Twist it up. Braid it up. Tuck it under. It doesn’t matter what you do, but if your goal is waist length hair and being able to wear a BAA some day, you gotta protect those precious ends! I had never heard of protective styling until I joined Nappturality.com, but really, it makes sense. When I was a kid, my mom hardly ever let me and my little sister wear our hair down and curled. That type of a do was reserved for very special occasions. When I asked her why, she said “wearing your hair down breaks your ends off.” Well, she must have been on to something with all those plaits and twisted ponytails because every last one of us had hair that reached below our shoulders.
Just remember that no matter what, your hair grows…period…about four to six inches per year. On the high end of this, that’s about ½ inch per month. Now of course everyone wants their hair to grow on the high end of that average but everyone’s hair may not. And it may grow faster or slower than this average. Your health and genetics play a role in how long and well your hair will grow. Certain medications can also affect your hair’s overall health and its growth. But ya gotta know there are NO miracle products out there that will going make your hair grow longer or faster than your predetermined make up; it’s what you do to protect your ends that will determine whether or not you retain length. Wearing your hair in protective styles and avoiding constant manipulation of your nappy hair, which is actually very fragile is part of the secret. One of the hardest things to get through newly nappy heads is the notion that nappy hair is meant to be combed and styled every single day. It’s not. Every twist, turn and bend in your hair represents a potential weak spot, just ready to snap off if it’s not being treated gently and protected the majority of the time. Besides twists and braids, below is a list of a few styles that can offer your hair the protection it needs to grow long strong and healthy.
- Bantu knots
- Comb coils
- Finger coils
- Heat Free Strawset
- Shrunken fro (basically, you don’t pick it out at all)
- Box Braids (Back in my day they were just called plaits)
As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways that nappy hair can be styled protectively and attractively while promoting length retention. If ya haven’t figured it out by now, we’ve got the most versatile hair on this planet and yes, it has the potential to grow very long, if it’s cared for properly. So don’t forget…protect your precious ends if you want longer hair!