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Old 07-17-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
 
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Default Realistic Hair Growth Expectations??

I've been a NC member for a little while now and I love the amount of help I've been able to get on the site for my hair. It's definitely healthier and longer than it was the last time I BC'ed back in '06 and definitely more so than when my hair was relaxed. But after reading some of the growth challenges and seeing some of my childhood pics(Elle inspired), I was wondering what are realistic hair growth expectations?

My hair grows about 0.5 inches a month and after 15 months is about 7-8 inches long. My hair is past shoulder length stretched and I'm about 4 inches away from APL stretched, and while that is my goal, looking at past pictures make me feel differently. While I had "long hair" as a child and had my hair pressed regularly, I hit 2 inches above APL or was APL when I was at my longest. When I was relaxed I was shoulder length, maybe a little bit over if I was lucky.

A lot of folks want ABL, BSL, or WL and I wonder if I am just being unrealistic or can I reach new heights with my natural hair. Are we all hopeful or is there some sort of new growth limit that comes with being natural? I've been pondering this for a while and would love to get some feedback.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #2
 
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I think that Black women can definitely grow their hair beyond what they once considered long. Let's face it, most Black don't know how to take care of their hair ( I know I didn't--I owned three products, two of which were shampoo and conditioner and the other rhymed with Hue Magic--sometimes I threw in a cholesterol, but I didn't know why). With more knowledge there is better treatment. I don't think being natural is necessarily the key--I think it comes down to when you know better you do better. And your hair becomes proof of what you know.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #3
 
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I don't think anyone can compare length as a child and as an adult equally. Your torso was shorter then so it didn't take as much length to be APL. If you're close to APL now, your hair is likely longer than it was back then.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
 
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if you don't cut it and it doesnt break, it'll grow as long as youd like.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
 
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I don't think there's much problem with hair length goal expectations as there is with how long people like to think it'll take them to get there. To say you want waist length hair is fine and no way do I think it's unattainable for anyone who takes good care of their hair. Shoot, I want bellybutton length hair (when straightened) and the longest my hair ever got when I was younger was mid-back. I don't think it's unreasonable to aim for that.

HOWEVER, when I hear people say they want waist length hair in half a year and their hair barely passes their shoulders, I'm going to look at them like they're nuts. Now that's an unrealistic hair goal.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:26 AM   #6
 
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I sometimes wonder that myself. I doubt my hair even grows .50 inches a month and it never went passed APL at all in my life. I do admit not taking very good care of my hair in all the years I've been natural and heat free though. I just started started taking better care of my hair last year and I am seeing some payoff. We'll see in a couple of years if I can hit passed BSL.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:39 AM   #7
 
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Your body was a lot smaller then , so it took less time to get to apl . I don't think being natural limits you at all and I don't believe you are being unrealistic .

When relaxed, maximum length for me was between Apl and mbl , now natural my hair still grows at the same rate but simply because it is breaking less. It took me 2 years to get to APL compared to when I was relaxed it took me a year to go from collar bone to apl

Since everyone's growth rate is different, it might take some of us longer than others to get to various goals . If anything being unrelaxed gives you an advantage and makes goals more achievable faster

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Old 07-18-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
 
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I've been thinking about this myself. My hair was APL in childhood, but as other people have stated, I was a lot shorter than. I'm approaching APL now, but now that I'm an adult, it's taken longer for me to get to that point. As long as you remember that your hair only grows up to a half inch a month or up to 6 inches a year, you'll be realistic with your hair goals. Some people expect their SL hair to be MBL in a year. Um...no.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:04 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsKelCeeEee View Post
I don't think there's much problem with hair length goal expectations as there is with how long people like to think it'll take them to get there. To say you want waist length hair is fine and no way do I think it's unattainable for anyone who takes good care of their hair. Shoot, I want bellybutton length hair (when straightened) and the longest my hair ever got when I was younger was mid-back. I don't think it's unreasonable to aim for that.

HOWEVER, when I hear people say they want waist length hair in half a year and their hair barely passes their shoulders, I'm going to look at them like they're nuts. Now that's an unrealistic hair goal.

i agree with all of this. i think people get delusional when it comes to the amount of time they think it will take them to reach their hair goals. but as far as the lengths people can reach? it's no big thing for naturals (at least on this site) to reach BSL or beyond.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:15 AM   #10
 
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I don't think it's wrong to look to your childhood pictures for length inspiration. Yes, you were a lot shorter and needed less hair to reach a certain length, but you still would have had to "deal" (in quotes because as a child I doubt you cared, lol) with common break points (once hair is touching the shoulders/clothing) and managing/maintaining your hair (well, most likely your mom did). When I was a kid, my hair was fairly long (BSL+ maybe?), and I used to get it caught in things ALL the time - I used to HATE those screws they put in those plastic chairs at school because my hair was always getting caught in them and someone would have to get me out. Looking at those pics, I'm pretty confident that I can grow my hair back out, even past that length (yes, in like six years...not tomorrow), because I know tips to retain length now and how to care for my hair. Think about it, if you could have long hair as a kid when you're outside playing, getting dirty, getting your hair all tangled and crazy, etc...it would make sense that you can grow it back out as an adult.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:30 AM   #11
 
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Thanks for all the responses ladies.

I don't have a "deadline" for when I want to have APL but I believe that with my extreme shrinkage that my hair would probably hit my shoulders curly if it's that length stretched. It's not a year and a half yet for me into being completely natural and my hair is longer than I've remembered it being at any point in my life besides when I was younger.

I don't doubt that it comes with the way I've been treating my hair. I put in twists every 2 weeks and rock twists out or wash and gos in between. Low manipulative styles are great for me because I'm lazy and it's not a hassle for work. I can't wait to learn how to cornrow and braid(properly) so I can do more low manipulative styles. But I've seen a lot of folks here with healthy and beautiful hair APL length and longer and even on LHCF, as well as where I live, I've seen black women with long healthy relaxed hair that I could have only dreamed of having. But now that I know that I'm not limited it feels like I can get somewhere.

I will continue to take care of my care and be a resident of NC and hopefully I will obtain my goal and beyond.

It's great finally being able to get all that out
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