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View Full Version : Getting back in the game, but hair will NOT grow past hips! (Trying for 1+ years)



supbanana
September 29th, 2013, 03:24 PM
Hi all, I used to be really active here in early 2012ish, but then life happened and long story short, I need a little help getting back on track.

So my hair hit 'crack length' in March of 2012, around the same time I lost a bunch of weight in a short time span. A lot of my hair fell out and the rest stopped growing until around November '12 (I know, I was measuring). At that point the ends were a little frayed so I cut off two inches. Within two months the hair shot back to that exact crack-length spot and then, again, stopped growing. In July I cut off a little more than an inch, thinking maybe my hair was terminal or something, but no, it shot back to crack length rapidly and is now still just sitting there, again. My hair is still capable of growing, it just doesn't seem to want to get past that point and it's driving me nuts.

Current hair care:

Washing every 3-4 days with Organix teatree mint shampoo/co. Thinking about going back to CO at some point because dandruff has become an issue since major surgery in August.
Heavy oiling w/ coconut oil once a week or so. Thinking about adding rosemary oil to deal with above mentioned dandruff.
Search and destroy - still having some set backs from the period last year where I stopped caring about the hair. It's better than it was, but there are still some sneaky, deep splits that are causing problems.
Benign neglect. My hair is bunned (Nautical/lazy wrap) 95% of my waking hours, and braided at night. So it's not like the ends are brushing against my butt or anything.


I'm at a complete loss. Thoughts? Advice? Also, hey! I've missed this forum and all of you awesome people. :)

Here is a current picture of my hair at the length that it's decided it can't live without:
http://i.imgur.com/aeclCzsl.jpg

Panth
September 29th, 2013, 03:42 PM
Hmm... I was going to say it's rubbing off and to wear it up as I had exactly that same problem (several year hair stall at about TBL) which was instantly solved by daily bunning. However, you say you daily bun already, so I'm stumped. It's definitely not terminal as it doesn't look like you even have real fairytale ends and you get those long before you get terminal (as not all of your hairs are at their longest possible length at any one time, plus not all of your hairs have exactly the same terminal length).

My only guess is that if you lost a lot of weight in March 2012 that (as you said) stressed your body and caused a shed. You say you had major surgery in August. That too will have stressed your body and is likely to cause either a shed or literally to slow/stall your GROWTH (as opposed to rate of length gain). At a guess, have you had poor health up until your surgery? That would cause sheds or slowed/stalled growth too.

supbanana
September 29th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Hmm... I was going to say it's rubbing off and to wear it up as I had exactly that same problem (several year hair stall at about TBL) which was instantly solved by daily bunning. However, you say you daily bun already, so I'm stumped. It's definitely not terminal as it doesn't look like you even have real fairytale ends and you get those long before you get terminal (as not all of your hairs are at their longest possible length at any one time, plus not all of your hairs have exactly the same terminal length).

My only guess is that if you lost a lot of weight in March 2012 that (as you said) stressed your body and caused a shed. You say you had major surgery in August. That too will have stressed your body and is likely to cause either a shed or literally to slow/stall your GROWTH (as opposed to rate of length gain). At a guess, have you had poor health up until your surgery? That would cause sheds or slowed/stalled growth too.

I'm stumped as well! That's why I've put off posting here for so long, I figured bunning or dusting or cutting off inches would inspire some kind of growth, but nada.

Yep, the weight loss sparked the shed + stalled growth. The surgery that I had was a form of weight loss surgery - leading up to the surgery I was perfectly healthy. I can't think of any physical reason during the December '12 - August '13 period that my hair wouldn't grow past that point. I was on a low-carb diet during that period (hence the weight loss), maybe that could stall growth (even though the rest of my health and body dramatically improved?)? But then why would the cut inches have been regrown so rapidly? :shrug:

I'm anticipating another serious shed/growth stall following this surgery. It hasn't started yet but it usually takes a couple of months or so to kick in. I'm not happy about it, but I'm going to use that time period to baby the hair and hopefully once I'm through the post-surgery freak out, my hair will start growing again. It's just the most bizarre thing. Prior to March '12 my hair was growing a solid .5"-1" per month. After that, ??? I'm lost and kind of annoyed. My dream of classic hair is slowly fading.

Jenny31557
September 29th, 2013, 04:03 PM
How is your diet? Is there anything you can improve there? And exercise? But other than that I don't know. Although I will say that that is a beautiful length on you but I hope you can grow it as long as you want! :)

spidermom
September 29th, 2013, 04:05 PM
It is possible that your hair has reached the length where the majority of your hairs reach the end of their growth cycles. How long each hair will grow varies a lot even on the same head. Some hairs grow only a few months, then shed out. Some might grow 3 years, others 6 years. But there's a limit for every hair. That limit determines how long your hair can grow.

Length of growth cycle x growth rate = the length beyond which your hair won't grow.

Panth
September 29th, 2013, 04:29 PM
I'm stumped as well! That's why I've put off posting here for so long, I figured bunning or dusting or cutting off inches would inspire some kind of growth, but nada.

Yep, the weight loss sparked the shed + stalled growth. The surgery that I had was a form of weight loss surgery - leading up to the surgery I was perfectly healthy. I can't think of any physical reason during the December '12 - August '13 period that my hair wouldn't grow past that point. I was on a low-carb diet during that period (hence the weight loss), maybe that could stall growth (even though the rest of my health and body dramatically improved?)? But then why would the cut inches have been regrown so rapidly? :shrug:

I'm anticipating another serious shed/growth stall following this surgery. It hasn't started yet but it usually takes a couple of months or so to kick in. I'm not happy about it, but I'm going to use that time period to baby the hair and hopefully once I'm through the post-surgery freak out, my hair will start growing again. It's just the most bizarre thing. Prior to March '12 my hair was growing a solid .5"-1" per month. After that, ??? I'm lost and kind of annoyed. My dream of classic hair is slowly fading.

Yup, a low carb diet (or, in fact, any sort of restrictive diet and/or fairly rapid weight loss) is quite likely to cause a shed and/or a slowed/stalled growth rate. This is even if you are going from overweight to normal weight. Basically, anything that stresses the body has the potential to cause this (e.g. mental stress, depression, anxiety ... but also physical, e.g. weight loss, surgery, vitamin deficiencies, low carb/low protein/low fat diets, any weird diet really, illness (even as little as proper week-long knock-you-for-six flu) - lots of things!).

I wouldn't throw away your dream of classic length hair. It is more than possible - it just might not happen quite as quickly as you had hoped. Hang in there and you WILL make it - there is absolutely nothing in how your hair looks that even hints of terminal (no fairytale ends at all) so this is just a temporary set-back.

Sheds are VERY annoying - I'm currently about 2" from knee and have been just sitting there for months and months due to several big sheds. However, remove the stress stimulus and sheds almost always stop and the hair grows back fine. It's just that on a long haired person it can be quite a considerable time before that new growing in hair gets anywhere near the hemline.

I also agree with Spidermom. It could be that your longest hairs have all reached terminal. This can happen sometimes - i.e. all the long ones are near the end of their growth phase (though the length they are at is not their terminal LENGTH, just their terminal growing time - they've lost length either due to damage or trimming (even years ago) so that they are not at utter maximum, terminal length). Then, it just so happens that randomly they all shed out nearly at once. Bam, no apparent growth (for a while, until the rest of the hair catches up to where the longest ones used to be), through no fault of your own as it's pretty much just coincidence.

Saldana
September 29th, 2013, 04:35 PM
It may be possible that you've reached your terminal length. I have a friend with lovely 2c/M/ii hair - completely virgin, no heat, no color, nothing - and it has been BSL for years. She never cuts it, and it never gets any longer.

Panth
September 29th, 2013, 04:39 PM
It may be possible that you've reached your terminal length. I have a friend with lovely 2c/M/ii hair - completely virgin, no heat, no color, nothing - and it has been BSL for years. She never cuts it, and it never gets any longer.

Not with that hemline!

(Also - have you suggested to your friend that she try updos? BSL is terrible for wearing away hair, as the ends are at just the right height to rub on to backs of chairs terribly. Lots of people find their growth stalls or slows at BSL.)

supbanana
September 29th, 2013, 04:44 PM
How is your diet? Is there anything you can improve there? And exercise? But other than that I don't know. Although I will say that that is a beautiful length on you but I hope you can grow it as long as you want! :)

First of all, thank you! I am happy with this length, and it wouldn't be a huge loss if it doesn't grow further, but it would be nice to get it a little longer just so I can do some hairstyles I've been dying to try. Lets see, diet could not have been improved over the last year of non-growth. Virtually no processed foods, loads of veggies, health was spot-on perfect (confirmed by blood work, physical appearance, energy levels, etc.). Exercise is a lot of cardio/walking around on hilly terrain. Nothing too strenuous but moderately active.


It is possible that your hair has reached the length where the majority of your hairs reach the end of their growth cycles. How long each hair will grow varies a lot even on the same head. Some hairs grow only a few months, then shed out. Some might grow 3 years, others 6 years. But there's a limit for every hair. That limit determines how long your hair can grow.

Length of growth cycle x growth rate = the length beyond which your hair won't grow.

That's what I was thinking, but the rate of growth after I trimmed the ends had me stumped because if the hairs were at the end of the growth cycle, I imagine they wouldn't have sprouted 2" in 2 months and then just stopped dead again at that particular spot. At this point, that's my best guess though.

spidermom
September 29th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Not with that hemline!

(Also - have you suggested to your friend that she try updos? BSL is terrible for wearing away hair, as the ends are at just the right height to rub on to backs of chairs terribly. Lots of people find their growth stalls or slows at BSL.)

Yes, with that hemline. Not everybody has hairs that grow in such different cycles that it fairy tales. I had a friend whose hair never grew longer than APL or BSL (somewhere in-between). The ends were nice and thick, and she took good care of it, but it wouldn't get longer. She did not cut it, it was thick American Indian hair that she wore braided a lot, and I do not believe it was breaking off so bad that it never got longer because of breakage. Her hairs just didn't have very long growth cycles. That is what I believe.

supbanana
September 29th, 2013, 04:49 PM
Yup, a low carb diet (or, in fact, any sort of restrictive diet and/or fairly rapid weight loss) is quite likely to cause a shed and/or a slowed/stalled growth rate. This is even if you are going from overweight to normal weight. Basically, anything that stresses the body has the potential to cause this (e.g. mental stress, depression, anxiety ... but also physical, e.g. weight loss, surgery, vitamin deficiencies, low carb/low protein/low fat diets, any weird diet really, illness (even as little as proper week-long knock-you-for-six flu) - lots of things!).

I wouldn't throw away your dream of classic length hair. It is more than possible - it just might not happen quite as quickly as you had hoped. Hang in there and you WILL make it - there is absolutely nothing in how your hair looks that even hints of terminal (no fairytale ends at all) so this is just a temporary set-back.


Thank you Panth! You're right, the combo of very low-carb plus stress (I've been under a great deal of stress over the past year and a half) is a very likely culprit.

I think for now I'll just keep up with the hair care and see what happens. I'm looking forward to being more active here again. Checking the forums used to be one of the high points of my day.

supbanana
September 29th, 2013, 04:51 PM
Yes, with that hemline. Not everybody has hairs that grow in such different cycles that it fairy tales. I had a friend whose hair never grew longer than APL or BSL (somewhere in-between). The ends were nice and thick, and she took good care of it, but it wouldn't get longer. She did not cut it, it was thick American Indian hair that she wore braided a lot, and I do not believe it was breaking off so bad that it never got longer because of breakage. Her hairs just didn't have very long growth cycles. That is what I believe.

That's fascinating. I think I've associated terminal length with thinner/fairytale ends as well, though it makes sense that trimming back at a blunter hemline (as in my case, not necessarily your friends) would leave thicker ends and still the terminal length.


Also, I love your sig pic! The python is gorgeous. :)

spidermom
September 29th, 2013, 04:53 PM
I agree, Buster is most beautiful! He's pretty docile, too; easy to handle.

Cherry*Tree
September 29th, 2013, 05:38 PM
I have no idea.

Cherry*Tree
September 29th, 2013, 05:39 PM
Ahem. Probably shouldn't have posted anything.

Crumpet
September 29th, 2013, 05:52 PM
I agree with the others that you should give it some time and see what happens. It sounds like you are doing everything right, but that changes and stress got in the way of growth.

On the other hand congratulations on losing weight and maintaining a very healthy lifestyle, especially during a period that sounds stressful!! Give yourself some serious credit and love for that. Your hair may well catch up with the rest of your awesomeness soon.

Firefox7275
September 29th, 2013, 06:41 PM
My vote is for the low carbohydrate diet and the surgery: it's very difficult to make truly low carb balanced nutritionally, veggies are far from complete they are decent for *some* vitamins, *some* minerals and antioxidants only. Yes your body will shrink because you are giving it less calories than it needs on a daily basis, yes certain health conditions may improve if you had excess bodyfat because bodyfat is active tissue, it negatively impacts a raft of hormones. On the flip side rapid weight loss can put the body into a state of stress. Hopefully you have been under the supervision of a registered dietician, it would be worth consulting them about the current issue.