Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums! Submit your questions by emailing them to BeautyEditors @essence.com.
READER QUESTION: I'm having a hard time getting my hair to grow longer. Also, my hair coils are tight and appear longer once I've washed, moisturized, conditioned and gone through the steps. However, they slowly spring back up.
CURLYNIKKI'S RESPONSE: The answer to realizing long hair is "retention." Your hair grows every month, but if you're not achieving new lengths, it means your ends are probably snapping off just as quickly as new growth is sprouting from your scalp. I know this can be supremely frustrating and sadly, there is no overnight fix. My first suggestion would be to get a professional trim. You should also lay off of stylers (mousses, hair sprays and gels), if you rely on them, and focus on hair health. Look for deep penetrating moisturizing and/or protein reconstructing conditioners. If you're not sure whether your hair is craving moisture or protein, I've shared a few helpful tips to find out on my blog. You would also be wise to increase your water intake (drinking half your body weight in ounces), and make sure your diet is healthy and balanced.
Below, I've listed my top three length retaining techniques:
1. Moisturize! Between washes, don't allow your ends to dry out completely. On an as-needed basis (usually every two to four days), apply water and/or a water-based, leave-in conditioner. You don't need much, just be sure to evenly distribute. You know it's water-based because "aqua" will be the first ingredient! I'm currently using Qhemet Biologic's Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee.
2. Try finger detangling. It's time consuming, but it rocks. It'll take a little practice to master the technique of detangling solely with your fingers, but you'll enjoy a much happier head of hair. I do it in small sections, working from the ends up, and I'm able to gently remove shed hairs and tangles with minimal (if any) breakage.
3. Follow up your moisturizing routine and wash day with sealing. Apply a thin layer of oil, butter or a silicone-based serum to seal in the moisture from the water and conditioner.
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Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki