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3 Reasons I’ll Never Grow My Natural Hair to Hip Length Again

• Dec 3, 2013

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By Dani of OkDani.com

I’ve been reveling in my low‐maintenance short cut so much so that I’ve chopped it even shorter!

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Everyone’s asking if I plan on growing to donate again and if I’ll try to get back to hip length again and my answer is yes, I’ll donate, but I will NEVER go back to hip length natural hair. And here’s why:
1. Saving Money & Space!
I was spending way too much on products and even though I was getting a lot gifted, it was still taking up a lot of space in the house. It takes a helluva lot of deep conditioner to take care of hip length natural hair. Now I use so little product with each wash, or style. I am very slowly using up what I have, and will use most of it up before buying more to clutter up our bathroom (and closets) again.

2. Dreading Maintenance!
I honestly was beginning to dread washing/detangling/airdrying/straightening. It just took far too much effort. I don’t have the muscle stamina in my arms to hold my arms up to do the marathon straightening sessions required for that length of hair. The multi‐step, multi‐section hair care was starting to be too much of a hassle as well. However, I knew if I didn’t do it, I’d have to spend even more effort on detangling. So much work!

3. Saving Time!
In the same vein as the reason above, I also was beginning to dread the time commitment. I was “hair‐lazy” and often pulled it back into a ponytail or bun to be fast on the go. Even with my short and sweet regimen, the length of hair just required more time. My regimen is the same now, but there’s a huge time difference between washing/dcing/detangling/moisturizing/oiling/styling hair that is an inch or two long versus hip length. Don’t even get me started on the air drying time!

I Can Still Donate!
My intentions with growing to hip length was that I’d only cut away 12 inches and keep my hair around shoulder length or arm pit length afterward. I ended up getting a fade instead and donating a much longer length. I will donate in the future, but I won’t need to grow to hip length to do so. Once I hit waist length I have enough to donate, and will just get another faded cut or some other short do.

What’s the shortest/longest you’d go? Will you ever donate your hair?

Danielle Faust is a wellness coach and blogger in the NYC area. She writes candidly on motherhood, life, and natural hair on OKDani.com and is the founding editor of a wellness site for women launching January 2014.

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tmc (toronto meet up dec 14)
Guest

im also slowly growing my hair out so I can donate it. To proove chris tucker wrong about nobody wanting Black hair. But hip length? im afraid that would take me over a decade to achieve! even my “almost” bsl is a lot of work!
themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Tyki
Guest
Tyki

You mean Chris Rock, not Chris Tucker.…

Missc
Guest
Missc

Who’s Chris Tucker?… Lol j/k O_O

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

TO LONG‐HAIRED WOMEN/NATURALS WHO ARE THINKING OF DONATING THEIR HAIR, PLEASE READ THIS. One of the charities that Dani recommends donating hair to on her I‐will‐donate‐in‐the‐future link (if you choose) is Locks of Love. Locks of Love does not make wigs and freely donate hair to children with cancer, they CHARGE the families of those families for these wigs. The charge is on a sliding scale but they still charge the families for the donated hair. Also, they would prefer hair that is not gray, not less than 10 inches long, hair that is not bleached, hair that is not… Read more »

Missc
Guest
Missc

Interesting.….

virtuenow
Guest
virtuenow

Articles I have read about donating say they either do not accept or they don’t use kinky hair for wigs. Apparently it is thrown away. Were you aware of this? Perhaps it could be a myth, but I don’t think so. I’ll leave you with this: “Every time a black woman cuts her hair, somewhere a little black girl cries”…Girlfriends. Yeah, it’s depressing.

The lovely one
Guest
The lovely one

That was actually Tasha Mack from “The Game” said to Melanie after she cut her hair.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I doubt it considering they do make kinky hair wigs.

Teetee
Guest
Teetee

I think that donation is geared towards cancer patients and people with alopecia not what’s in the beauty supply store

NappyGoddess
Guest

right. I know that if I ever lost my hair I would not want a straight wig…I would rather just walk around bald. But if I could find a wig that matched my original kinks I would gladly pick it.

Mai
Guest
Mai

I will say that Locks of Love is definitely shady. My friend wanted to donate there and they said “we don’t take black hair.” I don’t know about other places, but for Locks of Love, it’s true.

Courtney
Guest

My long term goal is waist length. But in the meantime, I’m having fun with layers, bangs and whatever else 🙂 The shortest I’d go is Toni Braxton short — at least that’s what I think right now 🙂

LBell
Guest
LBell

I’ve never shaved my head completely, but I’ve come pretty close (less than 1 inch of hair) several times. So I can totally relate to the ease of super‐short hair!

As for how long I’ll go…it will depend on how much time I’m willing to spend on it. Even now — with my longest layers at APL — I’m tweaking my regimen and styling to keep things (relatively) easy and quick. It helps that I only do three basic styles.

Merci GeeZee
Guest
Merci GeeZee

I shaved my hair all off in 2010 and it was the most liberating experience! My husband did NOT like it though so I took his feelings into consideration and grew it out to TWA length. Anything more will have my hair not managed properly since I have such a full scheduled 7 days per week. Rock it long, rock it short. Just make sure it’s healthy!

Pat
Guest

I love short hair, looks so fresh and the maintenance is a breeze too!!

lauryn
Guest
lauryn

I did a very short cut when my hair was relaxed, but now that I’m natural I doubt I will ever do short hair again. For me, going natural has given me the option to wear the curls I naturally have as opposed to using a curling iron to achieve the volume that I desire. As a child, my hair was waist length and before my short relaxed cut, my hair was BSL. I would like to get back to that, even with the increased costs and maintenance time.

Ellipsis
Guest

The longest i want my hair is mid back length (im just past apl now). My hair is VERY VERY THICK and course and i get frustrated easily so WL is NOT an option for my if i want to save my sanity

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I just don’t understand the obsession with wanting hip and waist length hair…Who wants to spend more time doing their hair and more money taking care of it??? I would never want my hair to become a burden or a hassle, especially since I freed myself of a lot of hassle that went with the need to make sure my relaxed hair stayed straight. My goal is I want my curls to fall at armpit length, in other words when I do a twist out shrinkage and all I want that style to land at the top part of my… Read more »

Dananana
Guest
Dananana

I have some fears that I’m on that path to bathroom hermitage.…even at collarbone length, my hair still shrinks almost to my ears. I think you have a point, but it’s important to consider that for some folks (myself included), getting a twist out/braid out to land at APL with shrinkage may mean growing hair to WL.…and I’m undecided as to whether or not I want to go for all that.

michelle
Guest
michelle

it looks like the original poster’s hair was probably hip length stretched…with many of our hair types it WOULD take getting hip and waist length hair to achieve “long”-looking hair on kinks and curls (I am BSL stretched but it comes up to my CHIN after a twist‐out) so I don’t really see what’s wrong with wanting to get there. I know I do 🙂

J
Guest
J

Exactly. I have kinky hip length hair which is only APL in a twist out. Although I didn’t really plan to grow my hair as long as I did. It’s really nice to not have to fret as much about my hair shrinking above my shoulders when it’s raining, humid etc.

LBell
Guest
LBell

I understand your point but when you think about it…what exactly about hairstyling is “necessary” beyond basic grooming? 🙂 As I said in my previous comment, I’m only going to keep growing my hair so long as it doesn’t take up a lot of time to do. Because I am curious to see how long I can get it, I’m tweaking my regimen and styling as I go (as I grow). I’m not really into long hanging hair but I’ve always loved updos of all kinds since I was a kid. I’m very much looking forward to being able to… Read more »

Jacqueline
Guest
Jacqueline

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your hair to be a certain length ! We don’t say those things about women with naturally straight hair. If that is someone else’s goal just respect it and move on. The same way that you want to keep armpit length is the same way someone else may want waist length . Get over it…

Fairy
Guest
Fairy

Waist and hip length is just not necessary”

Speak for you and only you girlfriend!!!

Sophie
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Sophie

I’m aiming for shoulder blade length or so, then I’m probably going to trim it so it doesn’t get longer. I’m about shoulder length now and it’s already getting pretty high‐maintenance, although I think when it gets longer chunky twist outs will be easy so that will help. I don’t plan on donating my hair because I’m not going to grow it super long, and I’ve also heard some unsavory things about what is actually done with the hair but those could be myths.

Missc
Guest
Missc

Hi Dani 🙂 nice to see you here. I lurk on the long hair care forums.…

Dani @ okdani.com
Guest

Hi! *waves*

Tabatha
Guest
Tabatha

That was a great read.

honeybrown1976
Guest
honeybrown1976

No more short hair for me. When I was in my twenties, I saw it as trendy and okay. But, now I’m in my late thirties, my long hair is here to stay.

The longest I plan to intentionally go is waist‐length. Currently, I am at mid‐back length.

Alisa
Guest
Alisa

I would like for my hair to be APL (armpit length), nothing more. I love big twist and braid‐outs, so this would be a good length for me! I don’t want waist(think Nap85) and hip length hair, too much work! I don’t want to dread washing, detangling, or styling, and with that much hair, I know I would.

JENNID
Guest
JENNID

Ive been natural for over 12 years now and ive always kept my hair medium length. Anything pass that just takes too long to maintain. I just chopped off a few inches yesterday because it was heading back towards shoulder length. I need my hair to work with my life style. Long hair unfortunately isn’t realistic. Cute but too time consuming.

Ny Ny
Guest

Good to know. I am dealing with similar struggles now and I am only at bra strap length. I still plan on growing it out that way and doubt I will ever cut it drastically because of personal reasons.

Tee
Guest
Tee

Great article! It shows that we are definitely not monolith when it comes to hair. Oh I love length! I am excited to get to hip length. I don’t experience long hair as a burden but something as to enjoy. I buy affordable products so using more of it for long hair is not hurting my pocket. I have a containable product stash of three crates and I don’t really need or want that space for anything else. As far as time, I multi‐task so the time that I spend doing my hair, I also watch television or read a… Read more »

Dani @ okdani.com
Guest

Thanks for all the comments on the article and on your personal hair journeys. It’s great that we can all do exactly what we want with our hair, isn’t it!? I only wish that there was no negative judgement of what others choose to do with theirs. Whether perm, weave, locs, straighten, natural, shaved bald, grown to the buttcrack…it’s ALL good.

Kami
Guest
Kami

I am WL slowly making my way to HL (I should be there by the summer) and I love it. And surprisingly it takes me less time and less products. Most of the time, I wear my hair straight. I just wash and condition, bun or braid, then the next day detangled, do a flexi rod set and take it out in the morning. For maintenance, I just spritz my hair with a mix of Giovanni direct leave‐in and water, seal with oil, and then low bun. (I don’t use heat on my hair, the flexi rods get it pretty… Read more »

Courtney
Guest

Nice! Can you post pics?

Funny
Guest
Funny

My hair is currently APL when stretched. I’ve never had waist length hair so attaining that would be a dream for me. The only problem is my hair is SO THICK AND COARSE. I usually style my hair after washing because I know its a monster when it’s stretched. I recently blow dried it out of curiosity and I was overwhelmed I just said forget it.

tasha fierce
Guest
tasha fierce

it’s very inspiring, that she can grow her hair to hip length whenever she wants.

Marcie
Guest
Marcie

I’m happy to see more black women with long hair cause it breaks the myths and inspire more young black people out in the world. I don’t think long hair is necessary for all or that if you can grow it long that you should never cut your hair. I hope my hair reaches HL one day because even though I’m super close to my MBL goal (unbelievable) I still have doubts because growing up my hair never past shoulder blades (if that). I believe that long hair will be less of a burden for me than my medium length… Read more »

Destiny
Guest

yes it’s not impossible everyone is my family hair was butts length by 4th except 2 but they still have long hair it’s not impossible it’s just that most blacks don’t know how to take care of their hair therefore it’s doesn’t grow but breaks off

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

Long hair is perceived differently than medium length or even medium long hair. Long‐haired women can do sloppy buns and sloppy ponytails and people will say, “You have so much hair! You’re hair is so long and healthy! You’ve got pretty hair.” If a natural with medium‐length hair wears a sloppy bun or pony, they get. “Girl, when you going to do something to your hair?” Or weird stares. If you do a braid‐out or twist out on medium‐length or even medium‐long (bra strap length stretched), hair you have to put in more braids or twists for your hair to… Read more »

Iman
Guest

Heyyyy!!!! It’s so nice to see naturals who have donated their hair before. That is exactly what I plan to do with mine after I grow to waist Length.

Now I’m off to read your post on donating 101!

Stacey
Guest

I’m with you on that! I grew my hair out for almost 3 yrs and had enough. I’ve been enjoying my fade cut for the last few months. I love being natural but this has been the best thing ever 🙂

Nicollette
Guest
Nicollette

I commend her honesty! I’m not a naturalista but I am all about healthy hair and it’s hard work. I have only been on my healthy hair journey for part of this year and I have so many products and hair stuff it’s ridiculous. I find myself doing more for my hair than anything else! Air drying/wash days are the worst. I stretch my relaxers 8–10 weeks and dealing with the new growth is a headache in itself. I have thick Armpit Length hair and I want to reach Mid‐Back Length but no more than that!

Charity
Guest
Charity

I have always wanted crazy long hair. But I am finding the further it grows down my back, the more difficult it is to manage. Everything said about needing more product is true. Detangling is a BEAST! I already dread wash day enough.

I still have a goal of healthy waist length hair though, lol. I just need to know what that feels like….then I’ll be good.

yanalee
Guest

I have mid back tex lax hair and detangling is a beast I friggen hate it but find a great conditioner with slip and honey booboo child lol « wala magic butter strands down ya back. I use (aussie 3 minute miracle and hydralicious shampoo and conditioner and it worked wonders for my hour and a half process down to 30 minutes…….yasss honey 30 mins ok but anyway … like your self i have all of walmart beauty product section in my bathroom sprinkled with some ebay products(product junky to thee max…my husband gets madd but I’m like dude trial… Read more »

santananyla
Guest

I’m at hip length and it’s almost frightening to let my hair hang down‐not to mention wash day. I’ve worn it short before,but that’s a two week regiment to keep it trimmed to the scalp.….so I prefer long‐but it’s overwhelming.

Just Joy
Guest
Just Joy

I admire and appreciate her experience and opinion. While its great to see more women of African descent with long, healthy hair — I really want us to love ourselves first and foremost without feeling a need to “challenge” a stereotype and live as a token of the opposite. She fully possesses her body as her own. She’s been there and done that with the long hair, she got tired of it, and she made changes that best fit HER. Truth betold, long hair requires A LOT of maintenance! Which is why many women with long hair often just throw… Read more »

CherishBomb
Guest

My jaw dropped. I knew she was growing her hair out to donate, but at some point her hair hypnotized me and stopped thinking about it getting cut. Wow. I gotta say, for now, I look forward to the long hair problems.

lexx
Guest
lexx

I think its a blessing to have such long hair. I haven’t had hair on my scalp since 2010, so I’m praying for even just the smallest amount. Be grateful to have hair on your scalp and don’t complain 🙂

pryiank
Guest
pryiank

I’m not sure why anyone would dislike this comment, its true!!! stop complaining, if uve got hair on ur head be grateful! some people don’t! even if its long and a pain to wash at least u have it on ur head!

Kelcie
Guest
Kelcie

That looks good!! I like your hair either way and it’s great that you donated for such a worthy cause. Bless you.

Mina
Guest
Mina

Oh wow! I didn’t know she cut her hair! But I’m actually not mad b/c it looks good. I know the feeling of having long hair and it being a hassle now too. But I couldn’t cut mine’s. The daily bun or dutch braid routine is something I do daily. It’s become like my safety blanket now lol. But I really love her new hair! Her curls just pop and her hairstyle is so cool!! 😀

Mama Sunshine
Guest
Mama Sunshine

I wish my hair would grow past my shoulders, I’m one of those ladies who just wasn’t blessed to grow super long hair. However, she looks great either way!

TCole
Guest
TCole

Short hair is soooo liberating! I loved having short hair, LOVED it! Wash‐and‐go really means wash and go. I am growing my hair now as a personal challenge, I want to see how long I can grow it. But I look forward to the day that I chop it all off again.

Che Che
Guest
Che Che

I seriously miss my short hair. My mother started letting me cut my hair in grammar school ( she was shocked as she thought I would only cut it to my shoulders) and I loved it cut at the length she is wearing. I would grow my hair in the winter, then cut it off in the spring. Once I hit highschool, I stayed short. Now that I’m in my late 30’s, I keep it shoulder length, so instead of getting trims..I get 3 to 3.5 inches cut,but for 3 years I have been contemplating going back short.

Divachyk @Relaxed Thairapy
Guest

My hair has been equally as short as what you currently have it. I’m about at my length max for what I’m willing to tolerate.
Divachyk @Relaxed Thairapy

Aliyah C.
Guest
Aliyah C.

THANK YOU!!! I hate having to keep explaining to people why I cut my mid‐back length hair. I basically say “I AIN’T GOT THE TIME!! OR ENERGY!!” Its always people who ain’t lived that life that wanna say something lol I tell you long hair is not always great! Especially when its super thick like mine is! I might go shorter too. Right now I have a medium fro thing going on 🙂

Yoles
Guest
Yoles

its a joy seeing other women of color donating hair… i grow mine to donate every few years… 96, 08 and 13… and i will continue to do so… you only need to have a 10inch minimum to donate so armpit length is fine… keep up the good work and be blessed!

PS‐sometimes i want long waist length glorious hair and just reading about the maintenance and upkeep makes me reconsider… every. single. time.

Mimi
Guest
Mimi

I really appreciated this article. I think in this whole “natural revolution” many ladies have lost sight on what’s really at the center of this matter. It’s really not about who’s had long hair for the longest time or ‘if you have short hair your goal should be long hair’, it’s about being comfortable in your own skin. That regardless if your hair is shoulder length or just barely touching the tips of your ears, that it’s healthy & you’re happy. It’s also great to see a black woman willing to part with length in order to have easier maintenance.… Read more »

Lawuan
Guest

Wow that is a amazing an inspirational story! Nice to see natural donating their hair.

Candy
Guest
Candy

She looked way better with longer hair! She could have cut it to shoulder length. It must be that mid‐life crisis thing.

Juanita
Guest

Call me selfish, call me vain. but I have not intention of ever selling/donating my hair. I cut my hair within an inch of it’s life when I big chopped years ago — and will never (and will never have a NEED to) do that again.

The shortest I’d ever go is the length that I am now, and when my hair gets longer then THAT will be the shortest length I’d ever keep my hair, and so on and so forth. the buck stops at hip length, but any shorter than BSL just isn’t my style.

Aaliyah Wells
Guest
Aaliyah Wells

How did you achieve that length with that texture because im young and the longer the better.

Erin
Guest
Erin

Kudos to you and your honesty about dealing with long hair. I read many articles and know many naturals where their focus is long hair. What about attaining and maintaining a healthy head of hair? I don’t know what having long hair proves but to each her own. Again, thank you for being one of those naturals that shed light on the hassels of long hair.

youngin girl
Guest
youngin girl

Well, despite the long hair obsession geting annoying, atleast you guys are trying to take time and patience to grow your own hair rather than complaining about not having the hair of someone else’s. It’s better to read stories of women’s journey’s and see how far they came in terms of begining, middle and end. This blog has alot to interest you on and it has so many discussions and pictures to be mesmerized by which is why I subscribed to this blog. It’s your life, you can do what you want with your hair and face. You can go… Read more »

Andiegurl
Guest
Andiegurl

Like someone else said, I’m looking forward to the long hair problems. Lol. For some people, long hair isn’t important and for others it is. I would love to have hair that long. I feel like dealing w/natural hair can be a bit time consuming in general, so I might as well have a head full of hair to show for it. lol. But I will admit that I loved how free my head felt after I did the big chop. It was soooo easy to deal with. I just didn’t like my hair being that short.

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