Monday 5 November 2012

Panic! At the APL Plateau

A couple of weeks ago, two weeks ago, I flew into a panic and a glum mood because I realised something was wrong.  I even wrote a post about it but I started using words like 'y'all' halfway through, which means I was really upset.


If there's anything more depressing that comparing your progress against other, it's comparing your progress against yourself and finding yourself wanting. My ponytail in mini-twists in October was the exact same length as in January/February.
I have pieces in the front of my head that I'm still pinning up because they won't reach into my ponytail. Two years later and they still won't reach into the blasted ponytail!
This is not a setback. It's something that I've been ignorant of but it's been happening for a while.
When it comes to giving myself reasons why I'm not making leaps and bounds in all my hair-related incidents, please trust that I am always the person in the front of the queue.
I've told myself that:
  • I'm tall (5' 11.5"), so it'll take me longer than other people to hit certain points.
  • My fine hair means that splits and trims are inevitable.
  • Half an inch isn't that big! Patience, grasshopper.
  • Health over length, after all. 
  • Shrinkage is so deceiving.
  • You dyed your hair and it all broke off, so if that's not a major setback....
  • Maybe I'm a slow grower, eh? It happens!
But I know I'm not a slow grower. My hair colour from last year has near enough completely grown out. If the ends of my hair had made the same progress, I would not be writing this (extremely whiny) post. My hair is growing - it just bloody well isn't staying there. 

I don't sound right when I say 'y'all' and 'ain't' and 'in this game' (yeah, I didn't include those bits...)
You see, I'd taken out one of my twists out and tugged at my hair and it ended waaaay earlier than it should have been.
So I went out and searched for a measuring tape, came home and confirmed it.

8 inches. 

This is a problem. Mainly because that nape section always retained length well, even back in the beginning when I had no idea what to do with the rest of my hair. But now I think it's breaking the most, because at the rate it retained back in the day, it should steadily be on its way to BSL.

It's not even APL. Heck, it's barely shoulder length reaching my collar bone!

Look familiar? This is me 17/10/2012.
And this is me 31/12/2011.
Aaand on the 1/1/2011.
8 inches. After 3 years. Somehow, 10 inches of hair has gone walkies. Other sections are around 10/11 inches.
I don't know what's happening but when I started this blog, it was not after just having cut off all my hair. And that was more than two years ago. 2 years = around 12 inches, no? I'm not even there!!

I know some people think length checks are stupid and unhelpful but when you realise that in two years, you have retained -1 inches (not even an exaggeration), would you say that hair was healthy? That everything's okay? And that's with me only length checking every year, which may be why it's taken me so long to establish a pattern and realise there is a problem.

In my panic, I started googling furiously, but the only thing that seemed to come up was that other ladies with fine hair like me who weren't plateauing were using henna.
I actually looked into it, remembered the mess (rented apartment, y'all), time and faff...eurgh.

Nope. But it does mean that as of now, I'm back on the Cassia. Part of my game plan and all that.


  1. I think I am going through a similar stage with my hair growth. I measured it in January and I was about 5 or 6 inches all around and it's not much different now :( so I'll definitely have to check out henna or cassia even though henna is messy!

  2. Alright 21 questions to hopefully help you figure out what's going on:
    -Do you do any protein treatments at all? I have fine hair and my protein/moisture balance tends to get out of whack quickly for no apparent reason.
    -How long have you been doing mini twists? It's entirely possible that your hair doesn't like long term protective styling and actually wants/needs more manipulation. Maybe try switching to bigger twists that stay in for less time and see what happens.
    -Current state of health? It's a personal question, but high amounts of stress and poor diet can (and will) wreck havoc on your purdy head.
    -Regime? Are there any ingredients that don't really work? Are you washing your hair enough? moisturizing enough?

    1. Also here in the fine hair camp. I've been using Cassia as a protein replacement, though admittedly, I've been lazy with them lately because I had a protein conditioner. Must not have worked.

      They were my second set this year and were in for 6 weeks. But I see what you mean. That's definitely something I'm going to have to get on with!

      Now that I'm off the patisseries (kinda), my diet is stable and stuffed full of fruit and veg. And my job isn't really that stressful (got out of bed at nearly 10 this morning).

      I don't know! I can't tell if ingredients work or not. My hair never feels bad enough to be shocking, so I assume it's all good? I moisturise at least every other day , and seal twice a week.
      Maybe I should wash my hair less....^_^
      I've definitely got a lot to think about though - thanks!

  3. I don’t measure my hair but i get what you’re saying. A few tips that have help me, protective style, keep it moisturize, and keep the back of your hair tuck in until you pass shoulder length because it’s a problem stage to be at when your hair is rubbing on you cloths. If your hair is growing but you’re not showing length that means its braking at the ends so if you have damage ends trim them.

  4. You may not be a slow hair grower, but after reading this post, perhaps I am. Maybe it's growing more slowly because I'm older? Maybe it's just taking a break? Maybe I don't drink enough water or eat the right foods? Maybe it's genetics? Or maybe I just have to be patient. :-)

    1. I find that patience is so easy to hindsight! I find myself nodding with someone dispensing the need to be patience - and then rushing to measure my hair the next *sigh*
      Oh well! At least your blog is a testament to the various fascinating things you do outside your hair! :)


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