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Has The Thrill Of Long Hair Worn Off?

icsonia22

Well-Known Member
With the advent of melted lace wigs and just overall advancements in getting fake hair to look real, do you think that less people are interested in growing their hair long? I tend to see two camps of people. The first camp wears weaves and wigs all the time but have healthy MBL and beyond hair protected underneath. The second camp seems to have just given up on ever having long healthy hair and depend on wigs and weaves to get the inches that they want.
 

january noir

Sunny On a Cloudy Day
I don't think so. If anything, the embrace and appreciation of "natural" and less coiffed styles have led women to appreciate their hair at any length, just as long as it's healthy.

Let's face it. Some women, no matter what they do, find it difficult to retain long lengths unlike some others. It's too time-consuming and the search for growth aids and techniques can be draining. They may even try for years but eventually tire of it. Most of today's women (including me) don't have time for that!
 
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B_Phlyy

Pineapple Eating Unicorn
The thrill is still there but a lot of people are realizing just how much goes into it and some of the limitations of it. I definitely agree with the 2 camps you outlined. IRL, I see many people in camp 1 and they admit that they do it because the wigs can do things their hair can't even if the length is there. A high ponytail with highlights and curl sounds and looks good but it takes a lot of time, money, bleach and heat. Most won't sign their own hair up for that so they do it to the wig/weave.

There are probably a lot of super slow growers and hard to retain members of camp 2. However, there are likely even more who actually do want the intense styling, coloring, and heat and would rather spend the extra for the wigs than go without those steps.
 
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kxlot79

Kitchen Mixtress
I think for most Black women, a lot of the “thrill” for long hair was (on some level or at least initially) mostly about proving naysayers wrong. I can honestly say for myself, I was confident I could grow long hair if I wanted to/if I tried. But nobody I know irl, not even my own family, believed I could. For most of my life, my hair had never been longer than MBL. Typically, it was BSL because I was often negligent and haphazard in my care (so slightly damaged BSL was pretty easy for me). With effort and care, I could get it to a tapered V MBL. Once I started following hair boards, and being consistent and gentle in my care, WL came right on time, maybe even a little early. Since the first time I hit WL, I’ve chased different outcomes with my hair (WL WnGs, turning a V WL to a U WL, filling in my edges/nape, achieving 1 hr rollersets, finger detangling only etc etc).
I know my hair enough and have experimented with it enough to have a pretty solid handle on what works and what doesn’t. Mostly I’m satisfied with my outcomes and only occasionally I try to “build a better mousetrap” in some area of my hair care. WL is my lifestyle length and I’m satisfied with a 1hr weekly wash day on a typical week; low manipulation styling ~90% of the time; only using tools for “special occasion” styles.
So while I’m quite thrilled to still have and maintain long hair, new trends and styles and products don’t have the same allure because my routines are solid and effective. And now that there’s way more representation of long type 4 hair, I don’t feel the compulsion to “represent” dark women with long kinky hair. The first couple years of my journey, I would get a lot of compliments and attention for even my BSL healthy hair. When my hair was Ushaped healthy WL, few people would believe me when I would tell them it was neither weave nor any kind of extension. Trying to “prove” whatever I was trying to prove in the initial stages of my long hair journey was lowkey unnecessarily draining and stressful. Maybe all that drama added a little bit to the thrill though. Lol:spinning:
 

JJamiah

Well-Known Member
I was over long hair long time ago. After cutting my hair and shaving the sides and rocking that a few years, I am over that now too. I am back on the grow and can't wait to reach bra strap, I think I want it back waist length but I know for sure I don't want it tail bone any longer. Been there and done that. I don't have the patience for tailbone hair length anymore. I am happy to say I did it and now I want something more manageable but still a nice length.
 

Kiaray8

Active Member
I think with the wig industry growing & the diversifying in the natural hair community black women just generally have more choices. I do think it has opened up more black women to natural hair care and what they can do but there are still people out there with bad hair care practices etc so or self hate so length definitely wouldn’t be on the agenda. So I don’t think it’s 100% worn off I just think there are still a lot of black women out there who aren’t interested or aware about natural hair. & on the flip side those who have been natural for a long time may have had too many setbacks which put them off or rocking shorter hair but I’ve noticed more focus on healthy hair which is lovely to see. For me, I had a fade/low cut just under three years ago now and now I’m at BSL. The change for me this time round I’m learning more about healthier practices and enjoying my hair but the thrill definitely hasn’t worn off for me. I want length, I’ll keep growing and retaining until it’s becomes unmanageable.
 

Neomorph

Well-Known Member
For me the thrill of long hair wore off during my masters program. My hair ended up being a bit neglected during that time because of how busy I was and I got so annoyed on wash days (and I had not been annoyed with my hair at all during my natural hair journey until then). Now that I'm trying to go to medical school next year, I know that will be just as hectic if not more. While I'm confident I could grow my hair out to waist length, the amount of time and babying it would likely take is not something I want to do moving forward.

Quarantine has been a great time to reevaluate my hair care routine and simplify it so that it addresses the main challenges I have. Doing that will still lead to longer lengths (and I'll grow my hair out until it gets to a length that becomes too time consuming), but the focus is more on manageability rather than extreme growth/retention practices.
 

Saludable84

Better Late Than Ugly
I dont think it wore off. My thoughts are very simplified.

I think going natural allowed for more understanding on how to get longer hair. However, longer hair was about not doing much of anything (mostly) to your hair along with proper care. Now that we know how to get it long, we dont have to actually get it long or keep it long, but keep it healthy in ways related to length.

Now, we can focus on styles/styling and know that when the protective styles come out/off, we got real thick hair underneath and not looking like Myra when Gina messed up that perm.

IME, just knowing how to grow long, healthy hair (even if you dont have it or want it) will always be beneficial to maintaining healthy hair.
 

secretdiamond

Divorcee
For me the thrill of long hair wore off during my masters program. My hair ended up being a bit neglected during that time because of how busy I was and I got so annoyed on wash days (and I had not been annoyed with my hair at all during my natural hair journey until then). Now that I'm trying to go to medical school next year, I know that will be just as hectic if not more. While I'm confident I could grow my hair out to waist length, the amount of time and babying it would likely take is not something I want to do moving forward.

Quarantine has been a great time to reevaluate my hair care routine and simplify it so that it addresses the main challenges I have. Doing that will still lead to longer lengths (and I'll grow my hair out until it gets to a length that becomes too time consuming), but the focus is more on manageability rather than extreme growth/retention practices.
Don't be discouraged! On the contrary, med school was when I grew my hair out to WSL! Having time to only wash, condition, air dry and bun once a week, in between studying, allowed my hair to thrive. I wasn't worried about being cute, and the rare times I had to "let my hair down," I retained so much length and it was longer than before.
 

secretdiamond

Divorcee
I don't care about long hair anymore. When I was relaxed I did. Now that I'm natural, I barely wear my hair straight and shrinkage will keep my hair shoulder length regardless so I don't make a big deal about length anymore
I think that's exactly it. With more of us being natural, shrinkage takes the focus off long hair. We may gain inches, but rarely see the actual length, the way we did when relaxed. So, chasing length has become less of a thing now.
 
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BonBon

Well-Known Member
I managed to grow my hair but didn't enjoy it for one second because I was depressed and had health issues by the time it happened.

Eventually I got bald patches from stress and cut it all off. I was hurt for over a year and couldnt stand to pay attention to it.

Just started looking after it again 3 months ago and now I have edges again, good amount of growth and the bald patches are gone. I think im more bothered about health these days vs being quite preoccupied with length when I came to the forum.

My hair is fine strands and low-med density. I feel like a lot of wig wearers have lower density hair, so even when the hair is long underneath - if its not thick they feel not as fabulous wearing it. I try to avoid this by wearing lower density wigs/lighter braids etc... so the transition wont be weird.
 
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yamilee21

Well-Known Member
Do you all *really* think weaves and wigs are looking better these days? I feel as if they look more fake than ever... maybe it’s just the area I live in, but I feel as if people aren’t even trying to make the fake hair look real at all anymore. Around here, people are just plopping wigs on their heads any old way, same as they do hats. :lol: Forget about blending weave hair.

Personally, the thrill will never be gone for me, as my hair will never be long enough, thanks to shrinkage. Also, I seem to have undergone some kind of texture and porosity change that has made my hair much harder to straighten (thanks, perimenopause :rolleyes: ), so it is even harder to see the length now. But I do feel a bit sad when I see really little girls (toddlers, preschool) with added hair... it’s as if their hair is being given up on before anyone knows its potential.
 

WhoIAm

Well-Known Member
Do you all *really* think weaves and wigs are looking better these days? I feel as if they look more fake than ever... maybe it’s just the area I live in, but I feel as if people aren’t even trying to make the fake hair look real at all anymore. Around here, people are just plopping wigs on their heads any old way, same as they do hats. :lol: Forget about blending weave hair.

Personally, the thrill will never be gone for me, as my hair will never be long enough, thanks to shrinkage. Also, I seem to have undergone some kind of texture and porosity change that has made my hair much harder to straighten (thanks, perimenopause :rolleyes: ), so it is even harder to see the length now. But I do feel a bit sad when I see really little girls (toddlers, preschool) with added hair... it’s as if their hair is being given up on before anyone knows its potential.
Lightbulb moment! I am having the same issues. Thanks for mentioning this.
 

NICOLETHENUMBERONE

Well-Known Member
I've grown my hair to WL at least twice since 2006. Beginning points were SL, BSL and currently growing out a short Betty Boop wave/pincurl cut.
What have I learned: I absolutely prefer a length that is either a full BSL or a layered/full MBL or WSL. It seemed to be less work with longer hair but when your hair is short, you have to go to the shop more or put more work in it to make it presentable. You do use less hair products though so that's a plus.

If I want short hair I'd honestly just do super tiny cornrows and get a 27 piece or some cute lf. I dont want to have to wait 2-3 years to grow my hair back because I wanted a short style for 6 months.

Before 2006, I had long hair just never WL, only up to BSL and that was in elementary and part of middle school. So maybe since then the thrill has never worn off I guess...lol.
 
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AmethystLily

Cynic on the outside; Dreamer on the inside
I think at this point we have several groups basically:
1. The people starting new hair journeys and getting caught up in bandwagons and pj'ism.
2. The people who have gained experience and mastered their haircare regimen - and are over the trends.
3. The people who haven't quite figured out their hair yet, but are still tired of the trends and willing to try simpler routines and patience.
4. The people who continue to chase bandwagons and trends.
5. The people who (for various reasons) are over it ALL and either start over, stick to weaves/wigs, and/or choose to focus on other things.
Like someone else said upthread, since we have so much information about healthy hair care (including length retention) and product options out there, it's easier to focus on finding what works for you rather than trying to prove what's possible (to yourself or others).
Personally I haven't lost the want for long hair, but I've long since been over the trends and whatnot because I don't have the time, energy, or money for it and I've accepted that my hair likes simplicity and long-term PSing (braids) - minibraids got me over the Sl/APL plateau. Plus with all these scandals coming to light from these product companies, I'm sticking to the tried-and-true products I have or making my own when needed.
 

levette

Well-Known Member
I think at this point we have several groups basically:
1. The people starting new hair journeys and getting caught up in bandwagons and pj'ism.
2. The people who have gained experience and mastered their haircare regimen - and are over the trends.
3. The people who haven't quite figured out their hair yet, but are still tired of the trends and willing to try simpler routines and patience.
4. The people who continue to chase bandwagons and trends.
5. The people who (for various reasons) are over it ALL and either start over, stick to weaves/wigs, and/or choose to focus on other things.
Like someone else said upthread, since we have so much information about healthy hair care (including length retention) and product options out there, it's easier to focus on finding what works for you rather than trying to prove what's possible (to yourself or others).
Personally I haven't lost the want for long hair, but I've long since been over the trends and whatnot because I don't have the time, energy, or money for it and I've accepted that my hair likes simplicity and long-term PSing (braids) - minibraids got me over the Sl/APL plateau. Plus with all these scandals coming to light from these product companies, I'm sticking to the tried-and-true products I have or making my own when needed.
Love this post ❤
 

kxlot79

Kitchen Mixtress
My #1 tip would be: evaluate and discover possible causes of breakage.

Address each possibility simultaneously and monitor the area closely for about 4-6 weeks. Either continue to maintain the anti-breakage routine or slowly stop doing one thing at a time (about 1 per month) until you notice adverse effects. That’s the most methodical way I know of narrowing down exact causes of breakage on a case by case basis.

Common culprits: not wrapping with a scarf/wearing a bonnet (or using satin/silk pillowcase for bed); overuse of tension hairstyles (especially ponytails); not thoroughly rinsing shampoo from hairline (yes, really!); rough handling; harsh ingredients in products.

Common possible remedies (in order): protect hair for bed, reduce wearing tension hairstyles &/or reduce the tension used for hairstyles, thoroughly rinse all non-leave in product out, gentler &/or more infrequent handling; swapping out products with particularly drying ingredients (like denatured alcohol or sulfates in leave-in products).

And the better than nothing route: join a regular hair challenge. Doing so and being at least somewhat serious about it tends to make ladies more mindful of their hair practices and choices, which in itself can passively resolve many issues. (iE: daily scalp massages with essential oils, gentler handling, scheduled cleansing & DCing etc)

HTH!:2inlove:

@kxlot79

Any tips on growing your edges? Please share I think I have more breakage than I ever remember having.
Thanks!
 

Chicoro

From Shea Butter Hater to Shea Butter Caker!
The thrill is there for me, now. After an over trim and 10 to 12 inches lost in 2012, it took me until August 2020 to get back close to the length I had before the over-trimming incident.

The breadth and depth of my understanding about growing afro textured hair has increased tremendously. I thought I knew all that I needed to know. I was painfully wrong. The reason I say this is because between 2012 to 2020 I had to revamp my entire process and change my ways and develop new understanding. What I did before wasn't working. The length loss and subsequent gaining it back situation, was a blessing in disguise. I have learned so much more about afro textured hair in the last eight (8) years.
 
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