Okay ladies, a little education here. If you’re black, and I mean black black… with 4C hair type, you can agree with me when I write that for some weird reasons, our hair seems to get to a certain length and that's it. Growth stalls.
The worst, is when it's at this struggling ponytail stage...
Like, like…the hair literally grows 8 inches in a span of God knows how many years! Just why can’t our hair grow as faster as the pointees, Caucasians and other races? Well, to be fair, genetics play a huge role in that. Let me school you just a wee bit. See, normally, hair has three growth stages: the first one is the anagen phase, where your hair grows around half an inch each month and this lasts an average of 3-5 years, but this is different for different people – for instance for Asians, it can last as much as 7 years (that explains those long ass gorgeous Indian ponytails huh). The second phase is the catagen phase which happens at the end of anagen and it’s basically a short transitional phase that lasts about 10 days before your hair gets into the third phase, which is the telogen phase and here, your hair goes into a resting phase – the follicle remains inactive for three months and the whole process is repeated. Each follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times, otherwise all your hair would fall out. Instead, you shed a certain number of hairs per day. So now that we have that out of the way, there are numerous reasons that stall hair growth or cause hair problems like thinning and hair loss, such as illness or even a poor diet. To be fair, like aforementioned, not all of us will have gorgeous long hair, even if we wanted to because, again, genetics come in play. Some people’s hair will grow longer and faster than others and that’s just what it is. What you can do however is maximize your hair’s growth potential – get it to reach the best length it can of course that is if you want long hair. For you to maximize your hair’s potential, you have to avoid certain mistakes that cause breakage, hair loss, thinning and even stall the growth of your hair. Some of these habits include:
1. Tight buns and ponytails.
Honestly, we are all guilty of this. All those puff buns, slicked back ponytails and stuff, they’re cute – we all agree. However, they can really do a number on your hair and cause damage because you’re straining the hair and with time, your edges will be no more, not to mention, you will start losing your hair. If you have to style your hair into ponytails, use a satin scrunchie and tie your hair slightly loosely so as not to strain the edges. Plus, minimize the style to at least once a week if you must.
2. And speaking of styles, go for low manipulation styles.
One of the easiest ways to let your hair grow, is to simply let it be. Look at dreadlocks, people with locs simply let them be – not much disturbance, no nothing. Think about going for protective styles for about six months and doing simple styles like the wash and gos. If you go for braid and cornrow styles, ensure the roots are not too tight.
3. Do not rely only on oils for your hair’s moisture.
Most of us assume that simply oiling the hair is enough. Nah boo. If you want your hair to grow, you need to invest in great products for your hair. Not just oils, but also hair creams, and high-quality products, both natural and chemical-based, full of protein and moisture, that will help your hair grow and make it healthy.
4. Not washing your hair.
Dirt and product buildup on your scalp will not only cause itchiness and irritation but may also hinder growth. Always ensure that you’re shampooing your hair at least once a week and also using clean combs afterwards cause, what’s the point of washing hair then going ahead to comb it with dirty brushes. Don’t forget to deep condition every once in a while too.
5. Overstretching your hair.
Again, whether you’re slicking back your hair, doing twist outs, cornrows, etc, do not put too much strain on the hair. Even when untangling, always be very gentle with the hair.
6. Poor diet and stress.
You are what you eat. At the end of the day, a poor diet will reflect on the outside. Your hair follicles need protein for your hair to grow. Ensure that you are eating foods rich in Vitamin A and C and also foods rich in biotin or taking biotin supplements to help with hair growth. Also, do not forget to drink water and stay hydrated always.
7. Not switching up products.
I know that many people advise that the best thing, naturally when it comes to beauty and hair care is to look for one product and stick to it – to find your holy grail products that work for you. However, sometimes, it’s good to switch up products because once you use the same product for so long, your hair gets used to that and the ingredients; think of it as becoming ‘immune’ to that product. So what you wanna do is definitely switch up products every once in a while.
ALSO READ: Here's why your hair is thinning
8. Over bleaching your hair.
If you’re the kind to color your hair a little too often, well, that will damage your hair a lot. Bleach your hair in moderation.
9. Improper detangling.
How many times have you felt frustrated when detangling your hair and just sort of forced the comb through? When you’re faced with such a situation, section your hair into parts and use your fingers or a wide toothed comb to gently detangle the hair without forcing strain on the root of the hair so as to prevent losing some hair. Also, when detangling the edges of the hair, apply some oil at the edges so as to make it easier to detangle.
10. Blowdrying your hair on very high heat.
Heat can cause damage to your hair so always ensure you’re using low heat to dry your hair and if you can, you should actually let it dry naturally to avoid any damage.
11. Use satin pillows and a satin bonnet or hair scarf when sleeping.
This will prevent moisture from being ripped off from your hair, causing it to be extremely dry.