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4 Bad Habits to Eliminate to Maximise Length Retention

Avatar • Aug 21, 2013

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Style Icon Courtney

I am pretty sure that most of us will be guilty of at least one of the things on the list below. This article is really aimed at people who have had trouble retaining length despite following the best of advice or think/know that they have a below average growth rate. In both of these cases, maximising retention is crucial and therefore things that we may ignore or believe to be not that damaging are actually much more important than we think. In both of these cases, every strand and every bit of length is essential to getting longer hair. Here are the 4 bad habits:

1. Ignoring that popping sound when detangling

Let us get it clear, even the gentlest detangler among us will have snapped or popped a strand or two while finger detangling or combing hair. This is not the habit that is under the spotlight. The problematic habit is when you are generally gentle but accept that when you hit rough spots or when you get tired, you begin to think, ‘Oh well, it is just two or three strands, not a big deal.’ It is a big deal when you know your hair is going to break but you go ahead and plough through, you are in essence telling yourself that breakage is ok and will not impact your length gain. Regard snapping or popping strands as a failure on your part rather than accepting it as a norm in natural hair styling because it does not have to be.

2. Letting open hair progressively shrink, letting it rain on your open hair.

For many naturals, if you start an open hair style with stretched or straightened hair, you will notice that each day will bring with it a little more humidity and moisture to the hair. Therefore, gradual shrinking of the hair as the curl pattern and kinks redevelop is inevitable. In general, many naturals can cope with this reversion for a few days but there comes a point when hair begins to mesh as strands intertwine. This is the point when you will need the big guns (water, oil, conditioner and plenty of detangling time) to fix the shrunken hair prior to actually washing your hair. If you can avoid this stage, you are in a better position as you subject your hair to less stress and therefore maximise your retention. Equally, when it rains, if your hair is open and it is the type which shrinks and meshes, it is in your best interest to either quickly control this by compacting the hair into a bun/braid/large twists/pin up. Some hair will be perfectly fine with moisture but some hair needs shrinkage control.

3. Thinking you need to run a comb/fingers from root to tip to confirm detangling

I really loved this article by Geniece. It reinforces the point that some of us do have kinky curly hair that will not really care for ‘full’ detangling. The inherent nature of kinky hair which has tight curls, is that sometimes strands will cross paths and this is not necessarily something that needs to be fixed. Detangling really means eliminating complex knots at the ends of hair and preventing tightly meshed hair especially at the root. Many hairstyles will forgive a few intertwined strands. Thorough detangling is more important if you need to create a straight style but if that is not your intention, do read Geniece’s article linked above!

4. Keeping a protective style in for too short or too long

If your hair requires protective styling in order to gain length, you should know both the ideal time frame for keeping the style and the ideal time frame to undo it. If you spend very short periods with a protective style (e.g. 1 week or less), you may not see any substantial gains in length as you are manipulating your hair too much. However, if you keep the style in for too long (e.g. over 4 weeks), you can end up with the dreaded meshing, lint stuck in hair and serious detangling which can all cause breakage. The time frames I have listed here are general, you have to determine individually what is too short or too long for your hair.

Ladies, have you been guilty of any of these? Do you have any to add to the list?

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Skyler
Skyler
7 years ago

Dag…I think Im guilty of all 4.. lol

Tabatha
Tabatha
7 years ago

I don’t ignore the popping sound. Ha, ha, I actually make a face and then tell myself to slow down. The second one I try not to, but there was this one time in Hawaii and it was romantic, so I didn’t care, my man made it such a great day, but he tried to get me in doors, but I was like, “Baby I don’t care”! What helps me is I wrap my hair every not that helps the stretch and my hair doesn’t curl back so quickly. The third one not really I normally just detangle the ends… Read more »

Tanya
Tanya
7 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

I do the same thing as your for numbers one and four. Just yesterday I was making faces at myself every time I heard a popping sound. xD

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago

THE STYLE ICON HAS A BEASTLY FACE GOOD LORD

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Irrelevant. Why? Because her hair is awesome.

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

SO YOU AGREE

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

No, I don’t. I think that she’s cute. My point was that I think that the comment about her face is irrelevant as this article is about her hair and hair retention. LOL I still got two thumbs down!

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

actually she’s pretty, if you click on the link under her picture. i’m sure you’ve had far less flattering pictures yourself, my dear troll.

Caramelcurls
Caramelcurls
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

TINA SMITH: Granted you are entitled to your opinion, some things are better left unsaid. That comment was unnecessary and rude. Part of being a mature adult is taking other people’s feelings into consideration. Try it, I guarantee it will make you a better person!

Belle
Belle
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Cowards like Tina Smith sit in front of the computer screen and call other people beastly. Shame on you for having such low self-esteem. This woman has written a great article in efforts to help us all grow healthier and longer hair, and all you and your insecure self could do is make this comment. Your life must be very sad. Courtney is very beautiful inside and out, something that can’t be said about you.

Vanessa B.
Vanessa B.
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Tina” is probably a lonely, scruffy, pimple faced dude living in his mom’s basement, eating Cheetos and one finger pecking on his keyboard.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Ummmm wow, I guess beasts recognizes beasts =/ You must have forgotten that you’ve shared your videos on BGLH. You my dare have ZERO room to talk and your nasty attitude just makes you ugly on the inside as well.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Ummmm wow, I guess beasts recognizes beasts =/ You must have forgotten that you’ve shared your videos on BGLH. You my dear have ZERO room to talk and your nasty attitude just makes you ugly on the inside as well.

Hahahaha
Hahahaha
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

Link? She needs a taste of her own medicine.

What you looking like Ms. Tina?

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago
Reply to  Hahahaha

What’s sad is this is not some young girl who doesn’t know better but a 40 something yr old. SMH

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

that can’t be tina smith. for real? she doesn’t come across that way in her videos. granted, i’ve only seen like…a few minutes of two of them. i guess you never know.

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

on second thought barbara you’re right! i went to the video and scrolled down at the comments section, and YESSSS OMG!!! there she go again typing in all caps! she does that for everything she posts, all caps!!!!
i can’t believe that ish!

fluffy-in-flight
fluffy-in-flight
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

@Cacey Well I knew it just had to be her– then when you look at some of the remarks she makes to vloggers on their own videos. It is without a doubt her. She tries to get them riled up and sometimes makes extremely nasty remarks to some of them. You could be looking at someone’s video then you see full caps. I guess she needs more attention, even on the vids she makes she don’t have more than 50 subscribers . She also has another channel that’s not in use.

Hahahaha
Hahahaha
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

Lord! We not gon do this today! This is the woman calling folks beast and acting a fool on here? Girl Ms Tina bye!

Courtney
Courtney
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Dam not TINA SMITH again lmao. Girl you need more than prayer. Sweetie with your attitude you wonder why you don’t get views on your YT channel. Aren’t you MRSKINKY1? Yes that’s you.

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago

MAXIMIZING NOT MAXIMISING

Why
Why
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Her spelling is correct. Not every country share the same spelling for certain words. Look up British spellings and you will see. Feed you brain and expand your mind.

Ubah Luar
7 years ago
Reply to  Why

Trina is a cyber bulle…she knows that.
Dont mind her

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago
Reply to  Ubah Luar

WHO’S TRINA YOU MUST NEED GLASSES

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago
Reply to  Why

THIS IS THE USA, PICK UP WEBSTER’S

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

TINA, WHY YOU BE HOLLIN AT US IN CAPS WITH EVERY POST? WHATS UP, HONEY? WHO DUNNIT? WHO DIDJA WRONG???

Yetta
7 years ago
Reply to  cacey

LOL..She thinks the internet is the USA…LOL

Brianne
Brianne
7 years ago
Reply to  cacey

Thank you for the amusement factor today. I fell over laughing a couple of times. Each time a new article is published I find myself just waiting to see what type of tomfoolery Tina will engage in and people’s responses to her. While at times I find her asshattery funny, BGLH imma need you to get it together. It’s unfortunate that recently there has been an increase in negativity on this site. It wasn’t like this when I first started reading. It’s one thing to have a dissenting opinion. It’s another thing to continually make irrelevant, unproductive, derogatory comments. Too… Read more »

African Naturalistas Hair Products
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Please, go to school and learn that there is American English and British English. Then you will know that both ‘maximizing’ and ‘maximising’ are correct.

Titch
Titch
7 years ago

Lol why is Tina so mad? The icon looks fine and Natural Haven is from the UK. We don’t use ‘z’ in those words.

Nicole
7 years ago

I disagree with the PS for too short being a week. I Feel like I’m still protecting my hair if it is in a bun for a week. Versus me twisting and re-twisting my hair daily. to each her own, I suppose.

naturalbrownies2013.blogspot.com

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Good point. However, when twists are done correctly you don’t have to re-twist for two weeks or more.

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

i don’t know. i think it depends on the texture. my hair doesn’t last in any twisted style without tangling past a week because my shed hair doesn’t stay in place. it travels through the length of my hair haphazardly, resulting in knots. so my limit for twists is like…3 days for chunky ones and a week or so for mini ones.

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  cacey

Hmm. When you twist your sections, do you wrap the two pieces over one another or do you twist the pieces and then wrap them over one another? My hair is what my momma deems “crawling” hair and even I am able to keep twists in for 3 weeks.

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

erm…hm. i’m not sure. i think i do a combo? i think i just wrap them around one another. i don’t usually do them senegalese style. ha! i think “crawling” is a rather apt description for what happens to my twists when the shed hairs come crawling down them. i like that lol

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  cacey

Understood. Maybe I do mine in the Senegalese style that you are talking about. I watched a British lady (of African origins) do a little girls’ hair and she said to always twist the pieces a bit when doing any kind of twist because otherwise it’s just wrapping and will unravel. Once I started doing that the twists last so much longer. I still fuzz up. Just not as much! LOL

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

yeah, that’s how my friend taught me to do the senegalese style, but it doesn’t look visually different on my bare hair. however when i add extensions the twists last and don’t fuzz up. i just have very anti hair, i suppose lol now when i do twists i do it more just for style rather than for protective style since i already know they’re not gonna last, especially if they get washed. washing them is a total NO GO for me. and i wash my hair about 2–3 times a week normally. 🙂 i’ve always admired people who can leave… Read more »

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago
Reply to  cacey

YOU ARE SO CLUELESS

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

you can quit talking about yourself now. it’s weird and makes me think you’re mental.

Nicole
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

I feel u. But I meant as a twistout. My texture doesnt hold a twistout for long. So when i re-moisturize daily, my curl pattern takes over the twistout and it just looks frizzy.

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Ahh! I understand. Yeah, my hair sometimes has trouble retaining the waves of a twist out as well. Some hair just don’t like twist outs, eh?

Adrienne
Adrienne
7 years ago
Reply to  Toni

I can keep my PS (twists) in for up to three weeks (including a weekly co-wash) without experiencing any dreading, however if I go past the third week there will be a major detangling session required.

nappy headed black girl

#4 was too true for me. I used to go overboard with leaving my twists in for too long and detangling was a nightmare. On top of that I used to wet them every day so you can imagine how much shrinking/napping up there was.

Leslie
Leslie
7 years ago

I laughed when I read the first one because I do that!! I always shrug it off like “what’s done is done.” I know it’s bad though… but I have no patience.

fluffy-in-flight
fluffy-in-flight
7 years ago

I don’t think that #4 applies to everyone. My hair literally starts to lock after one day. So i really can’t do any kind of protective styling because then I have trouble with my hair. I keep it moisturized but for some reason it’s like i don’t moisturize it at all. By the way, it’s just amazing what some of us come up with when we’re sitting behind a computer. Ever heard of just being nice to each other, supportive, encouraging, We don’t have to know each other to be nice. How do you come on a forum and refer… Read more »

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
7 years ago

JUST TELLING THE TRUTH I SEE NO ONE IS DISAGREEING

cacey
cacey
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

well this chick is. i can’t believe i’m humoring you, although i’m only doing so to ask you kindly to retire back under your bridge, troll.

Bumper1959
Bumper1959
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

That’s because most of us were choosing not to dignify your ignorance as it’s clear you are an unhappy person. Only unhappy people get their kicks by putting others down. Don’t mistake a lack of response for agreement, tacit or otherwise.

Respect
Respect
7 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Tina Smith, Why did you find it necessary to take time out of your day to say something like that to someone? Why did you feel that your “opinion” or so called “truth” was needed? Was it really necessary? Why do you seem to always have something unproductive to say? How would you like it if someone told you to your face or left comments under your youtube videos telling you how hideous you look or how pointless and irrelevant your videos are? What if someone said something like that or worse to a loved one of yours maybe your… Read more »

fluffy-in-flight
fluffy-in-flight
7 years ago
Reply to  Respect

I’ve seen the videos and I saw the remarks on people’s pages and I figured it had to be her -

Titch
Titch
7 years ago

@Fluffy that’s not black women, that’s just women especially younger women. Though Tina has been here for a while now, I have noticed an influx of rude girls to this site who think nothing of calling people out of their name or cursing and swearing. I don’t know where they came from but it’s becoming prevalent.

Barbara
Barbara
7 years ago
Reply to  Titch

Sadly, a link to this site was posted on one of THE most vile and ignorant websites I’d ever had the displeasure of visiting. Those rats (men and women) are hateful, self hating and just plain repulsive so it’s no surprise Tina is a member there.

FYI, The reason I know about “Self hating Alley” is b/c I initially thought it was a make up site but it’s more discussion/celebrity gossip etc There are a select few intelligent posters there but the vast majority’s minstrel central. *sigh*

la*belle
la*belle
7 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

Wow, that’s actually just terrible. Most, if not all, of these style icons put themselves out there so that we can get, ideas, tips and inspiration. It’s sad that these ladies become fodder for such nasty, critical people.

stephanieb
stephanieb
7 years ago

Fluffy-in-flight, I agree with you 110% It’s an absolute shame how we treat each other, on the street, on the job, and even in church sometimes. I can only expect it to be worse on the internet because these cowards can hide behind a computer, smh!!

Tonia
Tonia
7 years ago

# 2 was my biggest issue this summer and I have suffered for it.

Toni
Toni
7 years ago
Reply to  Tonia

I did that for years and didn’t realize just how much I sacrificed length for that big, puffy fro. I learned my lesson, though!

Ny Ny
7 years ago

#1 it’s not that I ignore the sound, it happens on days when my hair is a hot mess and there are a lot of tangles. Mostly when I use a comb, I don’t hair that sound when I finger detangle.

cacey
cacey
7 years ago

i don’t think i do any of these. welp. off to great length retention! *crosses fingers*

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

Wow…I need to learn to detangle better…any suggestions?

Nicole
7 years ago
Reply to  TWA4now

Tons of condish and patience! Small sections at a time.

Dananana
Dananana
7 years ago
Reply to  TWA4now

Patience is the best tool for finger detangling, imho. What really helps me is keeping my hair stretched so that detangling isn’t a big deal in the first place, but I’m pretty guilty of #2. When I commit that specific hair felony, I don’t even play around with soaking my fine, thick coils with conditioner–I’ll use up a whole bottle and just be mad. Rather, I prepoo/deep condition (depends on the week) with extra virgin coconut oil for at least an hour first (I melt it, then put on a plastic cap and wrap a towel ’round my head), then… Read more »

rOx
rOx
7 years ago

Can someone please explain #2 to me?

Skyler
Skyler
7 years ago
Reply to  rOx

@rOx
#2:
shrinkage means a greater chance of hair curling up on itself and creating matted hair and knots. water without some manipulation involved means more shrinkage thus more knots and other tangles that you don’t want.

Hyspin
Hyspin
7 years ago

For number 4 I have to say the time in which a person can keep a low manipulation style varies per person based on texture, shrinkage, style and growth rate of growth. I can easily go to three months without breaking a sweat on certain protective styles. But that is because my hair grows so slow. 3 months of growth is only 0.75 inches of root, not 1.5 inches like the average nor 3 inches like fast growers.

But have been bad for taking them out too soon knowing my growth rate.

DJ J
DJ J
7 years ago
Reply to  Hyspin

try moisturizing and sealing every day/other day. What kind of protective style are you doing exactly?

DJ J
DJ J
7 years ago

I used to redo my twist every week, and it was hard to notice growth, now I redo them every 3–4 weeks, and I see lots of growth!

DJ J
DJ J
7 years ago

Tip for everyone who finger detangle, don’t use all 4–5 fingers, just use your thumbs !

la*belle
la*belle
7 years ago
Reply to  DJ J

Hey there. Could you please clarify how you go about finger detangling with your thumbs only? This sounds very interesting

Dabney
Dabney
7 years ago

Wow! humanity is sad.Just remember; Beauty is as beauty does. Just like stupid is as stupid does!
In any case, The snapping sound is my problem. I hear it and think uh oh! Number 4 is also my problem. I suffer from a serious case of hands in head syndrome.

Trina's left hand
Trina's left hand
7 years ago

Trina is [yes, I see your name is “Tina” but I simply don’t care, Trina…] >:) definitely lonely — see how everybody’s gravitating towards her trolliness and not really commenting on the article? mission accomplished right?? she or he must be giddy with excitement! poor thing… lol so ANYWAY… I’m so guilty of #1, #2 AND #3… maybe even #4! so many buns!

thanx for this article tho/ this was a good one… but just look at Ms. Courtney with all her lusciousness! gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I’ll never catch up, but I’ll sure try 🙂

rOx
rOx
7 years ago

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!

Can someone PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY THE CHILDISH CHATTER is going on around this forum?????

GIRLS!!!!! GROW UP!!!! what does #2 mean???
NONE OF you accomplishing anything backbiting! get it together and/ GROW UP!!!!

BICKER ON TWITTER/FB/CHATTERBOX.… NOT HERE.. this forum is for H‑A-I‑R

That random Faceplamer
That random Faceplamer"
7 years ago
Reply to  rOx

Right and putting your caps lock on to show that you’re yelling at others isn’t at all childish, it’s very mature. If you have an issue with how things are being handled, this isn’t any better.

KAi
KAi
7 years ago

Hello all

This is a little off subject but I am looking for someone who can put box braids in my hair. I am currently in Los Angeles, so anyone in the area would be great. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, so someone reasonably priced. thank you

The Mane Captain
7 years ago
Reply to  KAi

agree with you NH. Especially point #3, people still think their hair is straight and has to be smooth and completely detangle free like straight hair. our hair likes to coil up and intertwine with each other.
I wrote about reasons why our hair shouldnèt be combed often in the link below. check it out!
http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/2013/06/5‑reasons-why-your-afro-natural-hair.html

Crist
Crist
7 years ago

…I’m just going to go ahead and repost @Brianne comment. While at times I find her asshattery funny, BGLH imma need you to get it together. It’s unfortunate that recently there has been an increase in negativity on this site. It wasn’t like this when I first started reading. It’s one thing to have a dissenting opinion. It’s another thing to continually make irrelevant, unproductive, derogatory comments. Too many times the focus has been removed from the wonderful content of an article to the foolishness in the comments. BGLH you have the power to stop this and ensure that this… Read more »

Brianne
Brianne
7 years ago
Reply to  Crist

Ha, why thank you.

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

If a person wants to submit an article, who would they contact on BGLH?

Melissa
Melissa
7 years ago

I am guilty of #1. Actually I don’t ignore the sound. I just kind of cringe and slow down.

folamix
folamix
7 years ago

I don’t keep my PS in longer than a day or two. I usually wear my hair out one day, and twisted the next day or two. Now that it is getting longer, I will try myb hand at mini-twists or coils.

trackback

[…] my previous article, I briefly mentioned how keeping a protective style (PS) in for a short time can prevent you from […]

Emmeaki
7 years ago

Good advice on the detangling. I use my fingers to detangle, but I am guilty of of root to tip detangling, which often breaks off my hair. I will try not to be so “thorough” with the detangling from now on. Those of us who had relaxed hair at one point have been brainwashed to get out every little knot.

trackback

[…] my previous article, I briefly mentioned how keeping a protective style (PS) in for a short time can prevent you from […]

Shenika
7 years ago

Thank you for the good advice. I’m trying my best to look after my hair and hopefully I’m on the right track! Check out my blog ?
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/IMAG0314‑1.jpg[/img]

trackback

[…] useajax, exitAlertText: exitt }); authover.triggerModal(); return false; } In my previous article, I briefly mentioned how keeping a protective style (PS) in for a short time can prevent you from […]

BubzLife Starlight
BubzLife Starlight
5 years ago

Guilty of all of these, but it hasn’t hindered my growth, and I have type 4c. But I detangle every 4 weeks after I take out my protective style.

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