Update on My Length Retention Journey

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Last time I posted, I took full responsibility for the length plateau I’m experiencing and committed to following my regimen strictly and consistently as well as tucking my hair away in protective styles for a full year. I have adhered to that plan thus far, washing once a week and using Marley hair for low-manipulation styles so here’s what I’ve been up to:

Every week, I wash my hair with Cantu Shea Butter Conditioning Co-Wash and deep condition with Creme of Nature’s Intensive Conditioning Treatment (I bought a bottle). I cut out the weekly protein treatments I was previously doing with yogurt and mayonnaise because it doesn’t seem as though my hair really needs that much protein on a weekly basis. I have reduced protein usage to what is contained in my conditioners and in my daily diet. Between the CoN DT; the Suave Naturals coconut conditioner, coconut oil, and soybean oil in my Elixir (homemade leave-in); and the protein in my vegetarian diet, my hair is getting plenty of protein and full-on protein treatments like I was previously doing every week aren’t necessary. If I begin to feel like my hair is over-conditioned, I will do one, but so far it’s fine without it.

I have also gone back to finger detangling not because I made a deliberate choice to but because I often forget to grab my wide-tooth before getting in the shower on wash day so rather than hopping out and trailing water through the house to find it, I use what I have readily available, my fingers. So far, so good. Some of you may recall my post about not finger detangling anymore because I felt as though it didn’t really get all the knots. Well, after the pink cushion of my Goody brand Denman knockoff also tore (as my actual Denman did), I understandably went back to wide-tooth combs and fingers with a bit of reservation. However, since I have been keeping my hair stretched with flat twists every wash day before putting it into a protective style, I haven’t had a problem with using my fingers to detangle, especially with the great slip I get from my conditioners.

Protective styling has been easy so far and I haven’t felt the need to wear my hair out as I usually do. The Marley hair I’ve been using helps me create new styles my hair isn’t long enough achieve to keep myself entertained. It’s just plain convenient too. My hair is mostly kept in a bun underneath or twisted or braided into the Marley hair. I keep the style in for a week or two with weekly washes and if necessary, I take my hair down a day or two before it’s time to wash to re-moisturize because dry hair between washes played a big part in the breakage I was experiencing.

I’m still learning not to be scissor happy, but I have learned that the best way to reduce splits is to keep hair moisturized and not to manipulate it more than what is necessary to wash and style. I have seen a drastic reduction in the amount and severity of splits. When I see a particularly bad one I just snip it, but other than that, I am limiting my trims to “as needed” dusting. I am walking a fine line between keeping a careful watch over my ends and ignoring them altogether. I try not to fret over my ends too much and focus more on prevention rather than cure. Fingers crossed I am able to better preserve my ends and move toward a little retention.

In a way, I have inadvertently gone back to the CG Method since my products now consist of conditioners and oils alone. I have noticed more definition in my curls as a result.

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