‘I have been natural for so and so years but my natural hair is not growing. If anything, IT IS BREAKING.’
If you have been thinking or saying that, then you are among hundreds of people who mail me everyday with the same statement. I completely understand how intimidating it can be scrolling through Instagram and Tumblr and seeing that post of a gorgeous lady (or even a guy), that has a head full of long, healthy, voluminous natural hair.
Like, “what am I doing wrong? Why is my hair not growing? I have done everything to it but it still doesn’t grow.” Sigh, I feel you. Thankfully I am here to help so I have compiled 11 reasons you may not know that can be affecting the health and length retention of your natural hair.
- Ultraviolet Radiation from the sun can be very damaging to our hair. The same goes for extreme winter temperatures. These cause internal fluctuation of moisture within hair strands so try to protective style once in a while with a fancy scarf/turban, box braids, kinky twists, etc.
- Chlorinated water in swimming pools and hard water are literally enemies to your natural hair. The chemical from the chlorinated water and the minerals from hard water strip your hair of moisture and prevent your hair from being properly moisturized. Try spritzing your natural hair with water and sealing it in with a heavy oil or butter like Shea butter before entering a pool. You could also simply buy a filter for your shower if you live in hard water areas.
- Pollutants in the atmosphere can actually dry out natural hair and cause your hair color to change. You can also prevent this by wearing hats, scarves or wearing protective styles like wigs.
- Nutritional Deficiency. It doesn’t really matter how good a product is if you don’t eat well. Hair begins to grow from inside our bodies so what you eat clearly defines how healthy your hair is when it comes out of your scalp.
- Inconsistent regimen. If you don’t have a consistent regimen that works for your hair texture and lifestyle, you hair might be doomed to breakage. You can read about my regimen here.
- Using the wrong products. What may work for your hair-crush may not work for you. Hair type and porosity matters so rather than buying the latest natural hair product, focus on observing if your current hair products work with your hair. Does it make my hair soft? more manageable? more defined? etc. Depending on your hair needs you can ascertain what works and what doesn’t.
- You have hands in hair syndrome. Yes, that is a real thing. Having your hands in your natural hair all the time can cause breakage. Naturals refer to this as, excess manipulation. So stop trying to get your hair to look like the latest style or to look like your hair crush. Rather, focus on your journey and keep your hair in styles that hide your ends i.e. protective styles.
- You are not moisturizing properly. It is one thing to have a cupboard full of hair products and another knowing what to do with them. Read the instructions on your products and use as directed. Not all products work the same and also learn how to layer your products. Use water based products first before oily ones.
- Don’t forget your hair in protective styles. Protective styling can be your hairs best friend in retaining length but it can also be a trigger for breakage. Use water based moisturizers to keep your natural hair constantly hydrated, I show you how to in one of my first YouTube Videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR-p4azFTDQ
- You don’t sleep with a satin/silk scarf or a satin pillow. I know a number of naturals that are still unaware that they are supposed to go to bed with a satin scarf or satin pillow. Scarves in satin or silk material help protect your hair from loss of moisture and prevent breakage from the cotton material of your pillowcase.
- Doing a length check everyday or very often will only frustrate you. Hair growth is only properly visible to the eye when it gets to an inch or more. So stop standing in the mirror every morning with a measuring tape. Your hair is growing, you are just unable to see it and retain length.
Still need more advice? You can find more under my 25 Tips & Tricks for Growing and Maintaining Natural Hair
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