Monday, September 19, 2011

When a 1/2-Inch Isn't Exactly a 1/2-Inch


They say hair grows at the rate of a 1/2-inch per month. While not considered a substantial amount, when comparing "no hair" to a 1/2-inch of hair, I'll take what I can get and be happy for it.

Before losing my hair and many times after, I did numerous google searches on hair growth. I consider myself a true "google girl" because I google anything and everything. Knowing I was about to become a baldy prompted many online queries on hair in general. The consensus regarding growth rate was exactly as stated above. So when I read to expect 1/2-inch growth, I expected exactly that...1/2-inch each month. And who would blame me for believing?

I got my info from the internet.

And we all know the world wide web doesn't lie?


In all my research, no one stated the 1/2-inch would be given to me with conditions. Actually, I'm stretching the truth just a bit. Exceptions and conditions were given...I just didn't want to believe them....I wanted to hang onto the hope of getting my 1/2-inch of hair each month! You know, positive thinking at its finest. But just like everything in life, there are exceptions to every rule.

One condition mentioned is the medication I'm taking could hinder normal growth. Given this drug is saving my life...well...I guess you can see why this growth inhibitor is pretty easy to accept. Another relates to my overall health. Okay...I just went head to head with Stage 3 cancer. I'm thinking my overall health hasn't been exactly working in my favor. And still another rests on the amount of rest I'm getting. Does that mean I need to slow down and smell the roses? I have yet to master that one. Rest isn't in my vocabulary. Factor in stress and the fact we are all "unique individuals with differing growth rates", I can't help but wonder why "they" ever made the 1/2-inch promise to begin with? Like...don't we all experience stress? And just who are "they" anyway?

Chemo ended February 4th. It is now September 19th. That is just over 7 months (7-1/2 months to be exact). I should have 3-1/2 inches of hair (technically 3-3/4 inches). No?

But I don't.

I have just over 2 inches.

Guess I'm one of those "unique individuals with a differing growth rate".

Mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm actually enjoying the process. If you had told me I would have uttered those words prior to losing my hair, I would have laughed in your face. But things have changed for me. I used to find my state of being all wrapped up in the kind of hair day I was experiencing. A good hair day meant an overall good day...a bad hair day...well...that just sucked! Now my hair carries very little weight with regard to my disposition. It just isn't that important anymore.

That being said, I really do miss my long hair and you can bet I'm letting it grow at whatever rate it will grow, doing everything I can to accelerate the process, all in hopes of having long hair again. In the meantime, I'm working to embrace each growth phase...trying my darnedest to "rock" each "look" along the way.

But I have a point to make. Don't I always? I've stumbled upon another life lesson in the arena of hair growth. I know...I seriously over-analyze everything. A life lesson from hair??? Hmmm....

The point I want to make is simply this. We all get caught up in expectations and in so doing, we can sometimes miss the thrill of the ride. We are too busy looking for what we think we should be getting and find ourselves not enjoying what we have.

I'll go ahead and admit it...I do pull out the ruler each month to see how much my hair has grown. And I will continue to do so. Just so you know, watching hair grow is a clear reminder of the truth behind the saying "a watched pot never boils". Repeatedly measuring hair growth is a futile process. But I can't help myself....I'm anal that way. However, I no longer whine about how slow it is growing. Let's face's only hair. I've been without and survived.. I think life will most certainly go on...

even if my 1/2-inch isn't exactly a 1/2-inch.

Met up with any unrealized expectations lately? If so, how did you handle them?


  1. oh you make me giggle!!! I can so remember those days!!!

    So glad to see you blogging again....

    Love you girlie and keep up that wonderful attitude!!!!! You are my hero!!

  2. I sooooooooooo wish I could give you my hair growth average... seriously... I lose OVER a handful of hair a day... HOWEVER hair grows at an amazing rate...I just got 5 1/2 inches but off two months ago... and here it is two months later and that hair is ALL back... I guess I don't fit in those google categories do I?? LOL!! Thanks for the laugh this AM girl! Love ya! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Lisa, I haven't gone through any cancer treatments (as of yet, but it's possible in the coming months), and my hair does not even grow a 1/2 inch a month! I think I may have the slowest growing hair in the world! Luckily, I like to keep it short! You however, have a great attitude about it, and you are very inspirational!

  4. I have hair that grows like weeds & although straight, tends to get wider rather than longer!!! BUT...I've only ever worn it past my shoulders for short periods of time...I much prefer the speed with which I can style it at chin length...I wash my hair daily & being so thick it used to take an AGE to dry at a longer length! I now get cross at having to pay out for haircuts so regularly just to keep it in shape!! I guess we're never happy!!! On the sentiment of your post I have a favourite quote that I display on my Grant L Miller (& no..I have no idea who he is/was!! Do you?)...'Stop Living Life For What's Around The Corner & Start Enjoying The Walk Down The Street!'...say's it all doesn't it? Keep smiling good to have you back {{Hugs}} x

  5. If anyone can pull off no hair or 2 inches of hair and look's you! Glad you're keeping your sense of humor throughout all of this! Big, big hugs...

  6. Well, it might not be much consolation but you look fantastic. Short, medium, long - you can't miss.

  7. So great to see your blogs again!!!

    I definetly think my growth is higher than the 1/2 inch norm, but it seems each time it grows back, the color gets more and more gray!

    Regardless of your hair length, your beauty shines through!

    Take Care and keep Smillin!


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