Not too long ago, I accomplished my short term goal of reaching full SL (shoulder length) by my 1 year natural anniversary.
Now I am on to my next goal....reaching APL (arm pit length). I have heard that SL to APL takes the longest! Of course I cannot contest to this, as I have not reached APL, but it is something frequently said in the forums I am part of..
Keeping that in mind, I plan on reaching my goal by retaining all of new growth/length I accumulate throughout the year. The best way to retain length is by doing protective styles. Protective styles insure you ends being protected.
Now your ends is not where growth occurs, it happens at the root, but it is how we are able to see length. Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair, so if anything occurs like splits, or single strand knots, it is your ends that has to be dusted or trimmed. Meaning you will loose some length. This is not such a horrible thing, as it is better to have healthy shorter hair, then long hair with frazzled ends.
You want your hair to not only be long, but also to be healthy! Once you figure out how to keep your hair healthy, retaining length will be a piece of cake!
Everyone's hair grows at different rates, but hair growth can range between 0.25-1 inch a month. It also has to do your diet/health, and how well you care for your hair. Genetics also does play a part, as well.
I would say I am about 4 inches away from my goal. I average half an inch of growth each month, so I'm hoping to retain it all and make my goal of APL within 8 months, but to be fair, (as my hair may not grow a lot one month, or grow more another. It is good to set realistic goals, as to not disappoint or discourage yourself.) I know that I have stated that I would like to make my goal by June, but I will give myself until December of 2011.
(December 2011 is also my goal date for my bald spots to be filled.)
I am going to try to do a lot of protective styling this winter, like pony tails and buns, and maybe two strand twists and box braids. As protective styling is the best way to retain growth, because it is not being manipulated.
I can still do low manipulation styling because since I am natural, I get a lot of shrinkage. So my hair in it's natural state does not reach my shoulders. My unstretched hair looks CL (Chin Length), sometimes NL (neck length) and that is on a good day.
I am hoping to be SL unstretched one day too.
I set goals as a way of motivating myself, and to keep up with my regimen. Plus it makes it fun!
For hair acronyms, or abbreviations and hair charts, check out previous post
I hope this gives you an idea of ways to retain length!
Until Next Time, Naomi~
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