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3 Lessons On Growing Short Hair I Learned Once I Hit Back Length

3 Lessons On Growing Short Hair I Learned Once I Hit Back Length

By Black Girl Long Hair

Have your ever gazed longingly at a picture of a woman with natural, long, thick coils and thought, “When my hair gets to that length you can’t tell me nothing,”? If so, then this article is for you! The cliché, “hindsight is 20/20,” rings quite true when it comes to what I’ve learned about my hair. I’ve gone from 4 inches of coils to dry, brittle hair stuck just above shoulder length for 5 years to wigs and a few quick growth bandwagons to boot. After seven and a half years of being natural there are some lessons I’ve learned that would have made my hair journey ten times easier. Hopefully this retrospective reflection on my hair journey will help those of you at an earlier stage in your journey.

Lesson 1

There’s no need to take shortcuts to see results. You want to give your hair an opportunity to retain length and health without the intervention of methods that may cause side effects that can harm your hair and health. You also don’t want to apply methods that may improve your rate of hair growth but also lead you to false expectations. For example, if hypothetically you’re able to retain one inch one month, you might assume that you will be able to grow and retain a foot of hair in a year. Let me assure you that I’ve been down that road and it is one fraught with delusions of grandeur. Set a goal to achieve the healthiest hair that you can, rather than achieving fast growth and I promise you will find your journey more enjoyable and less frustrating.

Lesson 2

Single strand knots, split ends and tangles are not your enemies. Annoying, yes but not the enemies you think they are. Early in my healthy hair journey, I found tangles and knots extraordinarily frustrating because I felt that each one represented 100 more that I had not yet discovered. However, I eventually realized that other than regular trimming I didn’t need to do anything else to rid myself of these irritating hair nuisances. Again, let me assure you that tangles and small knots have not hindered my hair growth so don’t worry that every knot you detect will hinder yours.

Lesson 3

Protective styles that adversely affect other aspects of your hair health are simply not worth it. For about 7 or 8 months in 2009-2010 I was an avid wearer of half wigs. Eventually, I realized that my sensitive edges were irritated by the mild tension required to secure the wigs to my hair. While wearing the wigs allowed me to hide my large fuzzy twists for two weeks at a time, it also weakened my edges. I made the decision to stop wearing half wigs even though it meant that I would have to style my hair regularly and give up my lazy go to protective style. If a protective style helps you to grow hair down your back but causes bald spots or thin edges, it is NOT protecting your hair. Be sure to monitor both the health of your hair and scalp if you wear wigs or weaves to be sure that you aren’t unwittingly damaging your tresses.

Is there anything you have learned earlier in your hair journey that changed the way you handle your hair?

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • Lisa Middleton

    I’m an avid wearer of half wigs and yes my edges are starting to look thin. I’m experimenting with ways to take the pressure off my edges because I want to wear the wigs another year. My hair grew 7 inches hidden under the wigs.

    • Nayo

      I stopped wearing braids and cornrows b/c my edges evwntually ended up extremely thin. I started using castor oil on them for almost a year now and my edges are filling in. I do yarn breads for protective styling and keep them super loose around my side’s and edges and that works to. The synthetic hair irritates my scalp.

  • queenbee9

    I’ve stopped wearing my beloved braids and twists. My skin and scalp were reacting adversely to the synthetic hair and also the so called human hair. The hypersensitivity eventually led to contact dermatitis and my first outbreak of psoriasis. Once I removed that fake hair, my palms began to clear up and my hair stopped shedding so readily.

  • Jay

    I wear wigs and weaves. They help keep my hair moistened and healthy. Braids I DO NOT DO because they weaken my edges.

  • Aliyah

    I wore braids for months to grow out my hair once I took it out I realized my hair did grow but it pulled out some of my edges . My edges were thinning . I hated weaves only wore weave a few times and wigs were horrible for the Summer time . I love my hair the way it is . All natural

    • Simplymegg1920

      Next time do crochet braids to give you that box braid look.

  • Victoria

    Protective styling actually helps me! A lot! Not realizing until now but I will go between box braids, yarn braids, marley twist, sew-ins, and wigs.. And each time in between I will wear out my natural hair ( twist out, braid outs, etc) I’ll only do wigs when I’m stuck on what to do next .. And even then my hair is fully moisturized and it’s braided down for about 2 weeks. I don’t leave in a protective style no longer than 2 months. And even then i would have been washed and refreshed it lol.

    • Victoria

      Another style I will do is medium twist, my hair isn’t one for being “out” so I’ll rock those until it’s wash day. Or a month or so.

  • lovely2236

    That water is your friend!!! I cannot stress it enough always use water in your hair to help keep it moisturized! I stopped using water in my hair not purposely but because I was using the products in my hair and I thought that that would help but my hair had came to a standstill but now I started back using the water and I can already see the growth!

  • JAMAICANDOLLY

    I’m on a journey to wear wigs for a year, while doing my weekly wash routine.