Extreme poor length retention

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I guess I've figured out why my hair growth seems stunted at shoulder length. I did a henna treatment a whole back and I see the color demarcation. The hair's definitely growing, but it it's as if the ends have been gradually disappearing/vaporizing into thin air
Honestly, at this point I don't know what else I could do. I've cut off dead ends, I wash weekly, my hair is in twists 24/7, I moisturize several times a week......
Sorry. Unfortunately, not everyone's hair can handle color. I do okay with henna which is very drying for me bc my hair hates strong protein and henna acts like protein. I moisturize before, add plently of EVOO and conditioner to my mix, then cowash two straight days after just to get my hair to recover from henna shock. But a permanent color while I was still relaxed broke my hair off so much I had to cut a lot off. Are you seeing breakage?

Also you say you're moistuizing but are you sure your technique is working for your hair? My hair will only absorb moisture when it's damp. Not soaking wet. I had so many problems moisturizing until I figured that out. Also it could be the products you use aren't moisturizing enough for your hair. I've got this Nothing But Curl wake up spray that is nothing but a dud. I always mix a creamy protein free conditioner with AVJ for my li. That really give my products a moisture boost.

And maybe you should give your hair a break from so much ps'ing. My hair doesn't care much for it. HTH
seamonster likes this.
I was just about to post the same thing. I have the exact same problem. I think the twists may be my problem. I wear mini twists a lot and I think I lose a lot of hair with the process of putting them in and tangles from shed hair when I remove them. My new plan is to add protein to my regimin to stop breakage and wear twist outs (twisting every other night). Not sure if this will help with retention, but I have to change something. I know my hair will get more moisture but I don't know if it will be too much manipulation. Basically I wrote all of this but I have no advice.
BC: April 1, 2010

I am still learning about the hair God gave me!
Right, so you are washing weekly...but are you deep conditioning weekly? If so, with what?

I agree with adthomas, your current routine appears to not be enough to meet your hair's needs.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
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Sorry. Unfortunately, not everyone's hair can handle color. I do okay with henna which is very drying for me bc my hair hates strong protein and henna acts like protein. I moisturize before, add plently of EVOO and conditioner to my mix, then cowash two straight days after just to get my hair to recover from henna shock. But a permanent color while I was still relaxed broke my hair off so much I had to cut a lot off. Are you seeing breakage?

Also you say you're moistuizing but are you sure your technique is working for your hair? My hair will only absorb moisture when it's damp. Not soaking wet. I had so many problems moisturizing until I figured that out. Also it could be the products you use aren't moisturizing enough for your hair. I've got this Nothing But Curl wake up spray that is nothing but a dud. I always mix a creamy protein free conditioner with AVJ for my li. That really give my products a moisture boost.

And maybe you should give your hair a break from so much ps'ing. My hair doesn't care much for it. HTH
Originally Posted by adthomas
I concur with Adthomas. Also you need to seal in the moisture. Find what works best for your hair, which butter or oil?

texture - medium/fine, porosity - low/normal, elasticity - normal
co-wash - NaturelleGrow Coconut Water or Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm Bark & Blue Malva Cleansing Conditioners
LI - KCKT mixed w/ SM C & H Curl & Style Milk
DC - NG Mango & Coconut H2O or Chamomile/Brdck Root
Gel - SM souffle (winter), KCCC (summer) or CR Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel (year round)
Sealers - Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado butter, Aloe butter
Ayurvedic treatments - Jamila Henna, Sukesh, Aloe Vera Powder, Hibiscus Powder
.




it's going to be lots of trial & error figuring out what your hair needs and/or likes. sometimes it takes longer than others to find your exact regimen. just because a person swears by and retains length with protective styling, doesn't mean the next person will have the same results.

some of *my* hair examples:
  • my hair doesn't do great with protective styling
  • my hair loves to be free
  • my hair loves daily water
  • my hair loves humectants year 'round
  • my hair does well with gels but they must be washed out at least by the next day
  • my hair is finicky about oils but loves heavy butters
  • my hair absolutely hates silicones
  • my hair doesn't mind petrolatum nor mineral oil
  • my hair doesn't like co-washing only (scalp gets gunky)
  • my hair loves shampoo & poo bars
  • my hair didn't like the 'natural' shampoos but the sulfate shampoos are my friend
  • my hair doesn't like henna yet has no issues with at-home coloring from box dyes, nor proteins
  • my hair doesn't like products with emulsifying wax (alone)
  • my twa hair was a lot different from my apl hair
  • deep conditioning never made my hair any different
i suggest you start a hair journal. keep consistent notes on your daily/weekly procedures, products and results. change up only one thing at a time, at a consistent set time (i.e., daily, weekly or bi-weekly hair days). stay on schedule as best you can to get reliable results. do your own product & hair reviews in your journal. if a product or procedure isn't damaging your hair in any way, stay with it for a set time (30 days, 60 days, 90 days). you don't always see results immediately. this may help you pinpoint something.
Reeky, puppitypup and SimplyT like this.
LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
I was just about to post the same thing. I have the exact same problem. I think the twists may be my problem. I wear mini twists a lot and I think I lose a lot of hair with the process of putting them in and tangles from shed hair when I remove them. My new plan is to add protein to my regimin to stop breakage and wear twist outs (twisting every other night). Not sure if this will help with retention, but I have to change something. I know my hair will get more moisture but I don't know if it will be too much manipulation. Basically I wrote all of this but I have no advice.
Originally Posted by newtress10
The shed hairs in protective styles give me knots and tangles too. I left some twists in for 4 days recently and it was so bad I had to get my scissors out. For my hair under manipulation is more of a problem than overmanipulation.

Like other have said it's trial and error. But babying your ends goes a long way for retention.
Try wearing it in a french braid then tuck the ends under so the ends don't rub against clothes.
The shed hairs in protective styles give me knots and tangles too. I left some twists in for 4 days recently and it was so bad I had to get my scissors out. For my hair under manipulation is more of a problem than overmanipulation.

Yes, I've actually considered this. I wish I could do twist-outs but I wear a surgical cap at work and my hair would be a mess at the end of the day.
I haven't hennaed for about a year. I use Qhemet Burdock butter on my hair, and moisturise about twice a week. The twists stay in for 2 wks and I wash with Shea moisture weekly. I always thought leaving my hair alone in twists would help with retention. Now I'm just puzzled. I honestly don't know what else to do.
Thanks for all your responses
it's going to be lots of trial & error figuring out what your hair needs and/or likes. sometimes it takes longer than others to find your exact regimen. just because a person swears by and retains length with protective styling, doesn't mean the next person will have the same results.

some of *my* hair examples:
  • my hair doesn't do great with protective styling
  • my hair loves to be free
  • my hair loves daily water
  • my hair loves humectants year 'round
  • my hair does well with gels but they must be washed out at least by the next day
  • my hair is finicky about oils but loves heavy butters
  • my hair absolutely hates silicones
  • my hair doesn't mind petrolatum nor mineral oil
  • my hair doesn't like co-washing only (scalp gets gunky)
  • my hair loves shampoo & poo bars
  • my hair didn't like the 'natural' shampoos but the sulfate shampoos are my friend
  • my hair doesn't like henna yet has no issues with at-home coloring from box dyes, nor proteins
  • my hair doesn't like products with emulsifying wax (alone)
  • my twa hair was a lot different from my apl hair
  • deep conditioning never made my hair any different
i suggest you start a hair journal. keep consistent notes on your daily/weekly procedures, products and results. change up only one thing at a time, at a consistent set time (i.e., daily, weekly or bi-weekly hair days). stay on schedule as best you can to get reliable results. do your own product & hair reviews in your journal. if a product or procedure isn't damaging your hair in any way, stay with it for a set time (30 days, 60 days, 90 days). you don't always see results immediately. this may help you pinpoint something.
Originally Posted by hippychic
^ this was super helpful! Just wanted to thank you for your list... I want to start a hair journal so I can find exactly what my hair likes and dislikes.
hippychic likes this.
3C, fine/med texture, normal porosity, high elasticity, very defined spiral

Holy Grail Products: TRESemme Naturals conditioner, my mango/shea butter mixture, Apricot Kernel Oil, Coconut Oil, EVOO & Cantu Shea Butter

Check out my blog: http://ricciolina.wordpress.com
Big time lurker here but I've been having some problems with my super dry hair retaining length and I have been tweaking my regimen over the past couple weeks and I've been seeing less breakage (huge disclaimer though, might not work for others, might stop working for me). So I trimmed about an inch to an inch and half and..

1. Upped my protein. My hair is fine and not that protein sensitive. Once a month protein conditioning is not enough for me. So I leave in a protein-rich conditioner after my deep condition weekly and seal it in with heavy moisturizer.

2. Added a weekly cowash (in addition to weekly shampoo and DC) about midweek with a cone free conditioner. Seems to be helping.

3. Stopped layering on products on a daily basis between washes and sufficed with a light spritz of water and a bit of coconut oil. I only add a little bit of cream moisturizer once or twice a week now as opposed to moisturizing nightly.

I use a lot of coconut oil nowadays, slather it on before a wash and use a little bit on day to day basis. So in summary, I drench my hair more often, use more protein and less product. I also don't really protective style (for aesthetics, most protective styles look bad on me) so finding a balance for my hair that also fits my lifestyle is important for me.
GoddessLala and Reeky like this.
Which protein leave-in condish do you use or you'd recommend? Thanx
Big time lurker here but I've been having some problems with my super dry hair retaining length and I have been tweaking my regimen over the past couple weeks and I've been seeing less breakage (huge disclaimer though, might not work for others, might stop working for me). So I trimmed about an inch to an inch and half and..

1. Upped my protein. My hair is fine and not that protein sensitive. Once a month protein conditioning is not enough for me. So I leave in a protein-rich conditioner after my deep condition weekly and seal it in with heavy moisturizer.

2. Added a weekly cowash (in addition to weekly shampoo and DC) about midweek with a cone free conditioner. Seems to be helping.

3. Stopped layering on products on a daily basis between washes and sufficed with a light spritz of water and a bit of coconut oil. I only add a little bit of cream moisturizer once or twice a week now as opposed to moisturizing nightly.

I use a lot of coconut oil nowadays, slather it on before a wash and use a little bit on day to day basis. So in summary, I drench my hair more often, use more protein and less product. I also don't really protective style (for aesthetics, most protective styles look bad on me) so finding a balance for my hair that also fits my lifestyle is important for me.
Originally Posted by nomad
Upping my protein really helped my hair as well. Whenever I start noticing my hair behaving badly, a protein treatment (I like Aubrey Organics protein conditioner) usually gets everything back in balance.

I agree with hippychic about keeping a hair journal. It was absolutely essential for me when I first went natural because I had a record of what worked and what didnt and using that information I was able to tweak and perfect my regime pretty quickly.
hippychic likes this.


Last relaxer: August 2008
Big Chop: December 2008/January 2009

Blog: Alice in Nappyland
Which protein leave-in condish do you use or you'd recommend? Thanx
Originally Posted by cocobean
elasta qp intense
nature's gate
trader joe nourish or tea tree tingle
LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
I upped my moisture, trim monthly and use hard protein. I baggy my twist at least three nights a week for moisture.

Recently bantu knotted my twist, and really liked the results so I am doing that.

A week before I take my twist out I add oils and baggy often, my shed hairs mostly fall out when I soak my hair in water. A few tangles but I am ok with it. Oh and I search and destroy my ends in twist often.

Hope you find what works for you soon.
Ok, I'll try the hard protein treatments. Honestly, I think maybe there is such a thing as terminal length, 'cos this ish is harder than it should be...
(venting)
Man i think so too, though. I think if you're doing everything you should be, your hair should/will grow. It shouldn't take this hardcore dedication just to gain an inch. I mean, idk..
I feel like I'm just at a dead end. I've trimmed a couple times but even so, I've been at the SAME length for a year. The exact same length. Even when i dyed my hair, my roots like never started showing. The color mark was barely showing and growing. but even as it did, there was no new length. As if the ends were breaking as well but my ends look healthy. I don't understand it...but maybe I'm stuck at this length forever.

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Ok, I'll try the hard protein treatments. Honestly, I think maybe there is such a thing as terminal length, 'cos this ish is harder than it should be...
(venting)
Originally Posted by cocobean
Don't do too much.I thought I needed a lot since my hair is colored/bleach and now my hair is dry and the colored part looks more heat processed than usual!

I heard you're suppose to balance moisture and protein.
I still don't know the differences for it but I heard mane&tail was protein so I used that.
Big time lurker here but I've been having some problems with my super dry hair retaining length and I have been tweaking my regimen over the past couple weeks and I've been seeing less breakage (huge disclaimer though, might not work for others, might stop working for me). So I trimmed about an inch to an inch and half and..

1. Upped my protein. My hair is fine and not that protein sensitive. Once a month protein conditioning is not enough for me. So I leave in a protein-rich conditioner after my deep condition weekly and seal it in with heavy moisturizer.

2. Added a weekly cowash (in addition to weekly shampoo and DC) about midweek with a cone free conditioner. Seems to be helping.

3. Stopped layering on products on a daily basis between washes and sufficed with a light spritz of water and a bit of coconut oil. I only add a little bit of cream moisturizer once or twice a week now as opposed to moisturizing nightly.

I use a lot of coconut oil nowadays, slather it on before a wash and use a little bit on day to day basis. So in summary, I drench my hair more often, use more protein and less product. I also don't really protective style (for aesthetics, most protective styles look bad on me) so finding a balance for my hair that also fits my lifestyle is important for me.
Originally Posted by nomad
This sounds almost exactly like my regimen. Except I only use coconut oil to detangle pre-shampoo and use an olive blend for sealing & maintaining during the week. Ill add that I also dont usually apply product in between wash days, nor do I moisturize & manipulate every day. I just spritz my ends (what needs it most) work the excess up & into the hair and seal. IF i use product its lightly all over dry hair before I section and spritz and ill use a heavy cream or pudding type product on the very ends.

I seal the length of my hair to hold in moisture, but I always go in separately and seal my ends as well. That & weekly protein (when I DC) has made the hugest difference in length & moisture retention for me. I dont PS either, just braidouts mainly.. a loose messy bun is what I wear most.
Definitely going to keep up with this thread. My mom asked me the other night if I'd cut my hair, and that question forced me back to reality: breakage. I've been natural almost four years and my length retention was ok, not fantastic, but ok, but I've noticed a lot of breakage. I know most of it was due to my last semester in college, dealing with stress and all of that.

Definitely going to increase protein and find that balance between protein and moisture. Buy more coconut oil and go back to my simple regimen. I'm trying to make it to BSL curly in three years or less.

I also want to incorporate henna and indigo into my regimen because I want to dye my hair jet black.

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