It is commonly known that the average person grows .50 inches of hair per month. These calculations will help you understand how much of the .50 inch you are actually retaining on average of a 90 day period.
- Use your natural hair growth shirt to mark your current stretched length as day 0.
- 30 days later, mark your growth shirt again with your stretched length.
- 60 days later, mark your shirt again with your stretched length.
- 90 days mark the shirt once more with your stretched length.
- top center of your head to ear
- from ear to chin
- from chin to shoulder
- from shoulder to armpit
- from armpit to bra strap
- from bra strap to the middle back
- from the middle back to waist
- from waist to hips
- from hips to tailbone
- from tailbone to classic – half body
- from classic to thigh
- from thigh to knees
- from knees to calf
- from calf to ankle
- from ankle to floor
When you are growing your hair it can be divided into 3 parts: (1) no growth shirt needed, (2) growth shirt useful and (3) outgrew growth shirt. Using the common length milestones as gauges offer a great advantage - they are constant. To gauge your growth using your body parts is a stellar idea!
To begin, you will need to determine baseline measurements for the right side of your head, left side of your head, the front center, the back center (nape of neck) and the middle crown area. Measuring the distance between each aforementioned baseline measurement at the 30, 60 and 90 day interval and take the average.
For example, look at the right side measurement:
- Beginning measurement = 8.75
- From day 0 to day 30 (1st 30 days) = 8.75
- From day 30 to day 60 (2nd 30 days) = 11.00
- From day 60 to day 90 (3rd 30 days) = 11.00
In this example, the beginning measurement was 8.75 inches on Day 0.
- From day 0 to day 30, there wasn’t any length retained (0 inches).
- From day 30 to day 60, I was able to retain 2.25 inches of length.
- From day 60 to day 90, there wasn’t any length retained (0 inches).
Adding together the inches retained, the total is 0 + 2.25 + 0 = 2.25.
Taking the average total is 2.25 / 3 months = .75 inches retained during month 1 thru month 3.
The Hair Goal
Armed with an average growth retained rate of .75 inches for three months, the goal is to reach middle back length from armpit length. There are seven inches between armpit and middle back length. How long will it take to grow to middle back length if the average growth rate for three months is .75? It will take approximately 28 months to retain 7 inches of hair.
.75 (average growth rate per 3 months) / 3 months = .25 of inch average/mo.
.25 of an inch/mo. * 4 months = 1 inch every 4 months
Since it will take 4 months to grow 1 inch, it will take 28 months to grow 7 inches.
4 months (to grow 1 inch) * 7 desired inches = 28 months
If the average growth rate is .50 an inch per month and over the past three months only .75 inches were retained – this is a red flag. The most obvious place to start looking is at the regimen and technique. In this example, the first indicator was from Day 30 to Day 90 where there was not any measurable length retention.
This is the point where you would go back and review your natural hair journal to see what you were doing to your hair during that period.
Were you detangling roughly? Were there visible signs of hair breakage in your comb or pieces of hair on the floor?
Were you stressed? Keep in mind that you would need review the last several months of your journal.
Alternatively, you would need to evaluate anything that could prevent you from retaining length.
There are several things that can affect how much length you retain. Below are a few examples:
- combing your hair when it’s dry
- combing your hair excessively
- detangling too roughly
- trims obviously affect length retention and should be taken into consideration when analyzing your results
- using heat
Continuing with the previous example, the conclusion is that combing the hair when it’s dry, detangling too roughly and not detangling in small sections are the culprits. To remedy this, try using a detangling product or adding oil to water or conditioner.
It’s also important to remember to dedicate time to detangle and not rip through your strands. Often times, detangling in small sections is beneficial.
Growth Rate Calculation
I really wanted to address calculating your personal growth rate as well; however, there are not many ways that are kind to the hair strands when you consider our attempts to preserve them.
If you have color in your hair, the point where your natural color begins to emerge gives a clear line of demarcation.
However, if you do not wear color there are two additional ways (that I could think of) to calculate your personal growth rate. You can use black rubber bands or braids (no extensions to avoid slippage) in inconspicuous places where you will measure your personal growth rate.
At the end of a 30 day period, measure, clean and condition your hair. Then, replace the bands or braids for the next 30 days and so on.
Your growth rate can be used in comparison to the amount of length that was retained on the ends. You will know the amount that emerged from your scalp based on the measure from the new position of the colored line of demarcation, the rubber bands or braids.
For example, if your hair grew (from your scalp) .75 of an inch, determine if your hair is .75 of an inch longer. If it is, the amount retained (on the ends) will be longer by the amount that grew from your scalp.
On the other hand, if your hair grew .75 of an inch and you did not retain the length on your ends, when stretched your length will be shorter than the .75 of an inch that you grew.
For instance, if your starting length was 10 inches and your average growth rate is .75 for a three month period.
If you retained only .25, then when you stretch your hair to check the length, your hair would measure at 10.25 inches.
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