According to a study conducted by our Hair Experts, hair length retention was the second most common hair goal outlined by our sisterhood. Length retention is defined as your hair’s ability to be manipulated without experiencing any split ends or breakage. Years ago, having long hair was a sign of significance, class and royalty. Many were mocked for their “ear” length tresses and the inability to create that beautiful high top bun that so many rock today. While the beauty of a full puff and waist length hair proves to be the ultimate goal, there are many misconceptions as to how to achieve the magical Rapunzel-like hair. Today, you will learn what it really means to keep those ends intact as we nurture our texture, type and condition.
There are varying factors that affect the way in which our hair length retention is managed and maintained. The growth rate for hair is predetermined by your genetics and is considered on average to be between ⅛ of an inch to 1 inch per month. The major issues for discussion as it relates to retaining length regardless of your texture, type and condition are hair dryness, your moisture content, hair strength (protein/amino acid), porosity and last but not least the frequency of your hair trims.
One of the major causes of not retaining your hair length is dry hair. This takes us to the most talked about issue for so many of us with nappy hair. The truth is, natural hair is prone to dryness due to the state in which it grows; with dry hair comes breakage. Alleviating this roadblock will open doors to achieving our desired length and much more because with healthy ends comes hair length retention. Many are of the notion that 4C has a reduced rate of retaining maximum length. While this is true to some extent it will take much more than dry hair to maximize those strands. Another major problem that accounts for hair breakage is properly detangling your hair. Wash days and the removal of protective styles accounts for this issue at large.
Hair tangling signifies that your hair needs a trim. While this is obvious to many people, we are not fond of the idea of clipping away at what took months or years to grow into your mountain of beautiful curls. The frequency of your trim is determined by the health of your hair. If your hair is the same length for 3 consecutive months, it is recommended that you get a trim once every quarter at minimum. Growth rate and trim rate are between 8 weeks and 10 weeks. The way in which your hair is trimmed contributes significantly to how much length is retained as well. Trimming at “zero degrees” (holding the hair to the floor and cutting accordingly) is the ideal way of maximizing your strands. This method preserves your interior which allows it to flow out unto the exterior. This will provide you with volume and fullness.
Steam therapy and or steam hydration is the holy grail for keeping your hair moisturized regardless of the season and times. Coarse hair (wool) length retention is determined mainly by the moisture content when compared to fine and medium textured hair. The cuticles of individuals with coarse hair have open cuticles that permits the release of moisture from the hair. Steam therapy and steam hydration can be done each week and will allow products to penetrate the scalp and help with retaining and maintaining moisture levels. Do you hate split ends? I do and guess what they contribute to the release of hair moisture as well. As mentioned by our Chief Hair Officer, Robin, “all these components are like brother and sister because they work hand in hand”.
Strength Content/Protein(Amino Acid)
I believe that a pop of color every now and again gives life to your hair. It highlights your facial features and is an extension of your personality without using words but coloring hair can be detrimental to your hair health and ends to be exact. Most individuals resort to coloring their own hair because they watched a YouTube video! Now, we are not discrediting the knowledge that circulates on the platform but we are saying consult a professional first. A colorist will provide you with in depth knowledge and professional care that will help with maintaining the chemical changes being done to your hair and on your hair. Having a moderate protein content will strengthen your hair enough to help with curtailing any damage from the chemical of using hair colors.
Porosity is a big thing, literally and understanding where you fit on the “porous scale” will provide you with all the information required to retain those ends. Highly porous hair ends determine the amount of length that is retained. Highly porous hair has opened cuticles while low porous hair has tight cuticles for penetration. Remember, we said they’re like brother and sister, try to make the connection
Myavana is dedicated to providing preventative haircare which skips the trial and error and provides you with personalized regimens to get you on the path to achieving healthy beautiful “long” hair. Some things to avoid when length retention is your goal include: blow dryer combs, non-ionic blow dryers, small tooth combs and paddle brushes, round brush and permanent hair colors. Let us help you by providing you with your personalized length retention plan and regimen plan for your unique hair type.