I always get the question “how does your hair grow back so fast?” and the answer is super simple. So today I’ll be sharing my natural hair care routine for maximum length retention.
Before I get into the secrets to retaining length, let me give you my hair summary. As a young child, I wore my natural hair styled by mom until the 5th grade where I remember her asking this question: “do you want to cream your hair or do you like it as is?” Young Candi was adventurous so I was happy to say goodbye to my textured hair and hello to chemically straightened hair. New hair, who dis? This new Candi lasted all the way up to university.
But when the second semester of my first year came around I decided I would start stretching my relaxers so I could grow my hair past shoulder length. A few months prior I had dyed my hair red with a dark and lovely box dye and as luck would have it, my hair started breaking.
Before the red dye I had always had a healthy head of hair despite the chemical relaxer. It grew, I cut it. I cut it, it grew. My mother’s routine for my hair worked well. But the adventurer in me wanted more. I wanted colour. In high school I dyed my hair chestnut blonde (another box dye) and that went great but I had to push the envelope further and go for red.
My hair is red and damaged and I’m desperately trying to get it back to its previously healthy state. I scoured YouTube until I came across the idea of relaxer stretching for retaining length and improving hair health. I gave it a try. Braided my hair to last a few months. Took my hair down for its first wash post protective styling and it was a horrid, tangled mess. I had enough. That very evening I got a friend to cut the relaxed hair off and I started my big chop journey. What started out as relaxer stretch became my transition back to natural hair seven months post relaxer.
Now that you’re all caught up let’s get into my hair care routine.
Before I start here are a few facts you’ll need to know:
- I big chopped August 2013
- I’ve cut my hair several times since then, most recently in 2018
- My hair grows within the average of 6 inches a year
- I use supplementary vitamins like Nature’s Bounty Hair/skin/ Nails Gummies or Vitafusion Women’s Multivitamins
- At its longest, my natural hair was mid-back length
- Current length: armpit length
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Washing Natural Hair for Length Retention
I treat my hair like a plant and give it lots of water. To keep it hydrated I try to wash my hair every weekend or at most every two weeks. Washing my hair hasn’t always been the easiest. It’s been the reason for several of my major haircuts. Washing my hair used to be a chore but now with seven years of caring for my hair under my belt, I’m proud to say I have it down to a science. Wash days usually include the following products:
What products do I use?
Shampoo: Crème of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo
Deep Conditioner: Taliah Waajid Repair And Restore Hair Strengthening Masque
Leave in Conditioner: Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
Oils: Jamaican Black Castor Oil/ Olive oil/ Coconut oil mix
Moisturizer: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
This is a list of my staples. I try other products every now and then when I can’t get my hands on my true staples. For example, currently, I’m using the deep conditioner from Taliah Waajid’s Green Apple & Aloe line but I prefer the Taliah Waajid Repair and Restore Hair Strengthening Masque. Overall though I’ve found these products to work well for my hair in maintaining moisture.
Low Manipulation For Natural Hair Retention
In conjunction with my wash day routine, I typically style my hair once a week. Low manipulation styles like twists, crown braids, and ‘Felicia’ braids are some of my favourite ways to style my hair for the week.
These styles usually double as great preparation for a braid out or twist out for the weekend. Sometimes I choose to keep the twists in all week and other times I don’t but whatever the case is I don’t restyle (detangle) my hair until it’s time to wash it. That’s my biggest secret. Set it and forget it. As long as you ensure that you use moisturizing products that work well for your hair type your hair will have no problem sitting in some twists for a few days. Low manipulation equals less breakage. Less breakage means you’ll retain length as your hair grows.
What about protective styling for length retention?
Protective styling is great. However, when protective styling be wary of styles that put stress on your hair follicles. I recommend opting for a tension-free style like knotless braids, wigs or Marley twists.
I don’t have fast growing hair…
You don’t need fast-growing hair to have long hair. Personally, I don’t think my hair grows particularly fast but my haircare habits help me maximize my length retention potential. The key is to employ good hair care practices in your routine and find products that work well for you. If you’re struggling with stunted hair growth consider using a supplement for women or specifically for hair growth but don’t forget to treat your hair well in the process.
So there you have it, my simple answer to the question of how I grow my hair back so fast. No magic potions, just patience and consistency. A simple natural hair care routine perfect for length retention.
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