Monday, April 28, 2008

Can you gain length without protective styling?


There was a time during my hair journey when I would pin my hair up in various buns, wraps, and other means of hiding my hair from seeing the light of day. I did this in hopes of retaining precious length that would get me to my hair goal. Protective styling did work but I soon grew tired of wearing buns day after day. Don't get me wrong, I like to wear the occasional bun from time to time, but I also wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor by allowing my hair to flow freely.

So how do I stay on track with my goals and still enjoy my hair?

Create a fool proof routine- If you are still in the experimentation phase of your hair journey where you are working to solidify your routine, you may want to continue protective styling until your are comfortable enough with your results. You want to make sure your hair is getting the right amount of moisture and strength from your routine. If so, you can more comfortably wear your hair any way you like without having to worry about the condition of your hair. I also feel more comfortable displaying my tresses if I wash every 4-5 days instead once every 7 days. After about a week, the moisture levels aren't as potent and I begin to wear my hair up in order to avoid possible damage.

Protect your ends-Just because my hair is not in a bun doesn't mean I'm not thinking about my ends. Even when I wear my hair down I take precautionary measures with my ends. First, I make sure to rollerset my hair so my ends are straightened by a roller, not a flat iron. Once out of the roller, I make sure to add some of my favorite moisturizing oil to my hair and especially my ends. Finally, I seal the deal by taking a minute or two during the day to add product to my hair.

Make judgement calls-I know that the simple act of wearing my hair down daily could potentially rob me of my hard earned length so I am constantly checking the condition of my hair to see if I am experiencing excessive breakage. If I am, then I trim and style protectively to help my ends recover. Or let's say I am wearing a really fuzzy sweater to work. I know better than to let my hair rub up against the sweater all day. Hot summer days where I know that a lot of sweating will be involved are also murder on my ends. If my hair becomes wet and is allowed to dry without the support of the roller, my ends will be the ones to suffer. I avoid that situation altogether by pinning my hair up in a cute style in an effort to keep the worst case scenario from occurring.

Protecting your hair from the elements is one of the absolute best ways to retain length. But if you are like me and you like to flaunt what you have, then there are ways around bunning every day. You just have to be a little smarter with your hair. I was able to reach my hair goals when I was baggying and bunning. I was also able to reach my hair goals without hiding my hair everyday. If you do decide to wear your hair out more often, keep a close eye on your results. If your hair still thrives and remains healthy then more power to you.
  1. Do you have any style suggestions for growing your hair out of a super short cut? I had my shoulder-length bob chopped off over a year ago.

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  2. I had a bob years ago. While it grew out I began to wear buns and up do's. If you want to accelerate the growth, incorporate hair vitamins into your daily routine. Scalp massages also work great to increase growth rate.

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