Hair Won’t Grow? 4 Tips to Get You Back On Track
Your hair will not grow past a certain length? Many people believe that it is just the length at which their hair can grow and so they accept it and let it be, or some are very frustrated but they figure it is nothing they can do about it. But, there is a reason and a solution to this.
This issue mainly is a huge problem for those who flat iron their hair. It is heat damage. When you say heat damage to people it does not trigger in them that they have heat damage, although their hair does not curl, they just believe that that is the texture of their hair. If you are an African decent person and your hair does not curl, that is not natural. If your hair does not curl, it is a definite sign that you have heat damage.
Does your hair grow to a certain length and then breaks off? Whether your hair does not grow past your ear or doesn’t grow past your shoulder, both have the same issue. Why does this occur? One can damage the hair so severely that it cannot grow past that length. Many of us are there in that state and some have been there before. I have. My hair never grew past bra strap length. I thought that was just the length at which my hair can only grow. But little did I know that the heat I was constantly putting in it made sure that my hair would only grow that far.
Our hair has layers, 3 to be exact, when you see the hair you only see the outside, the hair cuticle. but just as an onion, so is our hair. The hair cuticle is what protects the hair from damage, and when that is gone, damage has set in and if you do not remedy it fast, it will be a continuous cycle of hair breakage. The thing is, this damage can be to only certain parts of the hair, and at certain lengths. Where one person hair can only grow to the shoulders, yours may only grow to your ears. Although ones hair may be longer, both experience the same issue.
This is a common problem to the African American community. Our hair is already fine, meaning that we have the smallest diameter for our hair strand, making it more prone to break easily. And since we were not taught properly and did not have the products readily available to us, which inadvertently created a miseducation on how to take care of our hair, our hair seemed to be the shortest compared to other nationalities. The myth that our hair can’t grow long was and is simply not true. It can grow to great lengths, it just takes proper knowledge. To know something is to love something. You cannot love something you do not know. So let’s get to know our hair.
Things we need to know whether you straighten or wear it natural that will damage the hair cuticle:
1. Heat is not your friend.
- Temperature should be at 325 degrees or lower
- Air dry hair before blowing it out.
- Always use heat protectant for blow drying and flat ironing.
- Always test back of hair when flat ironing to see if it is too hot.
- If burnt smell occurs, flat irons are too hot.
- Use heat only on wash day
2. Do not over manipulate hair.
- Combs and brushes should be use sparingly. Brushes should almost never be used.
- Combs should only be used if hair is wet and have product in it.
- Never manipulate hair while it is dry, too much tension.
- Always use ouchless ponytail holders.
- Never go to bed with hair pulled back in a ponytail, you or child.
- Do protective styles at a minimum, hair needs air and sunlight to grow. Protective styles put a lot of stress on the hair. Children ages 10 and under should never wear weave.
3. Use Very Moisturizing Products.
People who straighten their hair need moisture products just as much as those with natural hair. Our hair is naturally dry, and if you combine that with straightening and blow drying your hair will be extremely dry causing breakage all the time.
- Use sulfate, paraben, mineral oil, dye, silicone free products. These products take moisture out or prevent moisture from getting into the hair.
- Always deep condition
- If straightening, always perform protein and hot oil treatments. Twice a month.
- Use a daily moisturizer
- Oil the scalp with natural oils and not grease. Grease prevents moisture from getting in, clogging the scalp pores, which causes dandruff, and other scalp issues. This will in turn prevent hair from growing.
4. Chemical treatments are the devil. I am sorry, but they really are.
- Relaxers should never be given on anyone, adult or child. The real issue is not that you want straight hair, the issue are the chemicals that are going into your body, and what the chemical is doing to your hair. As mentioned, the first layer of the hair is the cuticle and once that is gone, damage has set in. The relaxer kills that first layer. You really have to kick your regimen up 4 gears to maintain healthy hair with a relaxer, which to me is an oxymoron, because it really isn’t healthy when performing a relaxer. The harsh chemicals is a health hazard to the hair and body.
- Color treatments are fun but are not safe either. Regardless of the matter people will still get color, it is fun and a way to spruce your look up, but what color does is strip your hair of its natural protein and moisture and you’re left with dead hair. Again, making sure protein treatments and moisture treatments are done on a regular is a must. You definitely cannot slack when it comes to taking care of chemical treated hair.
Knowing these things will keep you on track and make sure your hair grows in the right way.
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