Monday, 14 April 2014

Length Check & Personal Hair Challenge


Just below chin
Length: 10 inches/26cm

Left Side
Just above Armpit Length
Length: 11.5inches/29.5cm


Just above armpit length

9.75 inches /25cm

Right side

Above Armpit Length
10 inches /26 cm

Measured Sunday 06/04/2014

The stats don’t look favourable. A little bit of progress since the last time I checked but an inch in 18 months is nothing to be shouting from the rooftops about. 
To be honest, I know why it is. I decided last year that I didn’t want to be a natural who had to wear twists as their protective style – I wanted to be a wash and go girl, a 7 day twistout girl; I wanted more choice. More variation. More style.
And I did get what I wanted. But I didn’t get the protective element of it. My hair is too fine for that to be a reality for me. I also didn't really practise styling my hair. I always still wore it back in a ponytail or bun, whether it was twisted, in a braid out or loose. Today, I found myself talking to a work colleague about hair and she (of Indian heritage) complained that her hair didn’t grow. For her, the ladies with hair to envy are Indonesian women with hair that swirls around their ankles.
We chatting about different techniques, and I explained that when your hair colour needs re-touching, it’s proof your hair is growing. It’s just breaking off at the ends. She said she heard you need to trim every 6 weeks to help hair grow. And so forth.

I’m someone who really enjoys putting theory into practise, so I’ve decided to give myself a challenge to actually take into consideration all the advice I read on a daily basis and see some results (and this post is me making myself accountable).
I’m going to follow the rules JC puts in this BGLH article. So the rules are:

1. Give it time -  2-3 months
Well, that’s kind of the whole point: I either give myself unrealistic expectations in too short an amount of time (‘Waist-length this year or bust!’) or take too long and have no accountability for myself.
I don't think the goal of 15 inches of hair I originally wanted for October 2014 is do-able since we're a quarter of the way through the year already and I'm at 10 inches. 
Yeah. This is a bit of a reality check. 
Taking that into consideration, this personal challenge will last 3 months, having decided this on the 7th of April, I'll be finishing on the 7th of July 2014. I'll post my progress weekly on this here blog.
The starting measurements are above – so let’s do this! *Makes ultra-ready noises*

2. Stop trimming. Opt for search and destroy
I think this one’ll be eaaasy. I’ve already had a bit of a cut last month and I'm hoping to have a bigger cut at the end of the year, but I’d kinda like to have some hair to spare after, you know what I mean?
At the end of the three months I might have a little search and destroy session, but 'till then, I’m putting the shears away.

3. Low maintenance AND No manipulation
This is a little bit harder. I’d absolutely LOVE to do a wash and go routine for the next three months but, let’s be honest, I’d be bald before May. Despite the ideas we have wash and goes being easy to upkeep, I feel it’s a little too high maintenance for me. Having to re-wash every single day? NAHP. No thank you. Not for me.
Even a bun is too much temptation, with the unloosening every night...I’m gunning for no manipulation for as long as I can. If I make it to two months in my current set of twists, then that is excellent progress for my recovering Hand-In-Hair Syndrome self. I’m pretty sure excessive manipulation is the main cause of my current plateau, so I’m trying to cut it out as much as I can. Let’s head for an A, instead of an F.
I’ll re-do the perimeter ever two weeks and that’ll let me know how tangled my hair may be getting and whether it’s time to take them down before something Terrible Awful happens.

4. Find a washing routine, stick with it
This, for me, was the tricky bit. I’m sticking with the never neglect your hair theme and will moisturize when and if necessary.
I don’t want to wash my hair when in twists – they shrink and tangle and are a pain to take down (I think. It’s been a while since my last set of twists and I opted for no water then, so I don’t remember if washing made them harder to take down. I do remember that I loved the look after they’d been washed and conditioned and my hair felt very moisturized when the twists came down).
If I take this current set down before two months, then I’m going to try every fortnight for my washing schedule to cut down on the hair manipulation.

5. Keep your free hair stretched
This will probably be in the days/week when my hair has just been out of the twists and I’m experimenting with a new style or something.  I never really have a problem stretching my hair – I find my hair a lot easier to work with when it is stretched. My main problem is keeping it stretched, the result of which is I give up and put it in a bun.
So I solemnly swear to give myself permission, on these free hair days when I’m obviously going to be going a bit mad and loose, to scrap the no manipulation malarkey and re-plait or re-twists or re-whatever nightly in order to keep my hair stretched.

 I also want to challenge myself to try a new style at least every month for the next three months.

Who knows? If this works out for me, I might host a similar challenge next year.


1 comment:

  1. Good luck to you! Maybe it's just me, but the longer I'm natural the less I feel like following specific steps, even when I know they are helpful. I enjoy my hair being natural, but I don't do as much as I used to with it. I guess at this point my goal is this: First, do no harm. lol So perhaps if I don't get loads of length, my hair is regressing either. We shall see. :-)


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