I Have Achieved My Goal – Waist Length At Last!

**Warning** This post will be a picture fest!

Exactly 4.5 years ago in July 2008 I discovered the online hair community and I decided to start stretching my relaxers. The stretch turned into a full blown transition with a dream of someday having waist length hair. That day is today (well, last week really) Yaaay!!!!!

As I was flat ironing my hair, I had a peek at the length in the mirror and I could see that I was absolutely positively at waist length so I started jumping up and down like a little girl. Jasmine (my 3yo DD) not knowing what was going on started laughing and jumping up and down with me. We look all kinds of crazy when my husband walked in. lol

It has been an epic journey for me but now that I am here it doesn’t really seem to have taken that long. In truth, most people I know have considered me the ‘long hair girl’ for quite a while anyway so to them going from long to longer hair isn’t that big a deal. Honestly though, the jump from BSL to WL was actually the most challenging part of my hair journey so far.

I have seen many natural sisters get stuck at MBL even with perfectly sound hair regimens. For me I can honestly say that protective styling along with the regimen is what got me here.

I’ve said this before but I will say it again, growing long hair as a natural is pretty easy, and that’s even if you have really slow growth of 4 inches a year like me.

Ok, enough preaching and on to what I did with my hair last weekend. I shampooed with curls unleashed sulfate free poo. The mystery home-made conditioner that I been talking about for the last couple of weeks was actually a remix of the caramel treatment! I am calling it The Caramel Treatment Reloaded. An article with the full recipe will be on BHI in a couple of days.

I deep conditioned without heat for 45 minutes then rinsed thoroughly. I then co-washed with Tresemme Naturals conditioner. My hair was left smooth, pliable and very, very well sealed. So much so that I didn’t bother applying a leave in afterwards. I sprayed my damp hair with Tresemme heat protectant and proceeded to blow dry. I used both the tension method and my denman to ensure that my hair was completely detangled and ready for flat ironing.

I got a new hair dryer and flat iron for Christmas from my lovely husband so I used those during styling. The extraordinary thing was that even though I flat ironed using a medium temp (what I usually use to get fluffy hair), my hair was getting stick straight! By the time I realized how flat it was, I was already more than halfway done so just I completed the rest of it using the same temperature.

Here are some pictures that my husband took while I was seated. Maybe I should have edited the picture to get rid of the red-eye from the camera flash, but just think of me as a newborn vampire for you Twifans out there!

End of 2012 length check 2

End of 2012 length check

I only used a serum before flat ironing which on it’s own never gives my hair any shine. That dazzling shine you see there is all the caramel treatment’s doing! Although it looks ok, I’m not crazy about the uber straight look. It was literally flat against my head even in the close ups.

super straight hair after caramel treat

I know some people like their hair to look like that but personally need a bit of volume. I immediately grabbed my flat iron again and used it to create some waves, I wondered if the waves would make me lose some length during the back shots but I needn’t have worried. Even with my hair slightly wavy, I am definitely waist length!

Waist length natural hair December 2012

I put my hands at my waist so you could actually see where it actually is! My substantial love handles tend to disguise it a bit too well.

I am still super buzzed at reaching my goal so this past weekend I wanted my hair straight again. I used the caramel treatment reloaded again but this time used it to DC my hair BEFORE shampooing. I guess you could say I used it as a prepoo because I applied on damp unwashed hair. I then shampooed lightly with the curls unleashed shampoo (just once) then co-washed with Tresemme naturals. My hair was still enjoying the benefits of having been straightened so it was super easy to detangle.

Same as last week I sprayed my hair with heat protectant and used a serum to seal/smooth then proceeded to flat iron. This time I got my hair just the way I like it, straight but with plenty of volume! I am calling this my official end of 2012 hair length.

Waist length natural hair December 2012 2

A quick side by side comparison from January 2012 to January 2013.

Hair length comparison shot 2012 2013

The length retention was reasonable considering that I only protective styled during the latter half of the year. For me it just goes to show that no matter how much I try, if I don’t protect my hair, retention is pretty difficult. Maintenance is easy peasy.

So is that it for my hair journey now that I’m at goal length? Nah! I will get into my hair and body goals for 2013 in a follow up post.

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  • Tamia

    Wow, just . . . wooooooooooooooow!

    • Cheers Tamia!

  • Shanae

    Congratulations Alma. I have been following your blog for a few years and you inspired me to go natural too. I am only APL so far but I hope to be where you are in a few years. Well done!

    • Thanks Shanae, just do the work and be patient, you will get there.

  • Kia

    Congrats Alma. My hair grows a bit faster than yours so I’m hoping for WL in 18 months. Good luck with everything.

    • Thanks Kia, good luck to you too!

  • CONGRATS! It looks really pretty!

    • Thanks Ebony I was half considerning not bothering with a length goal for this year but I’ve joined a hip length challenge on BHM lol. Oh well, another year, another 4 inches to retain!

  • N.Penelope Fletcher

    Ohhhhhh! You go girl I’m so happyyy for you! Of course I wish it was meeee.
    But I won’t be selfish because you and your blog has been so instrumental in getting
    me where I’m today. And you give me so much hope that it will happen. I just have to
    be more Patient and continue putting in the work. After all 2013 is a whole year ahead of me.
    And your hair is just simply Lovelyyyyy.

    • Thanks hun! You will get there girl, don’t even worry about it, just keep at it.