My Length Retention Regimen for Spring 2018

Hey loves! I'm back again, but we're taking a quick break from the product reviews to get into some general hair care stuff! You don't have to know me for very long to learn that I'm a flighty, crazy Gemini. My mood changes with the wind and I'm consistently inconsistent on most things. I try my hardest not to allow this to apply to my hair, because I know consistency is the key to seeing results and finding out what does or does not work for you. However, like everyone else I have my moments...

I went through a period in the winter where my hair was all over the place. Winter here in NYC has been extremely cold this season, and my hair suffered for it. I taught myself how to get it into updos to keep it out of the way as much as possible, but I missed having it down and in my face. My signature look is a side part with fluffy bangs and my hair in a big halo all around my face, so everything else feels strange to me. So as it slowly started to warm up a bit, I went back to my wash and gos, which are still my favorite style. But it is still winter and between all the gel I was using and the fact that my hair is very dense and tightly coiled, I was ending up with dry, tangled hair every wash day. It was taking longer to detangle and I was losing more hair than usual. I've learned that this comes with the territory as my hair grows -- right now my hair is sitting somewhere between armpit and nipple length, which means it's much easier for it to get knotted and tangled than it was when I last cut it.

This led me to reevaluate my routine a bit, particularly my style options. My hair was in desperate need of moisture and stretching. So I went back to an old standby that I always used to stretch my hair when it was short -- twist outs!

These are great for a few reasons:

  1. I almost always do small twists (each section is about an inch wide), so I can wear my hair in those twists for a few days before taking them down. This protects my ends and means that for days I literally don't have to do anything to my hair -- I just tie it up at night and take the scarf/bonnet off in the morning.
  2. When the twists are taken out, the hair is nice and stretched, which makes it fall better and frame my face differently.
  3. Because the hair is in chunky sections from the twist out, it's much harder for it to tangle into itself. As a result, detangling is much easier on wash day.

This advice has made the rounds on YouTube, but I've been too OCD and impatient to listen. When your hair is giving you a hard time, find a style your hair likes and leave it alone. I twist my hair once a week on the same day that I wash it and from there I interact with it as little as possible. A few days later I may take the twists down, and if it frizzes too much or I don't want my hair in my face anymore (this happens a lot because I go to the gym frequently) I gently slick it up into a bun, without using any gel and without pulling my hair tightly.

So far this regimen works best for my lifestyle -- I work, and I lift at at the gym, so low maintenance is key right now. I don't have time to spend hours doing my hair and I can't keep fixing self inflicted damage if I expect my hair to ever hit bra strap length. I'm going to keep this up for the rest of winter and the beginning of spring, and at some point I'm going to head to my stylist to get my hair shaped into something presentable. I may even *gasp* try some color! I don't think I'll bleach my entire head again anytime soon, but I would like some highlights...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, these are the products I've been using:

Carol's Daughter Rhassoul Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask (review here)

Jane Carter Leave-In Conditioner

Grapeseed Oil

TGIN Butter Cream

Camille Rose Almond Jai Twisting Butter

Mixed Chicks Clarifying Shampoo (once a month, to remove buildup)

It's a much shorter list than what I used to use for my hair, which means I'm saving money as well as time. I'm really looking forward to seeing if this helps me retain more length, and I'm also excited to get my hair cut into a shape since it's grown SUPER uneven in the last few months! As always I'll take lots of pics and describe the process when I go!

What are some of your tricks for retaining length? How do you revamp your style when your hair is in a slump, especially inthe colder months? And do you have any plans to change your cut/color for spring? Let me know in the comments!