Finally An Article On How to Really Grow Long Hair

Grow Long HairHair growth is a common desire of many naturals. Some women obsessively measure their results. Many women take Biotin, expecting to see hair growth results more quickly (more about that here).

When I read other natural hair blogs, growing longer hair is constantly mentioned. When I visit other natural hair forums, hair growth is talked about ad nauseam.  When I meet new naturals, 90% of them ask me about it.

Manufacturers are creating “special” hair growth products to capitalize on people’s curiosity. Authors are writing books claiming to have secret techniques that will boost your hair growth. Some ethnic groups sell their hair in order to capitalize on the never-ending desire of many people to have longer hair.

Kira and I get at least one email a day asking us to provide hair growth techniques. When we recently surveyed our readers, we asked what’s the number one thing that you want us to talk about more often.

Over 85% of our audience said that wanted more hair growth tips. I have said it many times before, but we actually write for our audience. You may have noticed recently that we are writing about hair growth more often. It’s clear that the desire to grow longer hair is a common quest for many naturals.

If growing longer hair is your goal, then you are in the right place.

The truth is that the process to grow long hair can vary for each person and it’s really about increasing the number of right things that you do for your hair and the reducing the number of wrong things that you do for your hair. Note: The key phrase in the sentence above is “for your hair”. What works for someone else, may not work well for your hair.

Hair growth does not occur immediately. Generally, hair grows at roughly ½ inch per month. This means that the typical head of hair will grow six inches per year. Depending on your personal genetics, your hair may grow more quickly or more slowly. Some ethnic groups have a tendency to be above or below the mean; but since the world has become such a melting pot and considering the theory of miscegenation, I won’t dive into norms related to various ethnic groups since the norms are so difficult to apply.

Most people ask about hair growth, but the truth is your hair is always growing (almost) if you study the hair grow cycles. Length retention could be a more important factor for many naturals and it’s often overlooked.

The amount of time required to grow your hair to your desired length can depend on many different things including your hair care regimen, your actual growth rate and your ability to retain length.

If we assume (for the sake of example) that the measurement from the top of your head to the top of your shoulders is roughly 12 inches and that you have an average growth rate of ½ inch per month, it will take two years (or more) with excellent length retention for you to achieve shoulder length hair assuming that you have recently big chopped down to a brush cut (or for your natural hair to reach shoulder length if you’re transitioning).

I hope that you are not discouraged after reading about the amount of time you have to invest to really grow long hair. It’s really important that you learn how to properly care for your hair and you will eventually achieve your goals – it may just take time.

If you decide to consistently utilize heat, hair dyes, tight styles, shady growth products, trim too aggressively or perform other activities that could affect your length retention, then you may cause a setback and quite possibly make it even more difficult to reach your hair growth goals.

Hair Growth Chart

103 Comments

  • Thanks so much for this excellent article. I had started to get frustrated with my hair even though it’s growing, it just seems like it wasn’t growing as fast as others I have seen. But I now realize that the most important thing is to be patient with my hair and take good care of it in whatever stage of growth it is in.

    • Deborah – You’re welcome. It’s not usual to get frustrated about the growth rate. Since, on average, hair grows 1/2 inch per month, there are definitely times where it can appear that nothing is actually happening. Although, you’re right that patience and good hair care are the keys to success.

      Kenneth

    • Yes I believe it does, well at least for me., however it’s important you retain length By taking care of the outside too, together you will achieve The maximum growth Possible, they both work together!

    • Hi Shelliechelle –

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s probably worth pointing out that even though we’re Natural Hair Community, the hair advice we provide often times can be utilized by women with or without natural hair. So, if you have relaxed hair, there are many tips and techniques that we discuss that are universal.

      Kenneth

  • Thanks for the encourageing article !! Just started a one year protective style challenge to push my hair past the 12 inches of kink where it seems to have stayed for a while. Cant wait to see my 6inch growth… hope hope.. I really think my growth is stunted from a years worth of chemotherapy I experienced about four years ago. Feburary marks four years out of treatment and my hair is growing slowly. BC didnt stand for Big Chop for me, but it started my natural hair growth journey anyway. Any thoughts??

    • Dava – Chemotherapy can definitely have an impact on your hair. As I’m sure you know, chemo treatments can often cause the patient’s hair to completely fall out. I can only imagine the relative changes that the body must go through during chemo treatments.

      The lasting effects of chemo really aren’t my area of expertise, but it could have definitely affect your growth rate. @Jael wrote an article (it’s linked at the bottom of the article) about how to calculate length retention. Check out that article. Also, you might check with your doctor to ask about the longterm effects of chemo on your hair’s growth rate.

      • Yes my head was completely clean when I decided to never perm my hair. I prayed ” If you give it back to me I promise to never chemically alter my texture again. Today is my four year triple negitive breast cancer survivaversary! YIPPEE!! I do see naturals with four years of growth who have 15 and 16 inches of hair. but I do tell myself that if chemo can give me guillian barre and put me in a wheel chair for months at a time, Im sure it can change the growth pattern of my hair! Im just glad to have HAIR!! LOL!! 12 inches is better than NO INCHES ANY DAY!!!

        • Dava – Congrats on your four year triple negative breast cancer survivaversary! @Jael have participated in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer run for three of the last four years. I’m very happy for you and share your excitement. We’re very glad that you’re participating on this website and let us know if you ever want to share your story.

          One of my friends survived breast cancer and we shared her story on the site. It was a great opportunity for her to discuss why going natural isn’t always an option. Her is a link to the article, if you want to check it out: Sonya Tells Why Going Natural Isn’t Always an Option. Again, I’m very happy for you. Take care.

          Kenneth

  • this was good information. i big chopped to a very very short twa and i am looking forward to getting my hair back healthy again.

        • @naturallylonda, I’m glad that you found us too. We’re still fairly young. Later this month, we will have been blogging for one year. The first year has gone by so fast. We need help spreading the word about the site, so please help us spread the news. Take care, Londa.

          Kenneth

    • Becky – There are a couple of articles (linked above) that you should take a look at. One is “4 length Retention Tips” and the other is “How to Calculate Length Retention”. Regardless of your hair type, you need to increase the number of good things that you do for your hair, and decrease the number of bad things that you do to your hair. This article should provide you with a solid foundation about the basics of hair growth. You should check out some of the articles at the bottom for more specific hair growth tips.

  • i guess i could simpathize with the rest of the ladies about hair growth and length, but since i started loving my hair for what it is all i seem toi care about is the strength and health of my hair, i figure that’s where everthing starts from; taking care of urself and your hair. If that is achieved then eventually the length will come. As u said, your hair is always growing(majority of the time), so really all we have to do is take care of it, and try our best to retain it as best as possible by reducing breakage by bening gentle. Loved this article, and i hope that it really stuck to a lot of women who read it, and the message was brought across.

    • Olivia – There are many companies that are capitalizing on this desire that many people have to grow long hair and it’s unfortunate. It really does require patience. Thanks for your comments.

      Kenneth

  • I was`nt worried at all about my hair growth until i joined all these natural hair web sites and then i see how ladies pet and pamper there hair and make a big fuss abouth their hair not growing and all the stuff they use and supplement that they are taking ,it have me asking my self what was i doing all this time with my hair, what we ladies need to understand is that some people hair grows faster than most and we have different genes which i beleive have a lot to do with our hair growing , but i must add that since i joined these hairsites it make me appreciate my hair a lot more because natural hair is so beautiful .Thanks alot Jael and Ken you are making the world of natural hair so happy :)

  • Hi Should I Be Doing A Length Check I Dont Really Care Bout Length I Just Want Healthy Hair I Did The Bc Down To A TWA My Hair Has Grown In Thick But Not Out It Is Very Thick And When I See A String Of My Hair I Exaime It and I Dont Think Its Growing Healthy On The Strand Of Hair I Can See Where It Looks Like Its Split In Two But Still Thogether Do I Recut And Start Over And it Not Just That 1 Strand A few Of Them That I Exaime Are Like That

    • Hi @tauntfor – length checks are great for women who believe that their hair does not or is not growing. However, if length is not a concern, then, I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.

      If you are examining a strand of hair and you see a split end, you snip above the split just removing the damaged part. You do not have to cut the entire strand unless you want to but you do not have to.

      I hope this helps!

    • Hi @arctictamm – Can you say raging hormones! Until your hormones are back to pre-pregnancy mode you may experience a gamet of issues with your hair from dryness to excessive shedding.

      Have you tried reducing the frequency in shampooing? During this time of dryness make sure that your shampoo and conditioner are moisturizing so that it counteracts the dryness you are experiencing.

      Also, if you use a blow dryer to dry your hair, try allowing it to air dry.

      This is a great question to post in the forum so that others can give input.

  • Well, reading this article actually helps me to better understand hair growth. Thanks alot!!! But, what I want to know is do various parts of your head have a different growth retention, because some parts of my hair see to be growing much faster than other parts.

    • Davena – 85%-90% of your hair is usually in the growth phase at any given time. Having said that, it’s not uncommon to have different grow rates and ultimately retention rates on various parts of your head (or other areas of your body that grow hair).

  • I’ve been growing my hair for about 5 years now & it has finally reached my shoulders!!! I thought I finally started doing something right, but now I think I’ve finally heard/read the right information

    • Chrissy – I’m glad that you found the article helpful. Be sure to keep us updated on your growth results.

    • After seeing my money fall threw holes I decided enough. If I cannot pay bills and keep hair styles affordable. I had to try some other way to obtain the look I wanted. Between getting Perms and Braids. I wanted a easier fix. Something that was easy to do and not costly. Hair extensions and gel seem to work for me. There really is no permanent fix for doing hair. Just when I think I love a hair style eventually I leave it. So I just play it by my mood and have fun.

  • I’m a year and half and this is my second time going natural. I think if you focus on healthy hair, your hair will grow and you will retain length. It’s easy to get caught up in how long is my hair, but it will come. You have to be patient and enjoy each stage. You can do great things with short hair, med hair and long hair. And actually for me, the longer my hair grows, the harder it is to detangle, keep moist, etc.

    • Hi Fee,

      You bring up an interesting point that’s sometimes overlooked. The longer your hair gets, it may very well offer unique challenges. For you two of those challenges are detangling and keeping your hair moisturized. For other women, it could very well be breakage or some other factor.

  • The truth spoken! I knew how long it would take to grow hair, and I also knew that with it natural that shrinkage would prevent me from seeing results as quickly as with relaxed hair. I know my hair has grown. It’s also fuller, thicker, and more “alive”. So far, I believe I’m right on track as far as growth, and I believe it will be quite a bit longer than it has ever been in a while by the end of the year. Length retention is my main concern. Once it has grown out, I want to maintain that length. Of course, since I honestly don’t remember what it’s like to have hair past my shoulders, I may decide I don’t like long hair. I have been a bit concerned about the lengthened time of hair care, maintenance, and careful procedures when I do have long hair. It might be too much for me, and I might opt for a shorter style by choice this time. I think I’ll like it though, and what better way to find out than to have it natural while figuring out (less stress when trying to get it to grow!)

    • You bring up a good point that I didn’t touch on in the article. Shrinkage can definitely cause some people to believe that they’re not getting results, when their hair could be getting thicker and fuller.

  • I am so glad you posted this article. I was just thinking about asking someone what i was doing wrong because i was not really seeing in hair growth. But this article answered my questions. Thanks so much i am just going to have patience and continue to take care of my hair. :D

    • Elisa – You’re welcome. You might notice quite a bit of hyperbole online with respect to growing long hair. I’m glad that you the article helpful.

  • Thanks so much for writing this article. Immediately after going natural I dyed my hair, which I think traumatized it…(LOL). I think my hair was wondering what in the world is going on! Now I mostly use Carol’s Daughter products or my own home-made products and they seem to work. My hair is growing… however… no one can tell because my curl pattern is soooooooo tight.My hair is at least 5 inches long on top and to the bottom of my ear on the side, BUT you would never know. It looks like it is maybe 1.5 inches. When I twist it out… initially maybe about 3.5 inches, but at the end of the day, the same 1.5. I’m learning to just let it “do what it do”, but I must admit there are days when I want to blow it out, put on my big earrings and let it blow in the wind! Any advice for prevention of shrinkage?

    • @Jael wrote an article on Shrinkage a few months ago. Her article is written from the perspective of shrinkage being a positive thing. So far, I haven’t found any methods of reducing shrinkage that I currently endorse. Once (and if) I find something that I believe works well (consistently), I will write an article about the method.

  • This article hits the nail on the head. Every naturals hair does grow at different rates.
    Many naturals take vitamins, biotin, and other supplements for faster grow. The only
    Reason women see grow so fast is because their bodies are deficient in those areas.
    That’s why its also important to eat healthy as well as the important hair tips that were
    Mentioned . Wonder article!!!!

  • I absolutely love the picture you attached with this article! It highlights the insanity attached to worrying about/focusing on hair growth and length. What’s most is important is hair health! Healthy hair at any length is beautiful hair, in my opinion.

  • Kenneth, I have problems with thinning hair. I have a short natural fro, and have been told that certain medications will thin your hair. What can I do to help thicken it, any suggestions. HELP!!

    • Ernestine – It’s important to be sure that you’re taking good care of yourself. Your thought process is accurate; there are medications that can impact your hair and cause thinning (and etc.). The key is making sure that you do what’s best for your overall health. In additional to taking your meds, that means eating right, exercising and finally taking good care of your hair. One thing that you might try is to build more overall protection into your natural hair regimen which should encourage additional thickness and overall length retention.

  • I started last year October going natural. I’ve done allot of research and still learning!lol I wanted to know does using tablets with MSG increase the hair`s growth phase? In the end resulting in longer hair?

      • @zenobia…i believe what u r referring to is MSM. Not MSG..am i correct? If so i take msm daily and i must say that i have noticed changes in how my hair grows..i also take biotin supplements.

  • I don’t really have a comment. I have a question. What is the best way to naturally color natural hair? I am young but I grayed early. I do not want to have gray hair at my age. I think I am too young. Help! Is henna o.k. to use? I do not want to lose the hair I have grown so far. I did the BC about 2 months ago and it is just starting to grow back.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Vikki – You have to be careful when you add color to natural hair because of potential curl pattern changes, changes in the porosity of your hair, and elasticity issues. However, there are many women who use henna and it is generally okay to use for most people. Check out the recipes page for a few henna recipes.

  • There is no miracle product and no miracle supplement to make hair grow. We are
    The MIRACLE. For instance BIOTIN is in the foods we eat but by the prepare and
    Cook the food the majority of the biotin has deplenished. If your body is deficient in
    Biotin then YES this supplement will help. Ourr scalp creates its own oil but the kinky
    Coily hair prevents it from gliding down the hair strand. Therefore we use natural oils
    To help our hair stay moist. The love, dedication, and work we put into our hair is
    The MIRACLE. I’m happy I took this journey 1 year and 1/2 mths going strong.

  • Hello… I really love your articles and I just did the big shop Nov 1,2012
    8 months of no relaxer. I love it,my concerns are moisturizer & shampoo/conditioner
    I need more info about ” real” products that are for natural hair!!! I want something to put in my
    Hair everyday

  • After four years and two big chops I finally developed a proper routine. Patience and education is a virtue. Your articles are so helpful.

    • Thank Rogernelle! Having a proper routine, keeps you on track. I have found that my hair routine changes when my hair changes or behaves differently than expected.

      Jael

  • I love this article! I know that summer is the time my hair really grows (quicker than usual) so I wear braids and more natural styles to let it flourish without me getting into to it too often. People really just need to be patient and observe their hair. It took me two years to transition, I’m actually not completely done. But my hair is thicker, longer and healthier.

      • i think that i was grooming my locs too often listen to who i thought was a good loc stylist then i went to a dermatologist i dont think the meds are working with me cause it seems to be getting even worse so please help i gave great length but me sides are awful

  • As you say….everyone s hair is different….It annoys me when people give the average of 1/2 inch per month with good retention, because mine grows 2 1/2 to 3 inches per month….It is annoying that their is a stigma that Black peoples hair has to grow slow because mine doesn’t I have mostly 4a hair with a tiny bit of 3c dotted about :)

    • Hi Afra,

      The statment, “Hair grows an average of 1/2 inch per month,” is not about race, it’s about hair, nor is it a blanketed statement but it’s an average. Believe it or not, there are people who grow less than 1/2 inch per month and per your personal testimony, there are some that grow more than 1/2 an inch per month. The 1/2 of an inch should be used as generally gauge but not a personal attest to your growth per se’.
      The myth that black women can’t grow long hair is just that a myth. Depending on your definition of long, there are many examples of natural beauties with adorable manes that stretch beyond shoulder, armpit, middle back and their natural waits. Heck, there are some that are even stretched to hip. I personally fall into between middle back and waist.
      Understanding that it is an average regardless of race is really important to note. Being able to retain length goes back to understanding your hair’s needs and being able to provide them.
      To be honest, we have to learn how to take care of our hair and learn what our personal hair needs are and understand what our hair can handle for it to reach its optimal length.
      Please keep in mind that the 1/2 of an inch statment is an average and it is placed on hair and not black people hair but just hair.

      Thank you for your dialogue!

  • Thanks for the great info. Right on target as usual. I had almost waist length relaxed hair that just didn’t look good. Whenever I got my 8 week touch up my edges on my right side would almost be bald. The hair always grew back just in time for the next touch up and around and around I’d go this went on for 17 years. After my last relaxer on January 2, 2013 I said enough. I transitioned for a year. Started off good but then the relaxed ends started to tangle and matte together. I started to hate my hair. Solution after 1 year anniversary I cut about 5″ off relaxed ends off and never regreted it. Now my hair is so much easier and takes way less time to care for The BC was not for me. Transitioning gave me time to mentally adjust to coming to terms with this new phase in my life. . I sm loving this journey. I have learned so much from ur blog. Info based on facts not youtube fiction. My routine is consistent and simple for me. I find conditioning, moisturizing, and protective styles to work best for me.

  • Well, I got side tracked while reading because you have great “writing skills” and it is different from many other writing styles I had been exposed while in my hair journey. Then I read your credentials and it made perfect sense to me because I’m currently pursuing a Accoubting BS degree.
    Thanks a lot for this article, I really enjoyed the information. Now that I know your background can you tell me how does the accounting world welcome Naturals? Until now I haven’t received any negative comments but I’m wondering if it stays like that once you are out of college.
    Thanks,

    • From my experience, the accounting world doesn’t treat naturals any differently than non-naturals. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

  • Hi .. my hair grows about 1 1/2 inches a month and its length is a lil down from my med back .. I don’t eat healthy and I drink a lot of water like really a lot sometimes 3.5 liter but no less then 2 liter every day I love water xD .. so I want to ask you will eating healthy , doing exercise and taking a growth supplement like HairBurst everyday grow my hair faster ? like up to 4 or 3 inches a month .. and I really want my hair to grow to my knee :( , how much time do you think it will take me to achieve knee-length hair?

    thanks..

  • Thanks for your article! I am 17 months into my natural hair journey and I’m just starting to realize that my hair has it’s own rate of growth. I’ve stop comparing my hair to others and just love what I have. I’m obsessed with articles and products but I’m fine with my length thus far. Keep keeping me informed :)

  • It had only been 9 months for me didn’t cut that much off my hair off because I was letting the perm grow out and I was just laying in the bed one day and jump up and said I’m going to do it go natural. Now it seem like my hair just stop growing it was growing so good. Now I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. It started breaking off in the back. I know why that happen because I had stop tieing my hair up at night. Now I got to get it back to growing again. I was trimming my ends then I stop got cough up end the different products. Now I’m using Alikay naturals products. Still want to see growth.

  • One thing not mentioned is this. Some people’s genetic makeup only will allow scalp hair to reach a certain length. It’s similar to the fact that eyebrow hair reaches a certain genetically determined length then stops growing. Cut the hair and it will grow to that length again and cease to continue growing until the hair breaks or is cut.

  • i have my natural hair for the past 9yrs n it has retained shoulder length,well started taking very good care of my hair from last year, do my protective styls as well yet i have still not seen any growth for almost a year now. have i reach my terminal end? it seems my hair doesnt want to grow past my shoulder length
    i need some help on that ..thanks

  • Do you know anything about blonde hair? I think my hair only grows about 3 inches per year. Both my aunts have blonde hair, and their hair stops growing entirely at about shoulder length, so I think I have really bad genetics. I get my hair trimmed one inch every six months, so it doesn’t change much year to year, but I have been growing it out since I was 12, and I am in my mid 30s now, so it is (or was before today) pretty long. I went to get my semi-annual trim today, and I asked the stylist to only cut an inch, but she cut off 3 or 4 inches! At the rate my hair grows, if I continue to get the split ends cut every 6 months (a cut of about 1 inch), it will take 3 years for my hair to fully recover!!! I am devastated. Is there anything I can do to make my hair grow a little faster… say 4 or 5 inches per year instead of just 3?

    • Hi Alisha, this is a great question and the best starting place is with you. Listen, “best” is relative to the user and the product
      and what is completely awesome for one curl may only be so-so for another. However, reading reviews are stellar and help you
      understand how products work on different curls.
      Shampoos and conditioners have vary in what they do and you start with what you need the products to do.
      Products sometimes can function differently on hair so it is always best to use it on your hair and basically see how you like it.
      Here are 2 great starting places for you: http://www.curlcentric.com/natural-hair-products/ and sign up for our newsletter for current products we recommend.

      I look forward to hearing from you via the newsletter! And I want updates on the products your decide on or be sure to ask me more questions if needed.

      Kira

  • I am afro American and HAD kinky thick hair that I press. 3 yrs ago i had a allergic reaction to hair dye that beautician did not rinse out of my hair good. My scalp scaled and itched and face , neck, and eye sole up, i had to get antibiotics from doc. As a result my hair is not growing and temple . Thyme and jojoba oil help stimulate hair growth

    • Hi Gail,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your tip about Thyme and Jojoba oil that help stimulate your hair growth.

      Kira

  • I am so glad someone has wrote a article pertaining hair growth and pills. I personally always felt it was a rip off. I big chopped 11 months ago. I will not waste my money on pills. I see it’s time and patience. I do have 6-7 inches of growth like your article says.

  • Hi everyone!!!!!! My hair is almost to my hips,and I must say that I am BLACK,and I ONLY USE INDIAN HAIR PRODUCTS, Why do you think Indian hair is SO LONG????

    • Hi Isis,
      Thank you for your comment. What brand of products do you use and where do you purchase them. This information would be useful for other ladies looking to try different products during their exploration.

      Kira

  • I just reached my 2 years natural anniversary and my hair is a little past my shoulders ( when flat ironed in the back ). So it’s past 12 inches. I have a curly afro. Damn I must be doing something right according to this article . I can’t wait to see how much my hair grows by the end of this year.

  • I have transitioned for two years now that was when I was elen yet my hair is just seven inches long I don’t have hair damage of any kind though I weave my hair and wash it every week for school is that why its still short or is because I’m nigerian or because I dont use any product just Shea butter.

    • Hi Vikky,
      Take comfort in the fact that as long as you are relatively healthy, your hair is growing. It doesn’t matter that you are Nigerian or that you wear weave. What matters is that your body is supplying enough nutrients to your body that keeps you healthy and alive, also that there’s enough nutrients to nourish your hair and nails.
      There are several possible situations: you could have slow growing hair. To help notice your growth more, take pictures once a month or once every three months in a light colored shirt, with a light background, and your hair in the same style, and you standing in the same position. This will help you see the small changes in your hair.
      Be patient and hang in there. Going forward, focus more on your health and nutrition and the length and retention will follow :-)

      Kira

  • Hi Kira and Kenneth. I have been natural for what will be a year this month.My hair is currently at shoulder length and that’s my problem my hair has been at this length since april. I was so excited when my 1 inch hair started to grow out like wild fire but then in April it stopped. So I am wondering if this is my terminal length I don’t know what’s happening. I have been patient,I have been deep conditioning every week,I have been moisturising,I have been protective styling(currently wearing twists) I don’t know what else to do. Can I get some help?

    • Hi Bree,
      More than likely, you haven’t reached your terminal length, yet.
      Have confidence that as long as you are generally healthy, your hair is growing.
      You are probably checking for growth all day, errry day, aren’t you? :-)
      See, 1/2 or 1/4 of an inch is hard to measure with the eye. However, pictures give you an easy way to compare pictures from different timeframes. The changes will be subtle and pictures help to show the subtilties.
      Be sure you are thoroughly hydrated daily and you have put down the scissors.
      Keep your hair strengthened with protein also.

      If you haven’t, we love to have you join the Curl Centric Community!

      #BeCurlCentric

      Kira

  • I once managed to grow my 4c 10 inches long. I did this by keeping it in braid extensions for 1 1/2 years. Currently, I have my hair in a weave. After several years, I managed to grow my hair out to 7 inches, though parts of it are shorter.

    My hair dresser says my hair is now long enough to hold braids. I prefer wearing a weave until I grow out all of it, hopefully to a length of 36 inches. How long can I feasibly grow my hair while it’s in a weave? Is it harder to grow out in a weave than in braids?

    I am post menopausal. I don’t know if that makes a difference. I have recently started caring for my hair, putting coconut oil on it and conditioning it when I wash it. I was careless before, which could be why it took so long for it to grow out to 7 inches.

    Also, I’m wondering if, next time I get the weave taken out, should I get a keratin treatment? I know straight hair doesn’t hold braids as well, but perhaps it could hold a weave. Plus it would strengthen my extremely fragile hair.

    Answers greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Yoleen,
      Congrats on growing your hair 10in! When hair extensions (braids) are installed properly, they are great as a no/low maintenance style option.
      As long as you are relative healthy, your hair will grow. What you want to know is how can you feasibly RETAIN LENGTH while your hair is in a weave. Also, you want to know which is the easier way.

      I am partial to braids. When I’d wear a weave style, it’s a quick weave. And I’d only wear that style for no more than a few weeks. I prefer wigs.

      Honestly, it all depends on how the weaved style is installed. If your hair is braided and the weave is sewn onto the braid, then there might be a small difference in everyday maintenance of your natural hair. However, if your natural hair is loose and glue is used, it will require more manipulation and may be harder to retain length.

      Yes, being menopausal makes a difference because it can and most often create a hormonal imbalance. I highly suggest speaking your medical practitioner if you feel that it is affecting your hair growth or if you are experiencing hair loss.

      I suggest holding off on getting a keratin treatment until you speak with your medical practitioner first. The keratin treatment could possibly do more harm than good.

      I’d love to hear any updates,

      Kira
      #BeCurlCentric

      • Thank you for your prompt answer!

        Yesterday, I stumbled across this article that explains why hair like mine remains brittle, in spite of conditioning. It said to place a strand of my hair in some water. If it floats, it’s non-porous, which means conditioner does not sink in well.

        The article went on to describe this recipe for non-porous hair:
        [Yoleen – We removed the pasted article due to copyright, but we were able to read it.]

        I don’t like to put food in my hair, because it winds up smelling like it, no matter how much I rinse. I’m wondering if I could get the same effect if I put the liquid aminos in a Pantene hair-protecting conditioner that does not contain sulphates. I don’t know what it is about this recipe that would make my hair more porous.

        What do you think?

        • You are welcome, Yoleen!

          I was able to read the article before editing the post. When it comes to porosity, I don’t like the float test. The floating test is not as reliable as everyone makes it out to be. Reason is, hair that has sebum or an oil type product on it float and dense hair will sink. Even freshly washed hair with no conditioner on it will float. I like to understand how my hair responds when saturated with water and how my hair feels once it dries.
          If you know your hair holds the smell of foods, despite rinsing, you definitely should avoid. UNLESS you’re smelling like peaches and strawberries- LOL!
          I say go for it! I am all for experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t work. Putting liquid amino acid in your conditioner is definitely something to experiment with.

          Keep me posted on the liquid amino + conditioner mix!

          Kira

    • Thanks again. One other question; my hair around my templates is very sparse, refusing to grow more than an inch. I believe I may have damaged it from using hair bonding glue. My hair has turned white in that area. I have been dyeing it. I read dye makes hair more fragile, so I stopped, and it seems to be filling in and growing a little. What I’m wondering is, if I dye it after getting braids put in, will the braids protect the fragile hair? Or should I use henna instead? Or should I just live with the white hair?

      • Hi Yoleen,
        I’d suggest living with the white hair for right now, if possible. Or at least until the hair has filled in and is healthy enough to be colored.
        Also be careful with the braids because you don’t want to cause more damage to the area by pulling on the hair or with too heavy braids.

        I hope this helps you-

        Kira

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