Winter 2011/2012 Hair Challenge: Length Retention With Baggying

I am on a quest to get long natural hair and I am inviting you to join me :D

Sometime last week, I had the odd gripe  about why I wanted to have long hair and what I was going to do attempt to achieve it.

In my previous post, I talked about hair breakage, which is main cause of lack of retention of the hair length.  Poor length retention means that even if your hair is growing normally, it will never grow beyond a certain length.

We all know that older hair, ie the ends of our hair, are more fragile and prone to breakage.  The key, then to length retention is to baby those ends.  We also know that, when other factors like over-manipulation, use of heat and chemicals have been eliminated, a major cause of breakage is lack of moisture in the hair strands.

With the onset of the fall and winter months, the air is going to be a lot drier and this can have an adverse effect on the hair.

My goal, then for these months, is to keep my hair well hydrated and always moisturised.  Since I went natural 2 years ago, I have suffered, 1st pneumonia, and then flu during the winter months.  I now realise that this was due to my daily cowashes and tea rinses.  I was  so determined to keep my hair hydrated during the winter that I was cowashing or tear rinsing every day or almost eveyr day, which resulted in me getting quite ill.

I don’t want to get sick this winter, so daily tea rinses and cowashes will have to be substituted with………..*drum roll, please*……baggying!

Baggying is a good way to hydrate and moisturise the hair. Anyone serious about natural hair care knows that when you go to bed at night, you need to tie up your curls with a satin scarf or bonnet, or sleep on a satin pillow case.  So I thought, why not add a little twist to that nightly routine and also keep the hair hydrated at the same time by baggying overnight.

THIS is DEFINITELY NOT what a baggy is!! You have been warned.

Without further ado, here’s the challenge AND  the right way to baggy!


To grow your natural hair via length retention.  We are aiming for longer hair by March 1st 2012.


Repeat this before you begin the challenge.

“I do solemnly swear that I will strive to retain every inch of hair that grows from my scalp by baggying up my hair every night from this moment forward until the 1st of March 2012. So help me, God.”


You will need

  • A spray bottle with water or your favourite leave in conditioner.  If possible, dilute the conditioner – it should be a very watery solution.   A really good mix is diluted aloe vera juice or diluted rose water or any other floral water.  You can even use just plain water.
  • A Natural Hair Oil or Butter. Choose or rotate any from the following: coconut oil, almond oil, shea butter, jojoba oil or sunflower oil.
  • A roll of saran wrap aka cling film; a plastic shower cap or shopping bag to layer over the saran wrap; your satin scarf or satin bonnet.

Now you have got your tools and products ready, take a picture of your hair to document your starting length – you will take another picture at the end of the challenge to document how much length you have achieved/retained.  If you are on Facebook,  you can join us in the challenge and post your pictures on the Care 4 Curls’ Facebook Fan Page.


Every night before bedtime,

  • very lightly spritz on the water or water-based moisturiser, focusing on the ends of your hair.
  • Next, lightly apply the hair oil or butter to your hair, again focusing on the ends.  Remember to be quite light-handed – you are NOT aiming for the greasy look!
  • Now, wrap the cling film/saran wrap around your hair till covered.  You can put your hair into a high bun, if it’s long enough or into 4 sections, using mini scrunchies, if your hair isn’t long enough.  This challenge will also work for your if your hair is in a protective style such as braids or twists.
  • Put on the shower-cap or shopping bag over the cling film wrap and tie on a cute scarf, bonnet or even a beanie hat. That’s it!  There’s your night routine.
  • The next morning, remove the wrap & style your hair as usual.

If you miss a day, don’t worry about it. Just continue the next day.  For optimal results, do this challenge every day.  You can do this 3 nights in the week with good results too.

Now, I know what you are thinking – isn’t a baggy the same thing as the Green House Effect.
In short, no.
In full, tomorrow’s post will explain the differences between each as well as the different purposes they serve AND the different results they each produce.

So don’t miss the next post.

Um, PS –  do not do a ‘Snoop Dogg’ and go out of your house looking this! I will not be held responsible for any ‘WTF?!!!’ stares you may receive.

If you are a blogger or on any other social media, feel free to  leave the links of your blog, Facebook album etc where you are documenting the challenge.

Drop me any questions or comments on this challenge.

Follow me on Twitter if you are doing the challenge for tips, baggy ideas & to keep motivated. You can also learn how other naturals are doing the baggy challenge each night & pick up a few ideas yourself. Use the hashtag #BaggyForLongerHair or simply tweet me.

You can also email me your starting picture for inclusion in the blog & Facebook gallery. Send them to

Happy growing and here’s to longer hair come March 2012.


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23 thoughts on “Winter 2011/2012 Hair Challenge: Length Retention With Baggying

  1. I’m more concerned with Snoop having a purse than having the plastic cap on his head, OMG ROFL!!!! This sounds like a wonderful challenge, I’m in. I think I’ll sweat more than anything too much plastic for me, I get really hot at night. Have no idea why I never thought to do this with my natural hair. When I had a Care Free Jeri Curl back in the day I used a plastic cap to keep the moisture in my hair and it did grow like wild fire and was thick. I work at home too so even if I can’t sleep in the plastic, I’ll be able to keep the plastic cap on most of the day. Excited about this woohoo

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  3. When I saw this @ first I wanted to scream at Snoop. LMBO ROTFL. A hot mess. Then I said…. well I am so down for this challenge.

    • I’m in. .. almost. First of all I need to get my ends trimmed. They are just too scraggy. Only problem is that I have an aversion to hair salons. Secondly I don’ t agree with the longterm application of plastics to any part of the body, let palone the head. My take on things is that on the one hand we’re getting rid of one set of toxins used in standard hair products and processes. Then on the other hand,introducing another set through the daily application of plastic materials to our porous hair and scalps?! So while I appreciate that the heat and moisture the use of plastics create is beneficial, in that the process will grow hair and retain length, its important that the longterm use of plastic, a toxin isn’t ignored. So I’m looking for alternatives to the plastics stage Paige proposesand would welcome any recommendations out there. What say you? What feedback is there about what I’ve said. Am I even part of the challenge if I am not ramping up the heat every night through the use of plastic materials? Anyway all hail Paige and her challenge. It is not only improving our health and wellbeing but also fuelling all the stimulating debate and comment onthis forum.

      • Hi Gaia,

        i understand your concerns. In my opinion, if the hair is well moisturised and properly sealed with a nourishing hair oil or butter, this will reduce or prevent the plastics being asborbed into the hair shaft. Sealants, in my view, do more than sealing in moisture. I believe they also the sheild the hair from detrimental enviromental factors such as pollution in the atmosphere and even plastics.
        Heat can certainly increase the absorption of plastics into the hair, however, the heat generated from our bodies and scalp is not high enough to encourage rapid or increased leakage of plastics into our hair. Using heat and plastics on a regular basis (eg a hair dryer and a plastic cap) can cause problems as you have mentioned.
        in any case, sealing the hair is very important in this process and the benefits by far outweigh any negligible risks that might arise.
        On a final note, if the plastics were being absorped into the hair, then it would certainly retard the hair growth. As long as you can see some progress in the health and length of your hair, there is no need to worry. ;)

  4. My thing is when is the last time plastic absorbed into my body in any sort of way? I mean honestly there is no possible way to be perfectly void of toxins. We live in a poluted world. Im a simple person, I’m not gonna waste my time trying to either find or invent some altenative plastic covering…. For my hair. It’s hair, dead hair. To my knowlege, products dont absorb from your hair into your body… So frankly I don’t care. Keep it simple, it’s actually finds another use for plastic bags, so it’s a form of recycling. I’m just saying, unless your a child, a plastic bag isn’t going to kill you.

    • Thanks for the feedback Paige.Nala I hope you understand I was only sharing a personal pov rather than a prespcription. What I shared said nothing about living in a toxic free world. As you say that’s far from possible. But people are free to make informed decisions about if and how they want to minimize toxicity in their life or not, The thing about the plastic is a factor for me, that I wanted to share and feel merits discussion. And the point is that a lot of these types of toxins are, debatedly, affecting our health and wellbeing in the longterm. And my reading of Paiges work and the contributions here are all about our physical and emotional wellbeing as it mainfests itdself in hair and haircare.

  5. What can u do for hair that is blown out I’m not wearing it wet n curly. I’m wearing it straight. I blow out at the top of the week after shampoo and deep conditioner. I’m using wild hair growth oil, but I noticed a dryness with my scalp in between the oil and wash n blow. Any suggestions for growth and hydration?? Thnx in advance!!

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  7. Big chopped early October. I am soooo excited to grow my natural hair long as this is my first time since age 7 being natural. This challenge is definitely for me! I’m starting tonight.

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  9. I’m in the challenge, but I can’t do the plastic bag. I’ll continue to moisturize my ends everyday and I wrap my hair up every night before I go to bed. I condition after every shampoo and I take lots of vits/supplements/amino acids. This is a great challenge! I still want to see how I do. Are there going to be some comparison pics?

  10. This is the best challenge I’ve encounter thus far…..I’m in….but I need to trim my hair first to make it even I have damage ends ….then I will be on broad with this challenge ! Yay!

  11. Because you have to keep a good balance of moisture and protein. Will baggying everyday make your hair become over moisturized? How can you incorporate protein into this challenge?

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