Is your hair longer after you’ve had it in a protective style? What is the science behind this theory?
The short answer is “Yes.” Your hair is indeed probably growing more while in protective styles. The main reason for this is that the ends are protected and out of harm’s way. You are probably experiencing little to no breakage or splitting of ends when you have protective styles in. Many women wear their hair in protective styles for the implicit purpose of eliminating breakage and giving their hair a break from all of the natural elements it endures each day. This is especially true of mothers of young children who want their daughters’ hair to grow.
Another practice that many women believe encourages hair growth is the elimination of bobby pins and rubber bands to hold hair in place. While this can certainly help, it is probably not contributing greatly to actual hair growth. Just because your ends are no longer damaged does not mean hair is actually growing.
I have said it once and I’ll say it 1 million times more, do not put the focus of your hair goals and aspirations on length. If you do, it will only stress you out and make you miss out on the many styles you can try without “down to there” hair. You may be surprised how much you enjoy your short or medium hair length.