Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tips for Charting your Hair Growth!

(Braid take down..I Retained 1.66 in 2 months) 

Hello ladies!  My Crochet braids have been out going on 3 weeks and I'm currently nurturing my hair.
In my last couple posts I've been talking about how I plan to protect my hair all summer  with braids or twists to retain length.  My first style of choice were Crochet Braids.  If you've been following me for a while you know that braid extensions are my style of choice when I want to retain maximum length.  When my hair is fully covered it allows my hair to grow uninterrupted(meaning no detangling, no handling of my hair at all for 6-8 weeks). This ensures that whatever I grow during the this time is retained. During my second year I noticed I didn't retain much as I could have, because I didn't max protect as much. I quickly noticed the difference in my retention and somewhere during my second year I picked  it back up! When trying to grow your hair out you have to pay attention to any changes in your hair before you get too far off track!  
Big Chop, Years 1-3(slightly stretched)

Big Chop, Years 1-3 curly

Most of us have read that hair grows on average 1/4 to 1/2 an inch per month. Most of us who are interested in retaining length will estimate that we should be able to retain about 5 to 6 inches a year. But, when this doesn't play out many women assume that their hair is simply not growing.  

So first thing's first, lets make sure that you are actually growing new hair out of your scalp!  There are several ways to do a length check. Set your calendar for a 2 month marker. Measure the length of at the start of that marker, then again at the end of your 2 month marker.  You can choose your measuring stick everyone use different means to track length retention.(Some use a measuring tape, marked shirts,or body placement)   
Measuring new growth before removing braids(1.66 inches)
Measuring 1 inch in the front

In the above photo, I am at 8 weeks growth in my braided protective style. I decided to measure my new growth before removing my braids. This measuring stick helped me to learn that my hair does grow at in average rate  in one area, but a faster rate in another. So I know it grows!

Body placement Measuring
(taken 2 mos ago I am now close to  my 4yr anniversary)

 If you aren't into measuring inches it may help to simply use body placement measuring. Checking at the end of your 2 month marker (At 2 mos there should be enough noticeable growth to chart).  Find a place on your body to which you measure your retention  each time. Above I chose to make a shirt marking Bra Strap, Mid Back, and Waist length. I also have small 2 to 3 inch markers in between these large lines, but its not necessary.   The idea is to established that within a 2 month time period that your hair is actually growing. Now that you know its growing,  its time to learn how to hold on to that length!   This is what I like to call protecting your investment. Most of  us put a lot into our hair care and retaining consistent length is one way of knowing that you are doing something right.    

To Help Retain your Growth

1.   Wear low manipulation hair styles
2.    Keep your hair moisturized to prevent breakage( includes Deep Conditioning!)
3.    Keep your hair strengthen with protein and or Henna treatments
3.    Handle your hair with extreme care
4.    Keep your ends super moisturized and sealed with oils
5.    Wear protective styles as much as possible(keeping ends off shoulders)
6.    Be consistent with your proven  regimen
7.    Be Patient

*Of course the above tips are all proven based on my personal journey and experience. You  probably will hear it doesn't take all of that to retain length, and for "some" this is true. But if you know you need help in this area, then try it because you have nothing to lose!

Well until Next Time keep it Healthy and Happy! 


Miranda Evans said...

Your hair looks gorgeous and healthy. What types of protein treatments do you recommend?

Chan said...

Hello Miranda! Thank you for the compliment. I love Aubrey organics GPB protein conditioner and Hydratherma Natuarals Amino Acid protein conditioner.. They are both deep conditioners. I don't use hard core proteins like Alphagee(those are ideal for people with chemically treated hair) I do use Henna and Amla once ever 2 to 3 months for extra strength! Thanks for stopping by!!

Anitha Kishore said...

wonderful yaar!!!your hair is so gorgeous.what treatments do you recommend???

healthy hair

Lavendar said...

Hey Chan! I found your blog via the HTN facebook post that showed your beautiful dry flexirod set. You look so familiar; I think we are fotki friends. I don't visit fotki much these days. I'm blown away by how long and gorgeous your hair is. One thing though -- I think you are definitely selling your progress short with your T-shirt measurements. IMO, you have the MBL line at waist length and waist length at hip length. The natural waist is where the smallest part of the curve is on the body and not where the jeans/pants start (especially since most styles are now below the waist or low rise). If you put your hands on your body (with elbows pointing out) where the WL line is on your shirt and you feel the top of your hip bones anywhere close to your hands (like right under or an inch or two under), then your line is definitely way below WL. You don't appear to have a very long torso like me, so it looks like your MBL is only about 3-4 inches from WL. You definitely look MBL to me now and not very far from WL. Just my two cents though (I've been a member of the LHCF far too long). LOL Whatever the case, I'm greatly inspired by your progress and following you now. Blessings!

Chan said...

@Lavendar Hello Lavendar! thanks so much for following me over here! Your observation of the lines on my shirt does make a ton of sense! I am such an amateur with these shirts. I've never been into them. I've always sort of measured my hair with the tape until now. I recently decided to give the shirt thing a try! You are right, I have a very sort torso! So every target BSL,MBL,& WL are within 3 inches of each other on me! lol. its quite funny. I had the hardest time with that shirt because my hubby was helping me draw the markers, and if you know anything about most men..he was in a rush so that he could get back to his television show?! lol. I do know that the center of my hair in the back is just past BSL.. I purposely didn't want to claim MBL until some of the other hairs caught up and it was more even or full past that line.

But they may not happen because my hair grows in a V! That center will always be longer than the rest of my hair in the back. Girl you are going to make me do another shirt because if you've been on LHCF for any length of time, I know that you know what you're talking about! I am on fotki I will have to search my friends to see if we are linked up on there. I love fotki have been a member since day one of my journey. I can't give it up!

Chan said...

@ Anitha Kishore... Hello thanks so much for commenting. I Love using Henna and Amla treatments for strengthing, as well as protein deep conditioners!