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I always get the question “how does your hair grow back so fast?” and the answer is super simple. So today I’ll be sharing my natural hair care routine for maximum length retention.

Before I get into the secrets to retaining length, let me give you my hair summary. As a young child, I wore my natural hair styled by mom until the 5th grade where I remember her asking this question: “do you want to cream your hair or do you like it as is?” Young Candi was adventurous so I was happy to say goodbye to my textured hair and hello to chemically straightened hair. New hair, who dis? This new Candi lasted all the way up to university.

But when the second semester of my first year came around I decided I would start stretching my relaxers so I could grow my hair past shoulder length. A few months prior I had dyed my hair red with a dark and lovely box dye and as luck would have it, my hair started breaking.

Before the red dye I had always had a healthy head of hair despite the chemical relaxer. It grew, I cut it. I cut it, it grew. My mother’s routine for my hair worked well. But the adventurer in me wanted more. I wanted colour. In high school I dyed my hair chestnut blonde (another box dye) and that went great but I had to push the envelope further and go for red.

My hair is red and damaged and I’m desperately trying to get it back to its previously healthy state. I scoured YouTube until I came across the idea of relaxer stretching for retaining length and improving hair health. I gave it a try. Braided my hair to last a few months. Took my hair down for its first wash post protective styling and it was a horrid, tangled mess. I had enough. That very evening I got a friend to cut the relaxed hair off and I started my big chop journey. What started out as relaxer stretch became my transition back to natural hair seven months post relaxer.

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