Have you ever felt like your natural hair wasn’t growing? It’s a common complaint among women with textured hair. Well, the truth is, unless there’s some medical issue that prevents your follicles from producing new hair, your strands are always growing. So what’s going on?
In many cases, the issue is not that the hair isn’t growing, but that the length you do achieve from growth isn’t being retained. In other words, as your hair is growing, but the ends are breaking off at the same rate.
Here are seven reasons why your hair may not be retaining length and, therefore, doesn’t seem to be growing.
Lack of Moisture
The need for moisture in naturally textured hair cannot be stressed enough. Since the makeup of our hair doesn’t allow the natural oils from our scalp to easily reach the ends, we need alternative ways of getting that moisture. Without it, we run the risk of breakage.
Try this: on wash day, while your hair is damp, apply another layer of moisture with an organic hair care product like Mielle’s White Peony Leave-In Conditioner. Follow up with something to seal the ends – the oldest and driest part of the hair – like our Mongongo Oil Pomade-to-Oil Treatment. Afterwards, style as usual with any one of our amazing stylers. Some naturalistas may need a styler and then an oil to seal. Tailoring this method to your hair’s needs will boost elasticity and help prevent breakage. And BINGO! You’re retaining your length.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
It’s also important to moisturize from the inside out. I’ve found that those who have issues retaining the length of their natural hair are often not drinking enough water. This tends to show up as dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to split and break. Drinking lots of water, plus making sure you eat plenty of fruit and veggies, will feed your follicles to promote growth and reduce the chance of breakage.
You Use Too Much Heat
We love the versatility of natural hair — curly fro one day, straight the next. But too much heat too often, especially if not done safely, can also cause hair to be extra dry and brittle. In addition to making sure your hair is well moisturized before heat styling, a layer of protection created with a product like our Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray can give your hair a smooth finish without the damage. You should also be sure to use hair tools with adjustable settings, and choose the cool to medium heat setting as much as possible.
Your Hand Is Always in It
Over-manipulation of your hair – whether it’s with your hands or combs and brushes – can cause unnecessary stress, breaking off your fragile ends. If you find that you’re always touching your hair, try wearing protective styles. Keeping your hair braided, twisted, or in a bun for a week or two will force you to keep your hands and hair tools out of it. No touchy, no breaky! The less your hair breaks, the more length you retain!
Hair growth cycles differ from person to person mainly due to genetics. One person’s cycle can have a growth phase of three years, while another has a growth phase of five years before it’s time for the hair to shed. So it may simply be that your growth stage is shorter than others, which makes it seem like your hair isn’t growing at all. But as long as you use the hair care tips above, your hair should grow fine at its own peak rate.
You Need a Trim
Trimming your hair to help with growth may seem like a backwards process, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your hair. Regular trims get rid of nasty split ends and damage that lead to breakage. There’s no one rule of how often you should trim your hair, but doing so at least once every season – or every three to four months – will refresh your ends and keep them healthy. The more you keep up with trims, the less you’ll see damage, and the less hair you’ll need to cut. You may even be able to stretch the time between trims as it gets healthier.
If you’re doing all of the above, but you still feel like your hair isn’t growing, then there could be some underlying health issues that need to be addressed. It can be anything from a vitamin or hormone deficiency to scalp issues. To know for sure, by all means, seek the help of a medical professional!
Do you feel like your natural hair isn’t growing? Take a look at your current regimen and compare it with these hair care tips. What can you do better to retain length?