How to retain length and maintain healthy african hair.

February 12, 2015

How do you retain length? I get this question a lot but sometimes I realize that some ladies get disappointment at my answers because they expect some miracle working product. For me there is no miracle product, no miracle oils, pills or anything of the sort. Healthy hair is possible for everyone and with the right hair practices everyone can achieve healthy hair and healthy hair looks good no matter what length it is. If you are just starting your hair journey, then i encourage you to focus on health first and when you are happy with the health of the hair then start focusing on length retention. below are a few tips that have really helped me to keep my hair healthy and to retain length.
Protective style- high bun on flat ironed hair :)
  1. Water your hair- Contrary to what we have grown up hearing and believing, water does not damage your hair it is actually very good for it because your hair needs moisture to thrive. Our hair is naturally dry and hair that is dry will break. You add water to your hair by either washing it or moisturizing it using a water based moisturizer. To add moisture to my hair I wash it once a week add a moisturizer(water) then seal in the moisture with an oil(Coconut oil) and then a butter(Raw Shea butter)
  2. Be Gentle- Your hair is not as tough as you think. it just looks tough but african hair is actually the most fragile of all hair types. It helps to do your hair only when you have time. never start doing your hair when you have a commitment a few hours later. take your time to do your hair in small sections. The less breakage you have the more length you retain.
  3. Low Manipulation- Did you know that you do not have to comb your hair everyday even if it is open? yes you can. This is one of my most important tips when it comes to retaining length and getting healthy hair altogether but it takes practice. Find ways to leave your hair alone. Like i said earlier I wash my hair once a week and on these wash days i already decide what hairstyle i will wear for the whole week. I then don´t mess around with my hair for the whole time, I just make sure that my edges look good and that is it. Depending on how you like to style your hair protective styling may be a better solution to low manipulation.
  4. Protective styles- These are hairstyles that keep your hair hidden, these include braids, weaves, wigs, cornrows e.t.c you just need to be careful that these are not done too tight. and most importantly never forget to moisturize your hair even when they are in a protective style. I usually moisten (Not wet) my braids twice a week with water and then I apply oil onto them to keep them moisturised. Remember dry hair breaks.
  5. Patience- It takes time to grow hair, take your time to find out what your hair likes this will really help you to know what it needs. I for instance had to learn that wash and goes look great on my hair but the tangles I get from rocking a wash and go are something else. So i hardly do wash and go´s. a hair journey is a learning process. please do not give up or give excuses. I have heard so many women say "well you know you have that good hair" for me there is no such thing. all hair is beautiful it is just different.
  6. Avoid Comparisons-  Just like you are unique, your hair is also very unique to you. I have been looking all over you tube to find someone who has hair like mine or a hair twin as the hair bloggers call them, but most of the time there are similarities but i haven´t found an identical twin. What i am trying to say is accept your own hair as it is, love it, nurture it and you will be surprised.
  7. A Hair care routine does not need to be too complicated- I know how overwhelming it can be at first. don´t be carried away to buy a million products just because you saw someone else use them and get great results.There are so many good products in the market you just need to know how to pick them out. 
  8. Lastly pray to God to give you the kind of hair you want and guide you in your hair decisions. I pray about everything in my life, so why not my hair ;)
Relaxed ladies: While I was still relaxed my hair needed both moisture and protein. so I mixed a moisture and protein conditioner every week for my washes. Relaxed hair has been chemically altered and it needs more conditioning than natural hair.
If you would like a post on a sample hair care routine for relaxed/ texlaxed hair please comment below.
Natural Ladies: Unless your natural hair has been damaged by heat or color you will need less protein and a lot more moisture. A post on my current natural hair regimen is coming soon :)
Transitioning Ladies: I have already shared my tips on transitioning here My tips on transitioning to natural
I gathered all those tips from experience all through my transition.

There is still more to share but I don´t want this post to be too long. So the rest is carried forward. If you have any questions or if there is an issue you are having with your own hair please comment below and I will address it.

Thanks for reading and God bless you!

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  1. Very informative post thanks Joanne!

    1. Thank you Becca, i am glad it was useful to you :)

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