My Hair Growth Journey- Year One

before-after-1-year-hair-growth.jpg

Yes, I’ve made it! October marks the anniversary of my “One Year Hair Growth Challenge” and boy have I been anticipating this moment. My hair length now is far from my end goal, which is hip length, but it’s a small step closer.

I’ve always kept my hair on the shorter side in fear that it would be too thin for a rupanzil like hair length. It all changed exactly a year ago.

“I decided to rid myself of all the fears I’ve accumulated during the years dealing with hair loss”

Not only was I ready for change but I was also seeing improvement in my hair. I was ready to revisit an old childhood dream of mine of having long fairy tale like hair.

Hair Journey- The Beginning

13″ October, November, December

13″ October, November, December

To start this journey I had to know how much hair I could grow each month. Hair takes a very long time to grow, so this method help tremendously with the waiting process.  In any kind of goal setting, you need to know where your going. 

To discover this I measured my hair length with a fabric measuring tape. My starting length rested above my shoulders and measured at 13 inches. I continued to measure my growth and discovered that my hair grew on average 1/2 an inch each month. From there I was able to envision a final hair length of 6 inches by the end of the year.

If you are thinking about starting a hair-growth challenge of your own, check out some helpful tips I started off with.

Discovering Patience

Going into this challenge I just knew I would be standing in-front of a mirror each day obsessing over the growth of my hair. Straight, hip-length hair, if measured from the very top-middle of the scalp to the hips, measures to be 31 inches. To achieve this length would take a good 3 years of hair growth. I’ve a long time to wait and while doing so one can easily be discouraged.

“Documenting and knowing the growth rate of my hair was a method that helped ground my high expectations”

I recorded my hair lengths virtually on my phone’s note pad. I’m also a very visual person, so I also took pictures of my hair every month. Seeing actual evidence of progress was quite encouraging.

January, February, March

January, February, March

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned a lot about maintaining my hair throughout the year of this challenge, one having to deal with split ends. About three to four months into my hair growth challenge, the ends of my hair strands began to split and worsened as time passed. I’m clearly aware of the fact that not trimming hair regularly will result with split ends but it was something I was willing to endure, at least for a year.

Something did not seem to be right right. During my hair loss years, I’ve gone without cutting my hair for years and even then I had no problem with split ends. I was quite surprised this time around when my hair started to split. I contemplated over why this was so. What was I doing differently this time around?

April, May, June

April, May, June

I was regularly curling and blow drying my hair with heat. Though I was making sure to apply heat serum in my hair, I was still not convinced that heat alone was the root cause of the split ends. Upon researching on the net I found a blog that made since of all this. According to “Grow Hair Guru” split ends were not only caused by heat, but also by overly brushing hair, especially when it is wet. I was so guilty of this!

How does this cause hair to split, one might ask? When brushing, hair can be stretched up to 25%. This damages and weakens the hair strands making it prone to split. I was combing my hair while showering. After, not only did I continue to brush my hair but I would also blow drying it with heat at the same time, YIKES!

July, August, September

July, August, September

Near the end of my first year of growing out my hair I cease the use of all heat tools. I continue to blow dry my hair but with the heat option switched off.  I still comb my roots on the days I do not shampoo, and I use a detangler after.

Hair Routines

When I first started to use hair oil I was doubtful that I would ever find time to oil my hair. This is true for many people who are busy living their lives. I began using hair oil during my struggle with hair loss and it’s a method deserving of its hype. I vouch for hair oils because I did indeed see positive results therefor I was sure to include it into my daily routine. I definitely recommend to anyone who is wanting to grow out their hair to find a hair-oil routine that works for them. Let’s be clear though- hair oils will not make your hair grow any faster. What it does though, is that it will nourish your strands and your follicles will have a healthier beginning.

1-year-hair-growth-oct2017.JPG

Hair oil and my hair-wash routine goes hand and hand. I shampoo my hair twice a week and on the night before I do so I make sure to oil my hair. Oiling my hair at night and leaving it in into the wee hours of sleep insures that I won’t have to deal with it if I were to have the it in during the day. I also want to leave the oil in my hair for the longest time possible before washing it out and my does time fly by when you are asleep.

New Hair Goals

The first year of my hair growth, it being the hardest, is now over. That being said, I’ve already begun to document my hair-fall. It can be quite discouraging when I find clumps of hair in my brush. One would panic thinking there’s something wrong with their health causing more stress, when really hair-fall could just be a normal occurrence. Hair goes through phases and it will eventually shed. It does so either according to the seasons, or it differs from one person to another. This remains a mystery to me, therefor documenting my hair-fall and hair-growth pattern is a new goal I attend to discover.

Hair circumference: 2.5 Inches | I’m hopeful for 3″ and up one day.

Hair circumference: 2.5 Inches | I’m hopeful for 3″ and up one day.

I went from shoulder length to armpit length hair. My next goal in October 2018 will be 25 inches- reaching waist length hair. I am not sure if I will stop there; The longer hair grows, the more it will weigh causing less volume on the top of the head. As of now, my hair is on the thinner side, so I’ll have to see if and how my hair will manage the length. Hopefully it will get thicker.

I’ll admit, every day I constantly think about my hair. It makes me wonder, what I’ll think about next once I reach my end goal? I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, so for now I’ll focus on the present moment.

Thank you for listening to my journey. I am on my way to another year of hair growth. If you are growing out your hair or thinking about it, all the best to you!

“Pick up a pen, take lots of photos, and believe in yourself!”

Follow my hair journey on Instagram: @mah_hrrr

<3ie