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3 Key Things I Learned About Hair Maintenance Once I Hit My Waist Length Goal

• Jun 30, 2014

I believe the biggest hurdles to overcome when attempting to grow and retain longer hair are:

1) believing that you can grow and retain your desired length of hair


2) finding a regimen that aids in hair retention.

Once you’ve achieved these goals, you’re pretty much on cruise control, until you reach your goal length. Or are you? While maintaining a particular length is generally easier than growing the hair to that length, you still have work to do when you get there. I want to highlight three pieces of advice to consider once you reach your goal length.



Learning When to Let Go

Just before I began to write this very paragraph, I paused and ran my finger through my hair, only to discover a sizeable knot at the end of my hair. My hair was in a moisturized bun all day, so I have no idea where this little rascal came from. However, I do know that I lost a little hair by the time I removed the knot. This is not the first nor will it be the last time this happens. As you draw closer to your goal, consider taking into account the smaller set backs that may arise from time to time. Once you reach your goal length, you might require more frequent trims in order to maintain healthy length retention past your original goal. You can think of this as an insurance policy, for your hair. If your texture is kinky/coily like mine, trimming 2 inches won’t make a visible difference but trust me, you’ll feel better if you need to cut off  2 inches knowing you’re still technically at your goal length.

Returning to Bad Habits

Let me preface my next example by stating that I am not rigid when it comes to hair products. If something works, great! However, if it doesn’t, move on. Not long ago, I noticed a number of women advocating the use of hair grease. I have had my fair share of dark blue and dark green hair greases laden with mineral oil applied to my hair and was left neither unhappy nor bald. Still, I didn’t understand why some women returned to those products even while admitting how mineral oil free products benefited their hair. I use this example to illustrate the point that it can become tempting to be more careless or open to experimentation once you’ve reached your hair goal. My advice: It’s “just hair,” so experimentation is fine. However, if you are actively seeking to maintain your length, don’t return to practices that you’ve previously ruled out just because it’s the latest bandwagon .

Take it a Little Easier

I used to deep condition my hair ever week, alternating between moisture rich and protein rich conditioners. I have not done that in years. You shouldn’t return to negative habits but you can cut back a little on time consuming good habits. You may find that using your steamer once a month, instead of every week allows your hair to receive a moisture boost, while shaving 30 minutes off your weekly routine. You might also find that a $10 conditioner yields results that differ very little from your $30 salon brand conditioner. I found that reaching my goal meant that I could simplify my regimen by keeping the most important parts of my weekly routine (thorough pre-shampoo detangle, moisturizing my ends several times a week) and eliminating or reducing other practices. As a result, you might be surprised to find that your longer hair is a bit easier to maintain than shorter hair.


What have you learned as your hair has grown longer?

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7 years ago

i have watched you for quite awhile. love your hair and real tips. im not at my ultimate goal yet but this gives me things to think about for when i do!

Yvette R.
Yvette R.
7 years ago

My goal length has been evolving since 2012, when I stopped actively cutting my hair. I’ve been on a length journey since 2014 though. Every time I hit a mini-milestone, my ultimate goal of Full Waist Length seems further away. Now that I’m somewhere between BSL and MBL, it seems like I reach my goals faster (and more sane) when I’m not regularly measuring my hair and comparing my progress. A watched pot never boils right?
Maintaining my length and growth for me means laying off the length checks. Lol
Great article!

7 years ago

Thank you for this well thought out article! Hopefully, it will encourage people to focus on the things they can control in their diets, hair regimens, etc. and not on magic pills.

7 years ago

I love the part about learning to let go. The very back of my hair was fairy knot heaven. I kept trying to search & destroy because it was bra strap length while the rest of my hair was a little longer. But every time I detangled I was losing a lot of hair from the back. So finally I cut 2 or more inches off the back. Now detangling is So much easier! I’m losing hardly any hair back there and when you look at my hair you can’t tell I lost close to 3 inches!! Should have done… Read more »

7 years ago

My hair is definitely easier as it gets longer and I think it is mainly because I am letting go of unnecessary things and understanding what is key.

7 years ago

I enjoyed this piece. I set a length goal of waist length (when pulled straight down from the nape) 3 years ago when I BC’d. I recently reached my goal and I can definitely see a difference in how dedicated I am to doing everything possible to maintain healthy hair. I used to moisturize and seal my hair nightly before covering my head with a satin scarf, and then sleeping on a satin pillowcase. Nowadays, my hair is lucky if I even sleep on my satin pillowcase. I just put my hair in a bun and call it a night.… Read more »

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