The other day I was watching a hair length check video by pltbyCormie on YouTube. She was explaining that if you think that you are not experiencing hair growth, it may be best to start measuring your hair with a tape measure. This way you end up getting a more accurate look at how long your hair truly is. Since I'm trying to avoid straightening my hair for awhile, I can never really "see" where my hair is due to shrinkage. I decided to try it because I have been a little frustrated waiting for APL length hair. This method not only showed me where my current length is, but also gave me an idea of how much longer until I reach my hair length goals. It turns out that I am approximately 2" away from reaching my goal and another 4" before I reach BSL (bra strap). I was relieved to finally have something more concrete than just looking in the mirror and waiting for hair growth.
Measuring from shoulder length to APL;
about 5 to 6 inches
Height and Hair Length
Cormie also mentioned that when we look to others who have already reached their hair length goals, we should try not to compare our hair to theirs. This is where height comes into play. Depending on how tall you are, you may have longer or shorter to go before reaching SL (shoulders), APL (arm pits) and BSL (bra strap). The distance between these points is different for everyone. If you are shorter in stature then you may be able to reach your goals sooner than someone who is considered quite tall. I'm 5'6" and the distance between SL and APL on me is 5 to 6 inches. I had the unrealistic goal of achieving this length by Dec. of 2010 after only getting to shoulder length in May of 2010. That's only 7 months time while my hair most likely only grows 1/2" per month. Now I can stop fretting over not reaching this goal already because I can see that I'm on track to reach it by my 2 year natural hair anniversary (May 2011) which is more accurate. Others who have reached this goal sooner may or may not be shorter than I am. Now that I have this knowledge, I am looking forward to seeing hair growth in a time frame that is true to me and based on my own hair.
My hair after 9 months of Transitioning;
Relaxed ends and lots of new growth
I have been doing my own haircuts and trims ever since I graduated from high school. Still, I wasn't sure if I could successfully do the "Big Chop" myself. I transitioned for nine months so it was very easy to see where to make each cut. I guess I was mostly concerned that I would end up with a fro without the right shape. I had never worn my hair shorter than ear length so the shape of my hair was going to be pretty important to me.
For awhile I considered going to my Dad or Brother who are both trained barbers. I even asked if they would be willing to do it when the time came. I could tell that my Dad was not going to give me a buzz cut because he's so used to seeing me with longer hair. My brother however had done the Chop for a few other ladies who were starting their journey so he was up for it. Before I made my decision though I decided to check out some videos on YouTube to see how other naturalistas got it done. It seemed to me that having someone do it at a salon meant getting a little more length taken off than I wanted. This was because of the shaping that was done after the relaxed pieces were cut away. That's when I decided that I would just do it myself because then I would only have myself to blame if I there were any mishaps. Anyway, I could always have my brother fix it if it came to that.
My hair the day after the Big Chop
During my transition, I made it a point to cut off a little each month so that I wouldn't have very much relaxed hair left to part with. I started out by putting my hair into small sections and cut the first piece right in the front. No turning back! My fro was bigger than I expected which was a plus. The following day, I used some Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-in Conditioning Cream, aloe vera gel and shea butter on my wet hair to encourage my first little curls to come into view. I was so proud of my new hair and how the cut turned out.