Most of us haven’t thought about the importance of retention during our hair growth goals. New growth WILL NOT make a difference if you’re not holding on to the hair you already have. You have to baby your ‘old hair’ so that it doesn’t break off, leading to a stagnant hair state and length. To retain your ‘old hair,’ first identify your hair needs:
Moisture: Find a water-based moisturizer, water as the first ingredient, and apply it to your strands every night. I do not recommend ‘grease’ or products containing mineral oil since they do not penetrate your strands, but instead sits on top of them. Think about pouring oil in a cup of water…no bueno! We’ll revisit this topic later.
Protein: Hair is made up of protein, and chemicals such as relaxer and hair dye are known to strip your strands of the healthy compound. If you are relaxed, dyed, or both–regular protein treatments are ESSENTIAL. I recommend using protein treatments that must be rinsed out. Since this is probably the beginning of your Hairvolution, start by using a heavy protein treatment one week before or after your touch- up. A good example is Aphogee 2-Step Protein Treatment. Use this type of treatment at least every six months or after a hair trauma. A lightweight protein treatment, or reconstructor, can be used more often. I currently use Aphogee 2-minute Reconstructor immediately after shampooing and prior to conditioning. It is the most important step in my regimen and I believe it to be the reason why I’ve been able to retain my hair up to this point. Both products can be found at your local beauty supply.
Once you incorporated these two elements into your hair care regimen, you will be able to notice which of them your hair needs most. If you hair feels mushy and breaks off easily, then you probably are over-moisturized and need to add more protein treatments. However, if you hair feels like straw and looks dull, you need more moisture.
So now that you have an understanding of the moisture-protein balance, you’re ready to start building a regimen. More info on this topic will be available soon, but in the meantime take a starting pic of your hair and get ready to get it growin’ =)