Hello beautiful people!
AB here! What’s good? 🙂
Natural in Paradise is in exactly 8 days! Bring a friend, tell a friend! 🙂
Today, let’s talk length-checks. Are you for or against? How often do you do a length check? Are they in your view, a healthy habit or an unnecessary one?
I came across this length-check collage from September 1, 2013 a few weeks ago, and I panicked because, I felt like my hair was still in the same place it was, over 12 months ago.
Most times I’m walking on sunshine, but I can also be a very creative worrier and over thinker. So I began:
Am I not doing all the right things? This year, I’ve been eating better. Until I fell off the wagon in August, I made considerable effort to exercise, didn’t I? I have my busted right knee to show for it. I will get back on but yeah, I did. My regimen has been better. Moisture – Protein levels? Check. Unlike last year when I combed and combed, not caring about breaking hair every day, this year I’ve made effort to protective style. If anything, this year beats wet combing for 20 minutes every damn day. Yet my hair appears to have fared better last year. Confusing. 🙁
My hair was under extensions at the time, so I couldn’t confirm if I was really stuck.
I read that people tend to plateau for a bit at APL (Armpit length) and BSL (Bra strap length) but I’m not even there yet! So I was worried. Every time I saw a post on Instagram or Natural Hair Babes Facebook- seeing a blooming big fro (8 months post big chop! 10 months post big chop!) I’d feel a twinge of emotion. Not envy, no. More like me wondering, what is wrong with me? Why is my hair not growing?!
I texted my friend D about this one day and then she tagged me in this picture LOL
So after I took the weave out, I did a length check and took photos, carefully comparing them to September 2013.
And there, I saw it. Some progress at least! Not at all impressive in the front or the sides, but the back is really trying! For the hair behind my ear, it looks like nothing has changed in over a year. I do know that when I tried the African Hair Accel Hair Vitamins in April, I grew one inch everywhere else, but only half an inch in that area, so clearly, I have not retained that half inch!
On the bright side,
Asides length, my ends are doing great. I haven’t spotted any split-ends since I dusted my ends in August, and my edges are growing back, unassisted. I’ve been lazy, couldn’t keep up with rubbing castor oil on them. Also, my hair is still thick and shiny, accepting and maintaining moisture. I really can’t complain!
Length-Checks ≠ Vanity
After my length check in May, I told myself that I would not be doing any length checks till the end of the year.
Now, I feel differently. I will commit to doing length checks every three months. I feel like I put a lot of effort in caring for my hair, but I need to work on my length retention practices. And how do I know my work is effective if I don’t check?
Sure. We can find ourselves in a mental trap, going overboard with length checks, doing them every other week. Yes, as much time spent obsessing over length should be channeled into thinking about our hair’s overrall health.
But. What use is nurturing your hair if you aren’t retaining what you grow? Having your hair snap or break off “by accident” a lot can cause more problems- split ends, complex knots which lead to more tangling.
I limit combing to the days when I wash my hair, but I’m thinking that even this may be too much. Can I give up combing completely? Nope, not right now. Finger detangling has its own issues, I’ll talk about this later. I’ve been having slightly scandalous thoughts about hair care lately lol but this is a story for another day.
I still don’t know what expectations to have of my hair. Is my growth rate fast? Is it slow? Average? Not comparing it to others, but I feel like maybe I could be doing better? When I was transitioning, I went from one protective style to another for the entire eight months, and I had a decent sized fro post BC. Looking at this picture, isn’t it reasonable to expect that I should have grown as much (and more) in the last one year?
I had a major haircut shortly after and another trim before the year ended (the first one was a huge fail and the second was to remedy the horrible first) Sometimes I wonder what my hair would be like, without those cuts. Not dwelling on them oh, the photo is just making me think. My hair appears to be growing much slower than it was during my transition or maybe it’s just my poor length retention??
Anyway. Setbacks or nah, slow growth rate or not, we are going to waist length, come what may! 😀
And if there’s anything you should take away from this post, it is this: Take photos of, or with your hair. It’s the easiest, most fun way to document your journey.
This is one of those Hair Diary posts. Not too whiny, I hope? Is everything groovy with your hair? Tell me all about it!