Protective styling = Length Retention

So we know that hair grows. It grows. Regardless of what race you are, you hair will grow every day. Its estimated that hair grows about half an inch a month. The reason why we don’t see hair growth in the black community is because we are not retaining our hair. I remember growing up, I had a lot of hair, ALOT, and my mum never let us wait our hair out all the time, it was either cornrowed, braided, pony tails, twisted with thread ( you guys remember that) and little did we know, we were protective styling. Im sure we all have those pics of you as kids with big natural hair, and then we have pics with our relaxed hair when it all started to go wrong.

Not only are we relaxing (putting chemicals in our hair), we aren’t putting moisture in our hair (our hair loses moisture easily, now add the fact that you are putting chemicals in that strip the hair in order to straighten the curls) so our hair is dry and we are leaving it exposed to the elements……what will happen it will break off. So any growth that is happening, each month you are LOSING the exact same amount of hair so you aren’t seeing any PROGRESS. Trust me, it happened to me. Before I started growing my hair, I had a cycle. I’d have my hair braided for 3 months, id take the braids out, id relax, id wear my hair out (I wouldn’t put on a silk cap, didn’t use the right hair ties, didn’t moisturise frequently) and my hair would break. So I’d braid it again and the same thing would continue. My hair didn’t progress much from its current state.  But when I started actively protective styling, i.e  making a conscious effort to protect my end,  and doing it properly, i.e weaves and braids, my hair started to grow, and people started to notice, because I was protecting my hair (particularly my ends) , allowing it to grow and retaining the growth so people saw the progress.

Your ends are very important. At the moment I have braids, ive had them in for nearly 2 months now and I like them because my hair is protected, its a versatile style and I have ease of maintenance. Here are 2 eamples of styles ive rocked with my braids:

There are different types of protective styles. There are styles that completely protect your hair so that the ends are out of sight and is 100% protected and there are those that are partial and have low manipulation.

Some examples are:

  • Weaves – both full head and partial head
  • Wigs
  • Buns
  • Ponytails
  • Braids – there are different types of braids
  • Corn rows
  • Twist outs
  • Bantu knots
  • Up do’s

These are a few examples, use your imagination. As long as you hair (mainly your ends) is moisturised and well protected, you are giving your chance of retaining your length.

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