Monday, 17 February 2014

Tough Love - Stop with the 'Health over Length' Already!

First and foremost comes a disclaimer of sorts: Of course I know that the health is most definitely more important than the length of our hair. After all, who wants long, beat-up hair with thin, scraggly ends? NOT ME. However, another thing that I know is that WITH health comes length (unless you truly don't want long hair and keep cutting it). Why then do I continually hear 'health over length', 'health over length' health over length' ? As if it's one or the other, when in actuality, they are not mutually exclusive, they occur together!

Again I say, I know there are persons who really don't desire length, and those people usually get frequent trims/cuts to keep their locks at a particular length (and usually don't need to make a chant out of those three words). But there are others who KNOW that they have length goals and who are stuck at a particular length and are tired of it, who echo the 'health over length' mantra. What do I think of this? One word: bull****. A lot of people gon' be mad but in my opinion, that's an excuse. It's always a kind of "I didn't reach my goal, but at least my hair is healthy! Health over length!" 

I think we should be honest with ourselves and really take a good look at our regimens and figure out what is working and what is not. And fix those things! Deep condition more often, do protein treatments, pre-poo, protective and low manipulation style...! Do what it takes to make our goals reality. Do not settle. This blog is called Below The Waist for a reason! So if you ever hear me utter those words, know I'm lying lol. I came here for the length and by God I'm gonna get it. I'm not going to slack off talkn' bout 'health over length', nope not in these parts.

Had to get that off my chest. So if this hits home for you, put your big girl panties on and do what you need to do to achieve those length goals. Don't settle. There goes some tough love for you.

Happy Monday! Muah!


  1. I always thought it just meant if you're getting length but you know your ends aren't healthy and look bad then cut off the unhealthy ends and don't hang on to the length because that's not healthy. That's just my interpretation of the phrase. Many try to hang on to the length even when they know their hair is not healthy.

    1. I've always looked at it this way too Andrea.

    2. I had the same interpretation Andrea and Rileynak. If you're holding on to that 1 strand of BSL hair just because it feels "long" then you're probably not doing yourself a favor. I think that the phrase health over length is just a perspective that requires you to shift your focus to achieving and maintaining healthy hair practices instead of on trying every super weird get-waist-length-hair-tomorrow trick you read about.

      KLP | SavingOurStrands

  2. I LOVED THIS and I couldn't agree more!!!!! As you said {with very little exception) if your hair is healthy, length is a natural byproduct. And if you have incredibly long hair, nine times out of ten its healthy. To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a head of unhealthy waist length or below hair. I agree that this extremely obvious sentiment tends to be repeated by people with shorter hair. My whip {in between waist and hip) length hair grows in a v shape and I only trim split ends. I don't follow a strict trimming schedule, I allow my hair to grow in a v, trimming unhealthy ends only and as a result my hair is healthy and long. This was an awesome post and I plan to share it. Thanks and God bless!

  3. I really needed this! People tend to forget health and length go hand in hand x

  4. You are very right, ad to add to the discussion hair isnt healthy, it is DEAD. If people talked about a healthy scalp i might agree. That is very important. But hair is dead and what every you ad to it is temporary. The hair is dead so its health is very debatable.

  5. This is so true Abbi! You seem to always take my own thoughts and add voice to paper.

    Though the right thought is in place to not hold on to those long unhealthy strands, I see it mentioned more when talking about trimming on a regular basis. I never quite understood cutting as often after an 8-12 week stretch with relaxer. I loved your previous post debating this kind of schedule.

    You seem to ask the same questions I do and find good solutions. Your protective styles are also inspiring for me because I don't like braids/twists as a style due to my work environment and you come up with so many different things. I have been reading your blog the entire time I have been here at the beach in Florida on vacation. My talking about your blog and others has also inspired my mom to go natural.

    Thanks to you, KLP, and others, I have begun my own blog and will mention ya'll more than a few times. Thanks for the inspiration, time, research, and dedication it takes to show others your journey as well as to educate and challenge common practices. Without you (all), my hair wouldn't be healthier today. :)


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