Sometime last year, I read a post written by Dabs of naijahaircangrow, talking about managing your expectations. Our hair expectations really need to be managed if we would achieve anything in the long run.
How is that you might ask?
If you are like me who is length obsessed, (LOL), it is important to manage your expectations to prevent disapointment.
You need to see how many times I use the tape measure or ruler to measure how many inches I have to go before reaching my goal this year.
Just below, I have outlined a timetable of what you should expect when on your hair journey. It is a generalized time table and shouldn’t be followed to the letter. It is what we call in science an hypothesis.
Culled from Cosmeticologist website.
Shoulder length – Assuming you are starting from a fresh/bald shave, it should take you about 2 to 2 ½ years to reach shoulder length with great hair care.
Armpit length (APL) – From shoulder length to armpit length could be anywhere between 6 -15 months depending on your growth rate, trim rate, and also length retention.
Bra strap length – It takes about 9 -18 months from being APL. This is typically three years from a clean shave.
Midback/waist length – From a clean shave, it would take 3 – 4+ years of healthy hair care to reach midback length and possibly another six months to a year to reach waist length considering your body shape and any trims done along the way.
It is alright to have a goal to work towards but don’t have expectations without considering the real state of your hair. We have to set realistic expectations as we move forward in our hair journey
- Let health before length be your mantra. It isn’t worth holding onto scraggly, thin or split ends. Check occasionally for and get rid of them: it is a healthy hair journey afterall. Notice the healthy part : the length would come with time.
- You have to eat, drink and dream of healthy hair. Program your mind for what you want. You have to be your own number 1 fan. Even when it seems you are doing everything right but there is no change.
- Don’t get caught up in arguments. She has good hair genes, our hair isn’t created to be that long. People will definitely doubt you. You have something and also nothing to prove to them. Ignore them: there will always be doubters. Let their doubt be the fuel for your journey. You really don’t need to convince everybody. People will believe what they want to believe.
- Continue with your regimen. Arm yourself with the right tools and styling techniques. It will take time before you see the results of all your hard work. I treat my hair like a project that I want to succeed in. You should too. However, don’t get too length-obsessed/depressed. Reduce the number of times you do length checks. Find something else besides hair to fill your time
- Surround yourself with people who support you: healthy hair enthusiasts, bloggers & vloggers. Learn new practices about hair care. Try to avoid setbacks as much as possible by nipping problems in the bud.
- If you know how fast your hair grows, you know how to set your goals. Someone who is a fast hair grower will always reach their goals sooner than a slow grower if the retention rates are the same.
Growing black hair is a commitment to care. It is an investment in your hair. Some of the health returns are immediate like shine, while others like thickness, strength and length may be several years off. Don’t compare your progress to others no matter how tempting it might be.
Let me leave you with these 2 quotes:
Expect the unexpected, believe the unbelievable, and achieve the unachievable.
There are two ways to be happy : improve your reality or lower your expectation.
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