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From Stunted to Growth: How Gentler Detangling and Trimming Boosted My Length

Avatar • Jul 29, 2013

stunted

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

For a long period of time (August 2010 through February 2012), my front hair was stunted.  It appeared as if it wasn’t growing (though we all know hair is growing) or as if it had reached its terminal length. I just assumed that my years of relaxing had done a number on my follicles in that region.  After all, my front hair hardly ever grew past 6 inches while wearing a relaxer (except during my early childhood).

So, annoyed by my seemingly stunted growth, I decided to cut some bangs and forget about my growth in that region.  Then during my wash-n-go experiment a few weeks ago, as I was finger detangling in the shower, I noticed how far my bangs stretched.  No more “stunted”, they had finally retained some length in the past year!  It made a lot of sense 1) considering Jc’s article on “Trimming for Longer Hair” on The Natural Haven combined with me 2) practicing gentler detangling in that area. (I’m usually impatient by the time I get to the front of my hair for detangling.) So those two methods helped my bangs retain some length.

stunted2

Now that I’ve seen the progress in my front hair, I am experimenting with whether the same methods will work with the rest of my hair.  For about a year, I’ve been hovering around waistlength and wondering if that is my terminal length.  It doesn’t help that I rarely see 4b/4c naturals who are past that length (with the exception of Sera252 and a few others).  Regardless, I have trimmed the rest of my hair and have implemented a gentle strictly-fingers detangling routine to see if I can move from stunted to growth like I did with my bangs.  We shall see …

Ladies, how did you move from stunted to growth? 

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About Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more! http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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Kels
Kels
7 years ago

question… when you guys finger detangle do you do it in the shower with the water running? or in the sink? or just sitting on the couch or something? I hate taking long showers on wash day just because I’m detangling. My bank account would probably appreciate smaller water bills too!

rachel
rachel
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

I just wet my hair in the shower apply the conditioner over he sink detangle then get back in the shower and rinse then shower.

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago
Reply to  rachel

I finger detangle in front of mirror — usually in my bedroom (’cause I like to watch a documentary while detangling).

Eve
Eve
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

Finger detangling is equivalent to detangling with a comb, only more gentle to your strands. So the same way you were detangling with a comb, is the same way you will detangle with your fingers. Just make sure your hair is saturated with a lot of conditioner with great slip.

Rachel
Rachel
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

I personally finger dry detangle prior shampooing using Shea butter for slip. Then, when I jump in the shower, I can either wash in big braids or in loose sections — it’s already detangled, so i spend less time detangling and use less water! (And my fingers don’t have to end up looking like dried prunes!)

BriA
BriA
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

I dry/damp finger detangle with coconut oil and conditioner…do a hot oil treatment ‑rinse it out- then scrub my scalp with shampoo unraveling one twist at a time to rinse the shampoo out — then re-twisting under the water.….so my hair stays stretched and doesn’t tangle again

DutchGirl4C
DutchGirl4C
7 years ago
Reply to  BriA

I do exactly that. Minus The hot oil treatment.

Dawn
Dawn
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

Where I finger detangle varies. If it’s a prepoo or session where I just need to do it, my hair is damp (evoo or coconut oil with or out water)and I do it on the couch watching a movie. If it’s wash/cowash day, in the shower stall I load up on condish, detangle and smooth with the water not running, and then finish with a quick rinse under the water.

ADJ
ADJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

On my wash day, I wash my hair in the shower, then drench it in Aussie Most 3 minute miracle, turn the water off, finger detangle in four sections, then rinse the conditioner out. I might do some additional finger detangling as I’m rinsing out the conditioner, but no combs allowed during this process! This works great for me! While my hair is still wet, I put some oil in to help detangle, then twist with my creamy product. I only use the brush/comb after I’ve put my hair in four sections and am ready to twist. I’ve noticed much… Read more »

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago
Reply to  ADJ

I have tried to finger detangled, but I may NOT be using enough conditioner plus adding oil too it…Wow! You guys are great! Do you have a tutorial on Youtube? I’m shedding and need help asap!

Princess C
Princess C
7 years ago
Reply to  Kels

I do it over the sink so I can see what I am doing in the mirror and keep the shed hair all in one room.

Even though my hair is getting longer, I am much quicker at doing it now

Miss C
Miss C
7 years ago

I had a similar experience earlier this year. I thought I was stuck at CBL. I started trimming based on the lunar cycle (Farmers Almanac “Best Days To Trim Hair For Growth”). That coupled with a few months of distraction and BOOM! Here I am.:oD
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/breakthru.jpg[/img]

Jacky
Jacky
7 years ago
Reply to  Miss C

I LOVE YOUR FRO

Amor
Amor
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss C

Thanks for the Farmer’s Almanac tip.

Ev`Yan
7 years ago

Funny that this topic should come up right now. My ends (about two inches of them) are screaming right now to be cut. They just keep getting rougher & rougher. But I’m too stubborn to part with them because I don’t want to cut them away. I worked hard for that length, goddammit! I keep thinking that if I can just keep them tucked away, moisturized, & allow my hair to grow in between, then maybe when I do the “big chop” on my ends, it won’t hurt my ego so much. But I can’t help but wonder if my… Read more »

Marche
Marche
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

girl let them ends go!! Once you cut them you will be so grateful. If you dont your ends will continue to split further and further up your hair. And I know youve heard once you cut your ends your hair will grow faster.

Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

Try baggying the ends only for a week or two (alternate nights). If they still don’t recover, I would just let them go. Don’t make them scream any longer! Lol!

Candice
Candice
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

If your ends are damaged, the cuticle will just continue to split up the hair shaft. You are making it worse by keeping your ends. Try to make having healthy hair be your goal rather than long hair.

Ant
Ant
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

I’d go ahead and clip them if they’re splitting. I’m a serial clipper, myself. I check my ends regularly for little splits or knots and just snip them off (tedious, I know). I’ll need some evening up shortly (about an inch and a half), but my hair is so much better from just snipping the bits that need to go. They don’t snag other hairs or continue splitting up the shaft and your hair will thin.

DutchGirl4C
DutchGirl4C
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

Just cut ’em darling.

Ev`Yan
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

Y’all are giving me courage. Thank you for the reassurance & kick in the ass. I can’t say that I’ll do it completely, but I’m definitely thinking about doing it gradually. One inch now, another inch later. Baby steps, yo, baby steps.

lalala
lalala
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

nothing messes up a hair style more than raggedy ends girl cut the dead weight off and let your hair shine

Princess C
Princess C
7 years ago
Reply to  lalala

Yea let them go 🙂
I did the same, but when I finally did cut my hair my ends did feel great and I wasnt even fussed my hair was slightly shorter

Dani
Dani
7 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

I am in the same boat!!! I have been twisting my and ready to give up because it takes so long. However, because going to the shop costs so much, I have reluctantly continued to just twist my hair. I can’t find ANYTHING to keep the moisture in.
That said, I know my ends are suffering. They feel rough to the touch if I don’t put something on them. I know I NEED to trim the ends…just need to it. But I feel just like you!

Adrienne
Adrienne
7 years ago

Yea, bending over to tub is a lot work but i like it because I can just bend over then get out faster.

To girl that ask question, If you don’t wanna stand in shower everytime you detangling then get leave in cond. you don’t have to buy it. Just make it yourself

Caramelcurls
Caramelcurls
7 years ago

I lightly finger detangle with coconut oil and a cheap conditioner when I prepoo. After shampooing, I lather my hair with conditioner, then use my Magic Star jumbo comb to remove shed hair. This particular comb is very gentle with no sharp edges, so it removes shed hair only. So far this has worked for me. I have found that trimming every 5–6 months, keeps my ends health and fresh looking.

DutchGirl4C
DutchGirl4C
7 years ago
Reply to  Caramelcurls

It does help your hair’s health. But dusting’s a good way too.

NubianPrize
NubianPrize
7 years ago
Reply to  Caramelcurls

I love my Magic Star Rake,too. That & my Tangle Teezer are my go to tools for detangling. I wash my hair over the tub,too. I had heard it wasn’t good because you comb your hair head down & then when you stand up, you have to re comb it down toward your shoulders. I don’t do that. After I wash it I load it with KinkyCurly Knot Today ( sometimes use Kimmaytube’s leave in) & let it sit with a conditioner cap on. Get better slip & softening that way. After that I stand in front of a mirror,get… Read more »

Another Random Trini Chick
Another Random Trini Chick
7 years ago

Oh thank heavens for this! Just when I was wondering the same thing with my own hair and whether it is indeed possible to strictly finger detangle. Thanks a bunch for the info!

Antoinette Stewart
Antoinette Stewart
7 years ago

Interesting, same thing happened to me in my front section. I also have to do pony puffs less frequent. BTW the thing that has been itching me about “terminal length” is that it doesn’t seem to make sense when people have said that them being BSL, APL, to Whatever-length as their terminal length cannot be true because they have cut their hair before and it grew back. So if it has the potential to grow back 6 inches since the last cut, who said it wouldn’t have been past that length if you never cut it previously. This whole predetermined… Read more »

Lola
Lola
7 years ago

Chinwe do you have a fotki or personal hair blog?
I love to see more pics about your hair journey!

mangomadness
mangomadness
7 years ago
Reply to  Lola
J. Nicole
7 years ago

This may be a “no-no” but I really only finger detangle the front of my hair since it’s the most fragile. The back seems to be able to take a tractor trailor running over it & bounce right back. Plus, it gets tiring to do my whole head. So I just pay careful attention since that’s the part I really find myself nursing back to health.

AMarie
AMarie
7 years ago

I’ve had many breakdowns in the mirror over the front portion of my hair. The back of my hair grows like crazy, but I can’t get the front to catch up. My curl pattern is way looser in the front and it’s the only part of my hair I might take a brush to. It’s hard to let go of those slicked down sides. I’ve never been a finger-detangler, I always thought I ended up shedding more hair than with a wide tooth comb, but maybe it’s time to give it another try.

Michelle
Michelle
7 years ago

I stopped going to hairstylists and let my sister do my hair instead. She’s actually gentler with my hair and way more creative!!!

Saye
Saye
7 years ago

I have been experiencing the same thing. It takes a long time for the front of my hair to grow. Recently I have been incorporating the finger detangling and it has helped alot. Also I have been using JBCO. Hopefully the front can gradually catch up with the middle and back of my hair.

goforit
goforit
7 years ago

I finally did it!I plucked up the courage to trim my hair from BSB to APL! I got a trusted friend to do it.

This article really pushed me into the right direction. 🙂 Thanks a bunch.

I am happy as my hair looks much better so for anyone out there that is thinking to trim but is afraid go for it…

I will say take off a little off at a time.. I look forward to my new journey starting from APL onwards…my final goal is WL.

Jesse
Jesse
7 years ago

About three weeks ago, I bought a comb after having finger detangled exclusively for thirteen months. I have 4c hair. Finger detangling was good to a certain point, but I felt like my hair was not getting completely and thoroughly detangled. This became more of a problem as I transitioned out of perpetual two-strand twists; I began washing my hair more, and thus wearing it out nearly every day. My hair would get so matted and tangled that I felt like finger detangling only was doing more harm than good. Today, I detangle hair that has been stretched with curl formers… Read more »

goforit
goforit
7 years ago
Reply to  Jesse

That’s what it’s all about…changing your routine to suit your hair.I experimented with finger detangling but much prefer the comb. HHJ. 🙂

Erikka
Erikka
7 years ago

I agree, finger detangling is not for my hair. while the ends were detangled fine, my roots were like someone had a shoot out up in there, and the tangle teaser feels like it just pushes the hair around. My seamless comb does wonders. I glad I went back to it.

shayj1127
7 years ago

I have that same problem! I am starting to finger detangle and be gentler with my hair as well. Plus, I am finally consistently trimming my hair every few months. Hopefully I can adopt a method to lengthen my hair!

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