By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com
How many endless pictures across the internet of length crushing hair have you lusted over, fantasizing about the day when you have finally reached your hair length goals but let’s be real, keeping your eyes on the prize can be every bit as frustrating as actually waiting for your hair to grow a couple of those precious inches, especially when you want your hair goals TODAY! These are tips I have accumulated over the years to help me reach my hair length goal…Patiently.
1. Do Protective Styles that You Can ROCK Right Now
Admiring styles you want to rock in the future is cool and like I mentioned, keeping your eye on the prize can be motivating but sometimes motivation needs to be balanced with the satisfaction of the here and now. Finding a protective hairstyle that you love can calm the strong yearning of your future hair goal, making the waiting process easier. So whether it’s a wig, updos, braids, twists, etc, finding a protective style you love will not only calm the storm but will help with low manipulation since your hair will not be a daily focus.
2. Find Hair Crushes with Similar Lengths
Similar to finding a hairstyle you can rock at the moment, finding women with similar hair lengths that you love will make you appreciate your hair in the moment, inspiring you and taking the attention off of what you don’t have.
3. Hide the Measuring Tape
Similar to losing weight, you are not going to miraculously lose the pounds you want in a day so why give yourself false hope in going on the scale every day? Well the same applies to your hair. I would suggest checking your length every 3–6 months.
4. Understand that Hair on Average Grows ½ inch every Month
On average your hair grows ½ an inch every month which translates to 6 inches a year but for some the growth rate could be anywhere from ¼ to 1 inch a month, adding up to 3 or 12 inches a year. But most of us can achieve up, a little less than or a little more than ½ an inch of growth every month.
5. Learn to Take Care of your Hair
Nothing helps you reach your hair goals faster with fewer setbacks than healthy hair care practices such as reducing or eliminating heat, sealing, moisturizing (watering), use of silk pillowcase or scarf, patience while detangling and styling, low manipulation, product usage, etc. Also as I always enforce, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on or do to your hair topically. Remember “healthy” hair starts from the inside so watch your diet and stress levels.
6. Understand Terminal Length
Yes, due to genetics everyone has a predetermined length their hair can ultimately grow. Our hair growth or Anagen phase not only includes the hair on our scalp, but every hair on our body as well. Terminal length simply means the length your hair can actually grow if it was never cut or damaged in anyway. On average the Anagen phase (which is pre-determined by genetics) is anywhere from 2–6 years. Though some of us may even have a little longer or shorter terminal length, on average most of us are capable of growing at least 12 inches of hair (bra strap from nape area) and this is the shortest growth phase.
You will not accurately know your terminal length unless you are truly taking care of your hair and have found a regimen that works. If you want answers sooner a big clue is your family. Look at the women in your family or photos of female family members who were natural in their youth. See how long it took them to grow their hair out (assuming that, in childhood, their hair was being cared for properly.) For instance my mother is in her 50’s and has extremely thick and waist long hair as well as many of my cousins from the past on my mother’s side.
7. Low Manipulation
Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money…everyone wants mo money! Well if you want mo length then you need Lo Manipulation, Lo Manipulation, Lo Manipulation! Keeping your hands out of your hair on a daily basis decreases your chances in breakage that constant manipulation does not protect you from.
Ladies, how do you stay sane while work towards your length goals?