Hair 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.
Jael 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.
Below are some of our best articles about hair growth, read through these to understand exactly what it takes to grow long hair.
- How to Create a Length Check T-shirt
- 4 Natural Hair Length Retention Tips
- Hair Growth Cycles Demystified
- Does Taking Biotin for Hair Growth Really Work?
- How to Calculate Growth Retention
Also, here are two hair growth books that provide more information on how to grow long hair.
- If You Love It, It Will Grow: A Guide To Healthy, Beautiful Natural Hair
- Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time