I once told myself that my terminal hair length is at most up to my waist, which would mean that it could only be 85 cm at most. I didn’t want to believe it, but I didn’t believe it. And I am still convinced that my hair can grow longer than that.
The point is, on the other hand, that I know that hair certainly has a maximum length. This way, your leg hair – thank goodness – doesn’t grow much longer than 2 cm. And all other hairs on your body also stop becoming at a certain length. So this should also apply to your head hair right? But what exactly is that?
Your hair goes through 3 steps. The anagen phase, which is the growth phase. 90% of your head hair is in that phase. The next stage is the catagen phase. That is the transition phase, in which your hair ends the active period and gets ready for the next scene. Even less than 1% of your hair is in this phase. And the final stage is the telogen phase or the rest phase in which your hair comes loose and falls out. About 10% of your hair is in this phase. And that is a good thing because if all our head hair were all in that final phase at the same time, we would be completely bald once in a while.
Each phase has its duration. The catagen phase lasts around 14 days, and the telogen phase lasts about 100 days. But what matters with the maximum length of your hair is how long the anagen phase, during which your hair grows, continues. Depending on your genes and other factors such as health and environment, these should, according to scientists, last around 2 to 6 years.
The terminal length calculated
As we also know, hair grows on average 1.25 cm per month, with one going faster than the other, which amounts to 15 cm per year. That would mean that for some of us, the hair could not even be longer than 30 cm (2 × 15). And if you’re lucky 90 cm (6 × 15). Or your hair should proliferate. Then you might reach 150 cm.
Is long hair the exception?
But take the Chinese Jiang Aixiu. In 2011 she had hair that was 3.60 meters long! And then she didn’t even have the longest hair in the world, because the most extended hair in the world is even longer than 5 meters. She told an interviewer that her hair grew relatively quickly, about 7.8 inches – that is almost 20 cm – in a year. If you then do a calculation – 360/20 – it appears that her hair must have been in the anagen phase for 18 – yes really 18 – years.
And even though she was one of the few people, there are countless people in the world with her that are longer than a meter. It is that we live in a society where short hair is the norm – although you see a change in this with today’s teenagers – in many Asian countries, long hair is very reasonable. And also take a look at the international (Western) hair forum the Long Hair Community how long the majority of people there have. Very normal everyday ladies and occasionally also men who consciously let their hair grow and many of whom have managed to reach an excellent length.
My hair length
If I look at myself, then I have cut a lot in the last six years. I even dare to say that it has been an average of 10 cm in a year, and there have been years that more has gone off than has grown. My hair is now 75.5 cm, and at the longest, it has been 78 cm. That should not be possible with just six years of growth. Because if I had to cut less all the time or not at all, it would have been on the ground for a long time.
Terminal length, temporary growth stop or wear?
Many of us think that we will have reached our terminal hair length if it does not want to grow any further. Don’t we all have those moments when it feels like our hair just isn’t producing anymore? – That is very normal; by the way, I often have months when my hair only doesn’t grow. And then suddenly months in which it grows 2.5 cm. – Or that you want to improve your hair long but get stuck at the same length every time? Often it is not because your hair stops growing, but because your hair breaks down from below.
And if you have curly hair, it seems like you reach your terminal height much earlier than others, but that is often because you only see your actual height when you stretch your hair. So do not give up; it is possible to let your hair grow longer.
Terminal length: real or not? I think…
Do I not believe in terminal length at all? Certainly. What I only guess is that scientists need to do more research into this phenomenon. I would like to see a scientific study of the duration of the growth phases of people with long hair. For now, I enjoy ignoring science, and I go by my mind and feeling. Hair can grow long, very long, and I certainly had no intention of discouraging me from growing up to the hips by the idea of terminal length. I’m going to prove them wrong!