Jessica brings today’s question of the day;

I went natural back in 2006, and kinda had fun with my hair the first few years of being natural. Earlier this year I became really focused on retaining length and started applying some protective techniques. I quickly learned that in order for me to retain maximum length I need to keep my hair in protective styles for at least two weeks at a time, and that my ends need to be tucked during this time. As you can imagine this limits my styling options tremendously. And, while I know I’ll probably have a lot of fun with my hair once it’s long, I was having fun with it when it was short, too. It’s like, I know that kinky hair can grow long, and that 4b&c-textured naturals (like myself) can have long hair. But the reality is that, for many of us, it’s a far more intensive and challenging process than for looser textures. And it just makes me wonder, is growing out kinky hair worth all the effort? Though I’d love to hear from everyone, I’d particularly love to hear from kinky-haired women who have actually grown their hair out. Was it worth it?

Wow. I’m looking forward to the responses on this one! What say you, ladies?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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155 Comments on "Is Growing Out Kinky Hair Worth the Effort?"

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Monique, Sofull Sista

I would suggest asking yourself what you enjoy most:
Having long hair, but being restricted to protective styling? OR
Having short to medium-length hair with free-range for styling?

I realized I prefer the latter…I plan on getting a styled cut very soon! I’m 4b, hair is collarbone length…

The Natural Haven

Protective styling hugely appeals to me and my general hair laziness.

Protective styling can be cute too, you just have to be creative.

http://thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com/2011/07/can-twistbraid-protective-style-be.html

T.
“Protective styling hugely appeals to me and my general hair laziness.” That’s basically my story too. My only length-related desire was for my hair to be long enough for me to be able to put my twists up in a high bun, because that makes it even *more* low maintenance, which is basically what I’m after. Having achieved that, I don’t have any other length goals. That being said, I do enjoy seeing growth because it makes me feel that after nearly 20 years of being natural, I’ve finally started to take proper care of my hair. But growing longer… Read more »
Byoteenapp
Lol! We must be triplets. I put a protective style in, slap a wig on and keep it moving. I love the versatility of wigs while protecting my own 4b/c hair and have been able to grow it between my shoulder blades. Like Lela7 it grows out in layers with the front being much shorter than the back, but whatever. After years of BC’ing whenever the mood hit, I’ve recently jumped on the growth bandwagon. My personal challenge is to keep protective styles in until my b-day next June, when I will have my first blowout in, oh,…12 years. Then… Read more »
Lela7
I’m similar to you. My hair never really grew beyond neck length when I was younger for a number of reasons, e.g. used to comb it every day with a fine tooth comb, only used blue magic etc….. But now, its amazing. I’ve been protective styling for around 2 years (wearing wigs etc) and the growth is amazing! No one in my family can believe that my hair is actually coming onto my back. Unfortunately my hair tends to grow in layers, but all over its the longest I’ve ever had it. My aim as a natural was to retain… Read more »
AfroKisses
I wasn’t particularly fond of protective styles when my hair was shorter. But for me personally it’s worth it now. However, I like the way I look in protective styles and I don’t know that it would be worth it to wear them if I didn’t like the way I looked because I also think I look good with short hair. If I’m honest I might look a little better with short(to practically no)hair. But I got tired of always making sure my head looked nice…not my hair…my head…I’m trying to see how long it will grow now and I’m… Read more »
boho.barbie

I don’t understand why people think the idea of type 4 ladies with long hair is so far fetched. I have type 4 (i think A,B,&C) hair and with the exception of my BC last Feb., I’ve always had BSL hair (natural or relaxed), and it’s on it’s growing back in no time. It’s not uncommon for me to see and not unrealistic.

Anne

I stand to be corrected but I don’t think she asked whether it was unrealistic or far fetched….

SomeLIHBooks

This is a very well placed question. I was just finishing up my twist out for the week and I started to wonder if the grow out I was doing is worth it. I have aspirations of mid back length and if I can handle it, waist length hair, and like the others above, I’m doing it my way and because I can. Would straight hair be easier to manage, yes, but I love my kinks and coils and the fact that I can have every style makes it worthwhile to me.

MJ
Hmm..this is a very interesting question. Right now I’m a new natural (just cut off the rest of the relaxed ends a few weeks ago!) and I’ve never had my hair this short. I’m enjoying it while it grows out and probably when it grows longer, I may cut it short again! I think it really all depends on where you are mentally in your journey and what your goals are. If you really want to grow it long, realize that you have to do a whole lot of protective styling. If you just want to enjoy your hair the… Read more »
b.
Longer hair is fun. I have the hair pattern you mention. I’ve never been really obsessed with long hair, but I’m giving it a go just for the heck of it. (And my hair was never very long ’til now.) I’m growing it…at MY pace. Sure, I could retain more and have it grow longer quicker. However, having it grow as long as possible as quickly as possible isn’t my personal goal. Healthy, beautiful hair is my goal…hair I can enjoy at any length. So, is it worth it? Yes, if you do it the way YOU want. The tips… Read more »
Cam

” The tips from others are great, but the motivation and method must be personal.” +1 couldn’t agree more

ElectricFeel

I think everyone’s journey will be different.
So there won’t be a right answer, feel me.
I think YOU need to do what’s right for you, I’m thinking
you might feel pressured to have long hair. It should not be that
way.

And if you do decide to go through with the “long hair path” remember to:“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

Indhirap

Ops! like Lisa said… is worth if that´s what you really want! I’m lucky my genetics let me grow hair fast ( i mean an inch a month or so) but I’m lazy!!! and i get tired styling my hair… My hair is to shoulder blade lenght I’m considering cuting it! O.O

The Notorious ZAG

same thing here… i cut mine last november because i had grown tired of it long. chopped it all off to about 2-3″ long. now, its back to where it was (shoulder blade) and i’m thinking about cutting it again -__-

Lisa

It’s worth it if that’s what you really want. Me, not so much. I am on the journey of growing my hair long without having to submit to protective styling because I’m not a fan of it FOR ME. I got 4 good inches of growth in a year (even after cutting my hair 1.5″) without protective styling. I’ll continue on this path. I might not see huge growth like others but over time, I’ll see it. And I’m a 4B gal.

Adrian

So girlfriend, tell me what your doing??? I just cant stand twisting my hair for hours at a time. I mean I really love it for the first three days and then…I don’t

LJ
Sorry if this is going to be a long response: For me it’s worth the effort because I am having fun. For the first time in my life I am confident that I can “style” my own hair, and that it looks neat and presentable. I am also confident that it is healthy and it is growing. that was never the case for me when I was relaxed or natural growing up (we went back and forth). My natural hair was dry, unmanageable, really kinky and unkempt. the barber hated me because my hair broke his machines – that’s how… Read more »
FaithPeach

Amazing story hun; so many kinky haired naturals need to know this. You’ve inspired me to keep going with my own growth. :o)

Jane

Wonderful story.

Yay to making things happen for you.

Shelli

What a great response! I’m not someone with tightly curly hair. But, I think the thing that you said here there is so relevant in regard to the question is that you enjoy what you need to do to retain length. I have come to LOVE protective updos/styles, so it’s not taking the fun out of natural hair. However, if you like to wear your hair loose and protective styling is not enjoyable, then it’s probably not worth it to that person. So, as always, you have to do you=)!

JJ

10/10 response

Bitty Boss

Damn girl! This IS my story too! +++++1

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