Last updated on May 27th, 2023 at 02:28 pm
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Every time you turn around, there’s a natural hair challenge going on – a Castor oil challenge, bun challenge, twists challenge, protective style or other challenge…it never ends!
Well, there must be something to it. Ya think? I think.
Regardless to the type, challenges force you to focus. In the case of natural hair challenges, there’s one thing they all have in common.
Yeah yeah. Some naturals would prefer to to rock a short ‘do but for the most part we are all looking to grow that Rapunzel length hair (or at least to mid-back length). Why else would the search for things like “growing long hair” and “retain length” yield such lofty results on Google:
Now, I’m not an SEO expert but what I do know is when a lot of people start targeting certain keywords it’s because many people are conducting searches using those very words (amateur SEO lesson over now :-)).
Anywho, natural hair challenges usually force us to focus on one particular way of caring for our hair that yields the result of length retention. Let’s examine a few.
Castor Oil Challenge
Jenell, Founder of Kinky Curly Coily Me hosts a castor oil challenge quarterly. Participants incorporate the use of castor oil into their daily hair regimens by rubbing it into the scalp and the roots of the hair with the goal of stimulating hair growth and thickening the hair.
For the most part, the goal is hair growth but it’s closely associated with length retention because you can’t retain what doesn’t grow!
Protective Style Challenge
You can almost always find one of these challenges happening on YouTube, Instagram etc. The idea is to wear styles that protect your ends from exposure to the elements and rubbing against your clothes.
While protective styling can be a double edge sword (sometimes leading to breakage due to too much manipulation), it can help with length retention with low hair manipulation/maintenance.
I’m Kicking Off a Challenge 🙂
Retaining length with natural hair challenges can be difficult without focus. However, one focus could be on a specific product you use.
Coconut oil is a beloved oil for most naturals. It has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft to protect the protein integrity of the hair and help the hair retain moisture.
One thing about coconut oil is it’s typically solid at room temperature. For some of us, this makes it a little more difficult to use during the colder months.
A few months ago, I realized that hosting a coconut oil challenge during the summer months could prove very beneficial. Now that the temps are heating up, it’s easier to keep your coconut oil liquefied (especially if you live in an apartment that’s beyond warm when the AC is on vacation).
So, I kicked off a Coconut Oil Challenge where I shared ways to use coconut oil to help with length retention.
For more on retaining length on natural hair challenges, check out these length retention hairstyles for fine natural hair.