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Thread: what exactly happens at terminal length?

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    Member pdy2kn6's Avatar
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    Default what exactly happens at terminal length?

    i thought it may be a good idea to list some facts about terminal, to help understand more, especially for those in search of it. I was wondering what exactly happens at terminal? (apart from the fact that hair does not grow any longer than its terminal length). Do all hairs continue growing to a certain length guarenteeing fairytale ends? If you have layers do they naturally disperse and fade away? Does hair get thinner the longer one is terminal length? TIA for the input, and feel free to list any other facts about terminal length locks.

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    shapenote singer embee's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    I think I've been at terminal for over a year now. My hair does not get longer. But there are hairs that come out, shed when combing, brushing, or washing. My hair does not get shorter. There is some breakage, but not a whole lot. (I think my hair was probably at terminal when I did an 8 inch chop right before joining TLHC. It's never gotten longer than it was then.)

    My hair is thin anyway, I don't think it's thinner now than 3 years ago, seems about the same to me. I have fairytale ends, have had them a good while, they're what I want. Since I've been at terminal I've had one or two hairs that are *inches* longer than all the others. Now I'm pretty sure they're not the same hair for more than a year, so there must be a small place on my head that grows hairs for a longer period of time. Strange.

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    Evil, not Bad Moderator (SB) trolleypup's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Quote Originally Posted by pdy2kn6 View Post
    i thought it may be a good idea to list some facts about terminal, to help understand more, especially for those in search of it. I was wondering what exactly happens at terminal? (apart from the fact that hair does not grow any longer than its terminal length). Do all hairs continue growing to a certain length guaranteeing fairytale ends? If you have layers do they naturally disperse and fade away? Does hair get thinner the longer one is terminal length? TIA for the input, and feel free to list any other facts about terminal length locks.
    At terminal, each hair grows for as many years as your particular cycle is, then sheds out. Your length is composed of hairs of all lengths, as they grow out from after shedding, so you have a more or less even taper, with fairy tale ends. The very ends are composed of different hairs each month as the oldest ones shed and the newer ones grow to their terminal length. Layers will grow out to terminal length and shed also eventually. Once you reach terminal length, assuming no layers remain, your hair should remain at a steady state, not getting thicker or thinner or changing in appearance from month to month...any changes are probably due to other factors.

    2b-2a/C/iii 61"/155cm/growing fitfully longer
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    Silverado EdG's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    At terminal length, the shed rate becomes the same as the growth rate, so over time the hair doesn't change in length or thickness.

    Hair naturally tapers since individual hairs are at different stages of the growth cycle. A pronounced taper is a sign that one is near terminal length.

    Not all hairs have the same terminal length. I have a lot of hairs that won't grow past waist/tailbone, while others will grow to my calves.
    Ed
    If there's something strange with your long hair / Who you gonna call? / L-H-C! (sung to the tune of Ghostbusters)

  5. #5

    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Okay i have been trying to figure this out...

    So if you are growing to terminal, Say you get there and you know that you are at terminal because it's been that length for a good period of time. So it you cut, say 5 inches off what is your hair going to do? Does it say the same still because there is the whole thing that cutting your hair (unless breakage is happing) doesnt make your hair grow faster.

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    Member HairyCarrie's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Good question. I don't get the science of it either.
    <-- July 2008 . . . . . . . Every day my hair is not shorter than the day before.
    Proud member of The Renegray Gang

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    Silverado EdG's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Quote Originally Posted by melrose1985 View Post
    Say you get there and you know that you are at terminal because it's been that length for a good period of time. So it you cut, say 5 inches off what is your hair going to do?
    The 5 inches will grow back and your hair will again be at terminal.

    P.S. I need to stop reading the board and get back to work.
    Ed
    If there's something strange with your long hair / Who you gonna call? / L-H-C! (sung to the tune of Ghostbusters)

  8. #8

    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Quote Originally Posted by EdG View Post
    The 5 inches will grow back and your hair will again be at terminal.

    P.S. I need to stop reading the board and get back to work.
    Ed

    I need to get back to work too : )

    But still i really dont get it because how does your scalp know the length of your hair. Yes at first if you just let it grow then your hair will grow to was ever is term....I just dont get how your scalp knows that you have cut 5 inches off and that it can grow again.

    to me terminal length sounds like each hair can only grow so long (length wise) and i know that will shedding more hair is growing back. how do the strans know when to stop growing?

    I'm just so boggled by this.

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    Silverado EdG's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    Quote Originally Posted by melrose1985 View Post
    But still i really dont get it because how does your scalp know the length of your hair. Yes at first if you just let it grow then your hair will grow to was ever is term....I just dont get how your scalp knows that you have cut 5 inches off and that it can grow again..
    The scalp doesn't know the length of the hair. Rather, each hair follicle is "programmed" to grow for a certain duration of time. Over time, the cut hairs will be replaced by un-cut hairs capable of reaching terminal length.

    I really do need to get back to work.
    Ed
    If there's something strange with your long hair / Who you gonna call? / L-H-C! (sung to the tune of Ghostbusters)

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    Member Morningglory's Avatar
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    Default Re: what exactly happens at terminal length?

    It sounds so beautiful! I want my terminal length hair!

    I have always had a shorter underlayer and whispy hairs around my hairline. I have about half of my head hairs that grow long. I am waiting to see how long they will grow. I want to just wait it out and see.
    For if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her 1Corinthians 11:15

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