Lifestyle Magazine

Why I Don’t Really Care How Long My Hair Is

By Savvybrown @savvybrownblog

This is going to sound like blasphemy to many in the natural hair community, but I really don’t care how long my hair is. Seriously. I’ve been natural since before the web was invented and I can honestly tell you, I really don’t care.Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against ladies who track their hair’s progress by checking their locks’ length now and again. I also don’t have anything against long hair. I definitely think that natural hair needs special attention, but so does the rest of my body and being that my hair grows from my body, I don’t think about one without the other. I think that’s why I’m not worried about whether or not I have BSL (bra strap length) hair or a TWA (teeny weeny afro).

For the record, I’ve had both.

It bothers me how important hair length is to some women. I’ve definitely gotten the confused puppy look more than once when I’ve mentioned that I’ve been natural for 20+ years, as if I should have a gigantic afro or Rapunzel inspired lengths. It never seems to occur to people that in all that time I might have gotten a haircut on purpose. The thing that really gets to me is how many naturally curly girls are more concerned with the length of their hair as opposed to the health of their hair. I feel bad for the newly natural BCs (big choppers) who scour the web salivating over pictures of women with long strands, commenting that they can’t wait until they “see results” from their natural transition decision.  I’ve even spoken to women who know they desperately need a trim because of breakage, split ends, or a bad reaction to a product or color, but refuse because they “don’t want to lose any length”.

You do realize that hair sheds right?

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Naturally, the human body sheds about 50-100 hairs a day. If you’re shedding more than that then it’s possible that you are physically ill, (like coming down with a cold or having an allergic reaction), or are using a product that you hair does not agree with. (You might be sensitive to protein, glycerin or maybe one of the myriad of chemical additives that companies put into products). Also, if you have a lot of different products in your hair, (especially oil based ones) your hair may shed more simply because your scalp can’t breathe and it’s tossing out hair from your clogged follicles like so much jetsam.

The other thing people seem to lose sight of is that healthy hair not only sheds regularly but it grows back. So if you have bald spots, or portions of your hair that are thinning, it may be a sign of a thyroid or autoimmune disease. And let’s not forget medication. There are entire websites dedicated to what to do if you start losing hair due to the side effects of taking certain meds. So to all of you out there who obssessivley check for ssk (single strand knots) and split ends, I’ve got news for you…

You’re looking at the wrong end.

Your scalp is just as important if not moreso than your ends because it’s what your hair grows out of. Damaged ends can be trimmed, but a damaged scalp? Now that’s MUCH harder to diagnose and solve. Also, your scalp is made of skin, and your skin is the largest organ on your body. So if you don’t drink any water and just drink soda filled with high fructose corn syrup and caffeine all day, your skin can get dehydrated. Your feet, elbows and knees get dry and ashy and you will probably suffer from dandruff, dry scalp and yes, dry, brittle hair that is growing so slowly and breaking off so quickly it might as well be standing still.

Once again, I don’t think there is anything wrong with women with long hair, or checking your hair growth’s process. However to me, what’s more important is my ability to grow new hair while I’m keeping the locks that I have happy and healthy and if that means a bit of a haircut every now and then? So be it.

• How important is length to you on your natural hair journey?

image credit:keeweeboy / 123RF Stock Photo
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