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Hair Length Guide: How to Measure and Track the Growth of Your Natural Hair (2024)

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Tracking your locks’ length helps gauge growth and hair health over time.

Measure wet or dry strands in inches from scalp to ends using a tape measure.

Document with photos.

Compare to your body as well – from chin to waist and more.

Doing so provides insight on styles to try while appreciating uniqueness.

Now let’s explore techniques to lovingly measure your mane’s journey.

Key Takeaways

  • Use a soft tape measure to measure your hair from roots to ends.
  • Note measurements in relation to your curl pattern and hair type.
  • Re-measure every 4-6 weeks, taking notes on the products you used.
  • Use body parts to estimate your hair length if you do not have a tape measure.

Categories of Hair Length

Categories of Hair Length
When growing out your hair, it helps to have categories to mark your progress. Hair length is generally divided into 4 main categories:

  • Short
  • Medium
  • Long
  • Extra Long

As you read on, we’ll explore the typical measurements used to define each hair length category.

Short Length

One cm to 20 cm is considered short length hair.

In imagery, short locks are a pixie cut to the ear, a chin-length bob, or an undercut with shorter sides.

Other ranges are a 14-inch, straight shoulder-length cut or a lovely lob blending bob versatility with long hair intrigue.

Medium Length

The medium length category includes your hair if you’ve grown it out to fall between 20cm to 40cm (about 8 to 16 inches). You’ll want to accurately measure and record your progress to ensure you’re reaching your goals for this classic mid-range style.

Hair Length Body Part
Shoulder 14 inches
Lob 16-18 inches
Collarbone 18-20 inches

Long Length

You’re looking at locks that go beyond the shoulder blades as long hair. Common lengths include:

  • Mid-back length hair
  • Waist or tailbone-length hair
  • Record-holding lengths like Xie Qiuping’s 5.62 m locks

Tracking your hair growth over time through methods like comparison photos allows you to revel in your hair’s liberating journey to greater lengths.

Extra Long Length

Having hair reaching 55 to 75 centimeters puts you in the extra long length category.

Maintaining very long locks demands commitment to specialized hair care like deep conditioning, protective styling, regular trims, and gently detangling to prevent breakage.

Still, the versatility of extra long hair allows for elaborate updos, striking hair extensions, waist-skimming braids, and showstopping blowouts, making this length’s high maintenance worthwhile for those seeking an eye-catching mane.

Measuring Your Natural Hair Length

Measuring Your Natural Hair Length
When growing out your natural hair, you’ll want to accurately measure its length over time to track your progress.

The two main methods are using a soft tape measure or comparing against different parts of your body, like your shoulders or waist.

Place the tape at your roots and stretch to the ends for the most precise measurement.

Using a Measuring Tape

After categorizing hair lengths, you’re measuring your natural hair growth with a soft tape measure for accurate and consistent tracking over time.

  • Carefully place the tape’s end at your front hairline, then gently stretch it along the back to the ends without pulling.
  • Note measurements in relation to curl pattern and hair type – both impact visual length. Fine or thinning hair can also appear shorter.

Create a personalized hair length chart tracking growth over months/years.

  • Use comparisons like nose, ear and jaw lengths as helpful checkpoints.
  • Re-measure every 4-6 weeks, taking notes on products used.
  • Photos further validate progress.

Using Body Parts

Measurement employing your body as a gauge provides another handy approach for tracking your mane’s length over time. Compare your tresses to parts like your shoulders, bra strap, or waist to estimate growth.

Shoulder length hair grazes the shoulders while bra strap locks reach down to your bra line. Armpit-length hair touches the hollows under your arms. Mid-back manes grow a few inches below your shoulder blades.

Waist length tresses fall to your midriff. Hip-length strands stop at your upper pelvis. Thigh-length hair extends down your thighs to around knee level. Floor length locks are so long they sweep the floor.

Using natural landmarks as markers allows you to conveniently track your hair’s journey sans measuring aids.

Front Hair Length Guide

Front Hair Length Guide
Front hair length refers to the length of your hair from the front hairline to the ends.

Eyebrow length (EBL): hair touches the top of the eyebrow when pulled.

Lip length: hair touches the upper lip.

Nose length (NL): hair touches the nostrils when pulled.

Chin-length (CL): hair measures up to the chin.

Ear length (EL): hair touches one’s ears.

Jaw length: hair touches your left/right jaw when pulled.

Sides Hair Length Guide

Sides Hair Length Guide
To measure the length of your hair on the sides, simply pull a strand and see if it reaches your ears.

Ear length: hair touches one’s ears.

Jaw length: hair touches your left/right jaw when pulled.

Shoulder length: hair is long enough to reach your shoulders.

Back Hair Length Guide

Back Hair Length Guide
Now that you’re familiar with measuring the length of your hair from the sides, let’s move on to exploring how to measure and track the growth of your back hair. The back is an important area when it comes to determining overall hair length and achieving those desired long locks.

There are several key milestones in measuring back hair length, each representing a different level of growth.

First up is armpit-length (APL), which refers to when your hair reaches or touches the armpit area. This usually occurs after medium-back-length (MBL), where your strands grow beyond reaching just below or at bra strap-level.

As you continue growing, waist-length (WL) becomes a significant achievement as it indicates that your tresses have reached close proximity to the belly button.

Next comes hip-length (HL) – here, your mane stops at the top of hips for an elegant appearance that exudes femininity and gracefulness. For those aiming for even longer lengths, tailbone-length (TBL) represents an impressive milestone as it signifies that your precious locks now reach down towards or around the tailbone region.

Lastly, we’ve classic length (CL). At this point in time-consuming journey towards ultimate mermaid-like goals ,your beautiful tresses cascade pasts buttocks creating stunning visual impact wherever you go.

From thereon out,TBH sky’s limit if so desire ie thighlength(TL),kneelength(KL)calflength(CL).

By tracking these various markers along with taking regular photos,you can effectively monitor progress made over time while also gaining confidence, mastery, liberation, sense of power through managing personal appearance.

Tips for Accurate Measurement

Tips for Accurate Measurement
To ensure accurate measurements of your natural hair length, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

First, it’s important to measure your hair when it’s dry rather than wet, as wet hair tends to be longer.

Additionally, try to avoid changing hairstyles frequently as this can make it difficult to get an accurate measurement.

Lastly, tracking your hair care routine and taking regular photos will help you monitor the progress of your hair growth over time.

Wet Vs Dry Hair

Your hair will be longer when it’s wet, so if you want to get an accurate measurement, measure your hair dry.

Tips for accurate measurement:

  1. Avoid changing hairstyles.
  2. Track your hair care routine.
  3. Take regular photos.

Avoid Changing Hairstyles

If you frequently change hairstyles, it can be challenging to obtain accurate measurements of your natural hair length. Avoid layers, trims, heat styling, deep conditioning, and hair ties to keep your hair in its natural state for the most accurate measurement.

Hairstyle Impact on Hair Length
Layers Can make hair appear shorter
Trims Can shorten hair
Heat styling Can damage hair and make it appear shorter
Deep conditioning Can weigh hair down and make it appear shorter
Hair ties Can cause hair to break and make it appear shorter

Track Your Hair Care Routine

Note down your hair care routine to see how it affects your hair length. The products you use, the way you style your hair, and your overall hair health can all impact how quickly your hair grows.

Take Regular Photos

To accurately track the growth of your natural hair, regularly take photos:

  • Every 1 month
  • Every 2 months
  • Every 3 months
  • Every 6 months
  • Every year.

This will help you see how your hair is growing over time and celebrate your progress.

Hair Length Comparison Chart

Hair Length Comparison Chart
Keep in mind that your hair’s actual length may vary depending on your hair type and the desired accuracy.

Here are some tips for getting accurate measurements:

  • Wet vs dry hair: Your hair will be longer when it’s wet, so if you want to get an accurate measurement, measure your hair dry.
  • Avoid changing hairstyles: If you change your hairstyle often, it will be difficult to get an accurate measurement.
  • Track your hair care routine: The products you use and the way you style your hair can affect its length.
  • Take regular photos: Taking pictures of your hair every few weeks or months will help you track your progress.

Here is a hair length comparison chart that you can use to track your progress:

Hair Length Measurement
Pixie 1-2 inches
Bob 3-5 inches
Lob 5-7 inches
Shoulder-length 7-9 inches
Collarbone-length 9-11 inches
Bra strap-length 11-13 inches
Mid-back 13-15 inches
Waist-length 15-17 inches
Hip-length 17-19 inches
Thigh-length 19-21 inches
Floor-length 21 inches or more

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between actual hair length and visual hair length?

Your hair’s actual length is the distance from the root to the tip, while your hair’s visual length is the distance from the front hairline to the ends.

If you have a lot of layers or bangs, your hair’s visual length may be shorter than its actual length.

Should I measure my hair wet or dry?

You can measure your hair length either wet or dry, but your hair will be longer when it’s wet.

What is the best way to measure my hair length?

The best way to measure your hair length is to use a tape measure.

To do this, part your hair in the middle and place the end of the tape measure at the front hairline.

Measure down to the ends of your hair.

How can I measure my hair length without a tape measure?

You can measure your hair length without a tape measure by using your body as a measuring aid.

Compare your hair to the length of your arm, shoulder, or waist.

What are some tips for getting accurate measurements?

To get accurate measurements:

  • Stay away from different hairstyles.
  • Note down your hair care routine.
  • Take pictures regularly.


Measuring your hair’s length is an important part of tracking its growth and health. By using the tips in this guide, you can accurately measure your hair and see your progress over time.

  1. Choose a consistent time to measure your hair.
  2. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure your hair from the root to the tip.
  3. If your hair is curly or textured, straighten it before measuring.
  4. Take multiple measurements to get an accurate average.
  5. Record your measurements in a journal or logbook so you can track your progress over time.

By following these tips, you can easily measure your hair’s length and see how it’s growing over time.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.