Could ‘Volume Checks’ Be the New ‘Length Checks’?

volumecheck

Is natural hair blogger IgboCurls on to something?

She recently posted three side-by-side photos of her hair over the course of two and a half years, but instead of highlighting the length she referenced the volume.

“I love #lengthchecks but I’m obsessed with #volume #naturalhair #progress #healthyhair #naturalvolume #igbocurls”

I love #lengthchecks but I'm obsessed with #volume #naturalhair #progress #healthyhair #naturalvolume #igbocurls

A post shared by Chínwé Jûliét (NaturalHair) (@igbocurls) on

We are loving this and it makes so much sense. Although length can be an indicator of hair progress, volume might be more accurate for many hair types since curls and coils grow out instead of straight down. And if you consider how shrinkage obscures the length of natural hair while contributing to fullness, it makes even more sense.

What are your thoughts ladies? Do you think volume checks make more sense than length checks? Why or why not?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, 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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21 thoughts on “Could ‘Volume Checks’ Be the New ‘Length Checks’?

  1. I certainly can tell my hair grows by measuring its volume. My hair has major shrinkage and it’s hard trying to accurately measure using tape. There’s no guessing in volume. My hair grows up and out, too. I can see the growth without all the guess work.

  2. With volume some people don’t have hair as dense or strands as thick as some so some people might not get volume like in that picture . Though I thinks good people shouldn’t worry is their hair doesn’t have that much volume

  3. I think they do make more sense because if you rarely or never wear your hair straight length is not really noticeable, but your hair will noticeably get bigger as it grows.

  4. Yes. Yes. Yes. After having dreadlocks for 15 years and cutting my hair to start a new unmodified with 1/2 an inches, I have come to realize that I can’t look at length the say way because of my gorgeous coils, but rather body and fullness is my indicator of growth and health. I want BIG hair because that is exactly with my hair is in it’s absolute natural state. So I am totally game for volume checks. Bring it!

  5. Just as we have redefined the methodology, so must we also redefine the vocabulary we use for Afro-textured hair. I think this is a great little step towards establishing the value of this hair texture independently of any other hair texture.

    • Interesting perspective. Instead of judging growth by length standards that require stretching or straightening, we can exploit a voluminous texture and judge it by that characteristic instead. That might help naturals strive for healthier, fuller hair instead of hair thinned by manipulation that happens to be long.

      • Well said!! My daughter’s long type 4 hair has an insane amount of shrinkage and while she loves her big fluffy hair she also desires for her true length to show at times. Especially with classmates who are very curious about her hair and how it would look straightened. I will definitely share this perspective with her. Great discussion.

  6. Very good discussion and article. Very positive feedback overall HOWEVER, I share in @lolaaikins:disqus comment on density of hair overall and of individual strands. I have coily hair but also fine strands and medium density. I have definately seen my hair appear thicker as it has been growing but “volume checks” would be discouraging if I looked to that as a major indicator of health. I ensure there are no split ends, it isn’t dry, my scalp is looked after, etc. Those are my hair health checks.

  7. I love this. I never thought to take pictures. I have always known my hair grows out first then down from the sheer volume of my hair. Trademark lady trademark!

  8. I like big fros and I cannot lie. You other naturals can’t deny. lol
    The Lord knew what He was doing by giving me tight curls instead of loose or straight hair. They have to work so hard to get volume.

  9. Good idea!! If you hardly wear your hair straight it makes more sense for volume checks. I love that our hair has volume and definitely another way to show progress!! but as stated previously if your hair doesn’t have volume don’t let that get you down. Regular length checks are just as good

  10. that’s my new mantra – think BIG not long! since i don’t plan to straighten my hair ever again it works for me!

  11. Lola B.
    I mentioned this matter the other day… I was saying how my hair seems to be getting thicker rather than growing. I’ve been natural for 4 years now and was a little worried as to why it seemed that my hair wasn’t growing! So, now it all make sense and IT’S OKAY! LOL!

  12. I’m totally with her on the volume train. I’ve been trying to achieve more volume with my styles because my hair is kinky coily and the only way I’ve found to do that is by styling with my leave-in & sealing with oil, ALONE. Otherwise, any styling creams, butters, or gels, give me great definition, but no volume…*sIgh* natural hair woes.

  13. Why do things have to be one or the other? Volume check or length check they both track the progression of a healthy hair journey.

  14. Personally my hair just never “measured up” to the length checks and now volume checks. Comparing my very kinky thin hair to some of these gorgeous heads made me feel that after 4 years I had achieved zilch so I relaxed my hair????

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