Terminal Length – How Long Can Your Hair Actually Grow?

On BHI our mission to to teach women of color to grow long hair but 'long' means different things to different people. When we first begin our hair journeys, we have hopes and dreams of hair swinging in the wind lapping at our waists but is this even possible for all black women?

Before we get started, this graphic below shows different hair length terms.

Hair lengths from neck length to tail bone length

Hair grows at a genetically pre-determined rate, the rate that you will often hear quoted is an average of 6 inches per year but in truth, the rate is 4-6 inches per year. It tends to be faster in Caucasians and Asians and slower in people of African descent, mine is only 4 inches per year.

A strand of hair can only grow for so long and this period (anagen phase) ranges depending on who you ask from 2 to 6 years with men having shorter anagen phases than women. Even though different strands may be at different stages in their cycle, about 85% of your hair will be in anagen phase at any one time. The anagen phase is clearly a big player when it comes to determining the length of hair.


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About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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MimieJessie Tembo Mimie

ampit length

Shai Pruitt

I`m going for tail bone length….

Floflo Siana

mid-back lengh

Aaliyah Stawberrykiss Jones

Shoulder length

Rae Florexil

Hip length is my goal

Sandy D'embalmama Jay

Bra strap length to start off with

Jaycelyn Tipps Ketchum

I’m good with armpit length, anything more I can’t handle.

Musheerah Lewis

Im mid back bit hoping for waist or tail bone. Have to keep it healthy!!!!

Basheera Hassanali

Me too!

Basheera Hassanali

I just noticed your name rhymes with mine.

LaMia Bentley

I hope you reach your goal 🙂

Aisha Johnson

Mine doesn’t past my collar bone…All it does is break of after that..

Adelice Nicole

I’m perfectly satisfied with whatever length it gets to its maximum healthy length..♡

Tara Chase Stephens

Im abt 2 inches past arm pit length..

Margret NotMargaret Onyeaghor

My natural hair is currently armpit length, but I’d like it to be mid back length when wet. (That is how I tell my approximate straightened length.)

Candace S
Candace S

I just wish all my hair was even the same LENGTH! No matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to want to grow out. The top half grows, but the bottom doesn’t. My sides continue to break off and not grow. I’m staying to think I should just shave my head! 🙁

Carmella McCoy

I ain’t nowhere near 5ft4 so 15in of hair would never be waist length on me.

Seccface Griffin

I’m armpit length

Miriam Correa

I’m already waist length, hopefully I’ll be tailbone later on this year, early next year.

Debra Benny

My goal right now, armpit length. I’m at shoulder length now. One goal length at a time. Lol

Ahmalyah Maynard

Tail Bone Length right now it is Bra Strap Length

Zennedy Bibbs

Trying to get tail bone length but I’m almost at the shoulder! Lol

Shannon Reed

This obsession with long hair is ridiculous. Who cares, healthy hair should be the goal.

Basheera Hassanali

Shannon Reed Long hair is Beautiful, if it weren’t then there wouldn’t be so many buying long wigs and weaves. A woman’s Hair is her GLORY.

Shawntel Chinn

So true.

Antwanette Wiley

soooo if your hair is short its UGLY????? no, SOCITY has shaped people to think long hair is beautiful, the new it…..all Shannon is saying is strive for healthy hair and the rest will come

Nicole Caldwell

I’m at shoulder length

Nicole Caldwell

It’s nothing wrong with wanting to have long hair.

Stacy-Ann Shreeves

My goal is armpit lenght.. If I can achieve bra strap lenght then that’s great.. But my main goal is being healthy overall and with that mindset, I know I will achieve my goal! 🙂

Yaasmiyn Ahshaki

Smh how about who cares!!! what length you have. Ain’t gonna make our race any more accepted then we are now! Put more energy into our childs education n moving our community farther!

Kimberly Dixon

I understand what you’re saying but this is a hair page. So they’re going to talking about hair topics such as hair lengths.

Taneesha Renee

Shai Pruitt I’m a gone head and try for that ankle length lol

Kimberly Dixon

I’m at bra strap length but I don’t have a length goal. It’s just growing on it’s own and I only trim my ends.

Asia Battle

Certain styles require certain lengths, so I see why people have length goals. When I first started, I wanted to be able to wear a side ponytail that would lay on my shoulder and not be stiff stick straight up in the air! But I also agree that healthy hair should be the main focus…

Nadou B. Pierre

Im a little past shoulder length in a straightened state I want to be shoulder length in my natural state .

Ilsis E. Pozo

My goal is HEALTH

Jessica Flanigan

I’m currently at neck when straightened. I want armpit length to be where I stop. Anything below that is too long for me,

Lisa Fields McDonald

I have bra length and my 4 year old has tail bone

Karen Nkwe-ini

My goal is to get from neck to armit hair length! I can’t stand short hair!!!!!

Dey Dey Faulkner

Im shoulder length but my goal is to be bra strap length

Josie Nelson

Mine is neck line now, I want shoulder length!!!

Terry Norman

Neck length right now. Ready for shoulder

Jasmine Kearns

I used to care about length but all I’m wanting is healthy hair. If it grows long cool. If it doesn’t oh well. I’ll still love it anyway!

Sabine Fontilus

How about toe length. Lol

Llorata Aaliyahandlloydstt Handia

I have been at arm pit length. I am seriously aiming for bra strap.

Ash Doll

My goal is waist length 🙂 Im Chin length noww

Kimberly Limas

I’m 2 inches passed tail bone length =)

Ama Barton

My goal is waist length

Alexis Craig

U forgot ear length…lol

Naomi Daniella

Schoulder

Leandra Adalia Charles

waist but i cut it all off :'( and im missing it

Camilla Sparrow

I’m currently working towards armpit length, I have the shoulders covered 🙂

Terry Lynch-Purce

Mid Back length!!!

Eve Cornell

Man I hope it can help me

Deanna Merritt Ross

Not interested in length. My hair is the healthiest it has ever been.

Tonita Lawson

Women love long hair. We buy long weave hair by the Billions of dollars.

Chelsea Crouch

all the ppl saying “who cares!?” prob cant grow their hair long. theres nothing wrong with wanting long hair