But since protective styling isn't my thing, I'm forced to think of alternate ways to create admirable lengths.
I'd like to document some ideas on what I can do to help promote retention overall but before I do, I must first identify the most beneficial aspects of protective styling to see if I can experience the benefits without having to constantly bun. Protective styling is so critical for retention because it allows for these key benefits:
With that said, here are some of the things I commit to doing to help in my overall retention strategy.
Trim - The other day, I invested in a fancy pair of left-handed hair cutting scissors at Sally's. Why? Because even though I don't like to do it, I am absolutely certain about the benefits of a much needed trim. Whenever I experience too much breakage (especially in my ends), I do a very small trim. Usually, this simple act can help curb my breakage almost instantly. Those who protect their hair on a constant basis don't have to deal much with weak split ends. By trimming, I'm eliminating the weak ends and giving my hair a chance to thrive.
Moisture-Protective stylers are constantly basking their hair in consistent moisture. I've baggied before and the results were quite amazing. It's no wonder that the women who do it are able to easily retain their length. The way I'm addressing this issue is to fight dryness as much as I can (and as frequently as I can). I do this by using a liquid leave-in concoction on a daily basis. Right after I use this moisture mist, I apply Gleau oil blend voila. Before, if my hair felt a little dry, I would let it slide a little before taking any action. Now I'm fully aware that dryness is the enemy of retention. As long as I am able to successfully manage my hair's moisture levels, I can rest assured that I'm doing the right thing to retain length.
Manipulation- Bunning, braiding, or wearing weaves not only protect the hair against the elements, it also protects us against ourselves. I'll be the first one to admit that frequent manipulation is the number one reason why I haven't retained more length than I could have. I realized that I've used my hair as a comforting tool. When I'm bored or stressed, I tend to play with my hair. Over time, all that constant fondling is robbing my hair of possible length. One of the ways I've tried to remedy this is to use scalp massage as a stress reliever as opposed to playing with the length. I think knowing what I do to contribute to my lack of retention is the first step. Once I'm aware, that's when I can start to make great progress.
Growth-Knowing that I'm at an automatic disadvantage with regards to retaining length, I've placed my focus more of promoting strong, healthy new growth. Scalp massages, juicing, silica all help promote growth. My intention is to grow more hair than I lose. That way, even if I haven't been doing well in the other areas, I'm still can make progress.
Do something different-Not too long ago, I was reading a book about doing one thing differently to get different results. The whole premise of the book was about how things change for us when we do even the slightest thing in a different way. There's always a different way to do something. For example, if I always comb my hair the same way every morning, then perhaps I could try:
- Using a different comb
- Combing with fingers
- Spraying comb with hair sheen to help minimize friction
- Moisturizing hair before combing
- Using flexirods to style hair so I don't need to comb
The list goes on. The point is that if I continue to do the same things, I will continue to get the same results. When I try something different, I
can will impact how my hair looks/feels in the future. Even small tweaks in how we do things will make a difference. So today I decided to keep a satin scarf handy near my lounging couch. Whenever I decide to lay down, I'll place the satin over the pillows as a way of protecting my hair. Something small, but I know it will make an impact.
I'd love to hear ideas on what you do to retain length. Feel free to share on our discussion page.