November 27, 2013

At a Standstill- Natural Hair Growth

by Noni of Three Naturals

Ever felt like your hair’s stopped growing? Ever felt that you’ve reached your ‘limit’?  As I write this post I totally feel like I’ve reached my hair zenith. If there is such a thing. I feel like I’ve exhausted all my hair growing ability and the length that I’m at is where I’ll always be from here on out.

That’s so dramatic right? Thank God that there’s a difference between feeling and knowing.

Whenever I get into this funk of feeling I have to remind myself of what I know to be true.

- I know that as long as I’m alive my hair is essentially always growing. Just like my fingernails, just like my eyebrows, just like my leg hair…

- I know that length retention and the ability to ‘grow hair’ are not the same. So yes, my hair’s growing but am I taking care of my ends?

- I know that because I don’t keep a photo journal of my hair I can’t truly measure progress with any great accuracy.
And so on.

Once I’ve repeated that in my head a few times I see that I am being dramatic and I calm down. And then I remember that it’s just hair and 2 weeks ago I was contemplating cutting it short. And then I shut up.

Sometimes situations in life can threaten to totally overwhelm you. They can have you thinking that you’re extremely exhausted and at the end of yourself. Or that there is no end and you’ll be stuck wherever you are forever. When you start to reason with this ‘stinkin thinkin’ you’ve got to separate what you feel from what you know. Remember that feelings are fickle but knowledge is steadfast.
The more truth you know the better. So, regarding hair, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged about your progress, or you’re just plain curious about hair growth you can start your information gathering with some of these extremely helpful online resources:

Chicoro
or
KimmayTube’s Structure of Hair series on youtube.

The next time some disillusion tries to sweep your brains, now, you’ve got some facts to use in combat against it.

Have you ever had the felt that your hair wasn't growing as it should? How did you get over the hump?

22 Weigh in!:

Kisha said...

Whoo Hoo! First to comment! I've been natural for a few years but have only been a healthy natural for 15 months. I haven't seen the 1/2 inch per month growth that I expected. But now i'm taking better care of my hair. I'm currently between shoulder and Bra strap length. I'm dying to get to bsl. I've been wearing a wig since september. While washing my hair yesterday, I noticed that some of my hair is bsl. I was super excited. I notice that my hair IS growing. Maybe i'm just not as patient as I should be. It's been a struggle taking care of my hair but i still love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm not over the hump! :o( Well at least I don't think I am. But I am definitely trying to work on less manipulation. I get so excited with the versatility of my hair that I feel at times a new style every day is worth the trouble! But alas, it isn't. :o\ (que sad music) Especially since I found out that even that can stress your ends, I've calmed down quite a bit. Holding styles for 2 or 3 days or even a week (if it's two-strand twists or something) :::pats self on back::: It seems to be helping...I think. Can't tell right now. My hair grows slow. Also I'm trying to keep my end trimmed more often. Looking at it now I think I'm about due. We'll see how it goes. ::bites nails::

Anonymous said...

yep, i stopped messing with my hair so much...stopped constantly twisting, braiding, fluffing...just let my hair rest and be...kept the moisture levels up and I saw a difference soon enough. I'm just leaving my hair be from now on, feeling like i have to stretch it and/or do all these styles started gotten to get to me and made me start to not like my hair. Just my personal experience though..

DrChuck24 said...

My hair right now has told me that it has stopped growing. It BEEN stopped growing lol. But nah, what I think I need to do is less manipulation. I got a bad case of hand in hair syndrome and it is not the best thing to have. I will be seeking more protective styles to help my hair do more growing and less breaking.

savvyrenae said...

I totally agree with the last comment. I think we can over-analyze and over-complicate things. When I begin to feel this way, I stick to what I know, the basics of a healthy hair care regimen (clean, conditioned, moisturized hair with low manipulation). I do the best I can with that regimen, then I force myself to find other interests to occupy my time (for months at a time), so I'm not fussing over every broken strand, or every .1 inch of new growth. I let a few months go by, then I check for length and thickness to make sure no major damage is happening (I check length by taking lots of pics over time). Then I can clearly see that back when I was in a hair slump, my hair was actually quite healthy (or whatever the resutls show), and I can be encouraged and do it all over again :)

Anonymous said...

How did I get over the hump, you ask?

I chopped it to a TWA again - that's how I handled it!

I've been stuck at 5 inches for.e.ver! SSKs and mid-strand splits have stunted my length retention at every turn since my initial BC in 2009! A "B" can't catch a break(except for my hair strands)!

Finger detangling has been a joke for my short length and 4c coiliness.

Ladies, if you have raggedy split ends like I had, just cut them off. And start over. It's that simple.

Split ends can promote SSKs, which tangle and create mid-strand splits as you stress the hair shaft during detangling.

No, I was not 'ripping' the comb through my hair. My hair is fine, porous, and extremely coiled (4-c if you will).

Like the ladies posted above, I'm going to leave it alone. I put KCCC/KCKT in Sunday, and will blow the dust off the top of my Miss Jessie's Curly Meringe this weekend.

It will come back and hopefully it will 'stay' this time! LOL!

You aren't fooling anybody with that raggedy length - trim those ends.

Be Blessed and I hope this helps you.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I get frustrated about my hair not growing, I just put it in some box braids. After 6-8weeks in those braids I definitely see growth and have a deeper appreciation for my hair and handling it. I take pics after each braiding stint so that I can compare the growth and remain encouraged.

I'm a 4a/4b and while my hair is different lengths all around, my longest back section is almost at CBL length (stretched) now. Patience and braiding have been key for me. ~H

chicfitchef.com

pearlsandcurls37 said...

My hair definitely is at a standstill. Its currently collarbone length and stagnant. My ends seem to split whenever they are touched. I try to keep mini twists in but if I spend the weekend with a cute twist-out....best believe my ends will be splitting like Kim K and Chris by Monday. :( I've been trying to focus on moisturizing (almost excessively) every night, sealing with oils, and keeping a satin bonnet on my head as much as possible. Heck, I leave my bonnet at the front door so its waiting on me when I get home (clearly I don't live with a man). Anyhow, keep fighting the good fight ladies! xoxo

Treasure said...

i thought my hair was at a standstill till i discovered that i was cutting of too much of my hair. im talking 1/2-2ins everymonth for a yr. once i stop cutting, GORWTH!so now six weeks trims can kiss the fattest part of my ass now that i know my hair grow 1 1/4 every monthly. :D

Anonymous said...

Pealsandcurls you have me LOL but I can relate. This was wonderful "what you feel and what you know" is what did you say two totally different things and thank you Lord for that. I love this message.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I haven't experienced the "it's not growing" flu since I first went natural. (There's definitely something to be said for growing hair out from a TTWWA!) If anything, especially lately, it's been quite the opposite. Having a super-simple regimen combined with the right products and very little manipulation has resulted in my retaining more length than ever before. For the first time since going natural I feel I might actually break a length record.

I'm a fine 4b, I've never had long hair that I didn't buy (lol) and I do as little to my hair as I can get away with.

Anonymous said...

"Having a super-simple regimen combined with the right products and very little manipulation has resulted in my retaining more length than ever before."

you have reached natural hair zen and are going against the current norm of the natural hair community (where more is more).

CurlyChemist said...

Ok So here's my question. My hair is at the stage where it's not TWA anymore (too long), but not nearly what you would call long, BUT (big but), when you flat iron it the length is about chin length. In it's natural state my hair is tightly coiled and what I call "the bush" (I guess it's in the 4c category) and I put a lot of juices and berries in it to keep it moist :). Sorry so long. My question is what is the best way to trim, when it's flat ironed or in the naturally curly state? I have done a little bit of "dusting", but not all over. Don't trust myself with scissors anyway, so I want to try a stylists. I am do for my weekly at home wash and go session this weekend and I can't decide if I want to go to a salon. And I really think that if I go and let a pro do it, we (my hair and I) can get over this hump.

Anonymous said...

I returned to my trusted protectice style which is box braids. I braided from last July to now and the growth has been amazing. Once I stopped frequent manipulation, cleansed, conditioned and moisturized my hair took off in leaps and bounds. I also found out what works for others does not always work for me.

Hope said...

My roomie and I were just talking about this! I BC'd almost five months ago and I feel like my hair hasn't grown. Then I look at my picture where my hair was uber short and I see that my hair has grown. :^)

keishabradford2006 said...

I feel that way when I dont stretch or straighten my hair. Shrinkage is a cruel thing, have u thinking u bald headed. lol. But I just do a twist out on stretched hair, or a roller set or any style that shows my length and it re affirms that my hair is growing.

Candace4life said...

Just wanted to let you ladies know that Walgreens has a sale on the satin rollers Buy One Get One Free. I'll post the link so that you ladies will know which ones to buy. http://www.walgreens.com/search/results.jsp?Ntt=hype

Candace4life said...

Sometimes it's hard to think the hair is not growing, but then once you leave it alone you can really see a difference. Sometimes protective styles really do help in the getting past the hump phase. Because not everyone can constantly redo their hair on a daily basis, w/o putting a strain on their hair. I usually keep my hair in twists/twistouts, and done the mini-twists 3 times and liked it. I want to try the flat twists and get better at it, like Charjay does some killer "PS" with her hair.

Anonymous said...

I have felt that my hair had reached its "zenith" topping out at bra strap length. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get to full bra strap length. I'm still unsure as to why my ends are breaking, but I am going to be extremly careful and baby my ends with a trim followed up with a deep conditioning. That always helps.

Jo Somebody said...

Actually, body hair has a terminal length so isn't always growing, but great post! I think I'll have to go into a protective style soon. Wash and gos are not my friend!

Anonymous said...

I cut my hair in March 2012. I know it's growing because I can see a slight more lenght in the back but like everybody else, I want it to grow quickly so I can do all those great styles. I too suffer from hair in hand, touching the twists rolling them in my fingers. my daughter yells at me to leave my hair alone. I've decided to do just that. I have a question tho: my edges are thin because of braids. My beautician told me to apply cinnamon oil to the two areas(r and l temples). What is the cinnamon supposed to do? Will edges eventually grow out?

kitka said...

I realized that my hair grows in seasons. It grows faster in the summer. Trims, moisture, and protective styles get me over the hump. Cornrows allow me to retain the most.

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