Wondering why your natural hair isn't growing is frustrating and a little scary. After all the work you put in to care for those gorgeous textured locks it seems that, suddenly, those curls are defying your good intentions. Before you worry about the state of your curls and coils let's take a walk through fifteen possible reasons why your natural hair isn't growing.
1. Too Much Tension
When a protective style is done right it makes you feel like a million bucks! However, sometimes the protective style you love is one of the reasons why your natural hair isn't growing. Twisting, braiding or simply pulling the hair too tight causes damage over time giving the appearance of shorter hair.
2. Too Little Protection
Dry unsealed hair is breakage waiting to happen. One of the best ways to ensure that we see growth is to keep those hairs intact as long as possible. Invest in quality products and give the leave-in/oil/cream (LOC) method a try! LOC seals the cuticle and protects against breakage.
3. Not Enough Moisture
Naturally curly hair is naturally dry. Parched strands are vulnerable to the elements and prone to easy breakage. If you are not moisturizing regularly then get on it! Give coconut or olive oil a try – both are great. Use a little at a time until you find the amount that works for you.
4. One Too Many Trims
Maintaining healthy ends is important for gaining length. However, in this instance, there is a little truth in the old saying - "too much of a good thing." Trimming your hair too often shortens the hair gained with new growth. As a result hair looks like it is at a growth standstill.
5. Not Enough Trims
It happens - strands age. Over time they are affected by the elements, develop split ends, dryness and the inevitable breakage. While too many trims prematurely shortens hair, not enough trims can encourage damage. Consider a regular trim to remove those pesky split ends.
6. Touchy, Touchy
Curly hair begs for attention of all kinds from eyes and hands. When our curls are on point we can't help but be proud and want to touch! Watch out – manipulating hair too much causes frizziness and dryness, and leads to breakage. Girl, sometimes we are our own worst enemies.
7. Wrong Products
Many of us curlies want a single magical product. Until that wonder elixir surfaces, use products with caution. Examine the ingredients closely and understand the needs of your hair type. Both will go a long way in helping you to properly care for your locks.
8. Too Much Heat
Heat styling is pretty cool. Styling allows us to do things like dry our curls faster, rock a blowout, or flat iron if we so desire. But, like protective styling, manipulation, and product layering - too much of a good thing can cause damage.
9. Vitamin Deficiency
If you have read it once, you have read it many times – you are what you eat. As hair is made of protein, a well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to ensure growth. Feed your follicles! If you feel your diet is an issue, speak with your doctor about getting your vitamin intake on track.
10. Medical Condition
It is unsettling to think your hair is not growing at all and alarming to also notice breakage and bald patches. Many people suffer with undiagnosed medical conditions that cause slow growth and hair loss. If you are concerned about your health consult with your doctor.
11. It’s in Our Genes
The terminal length of our hair is predetermined. Our hair will grow to the maximum length our genes will allow within a growth cycle. So, if we have - as my sister likes to say - inherited the 'long hair gene' our hair will be reach greater length.
12. Increased Stress
Extreme stress causes health issues including hair breakage and hair loss. If you notice either happening to you after an especially stressful situation, consult your physician. A proper diagnosis will help determine the best way to address and reduce your stress levels.
13. Scalp Age
Diet, exercise, scalp stimulation, stress, and age affect our internal climate and impact hair growth. As our bodies change with age, the natural oils produced by our scalps decrease, impacting hair growth. It is important to properly care for our scalp and locks as we age.
14. Breakage over Growth
We have been building up to this point in a not so subtle way - breakage is real. While we shed hair all the time, it is disconcerting to see more breakage than growth. When hair is in the 'resting' phase, it grows so slow that it seems to not grow at all. Take care. It is growing – slowly.
15. Length Monitoring
This is more of a test of patience than an actual adverse effect of product or manhandling. Length checks encourage us when the results are positive and frustrate when the numbers do not meet expectations. Unless we suffer with a medical condition that inhibits hair growth or our hair is in a resting phase, it is growing - slowly but surely.
It would have been nice to be born with a little book of instructions on how to care for curly hair. But, since we weren't, I am happy that we can share our treasured tips, tricks, and warnings with each other. No matter what we say to each other about the proper way to go about it, it is important that we handle our natural textured curly hair with care - daily. How do you keep your hair in tip-top shape?