Health & Length Check: March 2013

straightened natural hair

My Curly Mane in March 2013

Remember this simple mantra: If you keep your curly mane healthy, it will grow. Simple secret. End of story. You don’t necessarily need a hair whisperer or magic potions. Just keep up a consistent regiment that your hair responds well to and voila! You will see results. “Whoa, Nay! Not so easy,” you say? Continue reading.

Averages & Approximates

As I mentioned in my last hair update, hair grows approximately 0.5 inch per month. Keyword: approximately. Factor in your genetics, diet, hair routine, and hair type as additional influences on your growth rate. For tightly curly gals, moisture retention may become an issue, since it is harder for the oils from your scalp to travel down the length of your strands. Oiling your hair regularly will help to seal moisture/water into your strands. This is one of, if not the key element, that has been keeping my hair über soft and growing.

What’s Working?

  1. Oiling my hair daily. I’ve been doing this right before bed or in the morning on 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th-day hair styled in a wash-and-go.
  2. Regular wash-and-go styling. Occasionally, I mix it up with braid-outs. The frequent exposure to water/moisture and sealing with oils and conditioner is working well for my hair.
  3. Minimal straightening. In fact, the only time I’ve straightened my hair is to do this length check. The last time I did so was during my previous check in November. This has prevented me from experiencing heat damage, particularly with the use of a Maxiglide/Sonicglide.
  4. A generous amount of leave-in conditioner. This is always used on wash days and applied under my hair gel. In case you missed it, check out my 10 steps for a wash-and-go.

How Do I Know It’s Working?

I’ve received more compliments on my hair (thank you!), noting that it looks … different. Some say that it looks fuller. Others say it must be getting longer. Well, both are true. While it is getting healthier, my hair is taking on a bigger and bouncier look.

Believe me. It was just 3 or 4 years ago when I was struggling to get my hair to do anything. I had to cut off a considerable amount of heat damaged hair, and what was left wouldn’t curl right. Not to mention, I struggled with styling the dang-on thing. Needless to say, I am overjoyed to get to this state!

Now, remember that for some reason or another, the universe is always in search of balance. Uh, huh. These generous comments have been sadly balanced by the usual back-handed compliments to naturals. Oh, yes, they’ll come swooping down on your hit parade, ready to steal your sunshine. Here’s what you can do.

When People Try To Derail Your Progress …

  1. Remember to think of what Jesus would do. No, really. I am serious!
  2. Count to 10 … and then count to 10 again … alrighty, count to 20!
  3. Ruuuunn!! Click here to read about more ways to avoid Negative Nancies.

Comedian Kat Williams can be controversial and over-the-top. Regardless of your opinion of him, he has a point about one thing. He says, “So what? She/he keeps talking about you and hating on you. What do you think a hater’s job is? To hate! If you have someone hating on you right now, you better think of how to get five more people hating by Christmas! You need haters to make you stronger … without haters, most people wouldn’t try to become better.” LOL! Sad but true. Your hair is fab. Don’t listen to comments that will keep you from achieving your goals … in life and on your head.

What’s Not Working?

I’m experiencing some falling hair, which of course leads to tangles and knots. I noticed that this has happened since I’ve stopped oiling my scalp and when I go beyond 4th day hair styled in a wash-and-go. Using a Tangle Teezer has helped to curb the knotting of shed hair so far, which makes me believe that my hair just needs to be clarified of shed hair more often.

Also, my scalp has been flakier than usual. This may be due to my inconsistent scalp oiling. I’m going to resume oiling and massaging my scalp to see if this has any effect on my progress.

Length Check

From left, My Curly Mane in May 2012, November 2012, and March 2013.

Measuring Up

When tugged on in its natural state, my curly mane reaches just past mid back length. Since it grows in layers, some areas are inching their way closer towards waist length. Yet, this go around, my straightened hair pic from November appears identical to the one in March. Optical illusion? I swear that my hair is growing! I won’t obsess. I won’t obsess! Instead, I’m giving it another three months and then I’ll see how my curly mane measures up.

Look at the photo above and note my progress. The growth is better seen when the duration between length checks is longer. Basically, hair needs time to grow. My next check will be in another 3 months. Let’s see if I can get a little closer to waist length by then.

Which one of the following describes you?

  • On a mission for health/length
  • Rocking strong with a short cut

Shout it out below!

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