I have not trimmed my ends or straightened my hair as far as a press or flat iron in 2 1/2 years and I have been wearing my hair in its natural state and protective braids and kinky twist styles. I have only been co-washing my scalp every week unless I have removed a protective style that has been in for weeks and I will shampoo my scalp to cleanse it. I have been pre-pooing once a month with the 4cnaturalhair pre-poo and then flat twisting or two strand twisting using the 4cnaturalhair twist & define butter and it has really paid off. I have retained much length and my hair is very healthy. I went ahead and had it straightened to see how long it has gotten, and I must say, it has grown!
Here is what it looked like before the curling
I pin curled the front bangs and wrapped my hair, covered with a net then a satin bonnet and went to sleep. This is how it came out the next day at work.
Here are my top 5 tips for retaining length:
1. Always focus on your ends because they are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair
2. Co wash your scalp once per week and apply a thick leave in conditioner after washing and seal the moisture in with an oil or butter.
3. Do not trim your ends unless they are damaged.
4. Keep your ends protected in protective styles as much as possible and only bring your ends out on special occasions or when necessary.
5. Do not use store bought products, make your own from natural and pure ingredients.