"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Friday, August 19, 2011

Questions We Ask : Why Isn't My Hair Growing?


A number of us naturals find ourselves asking this question or have asked this question at least once in our natural hair journey so far.

Firstly, we have to be aware that natural hair shrinks a lot therefore, sometimes, we have the impression that it's not growing but actually it is. To make sure your hair is growing/not growing, try tracking your hair growth (every month or every two months) by doing length checks. To do a length check, pick a few strands from a particular spot on your head and stretch them out then take a picture. The next time you do a length check, pick those same strands from that particular spot and take another picture. When you compare the pictures, you'll know whether your hair is growing or not.

Secondly, it is good to know that averagely, hair grows about half an inch a month. This is true for me, personally. If you see that your hair is growing that much or more in a month, then you hair is pretty much growing but if you are struggling to grow 2 inched of hair in six months, then that's not normal.

Now let's get down to the two main reasons why you might be lacking length :

1. the scalp : hair grows from the scalp yet, most of us fail to take care of our scalp rather we prefer to nurse our ends . Both is good but if your scalp is not being taken care of then you are impeding your hair growth. For hair to grow like it should, the scalp needs to be clean (no clogged pores) and produce the normal amount of sebum. Most of the time, the problem is in cleaning our scalp. When the scalp is dirty and clogged with all kind of things, it is hard for hair to grow properly.
Washing the scalp regularly helps to avoid this. You can shampoo, use cleansing clays such as bentonite clay or if you do not like to shampoo regularly, you can try alternatives like apple cider vinegar.
To avoid getting your scalp so dirty easily, it is good to avoid product build up, that is, avoid piling too much product on your scalp/hair. Also, avoid products that naturally clog the pores, like mineral oil and petrolatum.
Another healthy practice are things like scalp scrubs. This helps cleanse the scalp thoroughly. It is also useful to nurture and feed your scalp with healthy nutrients such as oils that are easily absorbed into the scalp (for example jojoba oil), diluted essential oils that help with sebum production (for example ylang ylang EO) and that favor blood circulation to the scalp (for example peppermint EO) thus favoring growth. To favor blood circulation to the scalp it is also useful to try a scalp massage.
If you are finding it challenging for your hair to grow, the scalp is a very good place to start.
[please note : seek advice from a profession before using any kind of essential oils epecially if you are pregnant or nursing]

2. the ends : your ends are the oldest part of your hair therefore, they are more prone to damage. Many naturals experience normal growth from the scalp but since there ends are damaged or very weak, they break off and it ends up looking like their hair is not growing. The only thing I can say is, if you have damaged ends, cut them off! Don't try holding on to your slit ends, fairy knots and so on because they will only make cause more damage!! (and I should know). 
Now, if your ends are not particularly damaged in anyway, it is still very wise to nurture them and nurse them. Try protective styles that protect your ends like buns and updos. Don't wear your hair down, if it's long enough to reach your shoulders because the friction against whatever fabric you might be wearing will weaken them (unless you are wearing satin or wear a satin scarf around your shoulder). 
Try moisturizing your ends regularly and sealing them with oils and butters because since they are farthest from your scalp, they get less nutrients. 
Don't treat your ends anyhow because if there is no point in your hair growing only to break off at the ends.
If you are experiencing difficulties with growing your hair out, try taking care of your ends to retain all your growth.

3. your body : if you are trying to grow your hair properly, try eating properly and drinking lots of water. Your skin, nails and hair are all a mirror of what's going on inside of your body so if your hair is not growing properly, though you take care of your scalp, it is most likely what you are eating/drinking. Refrain from junk food and processed sugar, but rather eat lots of vegetables and fruits because they contain lots of vital minerals that you need to grow your hair (and retain length). Water is also very key when trying to grow out your hair...it is the ultimate moisturizer for our hair!

All that being said, please note that, genetics, your age, your present situations and so on play an important role in how your hair grows. Some naturals have hair that naturally grows really fast, while others, because of their genes, grow their hair at a slower pace. Stress and pregnancy can also slow down hair growth.

The best thing you can do is just to take care of your scalp, your hair, watch your intake and be patient!

Happy growing!

What are your issues with growing your hair?
Any tips?



  1. I begin this summer to drink water in ounces that was half my body weight. I am 130 pounds, so I drink 65oz a day. This definitely helps with the growth process. I have been eating more junk than fruits and vegetables. I must get back on the healthy regimen because it is not only lighter and easier on my body but it really grows your body and everything on it. It heals you and it helps everything flow correctly. Another thing I do is use any of the following oils:hemp(amazing), jojoba(too expensive where I live now but works really well in my scalp), coconut, grapeseed (favorite oil), and olive!! Dr. Bronner's is a great shampoo for your hair. It always leave my hair so soft and it makes the detangling process easy. Plus it gets your scalp squeaky clean. Cheers to a head full of hair!!

  2. wow...i'm gonna try the oils...i think i have a problem with scalp....its never as clean as i want it...i'll work on it...thanks for the post.

  3. @ Emme : Yes, you are certainly right! Eating right and drinking lots of water really helps!! Not only does it help with hair growth, it also helps with the overall health of the body!! I have heard many good things about hemp seed oil and I used it for a short while but I stopped...Maybe I should try it again! Those are some great oils! And I am yet to try Dr Bronner's and I was thinking abotu it this week...which one do you use? Thanks sis for stopping by!!

    @ Tilly : It's always a pleasure sis!! Happy growing!

  4. Great post! I notice a lot of naturals don't consider all the factors to growing healthy hair. It's essential to know all the things that play a big role :)

  5. @ The Retro Natural : Thanks sis!! You are definitely right!! :D

  6. i dont like to cut my hair it looks short and i dont like it...... i have my hair in one all the time with gel grease my scalp every night and put it in twists them take them down and back up again in one for the week i wash my hair every week

  7. Hi, I dyed my hair a chesnut brown with blonde highlights last march, i do not get perms so I thought I wouldnt have much breakage. NOT TRUE. I cut my ends regularly but i've noticed most of my breakage is on the blonde hair. I dont know what to do, its getting better but its still not my hair its thinner. other people dont notice the breakage but i do. everytime it grows i have to cut it to keep it healthy, I have shoulder length hair and I want it to be long like it used to be. should i just go ahead and just really cut it into a bob to maybe speed up the process or continue to get my ends cut and get deep conditions?

    1. Hi coleyy_b, sorry for the late reply.
      I would advice you to cut all the damaged ends because the more you leave them, the more chances you have of getting breakage and thus loosing the growth. Letting go of damaged ends helps with retaining length.

      Hope that helps. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions you may have.

  8. this sint about braids sorry....if i get lots of pimples and washing daily and nightly wont help with warm water soap, ad then cold water what do i do??

    1. Hi Aaliyah. It sounds like what you are using to wash your face is what is causing the damage by messing up your skin's pH balance which increases pimples. Try using a healthier alternative such as mild natural soap (like black soap) or honey. Check out this post for more information.

      Hope that helps. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions you may have :)

  9. what is the best way to transition permed hair?

    1. Hi Anon.
      There is no "best" way. It all depends on your regimen, your goals, your hair type etc.
      I'd go for the bc because it's the easiest to cope with but try working with what best suits your needs.

      Hope that helps. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions you may have :)


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