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.
There is a delicate dance that exist between protein and moisture that must be mastered in order to have and maintain healthy hair. The two components are co-dependent and neither can work well on its own without the other. The hair breakage we experience is most often the result of an imbalance between the protein and moisture elements that make up the hair strand.
Protein + Moisture
Water molecules bind easily to a sound protein structure within the hair. Hence, moisture is absorbed better when the hair’s protein needs are sufficiently met. Consider your hair to be a garden and the hair a plant. Moisture would be the water and protein the dirt. If for any reason there is too much or too little of water or dirt, the plant can’t grow. It’s the same synergistic relationship that moisture and protein have together, and keeping the hair balanced between the two is very important.
Achieving the right balance involves using the right combination of moisture and protein on your hair. Which means you have to get acquainted with your personal hair needs. No hairdresser, family member, friend or natural hair blogger knows your hair better than you. You have to experiment with different products, methods of application, and frequency to see what works best for your hair.
I’ve been natural for the past 5 years, so I’m out of the product junkie and experimental stage of my journey. I’ve created a routine for my hair that fits in with my lifestyle and that I can easily maintain. My routine may not be the regimen for you but it will answer the common question asked about how I care for my hair.
Once a Week (Typically on Sundays)
- Wash – I wash my hair with a sulfate free shampoo, focusing most of my attention on the scalp. Currently I’m using Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo.
- Condition – After I rinse the shampoo, I follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner. Currently I’m using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Conditioner.
- Detangle – After I coat my hair with conditioner I go through each section and detangle my hair with my fingers. (Note: I’m doing this while my hair is soaking wet and full of conditioner)
- Dry – I do not use a towel to dry my hair. I use a white cotton t-shirt to dry my hair. Check out this video to see how. (Note: I tuck in the excess shirt in the back and do not create the turban effect at the top)