Medium Length: Re-Evaluation & Regimen Building


 by Emily CottonTop

At around year 2-3 of hair growth, most people describe their length as medium! It is that point at which you are past your TWA and probably just below your shoulders stretched. Most of us spend alot of time talking about TWAs on one end of the scale and super long hair at the other end of the scale. But, what about when you find yourself smack dab in the middle?

Facts about medium length hair:

  1. Retaining length does not get any easier! The routine that worked for your TWA most likely will need to be re-evaluated, kicking some practices to the curb and keeping some variations of others.
  2. Prepping hair for washing and handling is more meticulous, because with more length there is more opportunity for tangles and snags.
  3. Medium length is the best time to tighten up your regimen. As you look forward to your length goals … consistency becomes even more important *sticking with a regimen that is tailored for your hair and your personal needs*.

I know that, at medium length, I went through some kind of mid-hair crisis. I wanted to color, straighten, color and straighten and do all sorts of things with my hair. I do love enjoying my hair at every stage, but the truth is … caring for it does not get any easier. But, the good news is … it doesn’t get any harder either, as long as I remain consistent.

My Medium Length Evaluation

When I finally got some hang time with my hair, I decided after a while what I was sticking with and what I was ditching based on 4 main concepts.

This is how I did it.


TWA/short hair solution – Co-wash often and use moisture based leave- ins, butters and oil sealants, deep conditioning weekly

Medium Length solution –  Keeping the co-wash, keeping the moisture based leave-ins, narrowed my butters and oils down to Shea butter as my staple, and heavy oils such as castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Even more consistent with deep conditioning


TWA/short hair solution – Protein treatment using ApHogee once a month, deep condition with some form of protein

Medium Length solution –  Keeping the major protein treatment to “as needed.” Use protein more often in my weekly deep conditioning regimen, understanding the use of hydrolyzed protein in maintaining moisture as well as adding strength to my hair


TWA/short hair solution – Clarify “as needed,” use a moisture retention shampoo

Medium Length solution –  Keeping the “as needed” clarification and the moisture retention shampoo (no change)

Knots and Tangles (this gets worse)

TWA/short hair solution – Search and destroy

Medium Length solution– Keeping  search and destroy method, added – stretching using hair bands and minimal heat


Have you re-evaluated your regimen lately?

9 responses »

  1. Since I’ve never had really short hair (except back i the days when I had that Halle Berry cut on relaxed hair LOL), I can’t say I’ll be changing my regimen. I don’t even change it with the seasons. I just let my hair do what it do. To care for it I keep it simple most of the time and then indulge on treatments like zizyphus and henna once a month. The rest of the time I: prepoo, wash, deep condition with heat (alternating a protein treatment with a moisurizing treatment), seal and protective style. I can’t see ever changing that. It’s easy and it works all year round.


  2. oh and i forgot to mention, I do everything in braids. Yes everything, including my deep conditioning. only do I take out the braids on wash day if i’m doing a henna. this keeps my hair from tangling at the root. It almost never tangles on the ends but the roots are stubborn!


  3. The major change I have had since my hair is growing out (and I never had a twa, but there is still a difference) is that I like Michelle above have learned to detangle my hair and put into braids when I prepoo and keep them in all the way through the deep conditioning to minimize the tangles and having to do detangling more than once. Then after that I do whatever style.


    • I think that was something I learned the hard way, I used to just get in the shower and co wash everything together.. BIG mistake.. I section now, for everything!


  4. Finally, somebody addresses mid length hair! Like the other commenters, I pre poo, wash, deep condition, seal and style. I just did my first henna/indigo combo last week while on vacation and I love it! Perfect brown color for my head. Since my first DIY henna was a success, I intend to incorporate henna and other protein treatments on an “as needed” basis. I changed my seal/style regimen to add more castor oil/shea butter/coconut oil for the winter months. I always used Vatika Oil for my pre poos. I live in NYC and the weather is gangsta during the winter. I also wash my hair in twists to minimize tangling. Updos are my signature style. I gave up elastic bands – yes that includes those so-called ouchless bands from Goody. If my hair is in an updo, I use banana clips to pull my hair up. My hauls includes banana clips in different sizes and shapes including the old school little round banana clips. I twist my hair and wrap my twists around the banana clips. I create all types of creative buns depending upon the banana clip I have in my head. I also wrap my buns around the banana clips. Your YT tutorials with the dual buns in the banana clip were my inspiration…thank you!


    • I wish I knew what to mix to get the perfect color with henna, I think I have to do more research I do not like the red color I get!…i think I might try your combo..


      • Hi Petra. I suggest you refer to Haircapades henna/indigo section as well as Curly Nikki’s blog for henna/indigo information. They were really helpful regarding pre and post moisturizing with the henna as well as prepping your henna. I bought my henna/indigo from Check out their website and download the free ebook “Henna for hair how to”. The ebook shows examples of indigo/cassia/henna combo colors. The Lush website also has henna/indigo already prepared for use. Take your time and research carefully and you will find the right combo for your hair. Good luck!


  5. I’ve had medium length hair at various times (after my BC) and then in about 2008 when I cut to ear length. However, I never had hair shorter then, I guess about 3-6 inches. I never really changed my regimen due to length, just due to experience and knowledge and effort … meaning, I began DCing at some point, but wasn’t always consistent if I didn’t feel like putting in the extra effort and time. However, once I started DCing once a month (about 8-9 years ago, I guess), I realized that my hair seemed to grow/retain length very well when that was a regular part of my regimen. However, I often fell off the horse! Not anymore though! I swear by DCing:). But again, that was more about knowledge than a feeling that I had to change my techniques/regimen due to an increase in length. I usually put these at the bottom of the posts, but I haven’t had the time to do my extra commentary this week, what with trying to get back into working out and bed by 11 (though the latter hasn’t worked out too well so far!).

    Thanks for the guest post Petra:)!


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