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3 Hairstyles That Can Keep You From Reaching Your Goal Length

Avatar • Jul 6, 2014

by Cassandre of CassandreBeccai.com

Eight years.

That’s exactly how long it took me to get to my current lower back length, but when ladies ask me how long it took I hesitate to say 8 years because that’s not inspiring at all. It just makes long length seem impossible to get to.  I mean, 8 years is a long time!

Here’s the thing though, most of that time was spent on correcting mistakes and cutting off hair so it can achieve some kind of health. I learned a lot during that time about styles that maybe counterproductive if I’m really trying to see length in the least amount of time.

Here are a few styles I’ve learned to revise or stay away from as I worked towards longer length:

1. Havanna Twists.

cassandre havana twists natural hair

But aren’t havanna twists a protective style?” you ask. Well, yes and no.

Havanna and marley twists are my go to styles when I need a quick and easy change. I’ve rocked them every summer since they became popular, but you can’t set it and forget it. This is typically the habit that many of us develop when it comes to adding extensions of any kind. I like extensions, I really do; but half our sisters out there are rocking these great styles (twists and braids) with no clue on how to use it to really retain length. When extensions are placed in too tightly, the risk is that the hair can be pulled up from the root. Tight braids are especially harmful to the sensitive edges around our hairline. Most of us also totally forget about taking care of our own hair by not keeping it moisturized and/or lubricated with an oil. This lack of attention mean after two months, our hair becomes very brittle at the ends translating into breakage.

Make these changes to your next extensions style for a more fruitful outcome:

- Install on deep conditioned, well moisturized and sealed hair.

- Encourage your stylist to be more sensitive about the tightness of your braids, especially around your edges.

- Lubricate your hair with oil while in the the style once or multiple times a style week.

- Try not to leave the extensions in for much longer than 8 weeks.

 

2. The Wash n’ Go

IMG_0386

 

I’ve rocked a wash n’ go a few times before and they looked cute, but I always seemed to pay a price for it afterwards.  I have yet to learn a technique that will thoroughly minimize tangling and fairy knots from a wash n’ go on my hair.  Maybe, my highly textured 4b hair just can’t handle it, or maybe I’m the only natural on earth who hasn’t learned a better way, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Before you think about a wash n’ go style, here’s what I suggest:

- Watch and learn from the pros on YouTube on how to achieve not only the best looking wash n’ go, but the least tangled one.

- Rock a partial wash n’ go, perhaps in a faux hawk style where the sides are braided or twisted so that if you do experience tangling in the wash n’ go section, it will be concentrated and not all over your head.

 

3. The Blow Out

TASHair 0067

I love to blow out my hair and then use it as a base to do a bantu knot out. My results are always so pretty; but using a blow dryer to blow out my hair has only spelled trouble for me in the past.

The heat of a blow dryer is concentrated so that it dries your hair very quickly and often times, very harshly absolving almost all of your hair’s moisture, even in it’s core. Your hair can dry up so intensely, that it cracks the cuticle. I’m sure you can see how that can get you into trouble.

To minimize the loss of length, here’s what you can do:

- Use another stretching technique that requires no heat.

- If you chose to blow dry your hair, use a product with a humectant like glycerin to ward off cuticle cracking from extreme dryness.

- When using a blow dryer opt for a lower heat setting and dry hair to about 80%-90% and allow it to air dry.

 

Are there any hairstyles that you’ve discovered were detrimental to your length retention?

 

Cassandre Beccai: Just another naturalista playing by my own rules!

 

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About Cassandre

Just another naturalista playing by my own rules! Got hair that doesn't seem to grow past your shoulders? Check out my free Grow Your Hair Faster Video Course

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These 3 Hairstyles Can Be Keeping You from Reaching the Length You Want | Natural Haircare NewsUviwe LupuwanaCierra BlueDeidre AnnNichelle Recent comment authors
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arnellie
Guest

thanks for the tips!!

Cassandre
Guest

You’re welcome, hon!

April
Guest
April

I think that also drying your hair in sections underneath a bonnet attachment (mine attaches to my handheld blowdryer, which annoyingly gets pretty hot even on the lowest setting) can allow you to dry your entire head more safely. Your hair won’t be completely stretched but it’s a start.

lablooplah
Guest
lablooplah

so… basically we cant do anything with our hair.

ragu
Guest
ragu

yes we can, everything in moderation that’s all.

lala
Guest
lala

what i find is that when researching with this site, you cant apply everything otherwise you would get seriously confused. you apply the basics (moisturizing, sealing, washing, co‐washing) and the rest is up to you. its your journey and what you may find will retain length, others may not thats why this article explains that it “could” keep you from reaching your length goal — and not a definite setback. for example my friend has havana twists/braids in her hair and now her hair is bra strap length from shoulder length in two years. although it may have taken longer… Read more »

mary
Guest
mary

Basically, unless you’re genetically predisposed to have long hair no matter what you do to it. I have a couple of friends like that, they don’t even deep condition, get it cut really short and its BSL in less than 2 yrs with no protective styling. SMH I can’t even get that with protective styling in a year..

fugeela20
Guest
fugeela20

My frustrations exactly.

cacey
Guest
cacey

yeah, this advice could be applied to any hairstyle. every hair style or styling method i’ve ever seen recommended i’ve always seen at least one individual who said it spelled “trauma” for their hair or at least “no bueno”. it’s all definitely case‐by‐case, person‐by‐person.

Cassandre
Guest

Girl, you can ANYTHING you want with your hair because I know that’s exactly what I do. This article only suggests how you can do what you want to do in a way to retain length *if* you have a length goal in mind. Otherwise‐ keep doing you and enjoy your hair!

Tisha
Guest
Tisha

HAhahahahahaha!! I hate to say it but Yes! That’s about Right! WhAT??? Hear me out! Look at women of other races with long hair say Indian. How do they wear there hair? The same every day. And notice the ones Who do all these different styles their hair isn’t as long. Do a you tube search of really long hair and then those women when they talk about there hair They don’t do ANYTHING to it. It’s usually up in a bun or ponytail MOST of the time. So even for women of other races who don’t have the hair… Read more »

Erinma
Guest
Erinma

Aren’t there already articles on this subject on this website? Very sure this has been spoken on already

Deedeemaha
Guest
Deedeemaha

I was thinking the same thing. However, I have bernardino natural a long time so you are probably like me And have read a lot on the subject. There are so many day by day transitioning to natural/kinky/curly hair that a repeat of the subject is necessary. It’s like hitting refresh button. You may still see things you saw before, and you may see or read something new. If it’s to much repeat, read another article.

Deedeemaha
Guest
Deedeemaha

I don’t know what I was typing “bernardino” ! I was saying ” I have been “. Lol

mary
Guest
mary

Yes, my afro. But I love it. I’ll put it up for the winter. LOL

Cassandre
Guest

Haha! Trust me, I understand. Been rocking mine all week! This advice is really for an individual who has a short term length goal in mind and even then, it may not be relevant. Do you!

Nell
Guest
Nell

Uhhhh… I don’t think you have 4b hair…

Delia
Guest
Delia

I’m glad you touched on the tightness of braids. I was telling my friend who did my twists that she was doing them entirely too tight and she kept telling me that they would loosen up. I started to feel bumps like I had with a set of braids before this, so where I felt bumps I removed the twist and twisted my hair around a neighboring one.If it’s too tight, it isn’t right. I’ve only taken out two so far and they’re near the perimeter of my head, but the release is ridiculous. Thanks for the tips!

Cassandre
Guest

I know how this feels! The raised bumps become so obvious, too. I know I want my styles in for a while, but my edges are too sensitive for tight braids. It’s unfortunate that you have to take a few down, but I think it’s better than making your edges weak and fragile which leads to breakage.

Adía
Guest
Adía

I always felt hesitant to tell my braider how tight to style my hair thinking she knew best. But it’s my hair on my head and I can tell her if it’s too tight

MW
Guest
MW

Ugh. This. I moved to New Orleans from NYC and had to find a new stylist in a pinch after my usual and I got our signals crossed. Well, I wanted a weave because I had been manipulating my hair so much and her braiding was ENTIRELY too tight. I mentioned it a couple of times but she kept saying it would loosen and that all of her “natural” clients were tender headed. Well, money be damned I undid the weave a few days later and thank God I did because it already started pulling and left patch bald spots… Read more »

Effie
Guest
Effie

I had the same situation twice..once w/ braids and once with a weave. I didn’t even keep them in overnight I was in so much pain even after the ‘prescribed’ steamy showers. We should not have to take tylenol for a darn hairstyle. :<

Fly and Fab
Guest
Fly and Fab

@MW “that all of her “natural” clients were tender headed.” <- THIS! My mom braids my hair and she is always telling me to stop complaining, you’re so tender headed. Um, no mom you’re braiding my hair way too tight! I just took down my crochet braids that I had in for a little over a month and even though I love them I don’t think I will be doing any more braids or extensions because my temples are starting to look a bit too sparse. When I took the style down, most of the hair that was coming out… Read more »

NubianPrize
Guest
NubianPrize

I’m a retired k‐6 teacher & back in the 90s I saw a little girl crying in my class.She told me her braids hurt real bad . I went over to her & was shocked at what I saw.Her newly done braids, which she said were done the day before, were so tight that the scalp skin was pulled up from the follicles all over her head. Her edges were already thin. It looked really painful & I felt bad for her & told her I’d write a note to her mom. I sent her to the nurse ‚who put… Read more »

melanie washington
Guest
melanie washington

Mini twists, they are extremely cute but the frustration of taking them down leads to tangles.So they had to be cut out of my regimen.

Caray
Guest
Caray

The key to mini twist is not make them so “mini, I have been wearing them for 4 months and I do them small not so small I cant remove them.

Liglisa
Guest
Liglisa

I think the key is genetics determining the amount of time for obtaining length not that you can’t reach it. I’m not discouraged at all regarding the time it may take for me to grow my hair versus someone who’s hair grow like weeds. I make no comparisons but simply work with the I have. So what someone else’s hair grows without virtually doing anything. If that’s not my situation, I find out what I can do to reach that goal for me. I’m kinda tired of hearing that hair won’t grow to a length past what is genetically able… Read more »

Cherise
Guest
Cherise

Well Said.

nappy headed black girl
Guest

That blowout may have been detrimental but lawd it’s beautiful <3 Lovely hair, sis.

One thing I’ll add is not moisturizing enough or properly. I can definitely see a difference when I get lazy and neglect my moisture routine.

Veronica
Guest
Veronica

I think another hairstyle that can keep you from reaching your length retention goals is mini‐braids, perhaps even mini‐twists. I say this because after 4 to 6 weeks, hair can get knotted at the ends depending on your hair type. Also, take down on strands formed into such tiny sections of hair can be too much stress on people with finer hair. Or one can just lose patience and snatch sections down too fast to get them out quicker which causes more breakage. I know some people have had success with length retention while wearing mini twists or braids but… Read more »

Deanna
Guest
Deanna

This article is so on point. The wash‐n‐go method can wreck havoc on your hair. So far, I’ve been doing braid‐outs. The results have been awesome. I have minimal breakage, hair is moisturized, doesn’t take up much of my time, and I look polished and professional.

NubianPrize
Guest
NubianPrize

For the past 4 or 5 years I’ve done wash n goes with Kinky Curly with no hair trauma. My hair grows nicely with that in summer because I don’t comb it much,Knot Today..even the Kimmaytube mix keep it oiled,easy to detangle, & moisturized. I also deep condish weekly. Winter is actually worse because of the dry air & heating systems.

Young natural
Guest
Young natural

I know all of our hair is different, so what may not work for this author may work for others. But I have to say, I wear chunky twists almost all the time (of course I do give my hear a break once in a while) but I’m experiencing the opposite. My hair has thrived! I will say, I don’t use the marley hair to do them, so maybe that’s why?

lottie b!
Guest

OMG, finally someone tells the truth! Thanks for being honest enough to say that it takes TIME to grow hair to incredible lengths intact. There are many stops and starts with growing very long, African textured hair. I’ve been relaxer free for 25yrs and believe me it was WAY BEFORE natural hair was a trend. Ladies let’s be honest, for most of you all this IS a hair trend. Nothing wrong with that but let’s keep it real shall we. Having shaved my head in 2002 and beginning the arduous process of growing my hair back out beginning in 2011,… Read more »

memeemers
Guest
memeemers

20 inches in three years?! My goodness, you must have a great crop of hair! I big chopped almost a month ago and my hair is about 5–6 inches all over now(except for one bit on the side which was unfortunately chopped too short; about 4–5 inches) and as soon as I did it I was dying for my length back (it was about 12 inches in the longest areas). I’ve been relaxer free for ten years, but I didn’t really care for my natural hair the way I should have which resulted in a lot of breakage, uneven strands,… Read more »

Jae
Guest
Jae

I wouldn’t venture to say that women realizing they don’t have to relax their hair in order to be beautiful or accepted is a “trend”. Relaxers are a trend, poetic justice braids are a trend, marley, havana, and senagalese twists? All trends. Deciding to love the hair that grows out of your scalp, the way it grows out of your scalp is not a trend. Women of other races have been doing it and it hasn’t been a “trend” for them or caused as much of a commotion as it has for black women.

Rocki Ferg
Guest
Rocki Ferg

Oh yeah its a trend. I’ve been natural 12 years. 12 years ago the same people that called my hair nappy, said it looked a mess and I needed a perm are rocking fro’s. its not about self discovery and self love anymore its about a “look”.

.
Guest
.

Common sense already told me that a wash n go would not help my 4c hair retain length.

nubiennze
Guest
nubiennze

Cass, how do you feel about Marley locs now? You’ve featured them quite a bit on your YT channel, and I know it can be harder to penetrante them with product than the Havana twists.

nubiennze
Guest
nubiennze

*penetrate

Dr K
Guest
Dr K

So so true. my hair was growing really well and had gotten to mid back length– then I began to blow it out more often because I liked the length. well last night the same stylist that was doing my blowouts had to cut 4 inches off and I’m back to shoulder‐length. it was quite an eye‐opener and I’m staying away from heat for the next six months. And I’m finding a stylist who can work with my natural curls for trims, etc. I’ll be on this site in my starting over journey! This pic is me now after the… Read more »

Dr K
Guest
Dr K

Before the chop
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/image-29.jpg[/img]

Georgette
Guest

I enjoy browsing this site. Good information!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/1.jpg[/img]

Karen
Guest

I have been natural for 20 years. I have waist length hair now because I discovered recently how to care for my own hair. I use to see these hairstyles with twist thinking it was real when I found out it was extensions. They are not protective styles. The only style that has worked for me are twisting (or braiding, but not too tight)my own hair. Twisting keeps moisture in your hair. I keep my styles in for one or two weeks no more. I have not done extension since 2009. My hair has grown. I have not done a… Read more »

PrincessBLARITY
Guest
PrincessBLARITY

If you want to have long hair do not put braids in your hair every other month!
I did this thinking that it would grow it out i did microbraids, poetic justice box braids)HUUUGE MISTAKE!A lot of breakage and lint I had to cut out the lint that was so tangled up in my hair not even conditioner would help!

ladies if youre transitioning dont go over board with the braids :c

MizMi
Guest
MizMi

My hair has been braided for exactly a year with very little time out. Every time I take them out, I evaluate my hair for exactly what you mentioned. I don’t have that problem. The biggest reason being that I braid my own hair. I don’t do “cleanup with razors or fire. I use gel or jam to tame the flyaways, and it always looks professional. The lint is often hard to deal with, but you have to know which direction your hair is twisted or braided in to twist it out. You can prevent breakage by being more careful… Read more »

Deidre Ann
Guest
Deidre Ann

Everyone’s hair is different and it’s also important to get a good stylist. I do braids for like 2 months at a time and the growth is good. My hair grew 5 inches this year using that method.

Jen
Guest
Jen

Twists and twist outs work best for me. I do not need a comb when I do these styles and my hair doesn’t tangle that much. I redo my hair once a week. Wash and go works for me because my hair again doesn’t tangle that much. I give a lot of credit to the products I use which keep my hair super moisturized and I keep my hands out of my hair. Low manipulation and moisture are the key for my hair. I only trim if I feel my hair is tangling more. I am probably due for a… Read more »

Uviwe Lupuwana
Guest
Uviwe Lupuwana

Hey there, what products do you use to moisturise your hair?
Thanks 🙂

brlbeleza
Guest
brlbeleza

Re: blowing out: I thought glycerin boils when used with heat and causes the cortex to burn??? I stretch my hair with a blow dryer but I’ve avoided heat protectants with glycerin.

Nichelle
Guest
Nichelle

This makes me sad because I lovvve my Marley braids.

Cierra Blue
Guest
Cierra Blue

when i had box braids my hair really grew and i made sure i was careful when taking them out so i retained a lot of that length.

trackback

[…] If you are wearing any of these styles and notice that your hair seems to have stopped growing, maybe you should consider switching to another hairstyle. That’s what I’ll be doing. You can find out what makes these 3 hairstyles a no‐no when aiming for length and how you can minimize loss of length by reading the article here. […]

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