With all that you’re doing to your natural hair, could what you’re doing actually be doing more harm than good? Are your efforts paying off in producing a head full of gorgeous locks, or has growth slowed down drastically?

One way to find the answer to both of these questions is to do a regular hair length check.

Why Bother?

Checking the length of your hair can give you reassurance that your natural hair regimen is actually worthwhile. After all of the time spent researching, talking to other curlies, studying products, trying multiple combinations (and sometimes experiencing the disappointment of products that don’t work for you), it’s very encouraging to see that you’re making progress with your growth!

On the other hand, it can also cause you to reflect on your regimen if you’re not seeing much growth. If that’s the case, keep in mind the rate at which your hair grew before you started going natural. It may be that your hair type simply doesn’t grow fast, which means instead of getting discouraged, maybe you should check less often.

How to Check

Some curlies prefer to monitor growth while their hair is straight. If you can do this without using chemicals or too much heat, go for it! CurlTalk user “allnaturalchick” straightens her hair to monitor for growth because she likes the “wow” factor of seeing just how long her hair really is.

If you would prefer to stay away from the heat completely, you can just gently pull your curls straight and see where it is, then do the same thing a month later and see where it lands. Jenell of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe does just that with her curls. She did a Big Chop, which she found to be quite liberating. Since she did a Big Chop, watching the growth is extra encouraging.

Overall, remember that your natural hair journey is just that, a journey. If you aren't getting the results you want, it may be time to strategize about a new path. The fun isn't in the destination; it's in all that you learn on the way there.