View Full Version : Terminal Length!!!

May 23rd, 2007, 08:23 AM
Okay, so on another thread I asked about how I would know if my hair has reached it's terminal length and was told that when my hair starts to fairytale. I think I know how that looks like but I'm not sure...can you please give me some more information about that? And if someone has also reached that length..anyone who has reached it at BSL? Pictures would be great..I'm kind of getting paranoid that this is my terminal length :?:shrug::scared::boohoo:

May 23rd, 2007, 08:31 AM
My hair is fairytaled.

But that's because I haven't trimmed in over a year, not because it's terminal.

How long since you last trimmed?

Hair grows at different rates on different parts of the head (or so happens with me) so that's one of the reasons for fairytale ends.

I wouldn't get worried about terminal until it hasn't grown for a very very long time (even if no growth shows for a few months it could still simply be a stall). As far as I'm aware terminal at BSL is fairly unusual, so don't get worried yet. :flowers:

May 23rd, 2007, 10:07 AM
My hair stalled for quite awhile around BSL and is just now growing again - your hair goes through "rest" phases, so if you've not had much growth for awhile, it may just be that. You'd have to have no growth for a really long time (at least a year, I'd think, but someone with more scientific knowledge would be better to ask).

Also, BSL is one of those "prone to lots of damage" lengths, because it keeps getting caught behind you if you leave it down, so you may be seeing reduced growth from end-breakage/damage. You can get fairytale ends just from not trimming hair.

Terminal at BSL is pretty unusual, so I'd not be worried yet (:

May 23rd, 2007, 10:14 AM
I personally have never heard that fairytale ends means terminal. You can definitely get those "princess ends" (like I call them) from just not cutting in awhile.

I would say that if your hair has not grown in length or fullness for over a year that you are at terminal. Otherwise, I'd just try to be patient. I know patience is extremely hard ( I haven't learned how to be patient yet) but sometimes I think that when we fret so much about our length our hair likes to play nasty tricks on us and "stall" for a bit!:rolleyes:

May 23rd, 2007, 10:26 AM
Having fairytale ends is one of the markers of terminal length, but not, by itself, proof. Even braid/ponytail taper. No growth for a long time (absent unusual occurences of shedding, stress, or other health issues that can affect hair growth) when your hair is healthy through its length. These together are fair indicators of terminal length.

What was the deciding factor for me was being stalled at a length, cutting a few inches, and having it grow back to that stalled length at a rate of 1/2" per month and stopping dead at 53" again.

May 23rd, 2007, 11:08 AM
Fairytaling is when your ends look all wispy as compared to the rest of your hair.

My hair was fairytaled at 30" back in 2004. I had about 12 inches cut off and am now at 31" with no fairytaling, so fairy tailing alone is not an indicator of terminal length. I think the reason I fairytailed before was from damage from a couple of dye jobs and because I wore my hair down and in ponytails. Those poor ends got caught everywhere, particularly between my back and whatever surface I was leaning against. Now I wear a twisty bun nearly every day. No splits, no fairytales! Yay!

May 23rd, 2007, 12:01 PM
Fairytales (fairytails?) here too, and terminal at a few inches past classic (thigh?)for several years... I believe I read elsewhere on this site that your terminal length is a genetic thing, which can be also affected by age, health, etc. as trolleypup said above. I imagine the same goes for the ends and how fast/severely you fairytale, as well. Terminal at BSL sounds very unusual to me, especially at 19.

It also seems like fairytaling would be more noticeable on a 1a than they would be on someone with wavier/curlier hair, since you can see the ends more clearly... if you're comparing yours to others, that might be something to keep in mind.

I'd guess you still have a good bit of growth left... the average terminal length around here (at least from what I've noticed) seems to fall somewhere around classic.

Good luck! :flowers:

May 23rd, 2007, 12:32 PM
LeaMo7, you may be right. I'm nearing classic and while my hair still grows, it grows incredibly slowly and has for the past couple of years. Some people, of course, shoot right on past classic and go to great lengths. I do have a friend whose hair seems terminal at mid-back but I wonder if it is her type (frizzy) and how she treats it (not so gently).

May 23rd, 2007, 12:46 PM
Hmm... I don't know... your ends still look pretty thick to me, MemSahib... you might still have a while to go yet. :) You might be right about your friend, also. A couple of longhaired people I know curl the ends of their hair regularly with hot sticks, which I imagine leads to lots of breakage.

May 23rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
I thought my terminal length was bsl for the longest time. I just figured it wouldn't grow any more, I'd cut it to about my shoulders and it would race to bsl again then stop. But I was taking awful care of my 2b hair, brushing while wet, blowfrying straight etc. Now my hair is nearly to waiste with no slowing down - but it stalled at bsl for quite a while. I wouldn't worry, just treat it right and be patient, I'm sure it's just stalled.

May 23rd, 2007, 01:08 PM
Have another picture taken in about 6 months. My guess is that your hair will be longer.

May 23rd, 2007, 01:21 PM
MemSahib, I'm really impressed by the lenght of your hair. At 49, I was a bit concerned that I might reach terminal length at BSL. It seems that may not be at all true. :)

May 23rd, 2007, 01:52 PM
My hair has never reached terminal, the longest it's been is to my waist, and it'll never fairytale, it's too thick and coarse for that. :)

May 23rd, 2007, 02:12 PM
It's a tad longer than the picture, but not much. I was hoping for a summer growth spurt, but at 56 years old, maybe not. At least not so far. It's OK, though. I'm grateful to have the length I do. GoldenBreeze, there are several Fortunate Ones and Sizzlers here who have longer hair than I. Have you checked out our thread (

May 23rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
I hope you are all right and my hair will grow :( I couldn't say if its stalling because I have started measuring it since I joined LHC, before joining I didn't look at it too much or measure it..but I have a feeling it's not growing and I'm getting a bit depressed about it :(

May 23rd, 2007, 03:15 PM
I'm sorry you're worrying about hair growth right now. Try to get your mind on something else; hair won't grow while you're looking at it. Truly. I used to check my length about 9 times a day with my back to the bathroom mirror, hand-held mirror in my hand. It always looked the same. I got depressed about it. Now I limit myself to checking the length once a month, and I can see results.

Now - put your hair up and forget about it as best you can. Check back in a month.

May 23rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
Kind of like the watched pot that never boils. I have one friend whose hair is down to her knees, and another who honestly can't get her hair to go past BSL. But, as others mentioned, age and genetics may be a factor. My friend with knee-length hair is polynesian/hawaiian. My friend with BSL hair has VERY coarse, frizzy hair. One thing I have found, when I thought mine was not growing, was that a tiny little trim, just a quarter of an inch, helped. I don't know why, though.

Dixie Belle

May 23rd, 2007, 05:49 PM
By your other pictures, you are definitely not at terminal! :flower: My mom's hair is at terminal (artificially (due to care/brushing damage), but it's 'terminal' nontheless as it hasn't grown changed length in more than 10 years, no trims)). Her longest hairs are at tailbone, and it is a very very deep V (the sides are about BSL) and it is very fairytale--she has no discernible 'hemline' at all, just fairytaling, nothing else. In the end, terminal length is largely genetic--although your body's health and also the handling/care of one's hair can affect terminal length.

Also, fairytale ends also don't necessarily mean terminal! If it did, I would have been terminal a long long time ago. :lol: My fairytaling is a combination of old brushing damage (if I hadn't stopped brushing, I'm sure I would have hit artificial terminal already, like my mom) and normal shedding of my 'longest' hairs which have thinned out the ends even more (I also haven't trimmed my hair for the last 2.5 years, and not trimming also contributes to fairytale ends). Even with fairy tale ends, my hair is still growing the 'average' half inch a month. My hair growth HAS occasionally stalled, however, generally for about two months at a time--but it both starts right back up after.

Stress can also cause stalls (I say this because if you're too worried about your hair not growing, your hair might actually not grow from the stress! my stalls all matched up to when I was really really worrying about getting a job :lol: ) so I'd really suggest not thinking about the length. Just take care of your hair, only measure it once a month, and don't stress about it! On a day to day (or week to week or even month to month!) it can be very difficult to tell if one's hair has grown any.

Perhaps take a picture and then take monthly or bimonthly pictures, too, to document your progress. Sometimes length shows up in pictures more than when measuring, although the opposite is sometimes also true (which is where it can help to compare the two, as you might not notice it in the picture, but it could actually be longer). But unless you have a very fast growth rate, remember that hair doesn't grow very fast and you're likely not to notice any growth at all. Stop looking, put your hair up/pull it back out of your line of sight, and other than monthly measures don't think too much about it. Even if you don't see a difference in monthly pictures, in 6 months to a year, compare those pictures with a 'starting' picture, and I'm sure you'll see some growth. :flower:

May 23rd, 2007, 06:32 PM
You worry too much! As everyone else has said, just focus on taking care of your hair until it's been a month since the last time you measured it. Just pick a day that you'll measure your hair every month (I always measure mine on the 3rd) and only worry about it on that day.

If it weren't for measuring, I'd swear that my hair hasn't grown at all just by looking at it day-to-day, but between the numbers and the pictures, I know it's growing.

Unless your hair is REALLY damaged, BSL won't be your terminal length. Even if it were really damaged, a short terminal length would be what we call an "artificial" terminal length, in that it's being caused by external elements rather than genetics.

So just focus your energy on taking care of your hair -- moisturizing, S&D, spending time carefully detangling, gently brushing with a BBB, massaging your scalp, refining your washing method, learning new updos...and before you know it, it'll be time to measure again, and your hair will have grown! In my first month at LHC, I dramatically changed the way I took care of my hair and focused on that, and when I measured a month later, my hair had grown a whole inch! Of course, it hasn't grown that much in a month since then, but it's leveled out at a fairly steady rate. Once you've been measuring for a few months, you'll see the same thing. Hair grows SLOWLY! Be patient and don't worry -- stress keeps your hair from growing!

May 24th, 2007, 12:12 PM
Thank you for that link MemSahib, I have a few months to go before I'll be a legitimate member of the Fortunate Ones club. However, it's great to know that I can still look forward to additional length for the next few years.

Try not to worry, or be depressed Fee. From what I've read from other ladies, both on LHC and other forums, BSL can be a natural stalling point. You will reach your goals. :)

May 24th, 2007, 01:32 PM
Check out the Can you stump Flaxen thread (
.....the relevant information starts with post #244, my 'terminal length' question to Flaxen; read the next few posts.

Try not to worry.

May 24th, 2007, 07:16 PM
My hair took about a 4 month growing hiatus I think. Last fall it seemed stuck at one length and I was getting upset that it might not grow. But suddenly in the last month or so I've noticed that it has started to grow again. I think it slowed down in the winter.

May 24th, 2007, 10:41 PM
i heard everyone can reach classic lenght or hip
that is if u treat your hair how it should be. soo... no worry's

May 25th, 2007, 01:35 AM
In school many years ago I talked with a girl in my class who said that she wanted to have longer hair but it never grew longer than bsl. Maybe it was due to how she took care of her hair that it did not grow long, I don't know. From what can be read at LHC the hair care surely matters!!