Growth Update!
Monday, February 08, 2010 | 6 comments

It's been two months since the last update! Sorry for the hiatus, lovelies. We'll be updating more frequently now. Anyway, I am one month away from my first year ful...

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"I see my hair growing like crazy, but it stays the same length! What the hell?"

re·ten·tion /rɪˈtɛnʃən/ [ri-ten-shuhn] –noun 1. the act of retaining. 2. the state of being retained. 3. the power to retain; capacity for retaining.

A lot of women, especially teen girls, hair stays the same length (shoulder length for most). Why? Because we damage our hair unknowingly. How? Having our hair down for days after a fresh relaxer/wash, tight ponytails, buns made out of cotton socks, constant styling with heat, sleeping with cotton pillowcases, the list goes on. The thing that we as black women seem to forget is that our ends are fragile and vulnerable to damage. Yet we manipulate them so much that they slowly break and we're stuck at the same length year after year.

Protective styles help with retention. What are some types of protective styles? Braids, twists, ponytails, sew-ins, rollersets, french/indian braids, and buns. I do braids after the bun and ponytail thing gets boring. The whole point of protective styles is to keep your hair off your clothes and things that can damage your hair. If you do decide to do a ponytail as a protective style, just make sure it's high enough that it won't come in contact with your clothes. Clothes, especially cotton based clothes, suck up all the moisture from your precious ends. Just picture your hair as a sponge and your clothes as the Sun. What happens? The sponge dries up!

Another way to retain length is by keeping your ends moisturized! Moisture is the key for retention. Just imagine it, if your ends are dry, what happens? They start to break off and you see the poor little guys on your shirt. What's a good way to keep them moisturized you say? The baggy method is the best since the moisture gets trapped in. You also have to make sure that you're pillowcases are hair-friendly. Satin/silk pillowcases are the best for your hair. But if somehow you can't get a satin/silk pillowcase, try using a satin/silk bonnet or scarf.


Sarah says
February 12, 2008 at 11:48 AM

I agree with you I have used a silk pillowcase for many years it well works, it has to be made out of silk charmeuse though.

Dani Gantt says
February 1, 2009 at 10:57 PM


I'm one of those girls. My hair always stays shoulder length! Well, the back, which is fine hair, grows fine, but in the front, which is more wavy, my hair stays shoulder length.

I am over a year transitioning now (the back is completely natural, but the front and middle are only about half natural). I studied abroad in South Africa, and while I was there, I got my hair cut to my chin because it was breaking so bad and I just wanted to do something different. It's been only a few months since I cut it and my hair grew RIGHT BACK! Which let me know my hair is growing very well. It's keeping my length. Retention is the reason why my hair always stays shoulder length.

My hair used to break really badly when I got braids (all over my shirt and everywhere!), so I avoid them now. I think my hair is too fine to braid. Possibly though, it could have just been that I wasn't taking good care of my hair.

Anyway, the main point I came on here to reply was that I was always told that ponytails are damaging to your hair... that your hair will naturally break-off all the way up to where you put the elastic band on. Is that true? If thats not true, I'll go back to rocking a pony tail to save my ends.



Belle Cheveux says
February 2, 2009 at 1:17 AM

Satin or silk covered ponytail bands are better than the regular ol' cotton ones. I do believe that's the reason for the breakage. Cotton is like a sponge and drinks up the moisture in your hair, which is why microfiber towels and t-shirts are great for drying the hair.

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