Reader Tasha says;
When I went natural three years ago I was of the belief that the only way I could retain length was binding my hair in protective styles. I would put in dozens of twists every few weeks, only to deal with painful “take down” sessions, wrought with tangles, matting and hair balls. After trying protective styles for a couple years, and seeing no length difference in my hair, I defeatedly turned to wash and go’s. I actually started doing them because I thought I was one of those naturals whose hair just wouldn’t grow, so I was going for a cute shrunken look. Imagine how shocked I was when, after a week of wash and go’s, I saw visible growth in my hair. Since then I have ditched wash and go’s (the length retention was great, but the tangling was atrocious) BUT I do keep my hair in loose or out styles. My main ones are;
- 1. Hair put in a horizontal banana clip at the back of my head then pinned under (inspired by KimmayTube)
- 2. Applying a good butter, for example Oyin Whipped Pudding or Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love, to dry stretched hair, and letting it set. The butter provides enough coil definition that the strands don’t tangle on themselves.
- 3. Applying a good butter applied to dry stretched hair, putting in 7 to 9 fat twists, gently pulling twists apart after an hour and fluffing for a low-definition twist out.
Also, I don’t braid or twist my hair at night. I leave it out and just put a satin cap over it. It actually responds BETTER than when I used to braid and twist it.
Now, none of these styles (save, maybe the first one) are defined as “protective”, but my hair has been growing like crazy! And I feel like I can’t be the only one!
I’ve also been noticing more “natural hair idols” on blogs and YouTube who aren’t aggressive protective stylers. As for me, I just had to realize that breakage is the reason my hair doesn’t retain length… and so long as my hair isn’t breaking, then I’m good.
I’m hesitant to say that this will work for everyone… but I am curious to see if there’s anyone else out there with a similar experience to mine. Are you experiencing length retention without the use of heavy protective styling?
Interesting! What are your thoughts! Has this approach worked for you?