#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??