Length Retention 101
Posted on 13 December 2018
For some curly girls, hair length plays a major role in their curl journey.
While we may know that healthy, happy hair comes in all different lengths, it’s hard not to fantasize about long and bouncy waves, curls, kinks or coils.
But what is the secret to growing longggg curly hair? This week on the blog we're diving deep into the myths and truths behind hair growth.
"My Hair Doesn't Grow Past A Certain Point"
Maybe you’ve been rocking your natural curls for a while now and for whatever reason, it seems your hair has been frozen at the same exact length.
At this point, you’re pretty much convinced that your hair just doesn’t grow no matter what you do.
The average person can expect their curls to grow 0.5 inches per month, but for curly girls that can seem like nothing when shrinkage comes into play. It’s easiest to tell how much your hair has grown when it’s dyed or damaged, because you can see how much growth you’ve had from the last time you colored your hair or started transitioning.
The reality is that for most people, hair really never stops growing; what might actually be happening is that you’re having issues retaining length.
1. Take Ur Time With Step One
If you’re giving your head a super quick lather and moving onto the next step, you’re not doing your new products any justice. To ensure that our shampoo was super gentle we kept those harsh, stripping agents known as sulfates and other harmful ingredients away from our formula.
1. Take Ur Time With Step One
If you’re giving your head a super quick lather and rinse before moving on to the next step, you’re likely not getting the most out of our sulfate-free shampoo. As with any sulfate-free shampoo, you need to WERK to break up oil and dirt at the roots. Reason being that normal shampoos (the ones that contain sulfates) are full of harmful, drying agents that foam and strip the hair.
Since we did away with those, you’ll need to give your entire scalp a solid massage to get your roots nice and clean. @craft_and_mane does an awesome job of showing you how it’s done here.
"Trimming Hair Often Will Make It Grow Faster"
There are some curly girls who swear that trimming is the only way to experience actual hair growth. Realistically, trimming can only help you maintain a set of healthy and happy curls. How? Well, one of the biggest enemies of long, healthy curls are split ends!
Unattended to, damaged ends will break off on their own at the weakest points in the hair which steal inches off your curls.
So in actuality, while trimming your ends won’t make your hair grow faster, it will help you retain length by preventing splits/damage from travelling further up the hair shaft.
"If I Want My Hair Long, I Need It To Grow Faster"
By now, you’re probably starting to realize that a lot of the misconceptions we have about lengthy hair have more to do with keeping the length we have than with a lack of new growth. It doesn't matter how much you try to accelerate your hair growth, without proper care there's no guarantee that you can maintain length.
So now that we’ve uncovered the fact that the secret to long, luscious hair is actually retention rather than fast growth, let’s dive into some of the ways we can protect and maintain our curls!
2. Rinse Out Step Two
Raise your hand if you’ve ever finished your shampoo and conditioner at the same time?
(Ha! We didn’t think so.)
It’s no secret that curly girls can go through a lot of conditioner, and we’re not knocking you for that. Conditioned curls retain more moisture, more moisture means less frizz, and less frizz equals more definition.
However, as curly girls ourselves, we didn’t want our customers to have to use TONS of conditioner to get the uber-hydrated curls they desire. Like the other two steps in our line, our conditioner is also activated by water and requires a lot less product than you think. It’s a concentrated formula that’ll still give you all the detangling and slip you desire, without requiring boatloads of product to do so.
4 Ways to Retain Length
1. DIET & HYDRATION
Healthy hair starts from the inside out! Remember, your hair gets most of its nutrients from your diet. Not sure where to begin?
Well, curls love staying hydrated! Be sure that you’re drinking enough water on a daily basis. Bonus: It’ll not only make a difference for your hair but the rest of your body will feel good too!
Hair is made up of protein, so include foods in your diet that are high in clean protein like eggs, beans and avocados.
2. CLEAN SCALP & HAIR
Healthy hair starts at the scalp. Consider it the foundation for healthy, vibrant curls. A dirty scalp means that your curls need to push through a bunch of dirt, oil and product build-up in order to emerge.
The cleaner your scalp, the easier it is for your hair to grow. Also, product build-up on your kinks can wreak havoc on retaining length. The more gunk you have on your strands, the easier it will be for your curls to get in miserable knots and tangles! If you ever find that your hair needs a deep cleansing, try clarifying your curls to give them a fresh start.
3. MORE MOISTURE
Your ends are the oldest part of your hair, so it makes sense that you have to take extra care of them. Dry hair can be a disaster for your ends because each strand becomes more brittle and susceptible to damage when it’s dry.
Don’t be a victim of dry, thirsty strands!
On top of making sure you are drinking enough water, you also need to add moisture to your hair.
Check out our blog here to see more on how to keep your curls moisturized!
4. DITCH THE SOURCE OF DAMAGE
Yes, girl, we are talking about your flat iron, blow-dryer, hair colour and anything else that can compromise the health of your hair. Damage is the number one enemy to a long, healthy head of hair. So, if you want to start seeing growth and progress with your curls, it’s time to unplug your hot tools, pack away the box dye and give your curls a much-needed break.
It Takes Time
The biggest tip we want to leave you with is this: Have patience! Your curls aren’t gonna grow at lightning speed. With less than an inch of growth per month, you have to give your curls the time and the care they need. Set yourself up for success by prioritizing the health of your hair, and it’s likely you’ll see the results you’re looking for.
Less product = even better results (at ALL stages of the LUS application!).
It’s also important to know that the LUS conditioner should not be used as a leave-in conditioner.
While it’s chock-full of amazing hydrating ingredients, the formula was designed to do all its work in the shower; when you choose not to rinse it out, you risk clogging your hair follicle and dulling your shine.
Bonus: Rinse out your conditioner with cool water to close up the hair follicle and seal in moisture.
3. Detangle In the Shower
We strongly advise doing all of your dirty detangling work IN the shower! Why? You’ll handle your curls less as they dry, reducing frizz and preserving all of your glorious definition. Many of our curlies actually find it easiest to detangle after letting their conditioner sit for about 5 minutes. You can see our founder demo this here.
Add a bit of water (try sticking your whole head under the running water for 1–2 secs) and then slowly detangle using your fingers or curl-appropriate comb, a bit more water, a bit more detangling, until ahhh—you’ve got a silky smooth, tangle-free mane.
What are your #lengthgoals? What are you doing to attain them? Tell us in the comments below!
4. Less Product, More Water
Our All-in-Ones are activated by.... you guessed it, water! So, you’ll want to apply them to soaking wet hair. Since lots of us aren’t accustomed to working with more H2O than product, many curlies go overboard with our products their first time around. Even though it may be scary, try a lighter hand with your All-in-One and be generous with the amount of water you use. Keep in mind that this may change depending on your curl type and porosity level.
Someone with 2A curls, for example, will have hair that easily retains moisture so adding water after applying your All-in-One might not be necessary. Someone with 4B curls, however, may need to use a spray bottle to add water throughout their application process.
You’ll know you’ve used the right product-to-water ratio when you can easily start to rake your fingers through your hair without a ton of excess product coming off in your hands.
The application really is the key to a great finish (our founder proves this here), so take your time to really work in the product. Not only will you experience better results, but you will also find that you can last longer between washing and styling your hair. Who would have thought that one product could do all that?