So, you've reached neck or shoulder length natural hair... you will start to realize, if you haven't already, that this can be a very daunting stage because it looks like your hair is stuck at this stage and won’t grow any further or maybe you feel there’s just too much hair to work with. Yes, having so much hair can be stressful and there my be days when you just want to cut it all off, but here are three tips on how to care for medium length natural hair and make it easier to maintain.
1. MOISTURIZE - Now that your hair is longer you’re going to have to add moisture more often than before. The ends of your hair may tend to get really dry due to the fact that your ends are the oldest part of your hair and the farthest away from your scalp, which is where the natural oils are produced, so you’re going to need to do The L.O.C. Method or use a moisturizer everyday. In addition, you should deep condition your hair for 45 - 60 minutes, regularly in order to prevent extremely dry hair and excess breakage. Moisturized hair prevents breakage thus retaining the length you worked so hard to achieve.
2. LOW MANIPULATION – If you are like me you might find it hard to keep your hands out of your hair but learning not to touch your hair will prevent unnecessary breakage and hair loss. You can also style you hair in low manipulation styles other than a simple wash and go. A braid-out, a twists out, three strand twists or even a bun or a puff are considered low manipulation styles. These styles help to keep your hands out of your hair and doesn’t require a touched up everyday. Of course protective styles are the best way to achieve low manipulation on the hair, but sometimes this can be damaging to the hair depending on the styles. If you plan to get protective styles be sure to avoid the thinner or smaller hair's around the face and neck, also know as your edges, and avoid pulling the hair too tight. Also avoiding styles that require heat and too much combing helps to prevent breakage and help to retain your length.
3. CHANGE YOUR REGIMEN – Unfortunately you may have to change your hair care regimen because you have more hair and your hair will respond differently to your styling techniques and/or the products you use. Now that you have longer hair you might have to detangle with a comb instead of just your fingers and detangle on wet hair instead of dry hair. Seeing that you hair will need more moisture you will need to deep condition your hair overnight or for an hour or more during washes for added moisture. You might also find the convenience of using different stylers, like flex-rods, hair clips and extra large hair pins or wearing protective styles and low manipulation styles more often to retain your length. Using a natural clarifying shampoo to get rid of product build up is a must and you might need to change your conditioner or hair oil because your current product isn’t reacting to your hair the way it use to. Lastly, you may also want to try the L.C.O method instead of L.O.C method.
Having medium length hair is a big difference from the easy-breezy TWA and as your hair changes so will you hair care routine. Everyone's curls are different and you will discover that their is no one routine that works for everyone, but hopefully you can find these tips to be helpful and find what really works for you. The good news is your hair is growing and as long as you do your best to maintain and nourish it by adding moisture and extra care you will be well on your way to long, healthy and full waist length hair.