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Moonfall
February 3rd, 2016, 04:06 AM
Good morning everyone :)

I have been growing my hair and dreaming of a thick, one length hemline as long as possible ever since I was a little girl, but never have been able to get much past BSL. When I was younger, I used to get my hair trimmed at a salon every few months. I hated it as it would always get me back to BSL, so about three years ago, I decided not to visit any salons anymore. I let my partner trim it instead. She is always very careful about not getting off too much, and yet, I'm still only a little bit past BSL. Every time I seem to get past it, the ends become very thin. I S&D to make sure the splits aren't too bad, but of course that doesn't make my hemline any thinner. When I take a close look at the individual hairs, I can see they are often thinner at the ends than above.

I treat my hair very carefully. I have never dyed it and have used conditioners, serums and oils since I was little. When I was 14, I used to straighten it once a week, but I stopped doing that after a year or so. I am now 22 so I guess the damage of that time must have gone by now.

I'm sorry for the rambling, but I just wanted to show I try very hard to take good care of my hair, and yet it doesn't seem to grow much past BSL. Could this damned BSL be my terminal length? I don't really know anything about terminal length - does it even exist? Can it occur at every point of hair length? And can anything be done to change it?

Sarahlabyrinth
February 3rd, 2016, 04:22 AM
Do you wear your hair up or loose? Wearing your hair loose can cause damage and have it break off at BSL from rubbing on chair backs, clothes, being caught on purse straps, seat belts, blowing and tangling in the wind, you get the idea. Many folks who wear their hair loose at BSL find it won't grow longer until they start wearing it up in protective styles.

ETA: It would be most unlikely that BSL would be your terminal length. It is usually much longer for most folks.

Moonfall
February 3rd, 2016, 04:31 AM
Hi Sarah, thanks for your quick reply! Wow, I think I remember your username and the picture you used to have with it, your hair seems to have grown a lot! :blossom:
I don't often wear my hair up but I do wear a braid most of the days. However, I can imagine this also leaves the hair vulnerable, especially at the ends... I often feel rather insecure wearing a bun, but I will look up some nice updos to see if there's anything that looks okay on me :)

Sarahlabyrinth
February 3rd, 2016, 04:38 AM
A braid might prevent your hair blowing around and tangling but as you say does still leave the ends exposed and also the braid is still rubbing on furniture and your clothes. There are so many lovely updos to learn, I'm sure you will find some lovely ones to suit you. Then you will be able to start collecting hair toys. Not that I'm trying to tempt you or anything :p Also, wearing a silk/satin sleep cap at night or using a satin pillowcase are also very good for your hair. Anything you can do to protect your hair from damage and breaking off will help.

Moonfall
February 3rd, 2016, 04:47 AM
Thank you so much! If I could get my hair to be as long and healthy as yours, I would be so happy! :D

Elbereth
February 3rd, 2016, 04:57 AM
Agree with Sarahlabyrinth.

BSL is extremely rare for terminal length, so I too believe that something else is causing your hair to become fragile at that point. Your haircare routine sounds good and gentle, but you don't tell how your wear your hair. That could be the crucial thing. Wearing hair down (which includes any styles where hair can move freely like ponytails and half-up styles) stresses the hair a lot, so most people with really long hair wear their hair up most of the time. Also, if you sleep with your hair loose, that is a source of tangling and lots of friction. Braiding your hair for night is a good habit. If you want to really maximize your hairs' wellbeing during the night, you could try using a silk pillowcase. If your default style is an updo and you braid your hair for night, there could be some health/lifestyle issues. For many people, certain supplements boost hair growth...but, naturally this doesn't help if you wear your hair in a way that causes mechanical damage.

Also, you mentioned that you have stopped straightening your hair. That is very good, but how about blow drying? All heat tools are problematic, so it's good to to arrange your washing schedule so that your hair can air dry. This being said, freezing cold winter temperatures are very damaging to damp or wet hair, so if you need to go out before your hair is fully dry, it should be well protected.

About terminal length in general: Most people have terminal length that is determined by life cycle of the hair. An individual hair has a growth period and a rest period and finally it falls off. So people with thick, fast-growing hair typically have longer terminal lengths (and a few LHC'rs don't seem to have a terminal length at all). In these days, many common haircare habits are actually quite damanging, and because of that their hair breaks off well before it has reached terminal length. Basically, the challenge is that the longer the hair gets, the older and more fragile the ends are!

My hair is fine, and I believe I am at or very near terminal length at tailbone length, which is still considered a very long length by most.

Cheyne
February 3rd, 2016, 07:22 AM
Your routine sounds good, and I agree with PP's who advise you to put your hair up. There are many YouTube videos on updos from simple to complicated.

One thing I would suggest is to stop all trimming for six months. Take a well-lit photo of your hair down now and after the sixth month and compare photos. If you start wearing your hair up everyday, braid at night and lay off the trims you will give yourself a chance to see if you are at terminal or not. If your ends get shaggy you can always trim after the trial period.

Good Luck and happy growing!

CoveredByLove
February 3rd, 2016, 07:31 AM
I knew a woman once that wanted to grow her hair badly. She stopped trimming it for a long time and it would never reach past about APL. Her hair is fine and she treated it nicely (I think) for the most part. It wasn't until she started trimming it occasionally that it started to gain length! It's now to her hips. It had stayed at APL for years. Some folks need to trim in order to grow. I'm not sure why that is, to be honest, but I know it works for some people. Maybe check out the Microtrimming thread. ;) http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=75468 "Dusting" your ends on a routine basis might be the trick to get her your hair past a stalling point.
I hope you find something soon that works for you! Never give up! :blossom:

bunneh.
February 3rd, 2016, 07:42 AM
Some people's hair is more fragile than others so they need to take more measures in order for hair not to break at the ends. I'd also suggest you wear updos most of the time, it's hard to get used to it but it's worth it. Also try covering your hair with a silk scarf when you sleep at night or cover your pillow with a silk scarf or use silk or satin pillowcase as that reduces the friction a lot and reduces hair breakage. Wearing hair in a braid often, tieing it off at the same spot over and over again also damages the ends so make sure you tie off your braids at different length each time with ribbons or scrunchies or hairties without metal pieces attaching them together. This should help you a lot as well as not trimming unless it's absolutely necessary.

As for terminal length, logically speaking it should exist but it varies a lot from person to person. Hair grows for a certain amount of time before it falls out and a new hair replaces the lost one. How long it's in a growing period varies from person to person and hair to hair (you can notice some of your hairs being shorter when they fall out compared to the others which are longer, but do not confuse this with breakage). Average time in years that your hair grows multiplied by the average annual growth you get should give you an idea of what your terminal length might be. But that's hard to estimate because like I said hair cycles vary a lot, some hairs only grow for a couple or few years others can grow for decades.

Arctic
February 3rd, 2016, 07:54 AM
I agree what others have said here that it doesn't seem to be common to have terminal at BSL, at least when using longhair forum membership base as a "sample". Although it might be that the people who have short terminal rarely even find their way here, so I wouldn't take that as given.

It is however common to have what we call "false terminal" at around BSL-ish, because that's a length where hair really starts rubbing against things and the accumulated mechanical (and possible other) damage starts to have its toll. Following basic LHC-type styling, hair care and treatment practices is usually the boost needed to get over the false terminal.

That being said, we do have some members (both men and women) with shorter terminal lengths, as unfortunate as it is, if a person would like to grow very long hair. I have seen people struggle for years before they finally start to accept that the length X is likely their own terminal (or the point after which hair would always start tapering dramatically). In this case, when the situation hasn't changed in years dispite gentle care, it would be best to accept the hair one has, and enjoy it as it is. Every head of hair has good and bad sides, and rejoicing of the good sides is a way to positive self acceptance.

But do not throw the towel in yet, try the LHC methods and it's very possible you can grow longer with nice hemline. It does take time and patience.

Maybe try regular micro trimming, lots of moisture, and gently secured updos.


ETA: I reread you post and looks like you already are familiar with LHC type hair care. And that you've been having this problems for a long time, that the hairs near you hemline are uncut, virgin hair (tapered ends --> which leads me to ask, how often do you trim?), and so on. I hate to say it, but it does sound like it might - MAYBE, POSSIBLY - be that your hair is approaching terminal.

Now if this is the case, and BSL is the point after which you hair starts to taper dramatically, it might mean that your terminal might be around waist, maybe? Hair (that is approaching terminal) often can grow quite a bit after the dramatic tapering and fairytailing starts, before it sort of vanishes into nothing. If you like fairytails, you could try cultivating them. It can be a lovely look and makes updos easier!

Also, many people have REALLY unevenly growing hair. Some hairs grow very fast and some quite slowly. This means that without regular microtrimming the hemline starts to thin out and fairytail. This type of hair thrives with microtrimming (that is, if thick hemline is what the person wants), to keep the racer hairs under control and allowing the shorter hairs (i.e. the bulk, the main thickness) to travel down and catch up. Maybe you are like this, and you are nowhere near terminal yet, you'd just need a different trimming strategy. Growing this type of hair out takes lot of patience, but can be done!

And to answer to the question, yes terminal length does exist. Spidermom used to say that a better term would be maximum growing time. It might be easier to understand.

lapushka
February 3rd, 2016, 11:24 AM
She might still be taking off too much hair, though. How much do you trim? Every month?

Moonfall
February 3rd, 2016, 02:58 PM
Wow, thank you all so much for your replies! :)
Of course I hope that this is not my terminal length, but if Arctic is right, I might still be able to get to waist. That would still be a great thing. As many of you have suggested a silk/satin pillow case, I will do that, along with wearing my hair up more often :)

About the trimming - like I said, I S&D to control the amount of splits. So when I tell my partner to trim, I ask her to take off the very thin ends (although they aren't necessarily damaged), which is mostly about 0.4 ~ 0.8 inch. But like others here have said as well, there are hairs that seem to grow faster than others. So mostly, my partner trims it to even it up (at least, that's what we're aiming for) and not all strands are trimmed but only the ones that are a bit longer than the rest. She does this about every 3 months.

Cheyne, thank you for your suggestion on not trimming for 6 months. I'd like to try that, so I can see if it works. I can't promise anything though, because I'd hate to cut off much at once later!

lapushka
February 3rd, 2016, 03:54 PM
About the trimming - like I said, I S&D to control the amount of splits. So when I tell my partner to trim, I ask her to take off the very thin ends (although they aren't necessarily damaged), which is mostly about 0.4 ~ 0.8 inch. But like others here have said as well, there are hairs that seem to grow faster than others. So mostly, my partner trims it to even it up (at least, that's what we're aiming for) and not all strands are trimmed but only the ones that are a bit longer than the rest. She does this about every 3 months.

Cheyne, thank you for your suggestion on not trimming for 6 months. I'd like to try that, so I can see if it works. I can't promise anything though, because I'd hate to cut off much at once later!

Yes, personally I would space out the trims more. In 3 months your hair grows 1.5 inches, if she takes off 0.8 of an inch, it's more than half your growth *every* single time, if not more, because those who cut *always* underestimate how much they cut off.

Silverbrumby
February 3rd, 2016, 10:32 PM
I'm a true shorter terminal. I have a few thoughts on the subject after being online here for 4 years and following most of the advice to grow longer hair.

How to check to see if you might be a shorter terminal:



Check for where your hair thins. With mine you can start to see through it at armpit length.
Braid your hair. My braid disappears to about 100 hairs by the time it's fully braided down to the end. A sharp drop off in thickness after the fifth bump.
You follow good hair practices and don't trim too much and still you only get a few lone hairs growing towards waist.


Now after saying all that I have read a lot of stories hear of people stalling for years and then taking off.

I'm okay with being a rare shorter terminal as I have a lot of hair on my head... just not much wanting to get past BSL.





Good morning everyone :)

I have been growing my hair and dreaming of a thick, one length hemline as long as possible ever since I was a little girl, but never have been able to get much past BSL. When I was younger, I used to get my hair trimmed at a salon every few months. I hated it as it would always get me back to BSL, so about three years ago, I decided not to visit any salons anymore. I let my partner trim it instead. She is always very careful about not getting off too much, and yet, I'm still only a little bit past BSL. Every time I seem to get past it, the ends become very thin. I S&D to make sure the splits aren't too bad, but of course that doesn't make my hemline any thinner. When I take a close look at the individual hairs, I can see they are often thinner at the ends than above.

I treat my hair very carefully. I have never dyed it and have used conditioners, serums and oils since I was little. When I was 14, I used to straighten it once a week, but I stopped doing that after a year or so. I am now 22 so I guess the damage of that time must have gone by now.

I'm sorry for the rambling, but I just wanted to show I try very hard to take good care of my hair, and yet it doesn't seem to grow much past BSL. Could this damned BSL be my terminal length? I don't really know anything about terminal length - does it even exist? Can it occur at every point of hair length? And can anything be done to change it?

Elbereth
February 4th, 2016, 05:36 AM
I too think you are getting too many trims. If your hair grows slowly, even a small trim every 3 months can take away more than half of what you have managed to grow. If you take good care of your hair and do dust trims, you might get away with just two trims of 0.5" per year. At least, there's no harm in trying! Another good thing about updos: wispy ends will bother you much less when your hair is up. In fact, they are easier to hide in an updo than a blunt hem. The fact that your ends are wispy doesn't mean that they are in bad condition. When you are at a length where taking a break from growing for a while (say, waist) is comfortable and start getting more regular trims, the ends will usually thicken some as more hair catches up with the "scouting party". To me it sounds like fewer trims and switching your default style to updos is the way to go for you.

For measuring progress, take a picture of your hair now, and another in 6 months to see if the changes are working. Your hair is already so long that small progress is getting hard to see. The way to waist is quite long, after all!

BroomHilda
February 4th, 2016, 08:43 AM
+1 for the trims.

However:

Hair that doesnt grow past a cerain point AND is virgin or very slightly damaged AND/OR is taken good care of, I am afraid are not meant to grow any more. Especially if you notice tappering on the end of each hair strand.

Constant Updos are not so crusial for mainting lenngth when hair is shorter than -let's say - waist at minimum.
If you really struggle growing straight-wavy hair that hasn't suffer any damage for tha past 3-4 years, you should propably accept your terminal.


Personally ,in this case, I would experiment a lot with colors and heat styling and hair cuts which are super fun!
Till strap length, hair can survive through most types of (not extensive) damage.
I would change my hair quite often and enjoying it, instead of patiently waiting for it to grow in hope of reaching a certain length some day while scared of doing anything fun with it.

Plus, extensions exist and they are fun!

Moonfall
February 4th, 2016, 12:00 PM
Thank you! :D Also thank you BroomHilda, but I'm definitely going to keep on trying. I have also ordered a hair analysis from Etsy that might be able to help me choose the right ingredients for my hair.

I don't often post on TLHC but when I do, I'm always happy you are all so understanding and helpful! :blossom:

truepeacenik
February 4th, 2016, 12:27 PM
When my hair was in the BSL/mid back area, it tapered. A lot.
Now it tapers some, and still needs me to find a point to maintain to thicken (I chose length over thickness to start- I'm betting you'll need the same choice) I've chosen knee, and I might, might, see that about this time next year.

But why did I have more taper at mid back lengths?
All I can figure out was no updos, temple breakage from glasses, wrong conditioners and over washing, and flannel sheets.
I used humectants in the desert, stealing moisture from my hair. I tried some pretty odd stuff here, too.

spidermom
February 4th, 2016, 12:55 PM
I agree with a 6-month trial of no trims at all; no S&D either. Pin up or bun that braid every single day so that it's not swinging around. Take a picture now and another one in six months, then compare.

Some people's hair won't grow past BSL; I've been roommates with one of them. But until you try the above, you won't know for sure.

meteor
February 4th, 2016, 06:30 PM
You got really excellent advice here! :thumbsup: I really don't have anything to add, but I just wanted to add another vote for experimenting with *not* trimming so much and/or so frequently. You mention that you get hair trimmed specifically to keep the hemline very neat and even (not because of splits traveling up), and that can be unnecessary and can really reduce growth retention, especially for folks with slow-growing hair.
Length gain = growth - trims - breakage
If you eliminate all breakage by treating hair like super-fine silk (protective styles, silky bonnets/pillowcases, hats, low manipulation, avoiding over-washing, over-grooming...) and if you drastically reduce trimming, you should, in theory, retain more length... It doesn't rule out the possibility of simply having short terminal length, of course, but it does give you the best chance for growing to your genetic potential. Don't give up and do give no trimming or minimal/infrequent trimming a chance.
Best of luck! And happy growing! :cheer:

luxurioushair
February 4th, 2016, 06:44 PM
I think believing too much in "terminal length" is a great way to guarantee that your hair will never exceed your expectations. There are lots of girls who see their hair stopping at shoulder. Then, instead of identifying what could be done to fix it, they moan about "terminal length". This pretty much eliminates any chances of their hair getting any longer.

If I believed in "terminal length" I wouldn't have bothered to start growing my hair, because my hair had been very short all my life. But because I don't care about TL, my hair has exceeded my expectations in quick time, through changes in my hair care habits. Supposing my hair stops growing while it's still short, I will ask what I have been doing wrong, and fix it. Terminal length is not a thing I would ever consider unless my hair is at least tailbone length. So really, it's up to you in the end what you want to believe.

Amapola
February 4th, 2016, 10:31 PM
I used to think my terminal length was somewhere between BSL and waist. I started wearing these "show bow" things. They are for horse shows. You're supposed to have your hair looking neat, so it's a bow with a bit of hair net under it, and a hair clip to pin it to your hair. And what do you know - the second I stopped wearing my hair "out" and "down" it started to grow and next thing I knew it was down to hip! Lesson learned: keeping your hair up makes a huge difference. If your hair is delicate, like mine is, being out where the world can get at it really hurts it. Now I don't know if I can recommend those show bow things as the clips cut my hair and I had a chunk I had to grow out. but the idea here is keep your hair up. Besides, that is one of the joys of long hair - being able to do so many different updos, and being able to have those gorgeous hair toys. I can throw a really pretty Ficcare in my hair and then spend the day milking goats, shoveling snow (and other things) and just generally doing farm chores, my hair never moves an inch, it's protected, and I feel a bit glamorous with this gorgeous thing in my hair. Meanwhile my hair keeps getting longer! :)

One thing I did want to mention: you said you wanted hair with no taper. I'm not sure that is humanly possible. First of all, hairs do taper, each one individually, so there would be taper from that. Second, hairs have a growth cycle so they are constantly starting up, growing, holding still, falling out, starting over. Yeah, sure, some people have really thick hair and it's hard to see that. My point is just that taper is natural, not a bad thing.

I feel certain that if you start to keep your hair up and follow some of the other suggestions (satin pillowcases are *the best*) you will soon see some growth! Best not to agonize over it, though. Just forget it for a while, enjoy your hair, and then be prepared to be surprised in six months or a year! :thumbsup:

missrandie
February 4th, 2016, 10:37 PM
Amapola, I used to have two show bows.. One black, and one pink. I loved those things, and always thought they were a tiny slice of genius.

Of course, I agree that the barette part cuts on your hair. I think that's part of why I only had hip length hair and had such a taper.. I always wore metal barettes with sharp edges to make my French twists. Oops. Lesson learned.

Moonfall
February 9th, 2016, 02:29 PM
I just wanted to let you all know I'm following the advice many of you have given me, about wearing my hair up :) I already notice I don't have to apply so much oil and serum anymore, as my hair doesn't feel dry when I let it down at the end of the day! It seems that wearing it up prevents the hair from losing moisture or something. I am a bit worried about creating damage by putting my hair up in the same way each time, though.

Islandgrrl
February 9th, 2016, 02:41 PM
Wearing your hair in protective styles (like buns) will help protect the length from becoming damaged. Trimming will absolutely not cause your hair to grow faster or longer. What micro trimming will do is allow you to gradually remove damage while preserving a good portion of your monthly growth. Protective styling + micro trimming to remove damage = growth. It's helpful to also make sure your nutrition is good, and that you drink enough water.

Some people do have a relatively short terminal length, but it's pretty uncommon for it to be BSL.

meteor
February 9th, 2016, 02:44 PM
I just wanted to let you all know I'm following the advice many of you have given me, about wearing my hair up :) I already notice I don't have to apply so much oil and serum anymore, as my hair doesn't feel dry when I let it down at the end of the day! It seems that wearing it up prevents the hair from losing moisture or something. I am a bit worried about creating damage by putting my hair up in the same way each time, though.

Sounds great, Moonfall! :thumbsup: Keeping hair up is so protective - many LHCers experienced false terminals and later grew much longer after trying updos! And this moisture retention you are describing will hopefully help prevent breakage.

About the worries related to putting hair up the same way every day... how exactly do you put it up (which style?) and what do you use to secure it? If it's a simple, low-manipulation style, not too tight, without ponytail holders and without much twisting, secured with a smooth sticks or a fork or U-pins or claw-clips or something else like that... it really shouldn't be a problem even if it's the same style daily. :)

chen bao jun
February 9th, 2016, 07:24 PM
Good luck, I'm glad its going better now.
Not going to get into the terminal length debate (that is, if it exists or not) but there are lots of people here on LHC who thought their hair had a certain terminal and have happily found differently. So be encouraged.
Like so many here (and even more in the outside world), I thought my terminal was not quite BSL but in the 3 1/2 years I've been on here, it has grown much much longer. So it could happen. And if it doesn't, you will have healthier hair in better condition that you like better, so it is a win/win.