Do you find that your hair is “stuck” at the same length each time you go for a length check? It may appear that your natural hair isn’t growing, but that is simply not true. While it may be frustrating and appear this way, our hair is always growing. In fact, our hair grows on average half an inch a month, so about 6 inches a year. What it comes down to is whether you are maintaining or retaining these inches.
Specifically with the many different types of curls, coils, and kinks in our natural hair, this makes it prone to shrinkage due to the tightly curled/coiled hair strands tightening up in reaction to moisture or dryness, which brings up the first reason why your natural hair “isn’t growing”:
It May Just Be Shrinkage
Natural hair is so unique and comes with varying attributes for each hair type. Different curl patterns will have more shrinkage than others depending on how tightly coiled the curl is. This can give the illusion of shorter hair than actuality. Shrinkage isn’t a bad thing though, and can actually be a sign of healthy hair as your curl pattern is at its full formation.
So you may think your natural hair isn’t growing, when in fact it is just your curl pattern in a healthy state. If you want to combat this though, try wearing stretched styles on occasion like twist/braid-outs or other braided protective styles. Putting your hair in a pineapple/puff while drying can also stretch out your curls.
You’re Not Moisturizing Your Hair Enough
With natural hair comes a natural proneness to dryness. This is why moisture in the form of water, leave-in conditioners, creams and/or butters are an essential. To maintain a healthy balance of moisture ideally you should moisturize your hair at least once a day. Hair that has been dry for a prolonged period of time can result in tangles, matted hair, and breakage. This can in turn stunt growth and be a reason why your natural hair isn’t growing in appearance.
To fix this, make sure you are incorporating deep conditioning into your regimen or with each wash day. Here are some of our favorite deep conditioners that target multiple areas of concern. If you find that your hair is still dry, it may be the particular product you are using, or you may have highly porous hair which makes moisture retention more difficult. If this is the case, try using heavier sealants such as butters or creams.
You’re Not Being Gentle Enough
Do you find yourself rushing through your hair at times, especially when detangling? We have all been guilty of this, especially when you’re tired and just want to go to bed. But if you find yourself doing this often, it is more than likely the culprit of why your natural hair “isn’t growing”, in the form of stunted length retention.
Luckily this is an easy fix. Start by first finger-detangling the “bigger” tangles, and then finish by using a wide tooth comb or denman brush, starting at the ends and working up to the roots. Making an overall effort to be more gentle with your hair will definitely pay off in the end.
It’s Time for a Trim
After getting a haircut or trim, our hair usually appears to be thicker. Dead ends may appear to be length, but they are just that, dead hair. Hair that needs a trim will feel brittle at the ends, and will appear “see-through”. You may also notice multiple single strand knots.
It is important to trim your hair otherwise what were once split ends can travel up your hair strands and further split the hair shaft. This will result in having to have even more hair cut off when you do get a trim. Additionally, hair that needs a trim can cause stunted growth due to the ends breaking off and damaging the hair shaft.
It May Be a Health Condition
If your hair is shedding at an abnormal rate all the time, it may be for a reason on the inside. Lack of iron, scalp conditions, and other various factors can cause hair loss. If you find your hair has always or is continually breaking off, you may need to contact a doctor. But do not panic, most problems in relation to hair are usually just an error somewhere in habit.
If you’ve ever had problems with hair loss / growth, what helped your hair to become healthy again?