Wednesday 24 August 2011

Duh Moment: An inch is an inch

In maths class as a child, we used to have these assignments where there would be a drawn line on the page, followed by the question 'Estimate how long this line is.'

I remember thinking this was an exercise in silliness. 

"Why not let me use my ruler to measure the line? Then we'll know exactly how long the line is!"

I think you may have already worked out I was terrible when it came to those guesstimation questions. Turns out that this is a trait that has followed me into adult life, despite having learnt to appreciate and embrace silliness in most of its forms.

If you scour hair related blogs as much as I do, then you've heard it before: 'On average, hair grows half an inch a month.' "Oh!" You think. "That's cool."

But wait.

How long is an inch exactly ?

On my computer, this is actually to scale. I'm not sure about everyone's though!
Before I actually took the time to check this out, my mental measurement of an inch was where the orange arrow is on the measuring tape. My expectations were way ahead of the actual reality. And a half inch is a lot smaller than I thought!

I wonder if people who think that their hair doesn't grow, or that they have slow hair growth, have ever checked out how big an inch actually is?


  1. I so agree! I need to repost this link because I do discourage monthly length checks, half an inch can be swallowed up by shrinkage or lack of moisture. It is better to look at hair every 3-4 months when there would be something to see.

  2. Hello, I made my way over via JC at the NATURAL HAVEN. I usually don't worry about exactly how many inches my hair is at any given moment, but coincidentally just last night I pulled out my tape measure and did exactly this...measured how long my hair is. I had a moment of curiosity I suppose...LOL. I do have a length goal, and try really hard to suppress the urge to whip out the measuring tape...for reasons of sanity. :0)

  3. lol seeing this makes everything clearer.

  4. I remember taking those 'how long is the line' tests waaaaay too seriously. I mean to the point that I'd stare at a ruler in anticipation. Pathetic!

    Yes for us ladies growing out a short crop takes a lot lot longer than you'd think. It took two painful years to grow out my bob into something vaguely resembling something socially acceptable.

  5. This is exactly why--when I used to do length checks--I waited for longer breaks in between. I can't really see an inch in a photo.

  6. Fun post! This is exactly why I check my length fairly infrequently. Gaining an inch doesn't look as satisfying as gaining 2 or 3, so I delay gratification!

  7. You made MY day! So a 1/2 inch is actually Behind the black arrow! I was wondering was I doing something really wrong w/ my routine..

  8. LOL I love this! Soo true!
    I remember when I first started my HHJ I could not get over length checks but as soon as I realised my hair grew..I did not give length checking 2 seconds :)

  9. And that's why I got braids because I was tired of thinking about hair! I'll check my length at the end of the year.

  10. Oh, hello everyone!
    @JC: That's why I try and keep myself entertained with my various hobbies. But half an inch is tiny you wouldn't notice it at all!
    @kimvan: Ooh, I'm glad!
    @ Harri: I know! I remember our teacher photocopied it a weird, so it came out at just .2 less than a centimetre. Even to this day, that still annoys me! And bobs are cool., not so much.
    @Kayla and HairItis: I'm quite a fan of delayed gratification - it's a wonderful thing seeing the accumulation of your work!
    @CocoaChick: Thank you! It's mind boggling how small it is. Every time I look at it, it feels like an optical illusion...

  11. @AfroChique: It's pretty awesome when you can have such a chilled out attitude to your hair.
    @LaShon James-Major: That's a good way to do it. Though it might be impossible for some to stop thinking about their hair, at least they can't get to it...

  12. It's funny that I read this post, because I was just thinking about measuring my hair growth. I have never done it. I just did the simple test, that is, stretch the twist to eyeball the length. In all honesty, I can't say that I've ever known the longest length of my hair. Since I'm starting a new hair challenge on 1 September, I thought this would be a good time to take a measurement so that I can 1) learn how fast my hair grows in a month and 2) determine exactly how much growth I gain and length I retain over a period of six months.

  13. Wow that's So true. I guess we are expecting a lot! Not much to notice in one month.


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