All my life I was told to not expect my hair to grow beyond collar length. I was told that I was genetically disposed to medium length hair, and if I wanted it longer, I needed to get extensions or weaves. Now, as an adult with hair that is considerably thinner than it should be, thanks to relying on fake hair for so many years, I am learning that waist length hair is possible for black women and girls.
Even when I embraced natural hair six years ago, I still didn’t understand everything I needed to do to make it long and healthy. Since maintaining a natural hair seemed so overwhelmingly difficult, I resorted to dreadlocks for myself, and extension braids and twists for my daughter. While my hair appeared to get much longer (as shed hair stays attached) my hair thinned more. My daughter’s hair on the other hand, remained in that medium length state that I was taught we were doomed to.
These past couple of years however, I began to get educated on how to take care of our hair. First, I learned the coconut oil strengthens your hair strands and keeps them from breaking off. Then I learned that castor oil will help re-grow hair that has thinned and is falling out prematurely. I have also discovered that some of the seemingly healthy things we were doing to our hair was keeping it from growing.
Finally, I learned to break many of our bad habits in this last year. For myself I removed my dreadlocks and I did not have the patience for them to bond naturally and kept interlocking them. In doing that, I would plucking hairs from my scalp and causing undue breakage. For my daughter, I learned that the braided extensions were not protecting her hair as I thought, but roughing it up and drying it out. I also learned how to flat iron hair without frying it, though we still do that sparingly, preferably taking her to a professional who is gentle on black hair.
So here we are about four months into a new way of caring for our hair. While mine still has extension braids as I work on making it thicker, my daughter is rocking two strand twists and curly afros. In that time, both my daughter and I have grown our hair at least 3 inches (faster than the average hair growth rate of ½ inch a month), and my daughter at least, has maintained that length. (I am cutting mine as it grows to have a more healthy length.)
I bet you are wondering by now where the waist length hair I mentioned is. Well it’s coming. My daughter’s hair has gone from brushing her shoulders last spring to the bottom of her shoulder blades (when stretched and measured). It is clearly well on it’s way.
But here’s the proof that our hair really can grow waist length. YouTube. I have been learning to care for and style our hair by watching YouTube personalities, all who have long, flowing, kinky, curly hair. According to these YouTube hair experts, all black women and girls need to grow long natural hair is natural oils, deep conditioners, avoiding commercial shampoo , and patience. With diligent care, your hair will grow 6 inches a year, meaning that in about 4 years, you too will have waist length hair.
Some of the youtube channels I want to share with you that will help you grow your natural hair long and strong are:
Disclaimer: Not all natural black hair that is waist length looks waist length. This stuff curls up tight. But if you give it a little stretch, you will see the results.