A Few Questions about Hanging from a newbie

As a newbie who is pursuing 2 1/2 inches in length over the next 2 1/2 years I have a few questions I would like answered.

1 - The first and most obvious is can I potentially gain 2 1/2 inches in length without resorting to hanging at some point in the future?

2 - If I were careful to start off light and build up the weight slowly is there any reason why I shouldn’t focus on hanging from the outset as a newbie if I am going to have to hang eventually anyway?

3 - Since I’m doing manual stretching already isn’t it riskier than hanging since I can’t determine the exact stress being applied?

4 - At a given stress and of a given duration can a hanger potentially cause less blood circulation problems than a manual stretch held with the same stress for the same duration?