Three Reasons You’re Not Retaining Length

measuring tape

“Black people don’t have long hair.”

“It always breaks at the same point.”

“My hair just doesn’t grow.”

No, no, and no.

Guess what? Your hair is growing, otherwise you wouldn’t need that touch-up/retwist/larger sleep bonnet.

The problem’s not at the root…it’s at the ends. Breakage is the #1 culprit sabotaging your hair length goals.

Here are three reasons your hair is breaking and not retaining length. Are you guilty of any offenses?


styling tools

  • Over manipulation

Two-strand twists on Monday, a twist-out Wednesday, hair color on Thursday, blowout on Saturday…you’re doing too much. Contrary to popular belief, our hair is fragile and must be handled with care. Constant handling of your hair is a recipe for disaster.

throwback puff

  • Not protecting your ends

This is what causes the infamous shoulder-length plateau. Your ends are the oldest part of your strands. Frequent contact with your clothing causes them to further weaken and break. Styles like afros and puffs also expose your ends to the elements. Opt for protective styles instead. They keep your ends up, covered, and safeguarded.


  • Not enough moisture

Think of your hair as a sponge. When dry, it’s hard, rough, and inflexible. Any pressure you apply to it will cause pieces to chip off. But when wet, the sponge becomes pliable and easily manipulated. This is what we’re aiming for. Dry hair leads to breakage and snaps easily. Keep your mane moisturized for maximum strand manageability.


Incorporate these three tips into your hair routine and your hair will thank you…and hang around a bit longer.

Have you had success with any of these methods? Share your story.

(And BTW, if you didn’t side-eye the first line of this post, we need to have a talk.)

Let’s swap tips.

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11 Responses so far.

  1. lerato says:

    Hello baby(^_^), does the same priciple apply for dreadlocks?

    • lerato says:

      i meant to say principle

    • nappy headed black girl says:

      Hey, friend. Haven’t heard from you in a while…

      Yes, these also apply to dreads except for perhaps the protecting your ends.

      Although it’s still important for us to protect our hair and minimize friction, it’s common for dread tips to shed from simple old age / wear and tear.

  2. DUke says:

    I’m guilty of # 2 & 3. Got to change it up & keep my locks taken care of so they’ll get even longer. Is braiding locks one of those protective styles?

    • nappy headed black girl says:

      Yes, braiding can be a protective style but please be sure they aren’t too tight. You want to focus on protecting the hair, not pulling every single hair tight and “in place.”

  3. I’m guilty of all of these! Really useful information..
    Del Natural – All Things Hait recently posted..[#1] What Stimulates Hair Growth – You Are what You EatMy Profile

    • nappy headed black girl says:

      Thanks, sis. Number one is especially hard for us sometimes. You know we like to keep it fresh and experiment lol

  4. Zainab 1 says:

    Great post !I have been guilty of the last one. But thankfully I was able to understand the correct concept and importance of moisture to our hair before it was to late. Therefore no longer having that problem. Lol @ over manipulation…but true!. Thanks for posting this. Take care.
    Zainab 1 recently posted..~ FRUGAL GREEN CLEANING FRIDAY ” DIY SOFT TUB SCRUB”My Profile

  5. […] very fragile and must be handled with care. Too much stretching, tugging, and picking can lead to breakage, the #1 culprit of hair growth. Be careful which styles you rock and how often you switch it up. Try to opt for low manipulation […]

  6. […] video touched me. We do a lot to our hair…damage it with ill-kept weaves, subject it to daily abuse, and even using vaginal creams for […]

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