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By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven Bloom

If your goal is to get your hair longer then you have to start real­ly car­ing for the ends (any hair which is more than 3 inch­es away from the root — old­er than 6–8 months).  Long hair is very old hair, usu­al­ly at least 3 years for mid-back length  and 5 years or more for waist/hip length hair. It is real­ly impor­tant to start to take care of the ends and many of you can run off the top tips from con­di­tion­ing, tuck­ing in the ends, trim­ming etc. I think that the role of rins­ing hair in main­tain­ing real­ly good ends is real­ly not giv­en a big enough spot­light. Rins­ing can have a big impact in ensur­ing mois­tur­is­ing prod­ucts actu­al­ly have an effect, pre­vent break­age of ends and in pre­vent­ing dry­ness. Here is how rins­ing plays these roles:

1. Rinse your hair before you sham­poo

Ben­e­fit to the ends : Bet­ter effec­tive­ness of cleanser, bet­ter repair of ends

You can imme­di­ate­ly start to get rid of dirt on your hair by first rins­ing it. This is a real­ly cru­cial step that also helps the sham­poo or cleanser to work bet­ter.  Sim­ply sit­ting under the show­er for 2–3 min­utes (a real 2–3 min­utes and not guess­work) is all that is need­ed. Cleans­ing  your ends bet­ter means that your hair con­di­tion­er which fol­lows will have a real­ly nice and clean sur­face to attach to which means more tar­get­ed repair to the ends and there­fore bet­ter mois­ture reten­tion.

2. Always rinse off sham­poo BEFORE using con­di­tion­er

Ben­e­fit to the ends : Pre­vent build up, dry­ness and ensure effec­tive­ness of con­di­tion­er

Some nat­u­rals like the ‘buffer­ing’ wash where a lit­tle con­di­tion­er is applied to hair before rins­ing off sham­poo. This method car­ries the risk of build up. Sham­poo should be thor­ough­ly rinsed off hair before con­di­tion­er is applied (again a real 2–3 min­utes). This is because sham­poo and con­di­tion­er have oppo­site charges which means that they attract each oth­er. If you sham­poo first and apply con­di­tion­er over that sham­poo, the neg­a­tive charge of the sham­poo will be attract­ed to the pos­i­tive charge of con­di­tion­er. Hair con­di­tion­er is in gen­er­al heav­ier and larg­er and intend­ed to deposit on hair, it can there­fore end up trap­ping the sham­poo which is bound to it and not allow it to be rinsed off. This would make hair feel and be dri­er than if you had tak­en the time to rinse off the sham­poo. Addi­tion­al­ly the hair con­di­tion­er can­not real­ly work as well as it should in terms of smooth­ing the cuti­cle as some of its pos­i­tive charge is inter­act­ing with the sham­poo and not the hair.

3. Rinse off con­di­tion­er dur­ing the wash

Ben­e­fit to the ends : Pre­vent build up and pos­si­ble break­age, moisturising/ leave ins work bet­ter

Some nat­u­rals like to leave some con­di­tion­er in hair and there­fore choose not to wash it out com­plete­ly dur­ing the main wash. Fail­ing to rinse out con­di­tion­er can mean that there is exces­sive prod­uct which dries on the hair and scalp. In real­ly bad cas­es this can cause break­age.  It is per­fect­ly fine to use a reg­u­lar rinse out or deep con­di­tion­er as a leave in but when wash­ing hair, that prod­uct should be ful­ly rinsed out first and then a very small amount reap­plied for the pur­pose of a leave-in.

Ladies, how do you keep your ends in good shape?

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44 Comments on "Want Longer Hair? Rinse Your Ends!"

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Arielle
I always rinse my hair before apply­ing con­di­tion­er, but I very rarely rinse my con­di­tion­er out dur­ing (or after) wash­ing my hair. I leave con­di­tion­er in my hair whether I use reg­u­lar con­di­tion­er, leave in con­di­tion­er or deep con­di­tion­er. I guess dif­fer­ent things work for dif­fer­ent peo­ple, but I’ve done this my whole life and have nev­er had a prob­lem with reten­tion or break­age as a result. Leav­ing in con­di­tion­er makes my hair real­ly soft, so I rarely have a prob­lem with dry hair and nev­er have prob­lems with dry scalp. Maybe I’ll test out remov­ing con­di­tion­er to see if… Read more »
Nettie

I remem­ber my mom as a child doing all of the above and using Hair Food grease in my hair reg­i­men. I would get my hair pressed every two weeks, and nev­er had break­age just growth. I do think grease is heavy on the hair but for some rea­son it worked.
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Jersey

Same thing for me. I don’t know if it is because of pro­tec­tive styles that my hair was mad long.

Kimira Jewels

Beau­ti­ful hair in that pic­ture Net­tie!

Lauralei

To the BGLH Admin­is­tra­tor: My email from your site con­tained a vul­gar mes­sage.
How did it get there?

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[…] Con­tin­ue read­ing at Black­Girl­Long­Hair. […]

Raven

My “aha” moment came when I began mak­ing my own spritz mix­ture with water, rose­mary oil, Jamaican Black Cas­tor oil, laven­dar oil, and tea tree oil. I make sure I light­ly spritz my hair 3 times (am, evening, and before bed). Before I retire at night I make sure I light­ly oil my scalp 3–4 times a night. The result is great length reten­tion.

monisola
For ladies with shoul­der length hair, it is so impor­tant to pin the hair up off the shoul­ders atleast half the time, and keep the ends moist. I have fine 4c strands that require a lot of mois­ture and low manip­u­la­tion. I put my hair up in twists or braids (no exten­sions) and leave the style in for 4 weeks. Mak­ing sure I pin my twists up atleast every oth­er day.…I don’t always hide the ends per sey (sp?) but they are up and off my shoul­ders and away from my hands. My hair is APL and con­tin­u­ing to retain :)
meowmix

Yum­my yum­my this arti­cle and Nap­tural85 too? Some­times it pays to be late:)

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty
Unless I’m mis­un­der­stand­ing the intent where wash­ing out con­di­tion­er before using sham­poo is con­cerned, I have to disagree.…for my hair. Part of my pre-poo process is to use a mix of a conditioner/oil. I allow it to sit in my hair for hours, some­times overnight. Then when I wash I just jump right in and sham­poo. I don’t both­er to rinse out the conditioner/oil that’s been sit­ting on my hair. How­ev­er, I focus on sham­poo­ing my scalp. My hair is retain­ing length (cur­rent­ly at 16 1/2 inch­es) so the oppo­site seems to be true in my case. I say my case because… Read more »
Pat W.

Great advice! I take real­ly good care of my hair (in between a twa and some­thing else). I kept won­der­ing why my ends were get­ting ragged and dry until I real­ized that just throw­ing on a satin cap at night was not enough. I start­ed mois­tur­ing then twist­ing and pin­ning at night. It’s mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

Kelly
The best tip I ever heard on length reten­tion was from on old YouTube vlog­ger, Rus­tic Beau­ty. She said if you want long hair, “Leave your hair alone!” Too much manip­u­la­tion, chang­ing styles sev­er­al times a week, rak­ing a wide-toothed comb through your hair three and four days a week, using too much heat — espe­cial­ly for those of us with fine hair, may slow down and/or stop length reten­tion. As far as only leav­ing a lit­tle of the con­di­tion­er in after a rinse as the arti­cle pur­ports, I use copi­ous amounts of con­di­tion­er on my daughter’s 3c hair —… Read more »
FabULess

Agreed about your rou­tine. Mine is sim­i­lar as I have 3C hair too. Kudos to you for know­ing what works amongst your girls. My friend knows her daugh­ters dif­fer­ences but does the same and one lit­tle girl can tell the dif­fer­ence from the oth­er child’s hair and resents her sis a lit­tle for it. I try to advise my friend…but she’s one of them peo­ple you can’t tell any­thing to…because she knows every­thing already, of course. *cue the sar­casm*

Natalie
A sim­ple rou­tine is all you need to retain length. I do agree with the arti­cle and rinse my hair thor­ough­ly before apply­ing a cleanser and con­di­tion­er. Wash­ing my hair is me time and I love to lux­u­ri­ate in the show­er, I usu­al­ly wash my hair 2–3 hours before I plan to go to bed as after my super­long show­er I feel very sleepy. I love the dough­nut style at the moment it is real­ly help­ing me retain length and it means I don’t manip­u­late my hair too much. So, I wash, DC then final rinse my hair once a week… Read more »
Linda
Real­ly I don’t under­stand how one can­not rinse the hair and scalp before putting any sham­poo or cowashing.I have very dense hair and cow­ash­ing doesn’t work for me so I’m a sham­poo girl. I like the feel­ing of water run­ning down my scalp and my hair and that’s the rea­son why I spend 4–5minutes rins­ing my hair before sham­po­ing my scalp and even more min­utes to rinse the con­di­tion­er out (I use the Ouidad method to deep con­di­tion my hair every week. My reg­i­men is dif­fer­ent when I wear braids,yarn twists,yarn wraps). My trick is to open my eyes under… Read more »
Love JAH

I’m sor­ry but did you read the article?…they are say­ing you should rinse you hair before and after sham­poo as well as conditioner.…rinse, rinse, rinse, water is the best aide for our hair…

KAYBEYONCE

Yes, she read the arti­cle. She is say­ingth­at it’s a giv­en and real­ly shouldn’t have to be stat­ed because how can one NOT rinse their ends before sham­poo­ing.

Stephanie
I pre­vent split ends on my hair by putting grease on it at night and wrap­ping it. Grease weighs your hair down but it real­ly works. You can also braid or plait it at night. I would mois­tur­ize it first. Alot of black girls like to mois­tur­ize their hair when they wake up but we most­ly get split ends when we sleep. You also have to mois­tur­ize your hair before you put heat to it. Anoth­er way to pre­vent split ends is to keep your hair braid­ed. When you take your braids down, wash your hair and GET SOME BRAIDS… Read more »
Ddf

I’ll def­i­nite­ly start doing #1&3. I always like to wet my hair before sham­poo­ing but I always get impa­tient and do it for less than a minute. I’ll start play­ing a song on my CD play­er that’s about 3 min­utes so it will help me keep the time with­out get­ting bored.

Stephanie

There is a dif­fer­ence between cut­ting split ends on permed hair and cut­ting split ends on nat­ur­al hair.

la*belle

Nice arti­cle and great tips in the com­ments. I’m con­fused by point 3 though (leav­ing a lit­tle cond on hair as a leave-in) The tight­ly curly method advis­es you to leave lots of con­di­tion­er in your hair. I haven’t read of that method result­ing in reduced hair health or any­thing neg­a­tive like that. Does it?? So con­fused now… I want­ed to try that method

Michelle

Actu­al­ly I already do all of the above, even with leave-in con­di­tion­er (rins­ing it out com­plete­ly lol). Once I’m wash­ing my hair every­thing gets rinsed out, the only time leave-in con­di­tion­er stays in my hair is when I apply it after I leave the bath­room.

Toyatoyaboboya
I’ve been Au nat­ur­al for about 3 years. At first I didn’t know a thing about hair care. I always tell peo­ple I went nat­ur­al by mis­take (I kept micro braids and sin­galese twists in for about a year straight). Now I have a brand new rou­tine and I’m reap­ing the ben­e­fits. I’m not into hair typ­ing but I have var­i­ous dif­fer­ent tex­tures of hair and it gets very dry and breaks eas­i­ly. The key is not a bunch of heavy prod­ucts piled on top of each oth­er guar­an­tee­ing mois­ture. The key is water and lock­ing in the mois­ture that… Read more »
Toyatoyaboboya

i for­got to men­tion that after I apply my leave in I use some type of oil or butter(usually shea but­ter or jojo­ba oil) to lock the mis­ture in :)

Ugonna Wosu

I always rinse my hair and head before sham­poo­ing, not just my ends but all of it. I don’t use rinse out con­di­tion­er any­more, except as a dai­ly leave-in. I only DC after sham­poo­ing. So, I don’t if that tip applies to me about not leav­ing some on my ends.

Julia

I couldn’t agree more that neglect­ing to ful­ly wash out con­di­tion­er will leave your scalp feel­ing flakey and gross! With hair as gor­geous and boun­cy as yours, you should real­ly try and stick with organ­ic sham­poo and oils.

Kourtne

This is good. Ever since my hair has grown past my shoul­ders, I have had more split ends, break­age and min­i­mum growth. It’s frus­trat­ing! Any oth­er tips on car­ing for your ends ladies???

Chrissie

In addi­tion to these ladies’ tips I also only wear my hair down and touch­ing my cloth­ing when I’m wear­ing a satiny shirt, which isn’t often since I only have two! Got­ta get some more. There’s no catch­ing of my ends on my shirts since doing this.

Stace

Add an egg to some cho­les­terol or oth­er thick con­di­tion­er apply that to your hair as a pre-poo..it real­ly seals yours and stops shed­ding and break­age (part hair in small sec­tions and apply from root to tip all over head).

Stephanie

Put grease on your hair at night and wrap it to pre­vent split ends. Anoth­er way is to braid or plait it at night. Also, make sure you mois­tur­ize your hair before you put heat to it. Black peo­ple most­ly get split ends when we sleep and if we put heat to it when it ‘s dry. Grease weighs your hair down but it real­ly works (the grease trick).

Lauralei

Court­ney, my growth stopped at my shoul­ders. I start­ed pay­ing more atten­tion to pos­si­ble caus­es and i found them.. These were the cul­prits: my purse strap. my brief­case strap. my seat­belt in the car. the seat-back of the car. movie the­ater and air­plane seats. any high-backed seat real­ly. gar­ments with high or medi­um collars,especially if made of non-satiny mate­r­i­al.
If this info is help­ful, I will share my solu­tions with you if you like.

Curly Queen

I seal my ends with shea but­ter and this has made a world of dif­fer­ence. I ini­tial­ly was seal­ing with just oil but I still felt my ends were dry but once I start­ed using a shea but­ter mix (my fav is Marie Dean’s Shea Nilot­i­ca) I now have healthy ends.

JENNID

Keep them ends tucked! The shoul­der length stage is where your hair begins to brush against your clothes caus­ing fric­tion and break­age. Pin them up off your shoul­ders and you should be good. Also try to keep your ends sealed with the LOC method.

Lulu

yep i used to do this when i was relaxed. Learned about it on LHCF and it made a big dif­fer­ence. I’d put cas­tor oil on my ends and then tuck them in a pony­tail (eas­i­est way then) and when i’d take my hair down, my ends would be so mois­tur­ized and sup­ple. My hair is still short but I plan to do some­thing sim­i­lar when my gets longer. I got some ways to go hehe…

neochasez

I like this arti­cle because I was begin­ning to think I was the only crazy one who was adamant on let­ting warm water run over my hair before apply­ing sham­poo. I don’t know…over the past few weeks I’ve been weigh­ing the idea of co-wash­ing more (as in twice a week) because I real­ly feel like I’m miss­ing out on the full mois­ture ben­e­fits that water pro­vides — espe­cial­ly in the win­ter.

Nikki

i was think­ing the same thing in regards to co-wash­ing most of my friends are all nat­ur­al. im tran­si­tion­ing and did my first co-wash the oth­er day. The con­di­tion­er would not rinse out it just stuck to the prod­ucts i already had in my hair and left a residue so i end­ed up wash­ing it out with sham­poo. Dont know if it was the choice of con­di­tion­er i used for the co-wash or what.

Keikimummy
Nik­ki, I had the same prob­lem at first, but after much exper­i­men­ta­tion and research (i.e. read­ing and watch­ing a lot of Inter­net con­tent made by nat­u­rals) I have found what works for me. You could try things this way and see. Start by check­ing the ingre­di­ents of the prod­ucts you use. If you are going to co-wash (and I high­ly rec­om­mend it), you can­not as a rule use prod­ucts that are not water sol­u­ble: main­ly sil­i­cones and SOME oils or but­ters (read up on the oils/butters online). I don’t use sil­i­cones, but I do like to use oils for a… Read more »
Ddf

Inter­est­ing how every head of hair is dif­fer­ent. ACV rins­es are nev­er enough to get my scalp and hair clean and no mat­ter what I use to cow­ash my hair feels dry and coat­ed. I’ve just fig­ured that sham­poo­ing with a creamy cleanser (curls creamy curls cleanser is awe­some, it has coco betaine in it) and then using a clar­i­fy­ing sham­poo once a month is per­fect. You def. have to find what works for you.

JENNID

Great reply! This is the key I think to find a co-wash rou­tine that works for you. Look for those water sol­u­ble. I’ve done some­thing sim­i­lar with the ACV solu­tion and it works pret­ty good. I think mine was the oth­er way around though, 70% vine­gar and 30% water lol.

Yayer

I do these things. I think seal­ing and dusting/trimming are the key as well as mois­ture and the unsung hero of great hair — good healthy nutri­tious diet. Hon­est­ly I feel like the rea­son that reten­tion is so elu­sive for me is my lack of a coher­ent healthy eat­ing regime.

Ashley F.

I have to agree. we can talk about prod­ucts and tech­niques all day but the real helper which is bet­ter nutri­tion seems to not get as much love. Not only does it help for health­i­er hair but also a health­i­er you over all.

Ddf

Very true…I’m even doing a colon cleanse by dr schulze right now because I’m find­ing out its the first, most impor­tant step in hav­ing a body that can actu­al­ly absorb nutri­ents from foods you eat…

Jaslene

Dr. Schulze is the busi­ness.

Candice

Very inter­est­ing! Thanks!

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