First of all, let’s get one thing straight -- black hair DOES grow. One of the biggest misconceptions in the black community is that black hair does not grow. Black hair grows just as long or fast as anyone else’s. That’s a fact! The reality is that black hair is different. It is often kinkier, curlier, and coarser, and because of this, we experience shrinkage, which has a huge part in the perception of non-growing hair. Now that you know without a shadow of a doubt that black hair grows, let’s dive into why you may be having difficulty growing your hair. These reasons that I am about to explain have nothing to do with being black, and are true for any race and culture.
Lack of Moisture
The root of most of our hair issues is lack of moisture. Dry hair is brittle, dull, lifeless, prone to breakage, and won’t hold a curl pattern well. Many people find themselves with dry hair for a number of reasons that include not drinking enough water, not moisturizing enough, and not knowing the right products to use.
With the infinite amount of natural hair products on shelves, it can get confusing. The ingredients make no sense and go on forever. The best thing to do when looking for a moisturizer is to make sure water is the first ingredient, and that there are other moisture-retaining ingredients in the formula.
Another big mistake people often make when attempting to moisturize their hair is thinking that a leave-in conditioner is a moisturizer -- it is not. It exists to smooth the hair cuticle and make your hair more manageable. It does nothing to keep your hair from being dry. Similarly, oil is not a moisturizer. It helps lock in moisture, but it doesn’t provide moisture. At the end of the day, dry hair breaks off because it is weak. The more breakage the more your hair will seem as if it’s not growing.
The beauty of black hair is it’s versatility. Only black hair can go from long and straight to short and curly on the same day. Some call it magic. The point is, we do A LOT with our hair. From pulling it back into a tight bun, to braids so tight you can’t move your face, to hardcore detangling, it all takes a toll.
On average, humans lose about 100 hairs a day. With constant manipulation we add stress to our hair and scalp, which weakens the hair and causes additional breakage. A couple of ways to avoid this are to use protective styles, taking it easy on the scalp and making sure the style isn’t so tight. Also, avoid harsh detangling -- use a wide toothed comb and start from the bottom and move to the roots. Be gentle with your hair!
Don’t come over here talkin’ about “heat trained.” That’s just a nice way to say heat damaged. Heat damage is serious. It dries your hair out to the point of completely destroying the curl pattern. Once you go damaged you don’t go back. The damage is literally done, and “hair repair” is not a thing. We busted that myth a while ago on our Real Hair Revelations PRO. The front of the label on many hair products promises hair repair, but it is not physically possible. The only thing left to do with damaged hair is cut it off and start fresh!
Hair products targeted to black women often include toxic chemicals like parabens, sulfates, mineral oil and silicons. These chemicals not only wreak havoc on your hair, but also your body. For many years many of us thought the hair products we used religiously were helping us and were healthy for us, but we collectively started to do our research and learned that this was not the case. Before you slather on products, read the ingredient list. Avoid mineral oil at all costs. It feels like its making your hair shiny and smooth, but it’s really merely coating your hair with petroleum and blocking it from getting moisture, hence, resulting in drier hair that breaks.
We are what we eat. We’re not new to this concept. Make sure you're getting your nutrients in and changing the foods you eat regularly. Our favorite foods for healthy hair include avocado, salmon, and greens, to name a few. Failing to get adequate nutrients will have a direct impact on the performance of your hair. Reach for the foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, B vitamins, and protein!
Cowashing was all the rage a few years ago. Bloggers and brands swore by it, saying it both cleansed and conditioned hair without drying it out like shampoos did. The only issue with this is that cowashes are typically just conditioners, so they’re not actually cleansing your hair and scalp. Buildup from not washing your hair can clog your roots and prevent new growth. Not washing black hair is not an option. It’s ok to use products, but we have to wash our hair, scalp, and edges every 7-10 days for best results. That scalp’s gotta breathe!
There you have it. It's a fact that black hair is strong and beautiful, and perfectly capable of growth! It starts with your hair care routine -- which is not limited to the products you put on your hair, topically. Before you start your hair growth journey it’s important to begin with a clean slate. If you have a lot of damaged hair and split ends, it’s a good idea to trim that dead weight off. If you don’t, you run the risk of having more of the hair split higher and higher, making it harder to retain your length.
Looking for a great place to start using healthy products that are multitasking and time-saving?