Someone told me your hair can only grow to be a certain length

ArJay1230ArJay1230 Registered Users Posts: 14
I just had someone try to explain to me that there's such thing as having a "terminal hair length" and that your hair will only grow to be a certain length which is dependent on your genetics. A. That is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard and B. Who was the person who thought of this?

When i tried to explain to this girl that it's not true and as long as you're living and breathing, have a good diet, and take care of your hair, your hair and nails will grow (and even after you're living and breathing). She became extremely annoyed and mad. I don't understand how someone can think that's logical and become so angry about it.


  • supersoupsupersoup Registered Users Posts: 50
    I think she's at least partially correct, although I'm no expert. Here's a link on the human hair growth cycle: Human hair growth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Someone with more knowledge can probably expand on that, but I know what she said is true for body hairs (as opposed to head hairs). It's the reason we don't have, say, 5 inch long hair on our arms (and thank goodness for that!).
    Hair type: 3a (Botticelli)

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  • KaijahKaijah Registered Users Posts: 69
    That's actually true. Hair has the anagen stage, the growing stage, lasting around 7 years but this varies from person to person based on their genetics. How much they grow in that time is also determined by their genes.
    Next comes the catagen stage, metabolic activity slows significantly, essentially a transition phase lasting a few weeks where the hair bulb migrates to the surface of the skin.
    Finally the telogen stage, the resting stage also lasting a few weeks, the hair stops growing, the base atrophies and a new hair starts growing underneath it. This is when the old hair will shed.

    All three phases occur simultaneously on your head, so you don't shed all your hair at once and go bald every few years.

    If you want super in depth information on this there's a book called Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair that covers everything you could ever want to know about hair. Most of it's available online from Google books for free.

    ETA: I'm not sure what you meant by "even after you're living and breathing" but if you meant that hair/nails continue growing after death, that's actually a myth. :) Dead bodies lose moisture and dry up - the skin tightens and retracts back, so it looks like there is more hair/nail.
    2C-3Aish/mostly M/ii-iii, med-high porosity, normal elasticity, hip length
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  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Sadly, I'm living proof that arm hair can grow long and go crazy.

    I have no idea why this is happening, and I'd rather just trim it than see a trichologist.
  • ArJay1230ArJay1230 Registered Users Posts: 14
    Thank you guys for the great responses! I do understand the natural process of growing and losing hair but this girl made it sound like your hair can never grow passed a certain length due to genetics.

    I will definitely have to check out that book. I really wasn't trying to be offensive to her but i guess she took it the wrong way anyway. I was going to ask her where it was she'd heard it from but i didn't have the opportunity. I just like to make sure people have their facts right before they go broadcasting their knowledge to tons of people. The way she handled it was rather rude and snotty. She was telling girls to basically not bother growing their hair out because their genes wont allow them to, instead of taking into account that most of them are using heat and unnatural chemicals on their hair. I tried to grow my hair out for years while i was still straightening it and it never worked but now it's growing like a weed! I suppose that's why it sort of offended me.

    I just looked up the anagen phase and wikipedia says it lasts from 2-7 years. That's actually quite a while! Well at least for me lol. This is why i love the nc boards. Always filled with good information. :)
  • coco_bunnycoco_bunny Registered Users Posts: 216
    it is true...depending on your shedding rate (i.e 100 hairs a day) your hair will ALL be replaced within a certain time. If you shed more your hair may be replaced every 2 years. If you shed less it can be up to 10 years. We all know that good hair care can help you retain length. So to reach your terminal length you need to retain ALL the hair that grows. After about waist or hip length with optimal retention it all depends on genetics. Only people with first good hair care and the genetics can get hair past your hips. Because the average life of a hair is 4-5 years, most people with hair past their hips have a hair life span of 6-10+ years. Some people are also on the opposite side of the spectrum they only have terminal length of 2 years and can only reach shoulder length, when the hair grows at the average rate of 1/2 and inch. Technically your friend is right. Hair length DOES depend on genetics but you will never know your TRUE terminal length without a solid hair care routine... Hope this clears things up :)

    Oh and yes there are people with hair that has 10+ years of life span....they have hair that's all the way down to the floor and beyond, definitely some GREAT genetics lol
    BC ~ August 2010 ~ GOAL ~ hip/tail bone length :love4:
    Current Length: 12 inches
    TWO YEARS NATURAL! :occasion1:
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