Question of the Day: Length Retention

In case anyone else has a similar question, I wanted to post this on the blog. 🙂 I will periodically be reposting Formspring questions or those I receive via email to share with the crew.

Q: What factors do you contribute to your phenomenal retention? You’ve made amazing progress since your BC.

A: My answer is low manipulation. I cannot stress this enough. I feel as if many times people are anxious to start doing styles (or they do not like how their hair looks in a wash and go) and they are constantly pulling/coaxing their hair. I didn’t do a wet ponypuff until a year after my BC, and I just started doing buns a couple of weeks ago, even if people told me my hair was long enough before. Also, I do twists and braids, but I don’t do them several times a week. If you need to stretch your hair to prevent tangles, by all means do it, but try to keep that style for at least a few days (like twisting, keeping the twists in for 3-4 days, then do a twist out for a couple). For the most part, I leave my hair alone. I have gotten flack for not doing enough styles or tutorials, but I’m not going to be pulling my hair every which way to please others. Sometimes you just need to leave it alone! For example, here is a pic of my hair today. Although it’s in a bun, I consider this a low manipulation style. I did not strain my edges in order to fit my bangs into the ponytail, I just tucked them behind my ears (one side I used a bobby pin to hold it) so I’m not pulling on my hair at all. The bun part is basically an incomplete twice looped ponytail – and instead of stuffing all of my ends into the one scrunchie and making it a tight fit (which can strain ends), I used two more smaller hair ties to hold the runaway ends in place, and did not loop them at all. Thankfully, my hair is thick, so I have no trouble holding it in position. I also moisturized and sealed my ends before doing this style to reduce pull on my ends.

Hope this helps some peeps. xoxo 

22 comments

  1. the relaxed hair is not curling. (i know it is not suppose to/ sorry for all the confusion) I am asking do you have any advice on what I can do to help grow my color out? I am not sure about twist outs with rods in the front because I do not want to cause any breakage on my colored hair. So with that being said, should I just continue to do wash and go’s and just pin up the relaxed pieces in the front? any suggestions? (i hope this is clear lol)

    1. Well even if you were not retaining length, the color would still grow out. If the front does not grow as much, you should look at your nutrition. Is your colored hair weaker than your virgin hair? If so, make sure you are DC’ing weekly to keep it from drying out and breaking. Like I said, I think twist outs are fine as long as you are not detangling/twisting daily.

      1. lmbo sad thing is…i think it is both my nurtition and my lack of deep conditioning…Thank you sooo much 🙂 xoxo

  2. Hey, I just curious if you have any advice for me…so i put in a demi color only to the front of my hair and the sides of the front in February..i was transitioning (and still am i guess) i cut off the rest of my relaxed in every were else but the front of my hair has only grown out maybe a inch in a half!! so i always have to pull it back of do a hump…because it wont curl..may it needs more moisture to grow idk…should i stick with twist outs w/ rods..or should i leave it alone and keep doing wash and goes with the front back..I would love your advice. ( i have been transitioning since jan 2010)

    – CRYSTAL ❤

    1. To be honest, I don’t understand your question at all! So the relaxed or natural hair isn’t curling? Sorry, I’m confused?

  3. Hi!!!! Love your hair & blog!

    Ok, so I am a new blogger & natural. Let me ask you, how often do you actually style? Once my hair goes frizzy, I puff it, taking it down each night. What styles do you consider manipu;ation? I kimd of do a faux-n-go often (instead of wet hair I just dampen & apply product). Is this damaging? My coils seem perfect…for now. It’s easy to detangle w/my fingers so I do that. Not every day, but a few times a week. What do you think?

    1. I style my hair whenever it needs it. Sometimes when I have to do reviews, I style everyday. When I say manipulate, I don’t mean just touching or wetting your hair. Even if you do them everyday, wash n gos are pretty low manipulation. I’m referring to tugging, twisting, pulling, putting stress on edges…things like that. As long as your puff is not tight, I don’t think that is bad at all. Personally, I didn’t make a puff until could pull my hair back in a ponytail without feeling it on my edges – meaning, when my eyebrows raise up, my hair doesn’t feel it, lol. It’s really up to you to determine what is too much manipulation. People with more coarse hair can usually take more than someone with finer hair. I detangle once a week with a comb and lightly finger comb with conditioner in when I wet my hair.

  4. With me, deep conditioning my hair weekly with Mega Tek, giving my hair a daily rinse and keeping it in buntu knots or twists. That helps also doing henna treatments once a month and it helps my hair to keep strong.

  5. I was well aware that low manipulation styles=length retention(woot woot! 8 inches in the front!!) however I was always trying to stuff my ends into my buns because I was trying to protect them. Who knew I was straining my ends! Dx I wasn’t born with thick hair (#TeamFineStrands! lol j/k let me stop for something else explodes on twitter) so I pile on the bobby pins since I get a lot of “free-minded” strands (making sure they have the protected coating at the ends).
    Also I only use scrunchies of one size because they all fit my fine hair… Could you recommend any “smaller size” scrunchies?
    Thanks for for tips!!
    Learn something new everyday, huh? C:

    1. If you don’t feel as if it’s pulling on your strands to stuff them into your bun, don’t change your method if it’s working for you and you aren’t experiencing issues. In my opinion, “stuffing” my hair into styles is yanking on my ends (literally), so I try to not do it. I just use the Goody Ouchless Elastics in different sizes and the black scrunchies (same ones I use for puffs and in my bun tutorial). That way, my ends are getting tucked away but are in a different “space” than the initial bun. It’s kind of like tucking them in layers.

  6. i totally agree! When my hair got long enough for me to put in a puff, I realised my hair wasn’t happy. Yes it is long enough to pull back but it was pulling on my hair too much. I now just twist my hair once a week. But now that my hair is longer (yippe!), it is rubbing on my shoulders and frizzing up. I am a little lost for styles putting it up pulls on it and leaving it causes my hair to rub on my clothes 😦

  7. Co-sign on your above post 100%!

    I just bc’d again at the beginning of April and cut my hair waaay short and already it is growing like weeds because all I do in terms of styling is put in my finger coils on a Saturday or Sunday (wash days) and work those bad boys for the entire week lol. When I go to take them out at the end of the week I am always amazed at how big my hair looks and I love it :o)

    If I want a little variety, I will throw on a stretchy headband or a clip in flower but usually I dont do anything and just let my hair be and it is thriving!

    1. Awesome! Glad to hear your hair is doing well. When I had a twa I definitely was super chill with my hair.

  8. Hey Elle!

    This is your “Late to The Meet-up” buddy, Renon, here!

    I love your posts…your always keep it 100%! 😉

    I agree…the less tuggin & pullin, the better. I found this out the hard way, but now I’m a believer!

    Later, Woman!

  9. I love the fact that you’re not willing to compromise with your own goals just for show. I get many more results just from letting my hair be than experimenting with a multitude of hairstyles.

    Its.just.not.worth.it and many will never understand. I think your hair speaks for itself by reaching the length it is at, and progressing instead of taking up permanent residence at SL like so many before you.

    Keep it up 🙂

    1. Thanks, Christina! I’ve never lived my life to please other people and I don’t plan to start now. 🙂 That’s why I like products – as long as the product is good (not drying/harmful), you get the “joy” of variety without playing with your hair too much.

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