To achieve healthy natural hair it takes consistent, diligent, and purposeful care. Average hair growth across all races is approximately ½ inch per month, totaling six inches a year.
Most people tend to fry, dye, weave up and blow dry their hair, which ultimately causes damage. This can cause hair to break off at the same rate as its grows. The difference between hair that doesn’t go past one’s shoulder and hair down one’s back is length retention. Here are 5 tried and true tips for optimal length retention.
Create a Regimen
It requires more than using with the “right” shampoo and conditioner and eating a healthy meal once or twice to magically turn into a Rapunzel look alike. All the knowledge you receive about hair won’t do any good unless you implement it consistently over time. Hair regimens vary from person to person but usually consists of; cleaning, conditioning, detangling, deep conditioning, moisturizing, sealing, and styling. How often you do the aforementioned things, in what order, and what products you use will vary from person to person.
Ingredients in your hair care products are important to length retention. Look at the ingredients going on your hair. Do not use products with harsh sulfates, chemicals, mineral oil, or ingredients that may dry out and suffocate your hair and clog its follicles.
Don’t Get Attached (trim your split ends)
Don’t be afraid to let the split ends go. There are products on the market that claim to be a split end sealer but all they do is bind the hair together to “appear” as if it’s not split, but the hair is split nonetheless. Split ends will continue to split up the shaft of the hair until you trim above the split. The longer you wait the more you will have to cut off. It’s really important to give tender care to the ends of your hair, its the most fragile. Hair grows an average of ½ inch per month, which means if your hair is past your shoulders, it’s over 3 years old. Be sure to gently condition, detangle, and moisturize your ends as often as possible.
A secret to healthy hair is a proper protein versus moisture balance. Your hair is made of approximately 91% protein, so occasionally treat and strengthen your hair with protein. Protein alone will dry out your hair which is a main cause of breakage for most people. Following up your protein treatments with a moisturizing conditioners and oils are just as important. Find your perfect protein/moisture balance, its essential for your overall hair health.
Stress is a major cause of hair thinning and loss issues. Create de-stressing habits in your regular routine. That could include going to the spa once a month, DIY at-home facial once a week, or going an hour without any technology. I mediate for just five minutes in the morning and it slows the rest of the day down for me. I’m more productive and less stressed.