Retaining length on natural hair doesn’t have to be daunting. It’s really all about consistency but first let’s look at the differences between length retention and hair growth.
Length retention – The process of effectively preserving the hair that grows out of your scalp in such a way that the ends (the oldest section of each hair strand) do not break off but continue to thrive.
Hair growth – Process of hair growing out of the scalp from the follicle as a result of nourishment being fed to the follicles by the blood vessels surrounding it.
In a previous article, I shared 8 Ways to increase your hair growth. As you can see from the defining properties of hair growth and length retention above, they aren’t the same.
You have to retain what grows out of your head to see an increase in length. Some of the methods for retaining length on natural hair are popular methods. Others may be new to you.
Here’s a summary but below you’ll find a video that goes into depth on each method.
1) Protective Styling
Styling your hair in a way that hides the ends of each hair strand so that they are no exposed to the elements or friction with your clothing.
I’m a bun girl most of the time but theres many protective styles you can do.
2) Baby your ends
Take extra precaution with how you handle the ends of your hair as they are most prone to breakage due to their age.
3) Finger detangling first and foremost
If you detangle your hair with a comb, start out by using your fingers to detangle first, before you put a comb to your head. Work in sections and this will help your hair to retain more length.
4) Use a seamless comb
When using a comb to detangle your hair (which is the only time you should be using a comb on hair in its natural state), use a seamless comb.
5) Manipulate damp vs dry hair
Start with moistening our hair before you even begin sectioning to style or detangle it. This will make your hair more pliable, thereby cutting down on breakage and increasing length retention.
6) Try herbal hair powders
Herbal powders, famously used by Indian women for growing longer hair is known for strengthening the hair. Henna, Cassia, Fenugreek, and Amla are my go to’s but there are many others.
7) Cover your ends with satin (or silk)
Before going outdoors, especially in cooler weather, this small act of covering the ends of your hair with satin or silk will protect them breakage.
8) Keep your hair moisture and protein balanced
When it comes to retaining the length of your hard earned hair growth, much emphasis is placed on how the hair is handled when styling. Yet, ensuring that your hair is adequately balanced with moisture and protein is just as important if not more so.
8 Ways to Retain More Length on Natural Hair
(for all hair types):
Length Retention Inspiration
Bonus #9 Way to Retain Length on Natural Hair
UPDATE: There is yet another VERY effective way that I’ve found to retain length. I didn’t practice this one back in 2016 but it’s a part of my hair regimen now. That method is keeping your hair stretched. I share my full updated routine in this video here:
Most importantly, while there are many ways of retaining length on natural hair, the key is consistency. Whatever methods you follow, be diligent. Then, you can see more of the hair grown remain on your head.