#NaturalHair Rapid Growth & Retaining Length
The Legend of Length
I think one of the hardest things about natural hair, is growing it. Sounds silly and obvious I suppose. Washing hair isn't hard, neither is conditioning or moisturising. You buy a product, you put it on your hair. That should be it, right?
A lot of women are discouraged because of the growth they see on the blogs and youtube videos. You look at pictures of beautiful hair and rather than seeing them as inspiration, you begin to compare your own length and texture and growth rate. It becomes a competition.
I remember when I first cut my hair and I was convinced that after 6 months I'd be able to put my hair in a ponytail. That's how fast I thought my hair would grow. Talk about unrealistic expectations. When I hit the 6 month mark I was disappointed. I wasn't even close! Looking back now I really don't know what I was thinking. I was, however, extremely excited about the length I had reached despite it not meeting my expectations. I was proud that I had been able to retain that length despite the product changes and frequent negligence.
Next month I'll be 2 years fully natural (Post Big Chop) and I'm excited. Despite the pretty rapid growth, I'd still say my hair isn't where I thought it would be at this point. But then, I'm pretty sure everyone feels like that, no matter how long their hair is or how fast it is growing.
One of the most important things I've learnt during this process is that it is far more important, in my opinion at least, to retain length than to see rapid growth. What I mean by this is that even if your hair isn't growing at the rate you'd like it to, as this differs from person to person, as long as it isn't breaking or damaged and you're able to retain the length you have, all is still well. There's always room for improvement of course, but you're on the right track. What you don't want is dry, brittle hair, that's breaking off in chunks.
I think I've been lucky, but I do spend a lot of time on my hair. I may not be willing to spend on products that claim to stimulate growth but I will splash out on a good moisturising conditioner/leave-in/cream because moisture and length retention is more important to me than growth. Without length retention and moisture how do you expect your hair to grow? So that's what I focus on. I have length goals like everyone else, I find that when moisture is the main focus, I get better results.
Everyone wants long hair, no one seems concerned about healthy hair. Hair that isn't healthy is likely to break. If your hair is damaged and breaking, you're probably not going to get the length you want, and even if you do it will be extremely hard to retain it. Try to make that the central focus and if you're doing everything else right, you'll get the results you want.
So how does one retain length?? I say Moisture!!!! Lots of moisture. Get a good deep conditioner, a good conditioner, and a good leave-in/moisturiser. Try to do more protective styles. Don't leave your hair out exposed to the elements all the time. Focus on what you can do and not what you think your hair should be doing. Don't compare your hair to anyone else. Don't compare your growth to anyone else's. Retain length, keep it moisturised and be patient. It will grow! :)
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay blessed!