by Cassandre of CassandreBeccai.com
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.
“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
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
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?