Okay, I have a mini-update. As you know (if not see 8/4/08 post) I have challenged myself to wear protective styles for a year (until Aug. '09) to see how long my hair would grow with little or no manipulation. I have been wearing my hair in box braids since August. I am on my third set of box braids. The first set lasted three weeks and the second lasted two (I did the second set a little bigger approx 35 braids or so).
After taking the second set down yesterday I had planned to wear my hair in two-strand twists, but decided to go back to the tiny box braids because they last longer. It took me over four hours to put them in and I plan to keep them in until the end of October/beginning of November if I don't get tired of them.
Now for the update:
When I took the first set of braids down I really didn't notice any difference in length, but after taking the second set down I noticed that my hair was a little longer. After I detangled with a wide tooth comb I was actually able to get all of my hair in a pony tail (well really a pony-puff :o) I was able to get every strand in a lower pony tail - gathered in the middle of the back of my head versus all piled on the top, and it actually stayed.
Of course, my hair was stretched out since it had been in braids for two weeks, so I decided to try it after I washed it. Once washed my hair shrinks up, so usually I can only put it into two small puffs because it could not fit into one even after detangling. But this time it fit into one puff - although still small, and I had to make the puff a little higher on my head (but not directly sitting on the top).
I also noticed the growth after I put the new tiny braids in and I was able to put over 90% of them in one tiny bun, which again is not a low bun, but not directly sitting on top of my head either. I did keep one braid down - purposely (I usually keep one or two down to show-off the length :o) I did not have to use any hair clips to keep them in place this time, but I'm sure after I wash them this will change. But, this is great progress :o)
I plan to do updates on my hair growth as I take each style down. I also may have to trim/dust the ends after I take this third set of braids out - I may even do that before taking them out. I have not tried any new products or poos so far. I just wash (with my shampoo bar - coming soon :o) - and I add some shea butter throughout and a little on the ends before I braid. I also wash every two weeks. That's it. I will keep you posted.
Peace and Blessings...