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Curly Nikki

Natural Hair Length Goals

By January 27th, 202131 Comments

Length Goals: Is Your Hair as Long Today as You Thought it Would Be?

by Kurlybella of K is for Kinky

When going natural, many of us, including myself, set out with not only healthy natural hair in mind, but length goals. As much as we informed ourselves on how to keep our hair healthy, may of us equally made length checking tee shirts and counted and watched every centimeter and inch like a hawk.

I’ve been natural since 2003 but a healthy natural since 2008. I started with neck length hair once I decided to let go of my busted ends and really start to care for my hair. After setting out a plan to grow my hair and baby my strands, I could just imagine what my hair was going to look like in a year. I remember running to the bathroom after wearing my hair in braids for a while to stretch my hair down my collarbone to see how long it had grown in the past three months. It used to be fun for me to see my progress. I’d braid it back up and repeat the mirror stare every three months.

My hair is currently bra strap length. Had I not cut off 3 inches of busted ends in 2008 and had 3 inch hair cuts every year from 2009 up until this year, my hair would be a little longer than it is now. My hair was right above bra strap last year around this time but I also had a hair cut with a little layers put in and bangs cut in – which was about a 4 inch loss in the front of my head.

My hair is now where it was last year so no more hair cuts for me – less about an inch of healthy trimming that I’m going to have done this month to get any split ends cut off. I want my hair to be 6 inches longer this time next year so I also plan to only wear my hair out during the weekend and wear protective styles during the week.

I can say that yes, my natural hair is healthy, but not as long as I thought it would be by now. Guess it’s time I got back onto growing out my hair.

What about you? Is your hair as long as you thought it would be today? Are you meeting your growth goals?


  • Anonymous says:

    @anon 9:14 how long is your hair unstretched?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Chicas, I'm currently at waist length but my goal is bra strap length in its curly state (I'm 3c). I'm guessing that will take about 3-4 years – even though I haven't seen a 3c with hair that long, I have faith in my regimen…

  • honeybrown1971 says:

    I'm transitioning (15 months strong) and I'm currently BSL. I am mere inches away from MBL (my goal). I'm trying to grow out my relaxed ends. But, I'll see. It's trying sometimes; but, I am happy.

  • BeautifulBlkWoman says:

    Since going natural in May 2007, my hair is at BSL stretched, and APL unstretched at the nape and crown is almost APL stretched. I have NEVER had hair this long. When I was little, my hair broke off because there wasn't anybody who could take care of it for me. Now that I know how to style/protect and treat my 4B/4C hair, it's smooth sailing.

    I went from roughly about 2 inches of hair on the day of my BC to where I am now, minus a few 1 inch trims because of damaged ends. Now if I can just get it to waist length, I would be content and would then cut back to BSL.

  • Anonymous says:

    Since I big chopped in October of 2010, my hair is growing like crazy. I am definitely surprised by how much it has grown in such a short time frame. While I'm excited by my hair growth, ultimately my only goal is to have healthy hair. I figure as long as I continue to keep my hair healthy, everything else will fall into place. So no, I don't necessarily have any length/growth goals.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks to Curly Niki and Shelli I have reached my hair length goals this summer. I've learned a great deal about natural hair care and how to protect my hair. I don't trim my hair so often but have incorporated a simple hair regimen. It is imperative to keep it simple and let my hair do it's THANG and stop being obsessive with my hair. Let my hair be! IT WILL GROW!
    Elise L~Chicago

  • Anonymous says:

    When I first big chopped my hair was growing like weeds. Now it seems to be growing slower… idk. I wore kinky twists all last summer and that helped a lot, but I missed my hair so I've bene wearing it out (well mostly in updo's) ever since. I have to trim often (2-3 times year) because my ends can get a MESS no matter what preventative measure I take! I try not to get bumbed that it isn't growing at the rate I wish it would lol. Admittedly, I watch YouTube videos and get envious! But my hair is really really fine and not very dense, so I just wish I had more length so I would have more fluff in my puff and more fullness in my fro!! Ahhhh well, in due time. :-) ~Noelle

  • sarah k says:

    Ideally i would really like to have BSL (bra strap length) hair when i wear it in twists, but more realistically i would be happy with shoulder length. But the only problem is that my hair type is 4c so its extremely porous, delicate and prone to severe dryness. I have yet to find a product that leaves my hair soft and moisturized all day, most just last a few hours. Any tips for 4c length retention???

  • Latisha M says:

    I would like to say that you ladies inspire me to want to continue taking care of my natural hair so that it can one day grow to shoulder length (unstretched). I'm already imagining a big healthy gorgeous twist out :)

  • Shay M says:

    I never thought my hair could grow this long. I thought it only stopped at one lenght. Its growing (i take pictures after I co wash) and i see a difference!

    My goal lenght is to have it a three of four inches past my shoulders when shrunken in its curly state!!! :)

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Since as long as I can remember, I've had a decent amount of hair. As a child I can vividly remember having pigtails,ribbons and all,that reached to my shoulders. While I was still getting my hair "pressed and curled" I pretty much stayed at that length and was always curious to see if I could grow it long(one of the reasons I went natural). Now, about four years into my journey, I can say I have a healthy head of bra-strap length stretched hair (and about two or three inches at shoulder length un-stretched). My hair goal, other than it staying healthy, is to have that same length I can get when my hair is not stretched aka bra-strapped since my favorite style is twists. And while the idea of it growing longer than that, possibility mid-waist, sounds fun and exciting, I know that I would drive myself up the wall dealing with that much hair. -Brittney E'Lise

  • Anonymous says:

    My goal is to have bra strap length hair, and if I reach that then waist length. I don't think I'd want hair longer than that because it would probably be too much work.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really want my hair to reach my shoulders but so far no such luck. My hair is barely touching my ears and does not seem to be growing. I have never had long hair my hair has always been short and I think that just what I will continue to have.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have modest goals- I'd just like my natural hair to be shoulder length when twisted. I'd love to be able to pull off a shoulder length twist out that fell nicely! It's currently just below my ears when I rock a twist out, so I've got a ways to go. My 4a/b hair grows slowly (more like 1/4 inch per month not 1/2), so I plan on braiding my hair up in October and focusing on growth for the winter.

  • Anonymous says:

    Longer, it has been growing like never before. But at the same time shorther, i didn't thought about all the shrinkage! :)

  • AJCiti says:

    I think I expected my hair to be a bit longer than it is now but that's ok. It's still growing at a rate that I can appreciate and the longer it gets the more care it requires!

    I'm currently at Armpit length and my hair is in Yarn braids. I got significant growth from cornrowing my hair and keeping it under a wig so I may go back to that. My ultimate goal is waist length.

  • IcyLillies says:

    My hair long is still a little ways off, lol, I'm trying to grow it down to my waist or hip, basically the narrowest part of my back…

    However, I think I've been maintaining my length pretty well and am satisfied with how much it's grown. I'm hoping to straighten in a couple weeks and I'd compare my length from January to the time I straighten it. I'm hoping I'm broaching armpit length (in January I my hair was touching my shoulders), I don't remember ever having hair that long unless I was a little girl…Oo ??

  • Anonymous says:

    …with proper care.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I'm with Kurlybella! My hair definitely is very healthy and I know how to take care of it, but it is definitely not the length I thought it would be. Maybe my expectations were too high. I also have crazy shrinkage, so it's hard to know how long my hair actually is at any given time. I'm just going with the flow.

  • Anonymous says:

    I want waist length and beyond hair. I want to be able to flat iron it and have the majority of it hang on my lower back. Also when I wear it stretched in a twist out, rollerset, or braid out I want it to hang at APL and BSL.

    In my adult life, I've never had hair that long before. I have 4c hair and it is a goal that I want to accomplish for myself and also to show other people that 4c hair can grow to long lengths.

  • Anonymous says:

    My hair has always been long and when I BCed I had no doubt that it could reach the mid-back length it was at its longest, and beyond. The challenge for me has not been breakage, but shedding. Since going natural 6 years ago my hair has been considerably thicker. Even still, I would lose about 1/3 (Yes a full third!) of my hair to shedding in the spring (like some kind of hybernating animal. lol). I added weekly protein treatments to my regimen and now my hair is long AND thick, which I never hoped to achieve.

  • LaShelle says:

    I have to say that my length crept up on me. I was buning and wearing wigs, not really paying attention to it. Then one day a few weeks ago, I streched it down and it down and its bsl! Now, I'm doing more with it and I want more more more! Now I'm paying too much attention and it can't grow fast enough. 3 or 4 more inches would be great.

  • HairItIs says:

    Actually, I would say mine might be even longer than I'd hoped it might be. When I first started learning about caring for my hair (about 15 months ago), my longest sections (my hair is layered) were about as long as my shoulder or collarbone. Reaching armpit length seemed like a distant Xanadu.

    But, to my own surprise and delight, my longest sections today are past armpit length. My nape is even below my shoulder blades. Not to mention– it's really nice to finally be able to pull hair from my nape to see how long it is, without nearly breaking my arm in the process.

    Considering all of the trial and error I've gone through to figure out what my hair routine would be, I'm surprised and delighted to have managed to retain so much growth along the way. I've more or less settled on what works for me over the course of the past six months, so I'm hoping to be even more successful from here on out!

  • Curly Tonya says:

    My hair goal is to have almost shoulder length hair unstretched. I want to wear the twist n curl style!!! My 1 year anniversary is next week and I have about 7 inches of hair–stretched. I finally can wear a faux puff and I'm starting to like my natural hair. It is much more work with detangling and products….but I feel more feminine now with hair. My TWA was cute, but I don't like short hair on me. My midsize kinky-curly afro is thick, I hope when it grows more it can actually lay in that style.

  • Annabel says:

    I am transitioning and my 2 goals are healthy hair and achieve 8-12 inches of new growthin order to the transition chop. After that my ideal goal is healthy, bra strap-length hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    No, no, no!!!

  • Dominique-Alexis says:

    I have to keep setting new goals because my hair continues to reach them! Such as less breakage, faster detanling, that sort of stuff. I'm hoping for a few more inches and I'm excited to see if I can reach that!


  • Shelly says:

    yes, my hair goal is to have waist length hair. so far its an inch past my bra.i will have been natural 4 years this oct. i credit my success to Youtube, curlynikki, and keeping my hair protected, especially my ends. but i have noticed a drastic success when i stopped using heat 2years ago…my hair thanks me!

  • Anonymous says:

    One of your statements that resonated with me was "healthy natural." After my last relaxer in '09 I figured that braids would help with that process and that I could alternate with flat ironing or pressing to avoid chemicals. This was a big mistake that cost me some inches!

    It was not until last year when I started to research organic products and natural oils, thanks to blogs like this, and some YT folk, that I began to journal everything that I do with my hair. I am now committed to long term protective styling, and less heat, since I was basically doing everything right like eating, deep conditioning etc. I hope to gain two or three inches by year's end.

  • Unknown says:

    I did a long term transition starting in 2005. I did trims throughout to get rid of my relaxed ends. I just wanted to stop getting relaxers, I didn't have any real hair goals at that time. Over time, I began to actually research natural hair and fell in love with the lengths and health of the women that were natural. I enjoyed looking at the length challenges that they committed to and said…hey, maybe I could try this. Last year, I began to really focus on growing my hair and maintaining hair health. For me, heat was the enemy (I was flat ironing my hair 2-3 times a week), so I stopped using heat as much (I only use it about 4-5 times a year). I also started to use Henna and other products that were considered natural. I have noticed that my hair is growing and I am actually at a length that I haven't been at since I was about 10 years old. I look forward to this hair journey and what it has in store for me :) (Natural Hair Blog)

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