PICTURED: WRITER TOELLA
When I straightened my hair for a dance last week I was excited to see how long my hair had grown in the four months since the last time I had straightened it.
I was more excited to see my new growth than I was to go to the dance. Pulling out your ruler or your chart or whatever you use to measure your hair is electrifying; realizing you’ve finally gotten to your goal of armpit length hair, intoxicating. But why are we, naturally curlies, so easily consumed with how long our hair is?
It could be because our hair is so unpredictable, we find control in achieving the goals we set for our hair length. We can’t change the thickness of our hair or our hair types but we can witness a change in length.
Long curly hair is seen as feminine, playful, exciting. Some in the curly world think that the infatuation with long curly hair is unhealthy for our self esteem; like we think we need to have long hair in order to be beautiful. Curlies don’t let society’s view of conventionally beautiful hair change the way that they chose to express themselves. The length obsession is only unhealthy if we let it preoccupy us so much that we can’t enjoy our hair at all of its stages of growth or if we change our hair to match what other people think it should look like.
TWAs are so much less time-demanding than longer cuts! Instead of wasting that time applying growth serums or frequently checking it’s length, do something that will be worth your while and will not leave you itching for longer locks. Over manipulation of your hair will cause breakage anyway, exactly what you don’t want to happen if your goal is length.
I always find that when I worry too much about how long my hair is, I can’t manage to retain length. I realized that that is because I’m manipulating it too often. The best route to long hair is to trim your hair every six to ten weeks, avoid heat damage, over-manipulation, and over processing your hair by not dying it or applying other chemicals to it. Condition often and shampoo as sparsely as possible for your hair.
Don’t forget, long hair isn’t for everyone. Busy mom’s choose shorter hairstyles so it’s more manageable and some people think they look better with shorter hair. If you grow your hair out but then you decide you don’t like it, you can always cut it. You’ll look fabulous either way.