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True Life: My Hair Isn’t Growing Like I Thought It Would

Avatar • Jan 11, 2014

by Miss Fizzy of Leave in the Kinks

 

                            March 2009                                                                                       July 2012

So the last time I did any kind of documented length check, I was still in the TWA stage. My hair has grown quite a bit since then but not at a rate I’m happy with. I do get pretty annoyed when I see natural hair interviews where the girls are like “oh I went natural 5 minutes ago,” and their hair is down their backs already (I’m exaggerating of course lol).I big chopped in 2009 with maybe a couple of inches of hair and now, 4 years, numerous trims and some poor hair care practices later, my hair is probably just past BSL. I will do a proper documented length check soon.

Now I know that my hair is growing but I wasn’t retaining much length due to my lazy hair care regimen. Another thing I realized is that my hair doesn’t grow half an inch a month. True story! It’s somewhere between a quarter and half an inch, with some parts growing faster and some slower. I dyed my hair about a year ago and measured the new growth under the dye recently and it wasn’t near the length it would be if it was growing at half an inch every month. Bear in mind that I have been eating healthy, exercising and taking hair, skin and nail vitamins and this is my growth rate even with all these factors.

This discovery definitely took some pressure off me and allowed me to stop obsessing so much over the length of my hair and just take things as they come. I did feel that as a hair blogger, there were standards I needed to adhere to and I guess the reason you haven’t seen much of my hair is because I didn’t feel it was up to par. But at the end of the day I’m human and some things are beyond my control.

Anyway, in the process of my healthy hair journey, I’ve discovered a few things:

1. My hair likes to be left completely alone. I tend to see more benefits from protective styles if I leave them in for at least 6 weeks AND take care of my hair while it is hidden away.

2. Sealing is my hair’s best friend. Especially with raw shea butter.

3. Finger detangling and washing in braided sections are the shiznit.

4. Washing my hair while in braided or twisted protective styles will lead to matting, tangling and breakage on take down. No bueno. Best thing to do is try to keep the scalp clean.

5. Styling on stretched hair is the only way.

6. Comparing my hair to other people’s will only drive me crazy.

7. Protective styling constantly drives me nuts because I miss my hair and I want to play with it.

8. I love loose twists.

The reason I’m currently interested in retaining as much length as possible is because I want waist length hair by my wedding. Is this possible? Absolutely! But it will take a lot of dedication on my part. So my game plan is this:

1. Continue with my healthy lifestyle

2. Protective styles that mimic my hair or give me easy access to my hair (e.g kinky hair wigs and weaves)

3. Seal and moisturize regularly and not as an after thought

4. Don’t obsess over the length by checking every day

5. Trim as needed.

I know a lot of people are in the same boat as me (feeling that their hair just isn’t growing), but it really does help to take a step back and let it do what it do.

Now say it with me… WOOOOSSSAAAHHHHH.… 🙂

 

Miss Fizzy is a Nigerian natural who’s lived everywhere. She co-founded Leave in the Kinks with Z at the start of her natural journey to track her progress, mistakes and lessons learned. You can find her on her other blog Chaotic Order, YouTube and also visit her inspirational tumblr for 4b/c hair at hairlikeme.tumblr.com.

Links: Chaotic Order: http://fizzychaoticorder.blogspot.ie

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/soulchild6969

Leave in the kinks: www.leaveinthekinks.com

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sandy
sandy
6 years ago

I take very good care of my hair, yet I find that the length is not where I want it to be. My hair simply grows slowly, and I have come to accept that. Thank you for posting this.

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  sandy

I’m glad you liked it. It really is important to just enjoy your hair at whatever stage it is 🙂

Beverly
Beverly
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss Fizzy

No, Miss Fuzzy — don’t say that (lol). My hair grows way too slow and I am pissed! I can’t just accept that. This is why I’m always going on various hair sites to try and find ways to, “speed it up!!” I really wish that I could just accept things the way they are and have patience, but I just can’t — help!! I’m not upset at you and I LOVE YOUR POST!!!! I just don’t have the patience in me and I’ve spent way too much money on trying to get my hair to grow faster and have… Read more »

Missc
Missc
6 years ago

Fun read! Lol!
Your hair still looks great and you have great retention. Sometimes I feel my hair growth isn’t up to par. Now I focus on overall health and enjoy what hair I do have 🙂

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Missc

Glad you like it 🙂 sometimes it’s easy to get impatient when you compare yourself with other people. It’s important to enjoy the process too.

sb
sb
6 years ago

I think your hair is gorgeous!

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  sb

Thank you!

Tina
Tina
6 years ago

BSL in 4 years sounds pretty good to me 🙂 I just passed my 2 year mark and I am barely APL (in the front). I hope I can reach BSL like you did in another 2 years? I girl can dream right.…lol

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Tina

Apl in two years is pretty much on schedule. Stick with healthy hair practices and you could be MBL in 4 years even.

Guh
Guh
6 years ago

So. This girl is my hair twin. I think everything she mentioned has come out of my mouth at some point. Our hair behaves in similar ways and likes/hates the same things, and we both have been natural for the same amount of time, have similar lengths, and have the same concerns. Oh, and as a bonus, we’re both Nigerian. I’m going to try these steps too. You’ve inspired me.

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Guh

Hello hair twin. I hope it works out for you. I’ve accepted that I won’t gain a whole 6 inches every year but keeping what is on my head healthy is a good goal. I hope you get the results you want.

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss Fizzy

Ufuoma has explained it perfectly below. If I wash my hair while it is in small twists or braids or in extensions, when I finally take them down, I have a great deal of matting and breakage. I clean my scalp with ACV and cotton wool. Spraying aloe vera juice on my scalp also helps calm itchiness.

PS
My name isn’t Dominique, it’s Fizzy 🙂

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss Fizzy

This should have been a reply to Ugonna’s comment. My bad. *cringe*

Nikiesha
Nikiesha
6 years ago
Reply to  Guh

You got another twin here. Except I haven’t been doing the trims. My hair is so uneven it’s crazy. But it’s still growing. I’m not planning on trimming it until the shortest part reaches a certain length. I’m sorry but I can’t just let my hair be. I obsess over the length all the time, but I still take very good care of it, eat healthy, WATER, WATER, WATER and exercise while taking my supps. This post is very inspiring! I’m just about to go & wash/condition my hair right now.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
6 years ago

“Washing my hair while in braided or twisted protective styles will lead to matting, tangling and breakage on take down. No bueno. Best thing to do is try to keep the scalp clean.” I don’t understand this point, isn’t that what you’re doing by washing anyway? Or are you saying you’ve been washing your strands, instead of just your scalp? YOu’re supposed to just wash the scalp and condition your hair strands. So, you’re about to do it the right way anyway. All I can say otherwise is your hair is beautiful, and I don’t think you’ve grown at a bad… Read more »

Ufuoma
Ufuoma
6 years ago
Reply to  Ugonna Wosu

I think what Dominique means is washing her hair when it’s in kinky twists or box braids or Senegalese braids and all other protective styles cause matting,but what am really curious about is how she plans to keep her scalp clean cos am three weeks into my first kinky twists since I went natural Almost two years ago and I Hv to say it itches like crazy esp when I work out and sweat so I end up having to wash it two or more times a week and they look extra frizzy! Any advice?

linda
linda
6 years ago
Reply to  Ufuoma

Use an astringent like Sea breeze, Witch Hazel or diluted apple cider vinegar mixed with essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus or rosemary. These essential oils give a cooling sensation to the scalp on top of fighting bacteria and fungi and stimulating growth. Spray the astringent directly on the scalp and use a washcloth to clean your scalp. I don’t advise cotton balls, swabs, squares or rounds because they tend to leave fibers on hair. If you feel comfortable with dry shampoo, go ahead and use. Just spray or rub some on your scalp, massage it ( you… Read more »

WhyMe?
WhyMe?
6 years ago

you want waist length hair by time you get married? when are you getting married? good post

Redseouls
Redseouls
6 years ago

You have beautiful hair!

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Redseouls

Thank you 🙂

Chocolatecurls
Chocolatecurls
6 years ago

Patience and care. 🙂 winning combo, no?

Truth Hurts
Truth Hurts
6 years ago

Very interesting.….I thought my hair was growing slow. I never BC’ed I just let my hair grow out (shoulder length) and now its APL. I’am only 8 months fully natural, I thought it was growing slow maybe not…My hair is 10 to 11 inches in length, just waiting for the day it hits a foot long.

MsKat
MsKat
6 years ago

Since it seems you are doing other things right from the inside (eating right etc), have you ever had your thyroid checked? Neglect will take your ends, so you may have had some breakage from there when you didn’t take as much care as you could, but the fact that some of it is growing slower from your scalp might mean sluggish thyroid. Your hair is nice and thick, so even though slow growth bothers you a bit, if it thins any most won’t notice it; my hair is thin for life and now the top has slowed down and… Read more »

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  MsKat

I don’t have thyroid issues. I’m all round healthy and I have lots of volume in my hair. I just don’t grow a whole half inch each month. That half inch statistic is only an average which means people grow more or less than that. It’s really not the norm and I wish it would stop being touted as such. It makes people feel impatient and inadequate if their hair doesn’t keep up. Also some parts will grow slower than others. Is your thinning due to thyroid issues? Could it be stress related or hormonal? Sometimes things like birth control… Read more »

tina
tina
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss Fizzy

It is the norm

Ivy
Ivy
6 years ago
Reply to  MsKat

One thing I’d prefer to say is aalyws that before obtaining more personal computer memory, check out the machine directly into which it is installed. If your machine can be running Windows XP, for instance, the actual memory limit is 3.25GB. Installing over this would simply constitute a waste. Make sure one’s mother board can handle this upgrade quantity, as well. Great blog post. best wishes

Derilia
Derilia
6 years ago

WOW, I can relate to your story. I’ve been natural for years and my hair refuses to retain length but I too realized this was due to my own fault. For a while I had the mind set that “natural can handle” anything. I continuously colored my hair and I’ve only recently understood the proper way to moisturize. This past September I’ve made the decision to proper care for my hair and already I’ve seen results.

Andrea
6 years ago

That is too funny, Miss Fizzy, saying “I went natural five minutes ago…” — ROTFL!!!

jessybabe
6 years ago

Pretty well spokened advice. I am starting to feel the same way. I’ll be 5 months natural soon, and I feel as tho my hair wants to do its own thing with growth in certain areas.

Nikiesha
Nikiesha
6 years ago
Reply to  jessybabe

Me too. My hair grows differently in different areas. That’s why it’s never even. I’ve had the BC done several times and it always grows back unevenly. I believe it’s due to the 3 phases of hair growth=Anagen(growing), Catogen (resting) & Telogen (shedding). Since all of our hair isn’t in the same phase at the same time, our hair can’t help but grow at different times. Some parts of my hair grows really, really fast while other parts grow Super slow and other parts grow “semi-slow.” The only think that trimming does is keep it even and make it look… Read more »

Erica
Erica
6 years ago

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/9253391272_dfbab8e817_z.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/PhotoGrid_1377192270416.jpg[/img]

Erica
Erica
6 years ago

Jamaica oil and Biotin at least 5000 mcg and mutil vitamins. Keep your scalp oil, co wash weekly; shampoo once monthly; protective styles with no heat.

JosieG
JosieG
6 years ago

Your hair is just BEAUTIFUL. Enjoy it! Thank you for the tips.

Emma J B W
Emma J B W
6 years ago

Miss Fizzy, you are all kinds of funny and full of info to boots! Thank you for this article!

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago

Thank you for all the comments 🙂

My name is not Dominique by the way, it’s Fizzy.

Tiyang
Tiyang
6 years ago

I feel the same way about my hair.

tina
tina
6 years ago

You just don’t know what you’re doing. It takes 3–4 years to get to nap or mbl. I can you compare your hair to another when you don’t take care of yours. Numerous trims is why your hair isn’t longer.it’s people like that irk me. And there’s no such thing as slow growth

Are you sure
Are you sure
6 years ago
Reply to  tina

My hair has been in nothing but crotchet weaves for 2 & 1/2 years so it can grow in peace, but I haven’t even reached bsl and it wasn’t bc length when I started.

**sigh**

I suspect it’s the way my mom handles it when we take it out after the styles. She blowdries pretty hard, but she’s one of those “you can’t tell me nothing about black hair. I’ve had it longer than you” types

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Are you sure

Oooh child this is why I’m wary of people handling my hair. Maybe you could introduce her to the tension method of blow drying or other heat free ways to stretch your hair? Your hair will thank you. Also it’s important to let your hair breathe once in a while so take a break from protective styling now and then.

Good luck hun 🙂

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  Are you sure

My dad was like that when it came to combing my hair as a kid. He would use those black combs with the metal teeth and he would just rack it through it felt like my scalp was on fire!

zikzik
zikzik
6 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

You mean cake cutters!:)(the black combs with the metal teeth) yes they were actually used to cut cake. 🙂

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  tina

You seem really angry… Not sure why. Did someone force their hair practices on you? Everyone is different and that half inch monthly growth thing is only an average which means some people will have less than half an inch even with the best care. I’ve measured my hair growth and I don’t get half an inch of new growth a month. I don’t beat myself up about it. It’s only hair at the end of the day and what I do have on my head is thick and healthy. I don’t compare my hair to anyone. That only causes unnecessary… Read more »

Tina
Tina
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss Fizzy

Miss Fizzy this angry person is NOT ME. We have the same name but mine has a capital T. I commented earlier. Thanks

Tina
Tina
6 years ago
Reply to  Tina

Maybe I need to add an image or something lol

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
6 years ago
Reply to  tina

*3–4 YRS FOR BSL-MBL* AND YOU CAN’T COMPARE YOUR HAIR TO A PERSON WHO TAKES CARE OF THEIR HAIR AND YOU AREN’T

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

I think she is. she’s not balled, so I think she’s doing well. What does yours look like? Do you have a how to on this forum or do you just shade others?

Missc
Missc
6 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

Bwahahaha! *looks around* yep…pretty shady… O_o

rlw
rlw
6 years ago
Reply to  TINA SMITH

Can u keep your rotten attitude away from here.. everyone else is so helpful and pleasant.

Toni
Toni
6 years ago
Reply to  tina

tina,
I am sorry but there is such a thing as slow growth. If the average is 1/2″ of growth per month and your hair grows less than 1/2″ inch per month pre trimming, then it grows slower than the average. There is nothing wrong with that. Additionally, trimming is necessary. There’s nothing sadder than seeing someone, anyone holding on to bedraggled, split ends and single strand knots. They end of damaging the rest of the hair shaft and, in the case of ssks, strands around them (personal experience talking).

tammy1969
tammy1969
6 years ago
Reply to  tina

No matter the topic.….the response should be with the right approach,because we are all on this hair journey together. Peace and Blessings!!

Becky
Becky
6 years ago

I’m sort of experiencing something similar as well. I had my shaven big chop 16 months ago. You’d expect my hair to be 7–8 inches based on the average half inch per much growth. But instead my hair is only 5 inches. I’ve had to trim on three occasions last year due to damage. I also relate to the fact that different parts of my head have different rates of hair growth! The sides of my head and nape of my neck grow faster than the top front of my head and the crown. I think I’m learning how to avoid… Read more »

the gypsy life
the gypsy life
6 years ago
Reply to  Becky

I shaved my head off last May and my hair is currently 4–5 inches long. I don’t know, I think it really depends on the person’s genetics, hair care routine, health etc., I shaved my head and I rarely touch or do anything with my hair. During these cold months, I rock a wig w/ a stocking cap protecting my hair. Even under my stocking cap, I don’t braid my hair, it’s just fro. I know a lot of naturalistas are constanty putting different products in their hair, running their fingers thru it, cowashing it every other day etc., I… Read more »

KKE
KKE
6 years ago
Reply to  Becky

This really irks me. There is a thing such as SLOW GROWTH, I don’t know why acknowledging this offends people. I cut my hair to a fade last August and now exactly six months later I have around 1.5inches and no, this is not due to “bad hair practice” it is just the genetics I was given. Hair growth is strictly determined by your genetics, health and biological makeup while Hair retention is determined by strength of strand, health of scalp and hair practices. Please do not insult the reality of people who are not blessed with the average or above… Read more »

Becky
Becky
6 years ago
Reply to  KKE

When I wrote my comment, I didn’t mean to offend people who have slower hair growth rates. I was just saying what my own experience has been, which is that I have not retained as much length as I could’ve, due to certain incorrect hair practices that I did. Those incorrect practices caused me to have inches of damage that needed to be cut off. This sort of thing happens to a lot of people. But I understand that not everyone grows the average 1/2 inch per month. It’s just an average after all. And like I said, different parts… Read more »

Miss Fizzy
6 years ago
Reply to  Becky

Hi Becky. I think KKE was replying to the rude commenter who insisted I can’t take care of my hair. Your comment was not at all offensive hun. 🙂

KKE
KKE
6 years ago
Reply to  Becky

Sorry, my reply was actually not directed at you. As Miss Fizzy stated it was for the rude posters. I already re-posted below.

Tabatha
Tabatha
6 years ago

I see what you’re talking about and let me say I tried a braid out for the 4th time ( 4 doesn’t seem like much)and it looked HORRID! I look on Youtube at all these people with great braid outs and I’m wondering what the heck am I doing wrong?! I’m glad that you have gotten your hair to the length it is. I hope you have a wonderful wedding no matter length you hair is. =)

Thetruthisoutthere
Thetruthisoutthere
6 years ago
Reply to  Tabatha

Tabatha, you sound like me! I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong! I’ve accepted my fine, medium density hair will NEVER look as lush in a braidout as someone with thick density hair (like CharyJay for example). I believe that if my hair was longer, it would look possibly acceptable in a braid out, but not at my current length (5in ‑12.5cm).

HTH

Aisha
Aisha
6 years ago

This is a GREAT article! Thanks so much for sharing your journey and inspiration. I’m having similar struggles, but recently have become a little more accepting and comfortable with my hair as I am seeing progress. Thanks for giving this 4c girl hope that long hair CAN be a reality, with some work and dedication.

Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  Aisha

It’s like you’re on a mioissn to save me time and money!

CherishBomb
6 years ago

It tickles me how people with faulty information adamantly defend it as fact. XD She swears up and down that the AVERAGE growth rate applies to everyone. Someone needs to look up the mathematical definition of average. Anyway! I died at the “I went natural 5 minutes ago” line. Lol! I have the same issue. My hair grew pretty quickly until I reached APL, then I had to protective style to get to BSL and MBL. I’ve only been natural 4 years and I’ve met plenty of women who have waist length hair after being natural for 5 years so… Read more »

LBell
LBell
6 years ago
Reply to  CherishBomb

Totally agree regarding basic math and the definition of “average”… 😉 Based on years of hands-on experience, I have a pretty good idea of my growth rate. You know what, though? I DON’T CARE. Having BC’d five times in my natural life and seeing my hair grow back EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve learned that growth is not an issue for me. I don’t think it’s an issue for most people regardless of race or gender. KEEPING the growth is the key and I don’t understand why some black women with Afro-textured hair are still struggling over this basic concept. Keeping the… Read more »

KKE
KKE
6 years ago

This really irks me. There is a thing such as SLOW GROWTH, I don’t know why acknowledging this offends people. I cut my hair to a fade last August and now exactly six months later I have around 1.5inches and no, this is not due to “bad hair practice” it is just the genetics I was given. Hair growth is strictly determined by your genetics, health and biological makeup while Hair retention is determined by strength of strand, health of scalp and hair practices. Please do not insult the reality of people who are not blessed with the average or above… Read more »

Kelly
Kelly
6 years ago

I applaud Miss Fizzy for her honesty and for sharing her journey. Let’s face it, many of us naturals peruse BGLH, other sites, blogs, YouTube looking for long natural hair. Then we become impressed and get our interest piqued when we see someone with waist length or hip length hair tumbling down their backs. I’ve heard about sistas growing waist length hair in as little as four years, as Fizzy pointed out. Then we hear all you have to do is … Some of us try their method and then it doesn’t work out, we have a setback, we find… Read more »

Margaret
Margaret
6 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

THANK YOU

Rendiy
6 years ago
Reply to  Margaret

kinda, i think that the word depressed is one of those words that has a vatreiy of levels. cuz like u could be, oh, i’m just depressed about this just to use it as an exaggeration, not that they actually are depressed. Cuz, if u say oh, i just sad about this u kinda sound childish lol.Then, u could say i’m actually depressed actually refering to depression, and that’s a whole new meaning

Tired Naturalista
Tired Naturalista
6 years ago

Sigh, I’ve been natural for almost 10 years now, and even with a setback about 4 years ago that ended up with my hair being chopped by about 3 inches (and uneven, and about 5–6 inches at the longest parts, ugh), my hair is still not longer than about 8″ stretched (4″ unstretched). I know I’m never ever going back to a relaxer, and straight hair bores me. But I am reeeeally getting tired of trying to take care of my hair and it not getting me anywhere in length retention. For now, I am trying to find someone in… Read more »

Lina
Lina
6 years ago

Lots of places in DC to go to.. My fav is Cornrows & company, and Uzuri Braids . Both are in NW area of DC.

Trent
Trent
6 years ago

This girl is the bomb she is in the Aberdeen proving grounds area of Maryland. All about healthy natural hair. Her name is Gabrielle: (646) 250‑0999. Hope this helps. Tell her Trent referred you. Good luck on your journey!

Tobs
Tobs
6 years ago

Hey Miss Fizzy!

What do you think about using honey on natural hair + skin? Have you ever tried it as a cleanser/moisturiser and if so, how?

Thanks!

lottie b!
6 years ago

Hey lady bug I’m nearly in the same boat as yourself. I wear protective styles 75% of the time. I use the same methods as you too. My hair likes to be left ALONE…period. I think the thing is that perhaps if you write down exactly what you are doing when you are caring for your hair you will find out what works and doesn’t work. Also try reading GROW IT! by Chicoro she gives extraordinary advice on caring for your hair properly. You’ve made some mistakes but that’s what the journey is about, learning. I grow at about .45… Read more »

tia
tia
6 years ago

i think your hair looks great im 2.5 years natural and im feeling bad because i see naturals thats are 2 years and theres is bsl already mine isnt im doing all the right things but i know my hair dont grow 6 in a yr more like 3–4 inches a yr so that saddens me

debs
debs
6 years ago

i big chopped four years ago and i haven’t hit shoulder length fully yet

LadyC
LadyC
6 years ago

Ok that does it!!! I want my hair to grow to my ankles. Who’s with me…be honest! They say, “if you reach for the stars, you might just get to the sky. So if I aim for ankle length then maybe I can actually reach MBL or TBL. (I don’t really want ankle length hair but the larger my goal, the better the outcome — for me due to my past experiences). Come on ladies!!! Let’s stay healthy and grow, grow, grow! Peace!

Pseudonym
Pseudonym
6 years ago

Girl, PLEASE!!!!

You look amaaaazing!

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