Before we go further about Retaining Length of your Natural hair, we should understand the difference between growth and retention as most of us do interchange or get confused about them.
Having a long hair is almost every lady’s dream as we spend a lot of time on the hair with hopes of achieving a long and healthy hair. The hair growth has stages and phases which it cycles around and it’s called the Growth Cycle, understanding this cycle will allow you to easily recognize the problems and reasons why you may feel your hair is growing or not. The hair growth cycle consists of three distinct stages and they are the anagen, catagen and telogen.
Your hair grows around half an inch a month and grows faster during the warm season than in cold season. The anagen phase can lasts for an average of 3-5 years, therefore a full-length hair average should be around 18 to 30 inches. While the growth rate differs in everyone, this phase is majorly determined by genetics and supplemented with proper diet and internal health. During this phase the follicles are buried deep in the skin to nourish new hair fibres which are being grown, and the longer the process take, the faster and longer the hair growth will be.
At the end of the anagen phase, your hair enters the catagen phase. A short transitional phase that lasts approximately 10 days. During this transitional period, the follicles begin to renew itself, while the nourishment received during the anagen phase will be stopped, forcing the hair upward. This process is referred to as new growth.
Lastly, your hair enters the telogen phase. This is a resting phase when your hair is released and falls out. The follicle then remains inactive for 3 months and the whole process is repeated. Each hair follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times, otherwise all your hair would fall out at once. At any given time approximately 10-15% of hair on your head is undergoing this phase. It is the reason you only shed a certain number of hairs a day, it put to be around 80 hairs a day, if the hair is healthy.
Now that we know that hair growth is basically determined by genetics, it means you cannot physically control the rate at which your hair grow, nor can you alter the colour, density or texture. However, you can you improve the health of the new strands of hair you grow and retain the length which translate to long hair or visible hair growth.
HAIR LENGTH RETENTION
Length retention is how you manage your grown hair by taking certain actions that can help prevent too much hair breakage and split ends. Do you want a Long hair? If your answer is yes, then remember that growth is genetics and can’t be physically altered. Retention of hair length is keeping the naturally grown hair that can actually be improved on. Below are tips for hair length retention.
Always keep your scalp clean.
Your hair will shed and break less when the scalp is clean and hydrated. Washing at least once in two weeks is a good way of keeping the scalp fresh. Depending on individuals, some people may need extra oil added; using oils like jojoba, castor and olive oil are good for balancing nutrients and health.
Opt for deep conditioning
Deep conditioning your hair helps the hair to absorb enough moisture that will help it withstand the external processes your hair undergoes.
Avoid styles that pull the hair
Tight and heavy weave can cause severe damage to our hair. Braids and sew-ins especially can cause tension which can weaken the hair and stress the scalp. Also, using synthetic hair causes dryness and friction.
Opt for a satin instead of cotton
The use of a cotton head wrap can cause hair loss but instead, opt for a satin material that is silky in texture. You can also use a satin pillow case as a backup, just in case the head wrap falls off.
Avoid flat irons
Applying too much heat to our hair will do a lot of harm than good. You can limit the use of a blow dryer and flat iron. If you must use it, never blow dry or use a flat iron on your hair when it is completely wet. Wet hair is very weak and can easily pull off while using hot tools.
Have a trim
To achieve a healthy hair, you need to trim the end of your hair occasionally. It actually varies but you need to have a trim at least once a year. Some people trim every 6-10 weeks while some four times in a year, it all depends on your hair type. Trimming keeps the hair from splitting up the strands that causes hair breakage.
Check your diet
Proteins, veggies and antioxidant food are proven to encourage hair growth. Your diet contributes to the production of your hair in the anagen phase of hair growth. Also, drink lots and lots of water. A hydrated body makes the hair and skin to be well moisturised and nourished.