#HairGrowth: DIY Length Check T-Shirt

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About 3 weeks ago, I got lovingly dragged on Instagram when I tried to do a pseudo mid-month length check. Everything from my head was at a different angle, to I had on a different shirt, and I'm just seeing things was said. And to a certain extent, I could precisely see where everyone was coming from. Rather than get butt-heart, I took it as a teachable moment.

My official 1-month check-in for the Manetabolism hair growth challenge was a pain in the kituckus. I had theeeee hardest time replicating the exact types of pictures. I couldn't line my shoulders up across pictures for the life of me. And you could just FORGET the front hair pictures. I decided enough was enough, and I was not going to endure this for months 2 thru 6. So I did what any self-respecting, slightly length obsessed naturalista would do: I made a length check shirt.

That's right: I made a shirt. Instead of buying one.

As cute as the length check shirts are from folks like Rapunzel The Future of Hair and Just Grow Already, I felt deep in my spirit that I'd rather spend money on hair products than a cutesy shirt I'd put on once a month for a few minutes. So I grabbed the following things to prepare to make my shirt:
  • Old t-shirt from Old Navy (I wanted something that had writing on the front, as a basis for comparison/measurement in the front)
  • My Rapunzel The Future of Hair tape measure (for the life of me, I could not find my ruler)
  • Large binder clip (to secure the shirt and tape measure, I was working on a TV tray)
  • Sharpie (black)
  • Clip board (I needed something with a straight, hard edge because I couldn't find a ruler)
Of course, if you're making your own shirt using a ruler, you can eliminate the need for tape measure and clip board. But I had to make do. Here's how I put it all together:

Step 1: Flatten out t-shirt front down, and smooth out any wrinkles. Identify the midpoint of the shirt collar.

Step 2: Release tape measure to desired number of inches, and place the 0 inch mark directly at the bottom of the collar, in the center of the shirt. Use large binder clip to secure tape measurement and t-shirt to the hard surface (this only works if you're using a tray or desk:

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Step 3: Once you have determined that the tape measure is running in a straight line down the center of the shirt, mark a dot at every inch along the measure. I opted for 17 inches, so I have 17 dots.

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Step 4: Remove tape measure, and grab your clip board. Place it right along each dot, and use it to draw a line horizontally across the back of the shirt. Don't be alarmed if your lines are actually dashes. If you're heavy-handed with the marker, it will cause the shirt to bunch slightly and result in dashes instead of lines. Not a big deal, you can still clearly see what's going on!

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Step 5: Number each line according to how many you drew. Again, I have 17 lines so that means 17 inches.

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Step 6: Take 58 selfies (with your phone on the timer of course), doing various length check poses. Rifle through them all, select the best 3 or 4, and upload them to Instagram, lol. Kinda like this:

Month 2 with @courtneynaturalhair and @themanechoice #Manetabolism Hair Growth Challenge!!! Excited to see where I'll be at the end of March!!! #naturalhair #hairgrowth #hairgrowthchallenge #themanechoice

Enjoy! I want to see your #lengthcheck t-shirts! Tag me in them on Instagram!


  1. I'm interested in making this t-shirt, but none of these photos show up except the last one. Can you reload the pics??

  2. much obliged for this guide. I've never known such aspects.

  3. Now there are many great opportunities to create stylish clothes and sell them, and you don't need a sewing workshop or a warehouse to store ready-made clothes. I advise you to visit the Printful website, where you can create custom clothes. You will receive orders directly from this site. I think this is a great idea for those who want design clothes.