. Our hair grows, it grows in the range of 1/4 - 1/2 an inch per month. Once our hair exits our scalp it is really not alive it becomes a fiber, what grows is the hair that is inside our heads. Our hair follicle receives nutrients and blood which helps the root to be pushed upward and out causing the most growth that we covet. Now, I am going to keep it simple because I am neither a hair specialist or stylist just sharing what I have learned with you guys.
Our main problem is retaining length! Think about it.....every time we have to trim off an inch due to damaged ends we are basically cutting off 2 months of growth. Esto no es bueno! This is not good if your objective is to retain length. Our ends are the oldest parts of our hair thus they are the most fragile and we should really pay attention to how we treat them. We also know that putting our hair away in protective styles will help us to minimize damage (in some occasions) and retain length. However, keep in mind that putting your hair away in a protective style does not mean that you no longer have to care for it. In order to ensure that the length you have achieved while protective styling can be retained you should continue to care for your hair while it is protective. Sooooo, moisturizing your hair, cleaning your scalp, and ensuring that your edges are not to tight are paramount to successful length retention while protective styling.
As my hair retains length I have recognized that they are some things in my regular hair routine that I must change, adjust, and shift. Of course the freedom I so enjoyed while I had my TWA of doing my hair in the shower and going is no longer something that can be achieved. With length came the need for me to perform most if not all of my hair care outside the shower, sitting comfortably in front of a mirror. Pre-poos have come paramount to my wash day becoming a success, and sealing those ends with oils (which I don't particularly care for) are necessary to ensure that my ends don't suffer any damage.
Simple things like putting my bag on my shoulder, my suit jacket on, the cars seat belt, and my jewelry can create havoc on my hair at this point so I am constantly trying to be aware of how I could move these kinks, curls, and coils out of harms way. It is hilarious how shrinkage which I viewed as "the Devil" when my hair was shorter is now my best friend. Why? Because of shrinkage I can wear my wash n go's and not be concerned about where my ends will end up, the shrinkage is just enough to keep those ends off my shoulders, and anything that can rub up against them to cause damage.
In essence I just wanted to stop and say...BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! Enjoy your hair and its various stages, be patient and BE PREPARED.
- Be prepared to tweak your routine as you go through the stages.
- Be prepared to spend more time preparing your hair at night as well as styling that GAUGEOUS COIF
- Be prepared to re-purchase products that lasted quite a while when you first did that BC
- Be prepared for the journey of a lifetime!!!!!!!!!!