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What Is Length Retention? 6 Tips for Long Natural Hair

Long natural hair means proper hair health from your scalp to your ends.
26 Oct 2022
It’s often believed that achieving long natural hair is only for the select few, but the truth is, that’s simply not true. We often look at how to grow natural hair, but we don’t discuss how to maintain the length of our natural hair. Enter, length retention. It’s one of those terms you’ve likely heard before, but you may not know what it means. We’re here to share the scoop on length retention and how to maintain length retention for natural hair with minimal hair breakage.

What is length retention?

Length retention is directly related to maintaining the length of your hair that is already on your head. It’s really that simple. Length retention is different from hair growth because we can, in fact, have an effect on how our hair retains length, but we can’t control how fast our hair naturally grows. Hair growth is simply genetics, but hair retention falls into our court (more on this below).

So, how to retain hair length is not the same as how to grow natural hair?

The quick and short answer is, correct. Hair growth and length retention are two totally different things. If you find that your hair doesn’t seem to be getting longer, the truth is, length retention may be your concern. If you don’t retain the length of your hair, that means your hair is breaking as much as your hair is growing.

If someone else’s hair seems to be growing at a faster rate than yours, it may not be that your hair isn’t growing from the root, but that your ends are breaking off, so the length of your hair stays the same or gets shorter, if not taken care of properly.

Why does my hair not retain length?

There are a variety of reasons that your hair may not retain length and most of them have to do with how you take care of your hair. In most cases, the length of your hair isn’t retained because of breakage and split ends. But how do you stop hair breakage? If these matters are left unattended, you’ll find the length of your hair to appear stunted. With a few tips and tricks, you can achieve long natural hair in no time.

How do I retain length?

Since retaining hair length is closely connected with maintaining healthy habits when it comes to caring for your hair and maintaining optimal hair health. Here are a few hair retention tips when it comes to caring for and styling black hair.

Length Retention Tip #1 - Maintain a healthy scalp

The health of your hair starts with a healthy scalp. If your scalp is not healthy, hair growth and the health of your hair will suffer. Proper scalp health includes routine shampooing with sulfate-free shampoos like the Wash Day Delight Shampoo with Aloe and Rose Water that lather gently, but deeply cleanse without stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Length Retention Tip #2 - Keep strands properly moisturized

It’s no secret that maintaining moisture levels is a must for healthy hair, especially for curly hair types. When the hair is properly moisturized, the chances of breakage and split ends is minimized. If you find that your strands are drier, specifically towards the ends of your hair, consider applying a small amount of a deep conditioner to your ends once or twice a week. We love the Monoi Repairing On-The-Go Hair Mask that reduces breakage by 98% after just one use and the Goddess Strength Cocoon Mask that moisturizes in five minutes. If you’re wondering how to prevent hair breakage, a mask is a good place to start.

Length Retention Tip #3 - Avoid friction when possible

Friction is a no-no when it comes to growing long natural hair and length retention. A common cause of friction on the hair? Sleeping with your strands unprotected. To ensure that your hair doesn’t break or split while you snooze, sleep wisely with a satin or silk bonnet or pillowcase.
Bonus: This will reduce morning frizz, too.

Length Retention Tip #4 - Book regular trims

It may sound silly, but trimming your hair regularly will help with length retention. Remember those split ends we mentioned earlier? Getting your hair trimmed regularly means that split ends don’t have a chance to split even more and cause breakage. Not to mention, if you trim your hair on a consistent basis, the amount of length lost will be minimal, so you don’t have to worry about losing 2-3 inches at a time (which is what happens when we wait too long in between appointments). How often should you trim your hair? It all depends on your goals, but every six weeks is ideal.

Length Retention Tip #5 - Sport protective styles

Protective styling gives your hair a breather from manipulation which helps to keep damage and breakage at bay. From mini twists to box braids to cornrows, the choice is truly yours. If you’re going to sport a protective style, apply a rich hair butter like the Coco Creme Coil Enhancing Moisture Butter before styling to keep your locks moisturized.

Length Retention Tip #6 - Take care of your ends

The bottom line is length retention is achieved by maintaining healthy hair, your ends included. Do all you can to be gentle to your ends. After all, the end is the oldest part of the hair strand, so it can be fragile. Keep ends moisturized, tucked away when possible and trimmed to achieve long natural hair. Try Goddess Strength Hair Oil for hydration from scalp to ends.

For more hair care tips, read How To Moisturize From Your Strands To Your Toes.

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