11 Tips For Healthy Hair and Length Retention

Growing your hair can sometimes feel so challenging.  There are many factors that get in the way of growing out long healthy hair and retaining the length. Here are a few tips to help you with your journey:

picture of a woman with trimmed hair

1. Cut split ends. Don't worry your hair will grow back. Trimming your ends will not grow hair faster, but it will prevent split ends from advancing up the hair shaft which leads to further damage and breakage. Less hair breakage means more length retention.  Keep them frequent and consistent.

2. Shampoo your hair weekly. Clean your hair on a weekly basis to rid your scalp of dirt, dead skin cells, and oil. Make sure to wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo instead of one that contains sulfates. Sulfates are very harsh on afro-textured hair and will strip the hair of its natural oils and proteins.  Sulfates can cause scalp irritation, dryness, and hair breakage. A moisturizing shampoo will clean the hair and scalp while adding moisture to the hair shaft with oils and moisturizing properties that are contained within the formula. If you can't shampoo weekly, try a bi-weekly schedule.

3. Deep Condition. This is a step that is often skipped in the hair wash routine. Dry and brittle hair leads to breakage. Incorporating a Deep conditioning regimen into your wash routine improves hair elasticity, strength, and health. It will also reduce breakage and split ends. 

4. Moisturize. Moisturize your hair 2-3 times a week.  Hair loses moisture daily. Adding moisture back into the hair in between washes protects the hair from breakage. Leave-in conditioners and oils are great moisturizers. Oil not only provides moisture, but it also acts as a sealant to lock in the moisture that was recently added onto the hair.  

5. Finger Detangle. Finger detangling reduces breakage in comparison to using a  comb or brush.  Afro-textured hair is very fine and delicate. The tension used when combing knots and tangles out can rip your strands.

6. Protective Hairstyling. Incorporate styles that protect your ends from environmental elements.  Braids and twists are great protective styles that will keep your ends protected. Make sure your braids are not tight on edges or scalp as this will lead to breakage.

7. Sleep on Satin or Silk. Sleeping with a bonnet or a silk pillowcase prevents your hair from drying out.  Cotton pillows and scarves will dry your hair out and cause breakage.  

8. Get Professional Hair Coloring. Disulfide bonds are the protein structures of the hair shaft. When you color or bleach your hair, you weaken the disulfide bonds located within the hair shaft. This may result in weak, damaged hair. Hair color can also alter your hair's porosity. Porosity is the hair's ability to absorb moisture. High porosity hair can appear dry, frizzy, and unmanageable. Seek out advice from a professional hair colorist before coloring your hair.

9. Drink Water.  Just like a plant needs water, so does your hair. Dehydration will halt your hair growth. Your hair needs moisture and when it doesn't get it, it shows in the signs of split ends, dryness, breakage, and dandruff. Drinking water hydrates your roots and stimulates your follicles which increases hair growth.  

10. Massage your scalp.  Massaging your scalp for 5-10 minutes a day dilates blood vessels beneath the skin. Increase blood circulation to the scalp stimulates the cells of the hair follicles and aids in thicker hair and growth. Use a good hair oil that contains hair growth properties when massaging the scalp.

11. Stop touching your hair. Touching, twirling, or playing in your hair strips your hair of the oil that is needed to protect it from drying out.  Too much tampering with hair strands will leave strands dry and susceptible to breakage.

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