Hair Routines & Growth

25 Tips For Length Retention Of Your Natural Hair Growth


how to retain natural hair length

I’ve been natural for my entire life. 22 years! If you took a look at my hair in my teenage years, you probably couldn’t tell because I cut my hair a lot because of poor hair health and hair damage. 

However, even if I didn’t cut my hair, you would still ask why my hair was so short and why I had such dry hair, yet I’ve been natural for so long. 

It’s not that my hair wasn’t growing, because it definitely was. 

The problem was that I wasn’t retaining any hair length. 

Why haven’t I been able to achieve healthier hair that grows and length retention successfully?

Hair breakage is one of the biggest enemies of healthy hair growth, but until I understood the causes of breakage and took steps to control it, I was unable to add visible length to my hair over time and reach my length goals. 

Proactive care must begin with better education and taking conscious steps to help our hair if we want it to grow. 

I must say, it’s high time you stop being such a lazy natural and get it together! After you read this, you’ll know what needs to be done to retain length, but you need to practice what I preach!

Related Post: 23 Tips On How To Grow Black Natural Hair Fast & Longer

What Is Length Retention

Length retention involves adopting healthy habits tailored to your hair type to maintain your current hair length and minimize breakage, distinct from the process of natural hair growth.

It’s about preserving the length you have by implementing protective styles and nourishing practices that support hair health and prevent split ends.

Length retention isn’t merely about fostering long hair; it’s about ensuring that the ends of your hair remain strong and intact to avoid breakage.

It involves regular trims to remove damaged ends, deep conditioning with products like protein treatments and leave-in conditioners, and adopting protective hairstyles to shield hair from damage caused by heat, friction, and environmental factors.

For those with curly hair or low porosity hair, length retention becomes especially important as these hair types are prone to dryness and breakage.

Related Post: Does Low Porosity Hair Need Protein? Here’s The Tea

How To Encourage Length Retention

Wash Your Hair in Sections

how to retain natural hair length

When washing your hair, divide it into small sections, I like to do 6-8. This technique prevents your hair from tangling and knotting during the washing process.

You’ll keep these sections in twists as you go through your wash day, and detangle each section thoroughly before putting them, back into twists.

Related Post: An Easy Guide For A Natural Hair Wash Day Routine

Detangle When Wet

Detangling your hair is best done when it’s damp.

Wet hair allows for smoother combing, reducing friction and hair breakage. Moisturize, detangle, and style while damp to maintain length and prevent shrinkage.

Related Post: Here’s How Often You Should Be Wetting Your Natural Hair…(Hint: It’s Not Everyday)

Pre-Poo Treatment for Nourishment & Protection

Before shampooing, indulge in a pre-poo treatment.

This helps preserve natural oils, making your hair less stripped and fragile. Use warm conditioner, oils such as olive, avocado, or coconut oil, focusing on the ends.

Allow it to soak before washing, remembering that less is more.

Related Post: The Best Pre-Poo For Low Porosity Natural Hair

Regular Trims

Trim your hair according to its needs, not based on a strict schedule. Regular examination of your hair’s condition will guide you when trimming is necessary, promoting overall health and length retention.

The ends of your hair are the oldest section of your hair shaft, and these fragile ends can lead to breakage.

Because the ends are dry hair they tend to split, and these split ends can travel up the hair shaft when left unattended.

When split ends move up the hair, the hair becomes fragile and will break off, therefore stopping length retention.

Related Post: Top 10 Moisturizers for Low Porosity Natural Hair

Low-Manipulation Protective Styling

how to retain natural hair length

Opt for protective hairstyles to protect your hair from damage and promote length retention. Protective styles like braids or twists minimize manipulation and protect fragile ends, aiding in maintaining hair length.

Opt for protective hairstyles that require minimal manipulation to reduce stress on your hair.

Medium-sized braids are preferable to larger ones, as they minimize pulling and breakage.

Nourish From Within

Nourish your hair from the inside out by consuming foods rich in essential nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.

These nutrients promote natural hair growth and strengthen hair follicles. Additionally, consider applying these foods as a hair mask for added nourishment.

You Might Also Love: How to Make DIY Homemade Leave-In Conditioner

Ditch Heat Styling

Avoid using heat styling tools as they can damage your natural hair, leading to breakage and loss of length.

Embrace heat-free styling methods to maintain the health and integrity of your hair and avoid heat damage.

Protect your hair from heat damage by using proper tools and techniques and always using heat protectant.

Limit the use of flat irons and excessive heat, opting for protective measures like satin pillowcases, and scarves, and using heat protectants.

Stop Touching Your Hair

Minimize touching and fiddling with your hair to prevent knotting, tangling, and split ends. This habit contributes to the need for frequent trims and inhibits length retention.

Moisturize, Seal, and Protect

Prioritize the care of your hair’s ends by keeping them moisturized and sealed.

Consistent moisturizing, followed by sealing with top sealants such as coconut oil, jojoba, olive, or castor oil, helps prevent split ends and retain length.

Related Post: The Best Sealing Oils For Natural Curly Hair

Silk or Satin Pillowcase for Protection

Protect your hair while you sleep by using a silk or satin pillowcase, or even a satin scarf.

These materials prevent moisture loss from your hair, unlike cotton pillowcases, which can rid your hair of moisture and contribute to dry hair and breakage.

Do Regular Protein Treatments

how to retain natural hair length

Maintaining a proper protein/moisture balance is important for healthy hair growth and length retention.

Over-moisturized hair becomes weak and lifeless, requiring protein to strengthen it. Conversely, if your hair is brittle and prone to breakage, it needs more moisture.

Alternate between protein treatments and moisture-based deep conditioners weekly to achieve balance.

Related Post: DIY Protein Hair Masks & Treatments For Damaged Hair

Clean Scalp

A clean scalp is a healthy scalp, and a healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair growth.

Product buildup and excess sebum can clog hair follicles, causing stagnant hair growth.

Regular scalp cleaning removes buildup and promotes a healthy environment for hair growth.

Related Post: DIY Scalp Scrub Recipes For Scalp Detox & Hair Growth

Clean Hair

how to retain natural hair length

Now, having a clean scalp isn’t all that matters when it comes to cleanliness. Properly cleansing your hair involves more than just washing the scalp.

Work shampoo through the strands to remove product buildup, which can lead to dryness and breakage.

Use the “praying hands” method to smooth shampoo down the hair length, preventing tangles and ensuring thorough cleansing.

Related Post: Best Shampoos & Conditioners for High Porosity Hair

Deep Conditioning More

Enhance your hair care routine by incorporating regular deep conditioning treatments.

Replace rinse-out conditioners with deep conditioners to provide intense moisture and strengthen your hair, especially the ends.

Look for products with moisturizing and strengthening properties to protect your hair.

Related Post: 15 Must-Try Deep Conditioners for 4C Natural Hair

Leave-In Conditioner

Incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your hair care routine to provide ongoing moisture and protection.

Leave-in conditioners help maintain hydration levels, reduce frizz, and protect hair from environmental damage, contributing to overall hair health.

Proper Tools

Use the proper tools and techniques for your hair type to minimize hair damage and breakage.

A wide-tooth comb and gentle detangling methods are suitable for curly or fragile hair, reducing stress on the hair strands and promoting length retention.

Related Post: The Best Wash & Go Hair Products For Natural Hair

Avoiding Towel-Drying for Healthier Hair

Avoid towel-drying your hair to prevent friction-induced split ends.

Opt for gentle alternatives like an old t-shirt or microfiber towel, or simply air dry hair. Avoid rubbing your hair to prevent frizz and keep the cuticles closed.

L.O.C. / L.C.O. Method for Moisture Locking

Adopt the L.O.C. / L.C.O. method for styling, hydrating your hair with water or water-based products, sealing in moisture with an oil or a cream, and smoothing the hair cuticle with a cream or oil product.

This method locks in moisture, enhancing manageability and protecting hair health.

Related Post: How To Moisturize Your Natural Hair – The LCO vs LOC Method

Ingredient Awareness for Healthier Hair

Know your ingredients and avoid those that strip moisture. Opt for sulfate and alcohol-free products specifically made for your hair type, particularly curly hair, to prevent dryness and damage.

Opt for water-based products to add much-needed moisture into your hair.

Related Post: Ingredients To Avoid For Low Porosity Hair

Mind Your Hair Accessories

Evaluate your hair accessories for potential damage.

Broken clips or sharp edges can cause hair breakage or scalp damage. Opt for cloth-covered headbands to prevent hair loss around edges, and avoid tight styles that cause headaches or irritation.

Avoid Tight Styling

When not in protective style, opt for low manipulation styling, ensuring they’re not done with excessive tension.

Avoid styles that cause discomfort or irritation, as these may lead to hair loss or breakage.

Avoiding Chemical Treatments for Hair Integrity

Resist the temptation to treat your hair for immediate style changes chemically.

Relaxers, perms, and chemical-infused products can compromise your hair’s integrity. Opt instead for regular trims and style refreshes to maintain healthy hair while achieving your desired look.

Change Your Routine Each Season

Implement seasonal hair care routines to address fluctuations in healthy hair growth.

Many hair types experience thinning during winter months.

During this time, prioritize extra hydration with hair masks, leave-in conditioners, and nourishing oil treatments to replenish lost moisture and support healthy growth.

Avoid Stressing

Don’t underestimate the impact of stress on your hair.

Managing stress is crucial for healthy hair growth, as stress can contribute to hair loss and stagnant hair growth.

Add short wellness practices into your daily routine, such as guided meditation, restorative yoga, or simply taking time to indulge in activities you enjoy like reading or savoring your favorite treats like chocolate or coffee.

Remember, this should be routine, not just a one-and-done thing.

You have to be consistent to see results and that is what these tips are for.

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So which of these do you currently do? Let me know in the comments!


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