I came across this caption on pinterest. It was right underneath an image of stretched bum length 4c natural hair. Oh this was not my first time of coming across a version of this caption where full, long natural hair was the object for the ogling. In very recent times, I have become very fond of browsing through images of natural hair – my insta feed is proof. Of the hair images that I come across, I find that I am particularly drawn to the look-how-much-my-hair-has-grown-in-just-3-months cohort. Why? Perhaps because I cannot entirely relate. Which brings me to why I am here today.
There seems to be a widespread conviction that as long as your hair is healthy, it will continue to grow, grow, grow and grow, lengthwise especially. And so if your hair is not growing, say after 3 years of visible growth, then well you must be doing something wrong, right? I am here to say that I disagree strongly. And yes I have growing resentment for images of flourishing, enviable hair that preach the if-you-love-it-it-will-grow gospel.
Shall we bring in a little Biology into this matter? Sadie and Kanmi were born on the same day, in the same hour, of the same parents. Sadie and Kanmi have had the same meals, played in the same environments, and visited the same physicians since they were born. It is Sadie’s wedding in a few months and she is trying to convince her maid of honour, Kanmi, to wear smaller heeled shoes because “she is already giant adjacent”. Lol see the digression! But, stay with me. Do you see the picture I am trying to paint? Ok let’s go closer to home i.e. the topic we are discussing. We like Sadie and Kanmi already and so we shall stick with them. Now Sadie and Kanmi decided at the age of 18 to both go natural. Sadie and Kanmi walk into the babershop at the same moment and big chop simultaneously. Heck, like a rehearsed musical, both barbers switch off their equipment and dust off the girls en meme temps! Now because our favorite twins are so close, wash days, protective styles, every aspect of hair TLC happens together. Yet, at said wedding, Sadie’s puff can very well make up for the height difference between them, while Kanmi’s puff looks like she had her big chop 9 months before.
Do we see my point yet?
The equation is not as simple as if A, then B, when C, D, E, and Z are fighting to have influence as well. One of my girls could not be more neglectful of her hair. Sometimes, I believe the only reason she makes the little effort she does into pampering it is because she is afraid to lose her length. She is the only person I know, personally, with back length relaxed hair. It is oh so beautiful. And then you have me, with my weekly and daily rituals; with regimens that have now become second nature, still struggling after 2 years of nurturing to create a decent puff. Yes, it is paining me. Do I think my hair is healthy? Honestly, I do. I really really do. I have found what works for me and I am being religious about it and I can see that my hair looks healthy. But is it growing? Hmmm. If it is, then it is growing in snail years cos I ain’t see nothing. Now, my hair right now is longer than it was when I was relaxed. However, I belong to the school that believes in peak length i.e. your hair length stops increasing after a certain length. If my genes missed out on the long hair juice when it was being shared, my keeping my hair healthy is not going to suddenly override that to give me back length hair a la pinterest girl. Yes, I’m still jealous of that picture.
I can keep ranting but I think that you get the point I am trying to get across. Do I get hair envy when I log onto social media and see these beautiful, full and high halos in my face? Oh yes, yes, I do. Am I still in the process of accepting that my hair will never look like my nazuri curls fro? I am! (Seriously, guys. I am internalizing my nazuri wig so much that I might pineapple it one night, satin bonnet it and go to bed with it like it is growing from my scalp!) But I am learning in this journey that it is the health of my kinky strands, the health of my scalp, the health of the cluster of dark cotton-like balls that crowns my head that matters the most. And I need to accept it and love it for what it is. I don’t believe that if you love it, it will always grow but I firmly believe that if you love it, it will definitely glow.
So beauts, what do you think? Are you a believer in the “healthy hair will grow” mantra? What has been your personal experience?