Fast Hair Growth vs. Length Retention: What’s the Difference?

Over the last few months, I have been complimented on the progress of my hair.  Amongst many of those compliments, I’ve often heard, “But your hair grows fast anyway.” My reply, “My hair grows normally. I’m just retaining length” which is often met with the most confused look. This prompts me to explain further.  There is a huge difference between what one considers fast hair growth and length retention.

I recommend that you read: 5 Myths About Growing Hair Faster after this post.

See Also: 5 Ways to Retain More Length

Fast Hair Growth vs. Length Retention: What's the Difference?Hair typically grows anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2 inch per month.  This equates to approximately 3 – 6 inches of growth per year.  Unless you are suffering from a certain illness or on certain medications, you should expect a typical, normal rate of growth.  You will see this growth if you keep breakage and split ends at bay. Here are 10 Ways to Keep Your Hair From Breaking and 10 Ways to Prevent Split Ends.

I charted my own rate of growth over a period of 3 months without any growth aids.  I found my rate of growth to be a consistent 1/2 inch each month.

The fact that I was even able to chart 1/2 inch per month, meant that I was also retaining the length of my hair as my hair grew.  

How is this?  If my hair grows at a rate of 1/2 inch per month, but 1/2 inch of the ends of my hair breaks off within the month, it would seem as though my hair didn’t grow at all.  If your hair breaks off as fast as it grows in, it would seem that there is no progress.  If your hair breaks off faster than it grows in, that’s even worse.  In both cases, you need to make immediate changes to your hair care regimen in order to see the progress of your hair’s growth.

I’ve been there before, feeling like my hair isn’t growing at all.  I remember in my relaxed days, I would often hear ladies complain, “My hair just isn’t growing!” I would disagree as they would argue that their hair stays the same length all year.  However, we all remember that we would get touch ups on a regular basis.  Why?  It’s called ‘new growth’, remember that?  Our hair grew.  We just couldn’t see our profit of it due to the poor care of our ends that must now be chopped off.  And there goes your length.

Your hair is growing.  Possibly as fast as mine.  I used to be caught up with the idea of growth aids and gimmicks for faster hair growth as well.  And for some people, maybe they did help them to get more than their normal rate of growth.  But this past year I have become quite anal about what I put in and on my body. I’ve become extremely laid back and just didn’t feel like adding any extra methods for growth. I’m not knocking growth aids, I just don’t feel like it anymore. Lol! Que sera-sera…

My hair doesn’t grow ‘fast’.  It grows normally as it should and I’m retaining length like a boss.  If you employ some of these steps to retain length, you may be able to experience the perception of fast hair growth as well!


5 thoughts on “Fast Hair Growth vs. Length Retention: What’s the Difference?

    1. geekycoils

      Absolutely! Shrinkage is a big culprit in the ‘my hair isn’t growing’ deception market. Lol! Continue to focus on healthy looking hair and give your ends extra TLC and the length will come.

  1. Rece

    Good article. If one cares about the health of her hair more than the length…it will grow. Health is so much more important than length.

    1. geekycoils

      You hit the nail on the head sis. It’s best not to focus on just length. Because of your hair is breaking due to massive split ends, you’re gonna have to cut it off anyway, and there goes that.

  2. Christina J

    That’s a great way at putting it! I would get so confused when I see articles to “grow your hair fast” or “tips on how to grow your hair.” I would laugh and think “but my hair already grows” lol then I would see articles on how to retain the growth and I thought that made much more sense to me. Thanks for clarifying that!


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