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Black women DO have long hair

dreemssold

New Member
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Xerxes said:
I wouldn't give too much credence to that website at all. African Americans with natural 4b type hair like my own typically can grow waist length dreads with little to no incident. Our hair may be more fragile, but our growth rate is not hindered by racial differences at all.

What causes most BW to have hair shorter than they want is firstly shrinkage of tightly coiled hair and their methods of straightening their hair which is damaging in and of itself. If we all took better care of our hair and stopped fighting its natural texture, we'd see very few hair length disparities.

The writer of that website was incorrectly looking at hair length retention when speaking about hair growth rate. The two are related, but not dependent on one another. For example, my hair could grow 2 inches a month naturally, but if I use harsh chemicals and heat styling methods, then I may have no hair at the end of a month to prove how quickly my hair grows.

It's just like your metabolism. Just because a person is fat doesn't mean their metabolism is slow, the person could just eat so much that their rate of burning calories can't keep up with their eating habits. /images/graemlins/smile.gif

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/images/graemlins/up.gif I believe your rate of hair growth is determined by your genes, not your race.
 

Xerxes

Well-Known Member
Exactamente! That's why we all must choose our husbands (or baby daddies) wisely! /images/graemlins/lachen70.gif
 

Isis

New Member
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LorraineG said:
<font color="brown">I agree! Black women can grow long hair. Many of us have never witnessed women with long hair until we joined this board because we either didn't see it growing up or the women in our family never had long hair and we assumed short hair was 'hereditary'. /images/graemlins/laugh.gif It's about knowledge. Most people can grow long hair we just do damaging things to it and prevent it from happening. Unfortunately, it's a myth that many of us believe, especially Black men. /images/graemlins/ohwell.gif</font>

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ITA! Black women could always grow their hair as long as anyone else. It is all about knowledge. /images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

unlvgirl

My Crown and Glory
ITA! Black women could always grow their hair as long as anyone else. It is all about knowledge. /images/graemlins/smile.gif

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I agree!! /images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

suncypress

New Member
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Xerxes said:
I wouldn't give too much credence to that website at all. African Americans with natural 4b type hair like my own typically can grow waist length dreads with little to no incident.

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from what i understand, the reason locs grow so long, so fast, is because the hair that is normally shed with loose hair styling/washing is actually locked into the dreadloc. imagine if all the hair you shed in a day, a month, a year, was instead added onto your hair as length! this is why they tell you not to make your loc sections too small, b/c as the would-be-shed hair is reincorporated into the locs, they become much longer and heavier over time and can cause hair thinning.

mind you, i'm not saying this to say that 4a/b hair cannot grow long, but rather that locs are not the best "proof" of that fact. i have seen many black women with tailbone/classic length locs, and even a few with locs approaching knee length, if you can believe it. but i have yet to see natural, un-locked, 4a/b hair even to waist length. some of this is about shrinkage, of course...
 

Scasey

Well-Known Member
I see very few women in my area with bra-strap length hair as a matter of fact, I see mostly children with hair this length. I think the stylists in Dallas do not have healthy hair care practices and I started to see growth from shoulder length to bra strap after I stop letting them trim my ends and relaxing me 100% bone straight. I think that is the culprit that is preventing sisters from reaching their goals. That just my opinion though.
 

LB_Williams

New Member
Oh I agree. It was very wonderful to find this site with so many excellent examples to the contrary. Basically all of the ladies I know locally with length have long weaves - not long hair of their own. Heck even The Long Hair Site (http://www.tlhs.org/) misstates that because of coarse hair texture, colored women "don't seem to be able to grow their hair long". /images/graemlins/ohwell.gif
I have emailed the site owner with a link to LHCF /images/graemlins/grin.gif <font color="purple"> </font>
 

LB_Williams

New Member
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suncypress said:
apart from the ladies on this board, and others who are educated about hair health, i think a lot of black women who go the chemical route go "all the way," so to speak, even over-processing and overlapping to keep their hair as straight as possible. this means unhealthy hair that "won't grow" b/c it breaks off.

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That was me before I found this board and cut all that damaged mess off. You don't want to know how much hair I was constantly cleaning off the counter and off the floor. /images/graemlins/wallbash.gif

I am so very, very thankful for this forum and all of you ladies who helped set me straight (no pun intended) and inspire me to keep on getting my hair healthy! /images/graemlins/clap.gif
 

Sridevi

Well-Known Member
I tend to believe what my eyes see. On a day to day basis I see multitudes of white women with hair bra-strap length and longer. I see black women with long hair infrequently enough that I tend to stare when I do see it because it seems unusual. Of the black women I have personally known the who had long hair most were of the type 3 natural variety. A couple were relaxed but I never knew their hair type. I have seen more bra-strap black women on LHCF in a few months than I have in my entire life.

Whether it is due to haircare or genetics, I don't know but on average black women seem to have shorter hair and the existence of this website would seem to confirm that observation.
 

webby

Think Slim
Ladies, thanks for your responses. I certainly hope that no one misunderstood anything that I posted, especially concerning Dominican salons. I was just stating my own, personal experiences.

After reading all of your comments, I have come to realize that perhaps long hair is regional, after all, for whatever reason (I'm trying to avoid unnecessary debates here /images/graemlins/grin.gif)

At any rate, it's good to know that now we have a place to come to share good hair information, so at least, we the members of LHCF can grow long hair /images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

suncypress

New Member
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Sridevi said:
Whether it is due to haircare or genetics, I don't know but on average black women seem to have shorter hair and the existence of this website would seem to confirm that observation.

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i was thinking about the idea of "genetics," especially given flowerhair's comment that

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Sometimes I think that black people from Dominica, Brazil etc have nicer hair because southern Europeans (who they are mixed with) have much nicer hair than people from Scandinavia/Britain/Germany etc. They generally have thicker, stronger hair.

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i hadn't thought about that before--it's an interesting theory, though given the influence of north african moors on that region (southern europe) one could argue that southern europeans' thicker, stronger hair is probably traceable back to an african/arab genetic admixture.

but i was also thinking about the year i spent in west africa (senegal, mostly) and how the women there mostly wear weaves, at least in the cities. and have major trouble growing long hair. but at the same time, you see photographs of village women a few generations earlier, or other images of the traditional hair styles, and while the hair was not exactly 'long,' it was much longer and thicker than most "modern" african womens' hair. which leads me to believe that the culprit, again, is mostly hair care, not merely genetics. b/c i definitely saw a lot of overprocessed relaxed hair when i was in senegal...not to mention a lot of super-tight braiding, and a LOT of weaves. they would tell me i should relax my natural hair if i wanted to get braids, so it would be "easier" on the braider. now you know getting a fresh relaxer and immediately getting supertight braids is a recipe for hairloss!

anyway, sorry to write a book. i guess my point is, the more i think about it the more i believe that while genetics absolutely play a factor, as does hairtype (let's face it, if your natural "black" hair is a type 2 or 3, you'll probably have an easier time with growing), it's also true that lack of knowledge about healthy hair care is rampant in many black communities in the US, and, from what i've seen, in some places internationally. so that lack of knowledge leads to a majority of black women not having long hair.
 

belleza

Active Member
Being from Ohio, my experience is mostly with strictly African American women. Not Latina, not mixed. Women whose black ancestry can go back several generations without having white, or native american. My heritage is black, irish, cherokee, and black foot indian. But that's so far back. Therefore, I haven't seen a majority of black women with long hair.

But, I do feel that the ability to grow hair has always been there. In my case, I just never knew how to maintain and keep it on my head. It would always grow to shoulder length and break. I always thought something was wrong with me. Fortunately, thanks to the women of this forum, now I know differently. /images/graemlins/notworthy.gif
 

Desert Skye

Well-Known Member
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webby said:
Ok...I'm going to crawl back under my rock.

Maybe it is a NY thang. Perhaps it's because we have access to Dominican salons (I attribute my hair success to them) /images/graemlins/ohwell.gif

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Yeah webby I agree with you too. Also i think its the access to all the BSS we have here too!!
 

skegeesmb

New Member
I know personally, I have been to a Dominican Salon twice. Once in June for a wedding, and once for my birthday.

Other than that, I've been taking care of my hair myself. I believe it takes a lot of patience and care to grow your hair out. I am black, not mixed immediately, and my hair is almost braclasp length. I don't frequent salons. Never had, and probably never will. I don't have the money or the patience to sit and wait. I can do my hair faster for the most part. And my hair grew still. I think a lot of black women who have long hair take control of their hair. I mean there are ladies who depend on a stylist, but I think you still run the risk of being surprised because your hair care is not totally in your hands. What happens if your regular stylist moves away, or isn't there and you take the "other" stylist who jacks your hair up?

I refuse to take that chance! And a lot of times I don't feel like hearing attitude from a stylist who thinks they know more about my hair than I do.
 

options

New Member
I don't think it's an isuse of whether black women can grow long hair, but rather if we can retain it. Studies have shown that the hair of most races grows at relatively the same rate; however, it is the curves, loops, kinks, curls and naps of most black hair that makes retaining that length an issue. At each bend and curve of each hair strand lies a point of vulnerability that totally straight or mostly straight hair does not have.

As for dreads, like Saucy said, they are not a good example of growth. It's more like artificial retention of hair growth, as all of the hair that would normally have been shed is trapped in the lock. So when you see a person with locks, all of that hair is not still attached to the wearer's scalp. A lot of it is loose strands meshed within the lock itself.
 

InsertCleverNameHere

Well-Known Member
I'm from Nashville and while the majority of women have short hair, there are still enough folks with long hair that I'm not shocked or anything when I see it. Take for instance at my first and second jobs. At my first job almost everyone is bald-headed. There are about 4 people with long pretty hair, but everyone else (maybe 15 or so women) is damn near snatched bald. At my second job its a whole 'nother story. There are four black women in my department. One has a cute but healthy bob, One has a little past shoulder length very thick gorgeous hair. Then there is me and then there is a woman with gogeous thick below brastrap hair. Neither situation is shocking around these parts, lol.

That said, I think a lot of women just give up on their hair. They have been told it won't grow and it's unmanageable, etc. So they just take the style route. Which means to heck with health, just give me a decent 'do!
 

options

New Member
RealLuv,

I think I also see what you encounter. But I do think the jacked-up heads outnumber the heads of healthy hair I see, and that is independent of any length issue. Most black women's hair just doesn't seem to be healthy - short, long or in-between.

In my opinion, there is no beauty in having long hair if the ends are all broken-off, dry, crispy and hard-looking. And some women just might prefer short hair.

Healthy long hair is beautiful, but not every woman wants to be Rapunzel.
 

buffalosoldier

New Member
Not one black woman in my family has long hair and its not thru choice.
Personally, I think that we have a lot of bad habits that have been passed down over generations.
I learned to take care of my hair by basically copying my black friends. Once,I even greased my scalp and I almost felt ill - never ever again!
They did everything to avoid their natural texture. Constant relaxing and constant heat.
And then constant pressure to look salon perfect everyday - it's not good for the hair. They would talk about me cos my hair didnt always looked perfect or stick straight - it was ridiculous.
Although, I think that things are slowly changing and we have become more informed.
 

naomi

good skin and hair
I have frequented Dominican salons and although my hair comes out nice, by the end of the day it's a frizzy mess.

They heavily dilute whatever setting agent they use to rollerset hair and it is way too light for my hair. And to make it worst they would keep me under the dryer for about 2 hours and my hair would still be damp. I dont have a problem going to a black salon, I just tell them I want a rollerwrap and thats it. And I dont let them put any grease in my hair. I like the fact that my hair holds up so much better when I go to a Black salon. My hair also dries faster. And my hair is below bra-strap. The only difference is price.
 

Connie

Well-Known Member
/images/graemlins/lachen70.gif Ooohhh no you didn't call out our Buffalo gals like that!

I live in Buffalo and I hate to say it, but Ayeisha's right. What kills me is the two-toned, two-textured hair--where the hairpiece is obviously one color/texture and the hair is another. Come on now; if you must fake it, at least do it well enough so that people actually have to wonder.
 

myco

New Member
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options said:

Healthy long hair is beautiful, but not every woman wants to be Rapunzel.

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I agree. Hair health and shine catches my eye more than length. As we all know from this board, black women can and do have long hair. But we can't always determine if women have short hair by choice or by force just from passing them in the street - with the exception of hair that is chewed-up and looks like it might fall out in a stiff wind. My mother is someone who had long hair until she had children. Then she cut it off. You couldn't pay her to grow her hair back out. It's just not for her anymore. Same with a lot of the other women in my family or people that I know, they don't want their hair to be longer than chin-length or shoulder length anymore. Also with length, more often than not you have to sacrifice style to preserve the health and length of your hair. A lot of women pride themselves on being up on current hair fashions so they aren't going to let a fad pass them by just to hold on the the 6 inches of hair that they accumulated over the last year.
 

webby

Think Slim
@Myco - You are so right about not growing hair out by choice. I'm at that point right now. I am remembering the days I would spend 4 or 5 hours under a dryer, only to come out and STILL have damp ends. I'm now spending 1.5 hours underneath and it's tolerable, but if I let my hair grow out much more...well, I can forget doing much on my weekends.
 
[ QUOTE ]
Connie said:
/images/graemlins/lachen70.gif Ooohhh no you didn't call out our Buffalo gals like that!

I live in Buffalo and I hate to say it, but Ayeisha's right. What kills me is the two-toned, two-textured hair--where the hairpiece is obviously one color/texture and the hair is another. Come on now; if you must fake it, at least do it well enough so that people actually have to wonder.

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Sounds like Northeast Florida (where I live). Its rare to see a black woman with long hair in this region. Most of them wear the styles mentioned above. If they are wearing pieces, their hair is short, dry and brittle-looking. I recently went to the annual fair and I saw so many tight and dry ponytails with the hair poofed out like a fan. All I could do is shake my head. I would say that here at my college I probably have the longest hair out of all the balck females here. There arent too many of us here to begin with. There's one girl here who has a different geled-up mess of a style every week. There's another girl here who has had the same length of hair since she started(about three inches below her ears). We both began school at the same time. I must be doing something right /images/graemlins/look.gif.
 

MizAvalon

Well-Known Member
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options said:


Healthy long hair is beautiful, but not every woman wants to be Rapunzel.

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I do. /images/graemlins/sekret.gif But I know exactly what you mean. My Mom had fairly long hair for as long as I could remember and about 2 yrs. ago, she up and cut it off into an almost-Halle. She's in her 50's now and wanted something different. Well, you couldn't pay that woman to go back to longer hair. I know some people don't think so, but it just reinforces my theory that longer hair is a lot more work to take care of than shorter hair. Some women just don't want to be bothered.
 

sassygirl125

Professional PJ
My mom was the same way. When she was growing up, she wasn't allowed to use chemicals or cut her hair. Within a week of leaving home for college she got a relaxer and a short hair cut. /images/graemlins/laugh.gif Her hair grew like weeds but she kept it short. Every few weeks, she would walk into any ol' barber shop and say, "Cut it!" /images/graemlins/ill.gif
 

aqualung

New Member
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Sridevi said:
I tend to believe what my eyes see. On a day to day basis I see multitudes of white women with hair bra-strap length and longer. I see black women with long hair infrequently enough that I tend to stare when I do see it because it seems unusual. Of the black women I have personally known the who had long hair most were of the type 3 natural variety. A couple were relaxed but I never knew their hair type. I have seen more bra-strap black women on LHCF in a few months than I have in my entire life.

Whether it is due to haircare or genetics, I don't know but on average black women seem to have shorter hair and the existence of this website would seem to confirm that observation.

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I agree with you. Very many of our FOTM are type 3s (or lower) due to the greater relative ease with which straighter hair retains length.

Black women with type 4 hair usually have to "know how" to retain their hair, else it'll probably end up overprocessed and damaged. (Thus the need for the LHCF.)

Very many type 1s could wash their hair with Dish Wish and never condition and still retain length fast. I personally know type 1s with waist length hair who only ever use the 99 cent bottle of shampoo and conditioner from the drug store.
 

itismehmmkay

Well-Known Member
I'm in the South and for some reason ppl over-process hair down here. I'm thinking that everyone is so old-school down here and stuck on "good" hair and straight hair that "acts right". It's like, if your hair has more than a slight wave, then we need to do whatever to get it straight, even if that means over-processing for 30+ minutes. Now, if you have coarse strands and survive the process, then you're lucky. But some of us have med-fin strands and get the same time...and are just stuck out if we go to salons. /images/graemlins/ohwell.gif
 

swannie

New Member
I am from NY and I agree with Webby that long haired black women are not oddities there. At the longest my hair was about 4-5 inches past my shoulders (4a/b hair) and that was not an eye turner in the predominately Caribbean neighborhood I lived in.

I would also venture to say that water does play a part in hair health. I don't mean to offend the folks from Philly but I cannot drink the water here and have had to resort to bottled water during the academic year. The water quality would help explain some of the deterioration of my hair health until recently.

PS. I am not sure what I would do without this site! The members here are full of useful (and free!) information. I have learned so much and am going to get my sister (3c) to register...
 
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