It is often said that a woman’s hair is her crown and glory; many women go through great struggles to achieve length including questionable hair growth techniques like the inversion method (tilting your head upside down for the blood to rush and shock follicles) or the water-only wash method (washing the hair with water only to help promote natural sebum)…the list goes on. Some even go through the trouble of stealing and attacking store owners due to the overwhelming appeal of long hair. Is it really that serious? No, or at least it shouldn’t be.
There are countless blogs, websites, and YouTube channels that offer great tips to grow and most importantly retain hair length. All hair grows, it grows when you are asleep, and it grows when you are eating. Unless there is some type of internal illness, hair grows. The main issue people think their hair isn’t growing is due to lack of retention. Retention is basically keeping the hair that grows out of your scalp, the more you keep or retain the longer the hair. All hair is made up of protein and all hair requires the same care: cleansing, conditioning, moisturizing, and lubrication. Depending on texture some hair types for instance, curly or kinky hair, may require more conditioning and moisture than straight hair. This is because the more texture there is, the harder it is for the scalps natural oil to move down the hair strand to provide protection. Here are a few basic things one needs in order to maintain their hair and achieve long, healthy lengths:
Shampoo and conditioner
Cleansing is the first step to any hair care regimen. It is important to focus on your scalp because there is constantly cells shedding and the accumulation of dirt, oils, and products can clog pores. The scalp is an expansion of skin so it is important to clean it for the hair to push through. When cleansing, slightly apply pressure to massage the follicles and let the cleansing product run over the hair strand.
Hair needs conditioner because it helps add in moisture and if used with heat (a hooded dryer) can open the cuticle layer on hair and allow nourishing ingredients to enter the hair strand. Hair that is conditioned is able to withstand manipulation from styling because it is given some extra moisture and sometimes protein to help make it soft, strong, and elastic.
A moisturizer can come in several names, some say leave-in, others hair lotion, etc. as long as the first ingredient is water (or use just plain water) and there are some natural ingredients such as olive oil, aloe vera, and/or glycerin, it can work to add additional moisture and nourishment to hair. This is a step that people with more textured hair can greatly benefit from. No moisture=dry hair=breakage=no length retention.
A sealant provides lubrication and a protective layer to lock in all the moisture hair has just received. Some sealants penetrate the hair strand which further adds to nourishing hair, others can sit on top to seal in the applied moisture.
Retaining length on hair isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Cleanse, condition, moisturize and seal, four easy steps that can change your hair around! For examples of moisturizers and sealants, please view the slideshow.