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Monday, November 28, 2011

Working Through The APL-BSL Hump..

As you guys know, BSL has been my goal length for this year and I finally reached it in October. When I started aiming for this length, I thought it would be so easy to reach. After all, I had successfully gotten past the dreaded SL-APL hump that you hear so much about on the hair boards. BSL should be CAKE right?

Not necessarily.

During my quest for BSL, I discovered the APL-BSL hump. Anyone who has experienced this hump know that watching your hair growth during this time is like watching grass grow or watching paint dry. It's like nothing ever happens and you're the same length every. single. length. check. Talk about discouraging. BSL seems so far away and although you're doing everything right regimen wise, it doesn't seem like it is reflecting in your retention. So what do you do when you came running head first to this (retention) brick wall? Let me tell you what helped me:

Wash and DC your hair 100x a day. Psych! Just playing.

1) Pay attention to your hair. This step is very important. You have to determine if you are doing right by your hair. Are you staying on top of your moisture/protein balance? When was your last trim/search and destroy session? How have your stress levels been? What is your diet like? All of these things are important for healthy hair growth and it is easy to get really lax in your regimen the longer you have been on your hair journey (how many of us were super duper on top of things when we first started are now like....meh? Go on...admit it. We've all been there). Speaking from experience, it is important not to slack on your regimen if you are still actively trying to meet your length goals.

2) Know thyself. By that I mean, know your body. Personally, I have a long torso. That's just the name of the game. It took me dang near forever to reach APL and it took me dang near forever to reach BSL. That's just what it is. Since I can't undo the wonderful genetics that is me, I just work with it. I have to operate with the mindset that it will take me longer to reach certain goals because my torso is so long. I can't compare myself with other women who may have shorter torsos.

3) Check Your Bra. Seriously. BSL is such a tricky length because the goal doesn't have an anatomical landmark. Instead, it uses an article of clothing...and a fickle one at that. Depending on how your bra sits, BSL can be as high as APL and as low as MBL. If your bra sits too low, BSL can take forever because really you're going after MBL. If it's too high....I don't really know what to say about that LOL. My point is, take care to check the position of your bra to ensure an accurate reading of length. If BSL is too all over the place for your, use the anatomical marker 'Below Shoulder Blade' (BSB).

4) Patience. Ultimately, patience is key for this length. If you know you have been doing everything right by your hair, BSL will come. However, take comfort in the fact that for a lot of ladies, there is an APL-BSL hump and that length wasn't reached with relative ease.


  1. Nice post - I need to keep these things in mind because I've only been on my journey for ~9 months and have already started to get anxious and lose patience regarding how long it's going to take me to get some length! I can't wait for your next length check - I'm sure you've reached you goal :-)

  2. Thanks for posting, I needed the pep talk. So when are we going to get to see an "official" BSL photo? January? Your last length check looked like you were already there. Hmm..

    Life in a Shoe

  3. @Life in a Shoe The official BSL photo will be taken next month!! I'm not going to straighten my hair until I go home for the holidays so look for it around Dec. 22

    @FEG Thanks! :) Patience is the toughest part about the whole journey...especially when you get to a point where everyone says it's easy. A large reason why I protective style so much is that I don't want to lose patience with my hair and do something cut it lol. But chin up! Your hair is doing its thing and you will definitely see the results!

    @My Healthy Hair Journey Thanks! I think #4 is the one we ALL lose sight of. Especially when we are anxious about determining if we've been retaining what we've grown.

  4. It's funny because #3 rang SO true for me. I have a THICK bra strap due to my cup size, so BSL on me is really MBL. I used to get so annoyed with my hair and could not think of why it seemed like I was stuck between BSL and MBL..Then it struck me that my bra strap is thicker AND lower on my back (for back support). I put on one of my older bras and realized that I was indeed MBL. So, it really does depend on the bra!

    I would add to #2 to know your growth rate to help plan realistic goals. Don't start at SL and set a goal to reach HL in a year, especially if you are a slow grower. You will only frustrate yourself.

  5. Lmao @ "IDK what to say about that"! Thanks girl, I needed this one. I've been APL for over a year, and although I see progress it can be discouraging. My last two trims took me back up a couple of inches, so who knows if I will even get BSL next year! *le sigh* Sees #3 again!

  6. @Age in ATL I think bras and how they sit are a source of frustration for everyone. They are just too variable, imo.

    You are absolutely right about knowing what your growth rate is! I've seen a lot of folks set themselves up for disappointment because they want to go from SL to BSL in a year. Knowing your growth rate definitely helps you pace yourself. I'm a fan of setting goals appropriately. I've always given myself a year to reach a length goal instead of saying 'I'm gonna reach x length in 4 months.' I prevent many wall slide like moments that way lol.

    @EbonyCPrincess LOL you know what I'm talking about...folks who have their bra straps by their arm pits talmbout they reached've seen those threads lol.

    You will definitely get to BSL next year. You have a plan and you are definitely doing what needs to be done for your hair. Have patience...and a little bit of faith too! :)

  7. I loved this post! I agree, too. I was just looking at where the bra sits when I last measured compared to when I recently measured. The one before sat higher. This one is super low. It does take patience...and consistency.

  8. @Divine Hostess Thanks!! I swear that bra strap gets folks every time!! I don't know how it wound up becoming a length marker smh

  9. This is the unfortunate position im in now lol ....this post definitely motivated me to keep it moving! Thanks girl

    1. Glad I could be some source of encouragement! It's definitely I tough hump to get through but it is doable! Good luck! :)

  10. What a timely article for me.:) I just my did my hair in two strand twist and some of my back layers reach APL when stretched.I think BSB is much more accurate and will bear that In mind when doing my next check.