One of the most important aspects of a successful hair journey is our ability to retain length. Even if you aren’t trying to have hip length hair, retention serves as an indicator of how solid our hair routines are. If we’re constantly loosing length, there’s a problem somewhere. Either we need to improve our products or our practices.
If you still haven’t quite yet grasped the proper techniques to help you retain length, you’ve come to the right place. Because today, I’m featuring a video that details the regimen of women who have truly mastered the art of length retention.
These woman are native to the country of Chad. They pride themselves in perfecting a ritual that results in hair that doesn’t break. Because they use ingredients native to their surroundings, we can’t duplicate exactly what they do step by step. But…..we can certainly pick up a few tips that integrate well with our routines.
First, I’ll share the takeaways learned from my observations. Then you can watch the video for yourself to see if you can learn a trick or two.
These Basara Arabs pride themselves in growing tailbone length hair. As such, they’ve perfected the exact regimen that pretty much eliminates breakage. One key factor is a blend of locally harvested ingredients that, combined with the application method, keeps their hair “extremely hydrated and moist.” Since we can’t readily access these ingredients, we won’t focus much on them. Essentially, they practice a variation of the L.C.O method. But instead of using a cream, they substitute with a finely powder. In essence, they apply a liquid (water), powders ground from grains, and an oil/hair butter.
What interests me most is the application process. I feel like this process is super important. In my own experience, when I take the time to painstakingly apply product to my hair, it flourishes. While watching the video, I was reminded of the strand ceremony that I practiced years ago. It takes me a long time to do a proper strand ceremony but, when I’m consistent, I’m rewarded mightily.
Since these women don’t really have a weekly wash routine, they perform a “strand ceremony” while they moisturize and seal. It’s during this process that they are able to create unbreakable hair. When you watch the video, pay attention to how much time and attention is given to a section of hair. Every strand is engaged in the process.
If I’m being completely honest, I have to confess that I don’t give my strands the level of attention I should when moisturizing. That’s probably one of the biggest areas of opportunity I have.
When you watch the video, I want you to notice something else. If you pay close attention when the product is applied, you can see the woman is smoothing it into her hair. Years ago, I came up with a theory that smoothing conditioner into the hair can enhance the results in a similar way that smoothing relaxer creates straighter hair.
Our hair is porous and very receptive to the products we apply. If it can draw water particles from the air, it can certainly take in the products we layer on. But, more importantly, if we lightly massage the product into the strand, perhaps we create an even greater impact. Of course, this is just another one of my crazy theories but I’m pretty confident that there’s a little bit of truth to it. I’ve smoothed in conditioner after application and liked the results. But I’ve never thought of smoothing in my moisturizer/oil until now.
Once all of the product is applied, the women braid their hair for 5 days until the process is repeated again. This is the epitome of protective styling. We all know that protective styling must be a factor if we are to retain major length. Without it, our efforts will be severely hampered.
Their routines are simple but super effective. How do we know? Well because they don’t utilize the same process on their bangs. These women wear two tiny braids near their hairline. These two braids remain short because they don’t undergo the same rigorous retention process. I’m sure this is intentionally done for aesthetic reasons. But it just goes to show you that they aren’t blessed magically long hair. It’s a result of consistent moisture and regular protective styling.
Take a look at the video and see if you pick up on any helpful tips.