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formunkyfrommom
January 20th, 2010, 10:30 PM
im ym religion we dont cute our hair....and there are some ladies in our church that havent cut their hair in 20 years and it is still only BSL and then there are some people like my sister in law whose hair is to the freaking floor at 20 years old....so whats up with that...is there any way to force it to grow....i am worried that i have reached terminal length at tailbone length in the middle of a deep V the shorted hair is top of hip bone....but i want it like knee length....it has been the same length for 2 years it seems....can i make it grow!!

formunkyfrommom
January 20th, 2010, 10:30 PM
crappy typos sorry....should say "in my church we dont cut our hair"

xoxophelia
January 20th, 2010, 10:37 PM
Probably not. But if your hair is curly and to your tailbone that is still quite some length you have! I think many can't grow that long (I am afraid that I may not be able to .. we'll see).

Maybe do some more stuff to protect your ends and take your vitamins. Just love the hair you have and time will tell.

Gumball
January 20th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Also remember that even if you don't cut your hair the way you treat your hair can have a major impact on its growth, too. Two people with equal growth rates, the exact same hair type, and start at the exact same moment can have drastically different lengths depending on their individual care routines. It's not just genetics and it's not just health. It's a whole bunch of factors.

Igor
January 20th, 2010, 11:44 PM
Genetics play a big role but itís very much a question of care and handling. If you condition and treat your hair gently you have less damage and breakage = Your hair grows longer

jera
January 21st, 2010, 01:36 AM
Besides treating your hair gently as everyone has already suggested how about hair vitamins like Biotin and MSM? Both can help stimulate growth. Prenatal vitamins work well too. :)

Arniky
January 21st, 2010, 03:05 AM
Hi
lengths do depend upon genetics but i know people who have gained a few inches/length by better care, good diet. ofcourse one may not reach knee/ankle length but some more length is possible.
Nik

bumblebums
January 21st, 2010, 05:48 AM
I actually just wrote (at length) about terminal length here (http://mshanai.livejournal.com/14715.html). There are a few links in that post to dermatological studies of the hair growth cycle, and I lay down some doubts about the commonly reported "averages" for terminal length. Did you see the post about estimating your terminal length? It's in the Articles section.

Buddaphlyy
January 21st, 2010, 08:08 AM
I'm not sure what religion you are, but I've often thought of the fact that some religions don't allow you to ever cut your hair but not all followers have hair dragging on the floor as reason enough to believe in terminal length.


I actually just wrote (at length) about terminal length here (http://mshanai.livejournal.com/14715.html). There are a few links in that post to dermatological studies of the hair growth cycle, and I lay down some doubts about the commonly reported "averages" for terminal length. Did you see the post about estimating your terminal length? It's in the Articles section.

You know the thing about averages is that some people are well above it and some people are well below it hence the reason there is an "average". Yes there are a few people who can grow hair for long time and acquire great lengths but there are also a few people who have very short growing times and will never see even shoulder length.

bumblebums
January 21st, 2010, 08:52 AM
You know the thing about averages is that some people are well above it and some people are well below it hence the reason there is an "average". Yes there are a few people who can grow hair for long time and acquire great lengths but there are also a few people who have very short growing times and will never see even shoulder length.

Well, as I explain in that post, even if variance is taken into account, the 2-6 years figure does not make much sense. [BTW, I have stats training and do scientific research for a living.]

CrowningGlory
January 21st, 2010, 11:53 AM
I think that care and handling play a major part. I also know of ladies in a church that believes they shouldn't cut their hair, that they used to twist strands round and round their fingers until they snapped. Technically it wasn't cutting but it meant their hair was a more manageable length (for them). I don't know if this is what you're observing (deliberately or from damage) or if it's just terminal length.

I also know that it took me two years to get from waist to tailbone. My hair seems to stall lots after it reaches waist. So perhaps yours is growing slowly but you're not seeing the results yet. Keep treating your hair gently and see what happens.

Buddaphlyy
January 21st, 2010, 01:40 PM
Well, as I explain in that post, even if variance is taken into account, the 2-6 years figure does not make much sense. [BTW, I have stats training and do scientific research for a living.]

But if you take someone who has a very short growing time (say less than a year) and someone who has a very long growing time (say 8 or 10 years) then the average does seem to fall into the 2-6 year range. Your article seems to mostly be focused on the longer hair/long time individuals, but not the other end. I personally do know someone who struggles with hair growth and retention and she does all the "right" things. And I myself am looking at almost 3 years of mostly healthy hair practices and I'm still not shoulder length.

And BTW, what you do for a living isn't important to me.

bumblebums
January 21st, 2010, 01:58 PM
But if you take someone who has a very short growing time (say less than a year) and someone who has a very long growing time (say 8 or 10 years) then the average does seem to fall into the 2-6 year range.

Right. As I explain elsewhere, the 2-6 figure is difficult to interpret. Does it mean that the actual average (=mean) is 4 years, +/-2? If so, then it leaves out a considerable number of outliers, many of which can be found in this community. If the average rate of growth is 6 in/year and the maximal lifespan of a follicle is 6 years, you can expect 36" to be the upper bound of what is possible, and 12" to be the lower bound. The average should be 24". I am assuming that the average here is a simple mean, and that the data are normally distributed (i.e., if we plotted the lengths and the number of people who have those lengths, we would see a bell curve with a peak at 24" and a declining number of observations to the left and right of the peak. By the way, the surveys on this site tend to be normally distributed, though the population is self-selected and there is likely a skew in the direction of longer hair, so it's not the best base for a scientific study.)

The thing is, we do not know what the 2-6 years figure refers to. It is clear that maximal hair length observed in humans (esp. in this community) frequently exceeds 36". Suppose that the 4 years average represents a mean that has been trimmed to exclude outliers on both ends, then presumably there should be plenty of individuals whose hair never grows past a few inches, or even an inch. I do not know of any such individuals. There are individuals with 50" hair, which is 14" above the upper bound of the reported spread, so there should be individuals with hair *shorter* than the lower bound, and those are either nonexistent or vanishingly rare.

There are other possibilities--for example, it could be that the distribution is seriously skewed, or bimodal, or trimodal, or whatnot. In a skewed distribution, we might expect plenty of individuals have hair longer than 36", but few below 12". My point is, we don't know. I have never seen a study that reported measurements of terminal lengths of a large population, and I have never seen a study that showed the data spread and explained how the numbers were obtained.

So, long story short, I suspect the numbers have been pulled out of someone's behind and everyone else has been repeating them since without questioning the source. So I wouldn't put too much stock in the numbers. You certainly cannot infer much about how long your own hair is likely to grow from the commonly cited figures.

spidermom
January 21st, 2010, 02:16 PM
I agree that the best way to find out how long your hair will grow is to treat it well and let it grow. There are so many variables. I've had a roommate who never grew beyond BSL in the 8 years that I knew her, even though she had coarse black American Indian hair. I would have guessed that she could have grown her hair to at least classic, but no, and she didn't abuse it, either. I really don't think it was breaking off very much. And then, of course, there are those who can grow to knees, ankles, and even long enough to drag the ground.

It matters how the hair is measured, too. I saw somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that the average length of 36 inches was as measured from earlobes down. We're measuring from forehead over the head and down around here, so 36 inches means something quite different.

formunkyfrommom
January 21st, 2010, 02:23 PM
i think my growth cycle is like 3 years...where my sister in laws is like 10...her hair stopped growing for a couple of years after it had been continuously growing for 10 years straight while mins seems to have slowed at about 3 years...sigh oh well...and no i dont dothe twisting around my fingers till it breaks off deal....i dont believe in that :)

bumblebums
January 21st, 2010, 02:27 PM
I agree that the best way to find out how long your hair will grow is to treat it well and let it grow. There are so many variables. I've had a roommate who never grew beyond BSL in the 8 years that I knew her, even though she had coarse black American Indian hair. I would have guessed that she could have grown her hair to at least classic, but no, and she didn't abuse it, either. I really don't think it was breaking off very much. And then, of course, there are those who can grow to knees, ankles, and even long enough to drag the ground.

It matters how the hair is measured, too. I saw somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that the average length of 36 inches was as measured from earlobes down. We're measuring from forehead over the head and down around here, so 36 inches means something quite different.

I've heard of a few people whose hair stalled at shoulder length, too, which would be 18 or 6 inches depending on measurement method. I think SL as terminal length is pretty rare, but not unheard of.

And I totally agree that the measurement method is really important. One of studies I've seen measured terminal length by looking at the length of shed virgin hairs (that is, hairs that have pointy ends and have never been cut). As we know on this forum, this is a seriously flawed method. Even though these hairs may be terminal, they do not necessarily represent the individual's average terminal length, because even really long-haired people have hairs that reach telogen at varying lengths. Hairs around the hairline seem to have a shorter terminal length for many people than hairs elsewhere on the scalp.

Any dermatologists or physical anthropologists reading this--this is an opportunity for a study!

Buddaphlyy
January 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM
Right. As I explain elsewhere, the 2-6 figure is difficult to interpret. Does it mean that the actual average (=mean) is 4 years, +/-2? If so, then it leaves out a considerable number of outliers, many of which can be found in this community. If the average rate of growth is 6 in/year and the maximal lifespan of a follicle is 6 years, you can expect 36" to be the upper bound of what is possible, and 12" to be the lower bound. The average should be 24". I am assuming that the average here is a simple mean, and that the data are normally distributed (i.e., if we plotted the lengths and the number of people who have those lengths, we would see a bell curve with a peak at 24" and a declining number of observations to the left and right of the peak. By the way, the surveys on this site tend to be normally distributed, though the population is self-selected and there is likely a skew in the direction of longer hair, so it's not the best base for a scientific study.)

The thing is, we do not know what the 2-6 years figure refers to. It is clear that maximal hair length observed in humans (esp. in this community) frequently exceeds 36". Suppose that the 4 years average represents a mean that has been trimmed to exclude outliers on both ends, then presumably there should be plenty of individuals whose hair never grows past a few inches, or even an inch. I do not know of any such individuals. There are individuals with 50" hair, which is 14" above the upper bound of the reported spread, so there should be individuals with hair *shorter* than the lower bound, and those are either nonexistent or vanishingly rare.

There are other possibilities--for example, it could be that the distribution is seriously skewed, or bimodal, or trimodal, or whatnot. In a skewed distribution, we might expect plenty of individuals have hair longer than 36", but few below 12". My point is, we don't know. I have never seen a study that reported measurements of terminal lengths of a large population, and I have never seen a study that showed the data spread and explained how the numbers were obtained.

So, long story short, I suspect the numbers have been pulled out of someone's behind and everyone else has been repeating them since without questioning the source. So I wouldn't put too much stock in the numbers. You certainly cannot infer much about how long your own hair is likely to grow from the commonly cited figures.

Now, I get it. You are saying you think the average of the range is the actual average growing time(I was wondering why you kept throwing the 4 years around). Well if you take into account ALL outliers (people with very short growing time AND people with people with very long growing times), the average would be the range of 2-6 years (and I actually read it was up to 7), not the single 4 years you are trying to make it out to be. Same thing with the 36 inches. Obviously they are saying most people probably grow for the longer periods of time, but since a lot of people obviously grow beyond the 1/2 inch per month (now this is a number I would like to see more research done on), it's not hard to see how one could get more than 36 inches in 2-6 years. But I think they should have a range of maximum inches since they have a range of time. But of the people I have seen who grew their hair to terminal (actively or passively), I would say the average is between 30-40 inches.

Anywho, regardless of what any data (confirmed, cited or whatever), the only true way one can find out what their terminal length is to grow their hair out and wait to see.

Cinnamon Hair
January 21st, 2010, 08:52 PM
A few points that may not have been mentioned:

On LHC we typically measure from the forehead over the top and down to the tips. This adds about 7" to the real hair length since hairs grow from all over your head, not just at the front hairline.

Terminal length usually means you have very few hairs at the tips. It could be as few as 1, 2, or 20 that are the very longest. Even a person with a short growth cycle is likely to have hair that is full to shoulder length or BSL then tapers dramatically. If those tapered ends are allowed to grow, they might reach waist or hip, while the bulk of their length ends at BSL. A lot of people prefer the look of thicker ends, so they would trim those hairs, never seeing their true terminal length.

The idea of measuring taper to determine terminal length also has its faults. For example, my ends were very thin when I first started growing but that was because I didn't take good hair of my hair or trim very often (ok, maybe not at all for several years). See photos. (http://beyondclassic.awardspace.us/longhairjourney.html) Now that I take better care of my hair and trim, the slower growing hair has had a chance to catch up and improve the volume of my ends. So taper can change over time.

xoxophelia
January 21st, 2010, 09:09 PM
^Cinnamon.. You just made me feel so much better. I figured your hair got so thick, long, and even from only luck (you have some of the prettiest hair I have seen!)

I have been worried for a few days now.. "what if my hair can't grow as long as I want it to?" Ideal for me is probably about tailbone.

I have layers I am growing out right now but also some hairs on the underside of the front that either grow really slowly or just don't grow much longer than.. about 23". I also just did a self trim, and the bottom about inch wasn't much. Yet my hair is still gaining length overall... I am worrying too much XD

Buddaphlyy
January 21st, 2010, 09:39 PM
A few points that may not have been mentioned:

On LHC we typically measure from the forehead over the top and down to the tips. This adds about 7" to the real hair length since hairs grow from all over your head, not just at the front hairline.

Terminal length usually means you have very few hairs at the tips. It could be as few as 1, 2, or 20 that are the very longest. Even a person with a short growth cycle is likely to have hair that is full to shoulder length or BSL then tapers dramatically. If those tapered ends are allowed to grow, they might reach waist or hip, while the bulk of their length ends at BSL. A lot of people prefer the look of thicker ends, so they would trim those hairs, never seeing their true terminal length.

The idea of measuring taper to determine terminal length also has its faults. For example, my ends were very thin when I first started growing but that was because I didn't take good hair of my hair or trim very often (ok, maybe not at all for several years). See photos. (http://beyondclassic.awardspace.us/longhairjourney.html) Now that I take better care of my hair and trim, the slower growing hair has had a chance to catch up and improve the volume of my ends. So taper can change over time.

To the bolded: I've never measured that way and outside of hair boards, most other people who actually do measure their hair don't either.

And I understand what your sating about taper also. Because of my hair type and curl pattern, I have varying degrees of taper and thickness on the same strand, so I don't think even measuring the longest stand of hair I've ever had could give an accurate measurement of my terminal length (not that I would want to know because I don't plan on growing to terminal).

trolleypup
January 21st, 2010, 10:08 PM
The following is my view of the accumulated knowledge and experience on this subject at TLHC.

Terminal length exists. It is a time measurement, as much as a length measurement. There exist people with very short terminal lengths (less than a year of growth), there exist people with very long terminal lengths (more than 8 years of growth), both are relatively rare.

Your true terminal length is genetically determined...your actual real world terminal length is likely to be shorter...for all the reasons mentioned in this thread.

For me...LHC measurement of 53", my longest shed hairs are 42". 7 years of growth at 1/2" per month. I've been at this length for years. Benign neglect haircare the whole time, hair up/hair down the terminal length stays the same.

My personal test of terminal is: your hair has been at a certain length for a long time, you cut an inch off the very tips...if it grows back to that same length at your standard growth rate, then stays at that length...you are almost certainly at terminal.

spidermom
January 22nd, 2010, 08:16 AM
Again, though, hair growth is a very individual thing. The roommate that I mentioned before whose hair didn't get longer than BSL in 8 years? There was almost no taper.

bumblebums
January 22nd, 2010, 08:37 AM
Now, I get it. You are saying you think the average of the range is the actual average growing time(I was wondering why you kept throwing the 4 years around). Well if you take into account ALL outliers (people with very short growing time AND people with people with very long growing times), the average would be the range of 2-6 years (and I actually read it was up to 7), not the single 4 years you are trying to make it out to be. Same thing with the 36 inches. Obviously they are saying most people probably grow for the longer periods of time, but since a lot of people obviously grow beyond the 1/2 inch per month (now this is a number I would like to see more research done on), it's not hard to see how one could get more than 36 inches in 2-6 years. But I think they should have a range of maximum inches since they have a range of time. But of the people I have seen who grew their hair to terminal (actively or passively), I would say the average is between 30-40 inches.


No, that's not what I am saying. In my previous comment, I actually think through the implications of several distinct hypotheses. First, the data on hair length are normally distributed. (Normal distributions are explained here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution).) Second, the data are in a skewed distribution, with the skew towards longer lengths. Third, the distribution could be bimodal, in which case the simple mean would be even less informative than for a skewed distribution. I also end up concluding that there is simply no way to decide between these possibilities without better data.

It should also be mentioned, somewhat redundantly with the other posters' comments, that an individual's terminal length is just one of the factors that determines how long the hair will grow. Poor nutrition, poor handling, and hormonal and other health factors can prevent hair from growing to its full potential. If you were studying hair length, you would have to run a regression analysis of some sort to identify how much each factor contributes.

Buddaphlyy
January 22nd, 2010, 12:31 PM
No, that's not what I am saying. In my previous comment, I actually think through the implications of several distinct hypotheses. First, the data on hair length are normally distributed. (Normal distributions are explained here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution).) Second, the data are in a skewed distribution, with the skew towards longer lengths. Third, the distribution could be bimodal, in which case the simple mean would be even less informative than for a skewed distribution. I also end up concluding that there is simply no way to decide between these possibilities without better data.

It should also be mentioned, somewhat redundantly with the other posters' comments, that an individual's terminal length is just one of the factors that determines how long the hair will grow. Poor nutrition, poor handling, and hormonal and other health factors can prevent hair from growing to its full potential. If you were studying hair length, you would have to run a regression analysis of some sort to identify how much each factor contributes.

I know what a normal distribution (I have some stats training too :cool:) and I still think the range is accurate. Yes, the skew seems to be toward the longer lengths (and of course one could easily find it if that's what they were looking) but that might not necessarily be because of growing time, but due to growing rate (because I think much more people have faster growth rates than they do longer growth times).

And to the bolded, I too said regardless of what any research has said, the only way for one to know their terminal length is to grow their hair out. So here's to redundancy again. :rolleyes:

The unscientific data and research on my hair is saying that it's dry and I need to go get some more moisturizer. I've said my peace and am done with this thread.

Happy Hair Growing everyone. :)

JamieLeigh
January 25th, 2010, 10:54 AM
If you haven't been particularly good to your hair (as in dying and heat-styling) before joining this church and deciding not to cut your hair, then you could be holding on to old damage. Damaged bits are prone to breakage, and in that way you might not be seeing much new growth. In theory, your old damaged hairs should eventually shed out and allow newer ones to grow and eventually hit tailbone and longer, but this can take many, many years depending on your shed and growth cycles. :(