Friday, October 1, 2010

Why isn't my Hair growing?

source: chocolatevixxxen

Why isn’t my hair growing?
This article is a result of a conversation I had with a beautiful member of Deja Vu Naturals on facebook regarding hair that isnt growing. Although I did answer her question with a lengthy follow up I decided to further look into hair that wont grow even when you have done all you can. There is always something you maybe overlooking when it comes to natural hair that is not growing. I am going to start this article by going over a few tips so you make sure that you are first and foremost doing the right thing to start or continue on your journey to healthy natural growing hair.

1) Do not use any harsh chemicals on your hair. If you are, consider the damage it may be causing to your scalp and hair. Stay away from peroxide and relaxers if you want healthy natural hair. 

2) If you decided to colour your hair use Natural henna, however frequent over use of henna can cause damage to your hair.

3) Stay away from sulphate shampoos which will dry your hair out and leave it brittle and prone to breakage.

4) Co-wash- I personally enjoy co-washing my hair because of the results I have. It has helped to retain moisture.

5) Remove build up- Apple Cider Vinegar is a personal favourite and it does work to not alone remove build up but detox your hair as well.

6) Remove knots from your hair easily by using a good conditioner.

7) Use cold water to help your cuticles lay flat and prevent breakage.

8) When drying your hair pat your hair gently, never rub your hair against itself. This is will cause damage.

9) While your hair is still damp apply a water base product, this can be aloe, water mix and a leave in conditioner. Then apply an oil based product such as castor oil, almond oil and Shea butter. This will help seal the water base product into the strands.

10) Drink lots of water to help retain moisture.

11)  Deep condition your hair your hair regularly.

12) For dry hair try using jojoba oil since it is the closeest oil that resembles the sebum our sebaceous glands secrete. It is also great for conditioning.

13) Damaged hair must be removed; there is no way to repair damage hair.

14) Trim your ends often and use good tools.

15)  Never comb or brush dry hair! Use a Denman brush or wide tooth comb when   your hair is wet. (Well this is something I live by, but I leave the decisions to you)

16) Do loose styles that allow your hair to breathe, say no to tiny braids, tight puffs or ponytails, to prevent thinning edges or sides.

17) Do your research and become familiar with the ingredients in your products, whether they are store brought or homemade. Once you become familiar with this your able to choose products and ingredients that is best for your hair type.

18) Avoid using heat, no curling irons, hot rollers, flat irons, crimpers or blow dryers. Try to do this only on special occasions.

19) If you’re going to wear accessories in your hair make sure they are safe. Don’t use rubber bands, metal barrettes, anything with sharp edges, rough edges, hair claws or metal hinges.

20) Avoid chlorine and saltwater, however if you do decided to go swimming make sure to clarify your hair right away. If you swim frequently invest in a good swimming cap, you might also want to deep condition while wearing this for a great heated deep condition, as the swimming cap generates a lot of heat. This will protect your hair.

21) Sleep with a silk bonnet every night, and pillow cases.

22) Some have suggested that even silk will dry out hair as all fabrics do. I have yet to prove this but will look further into this. I heard that using plastic will prevent your hair from drying out and causing split ends.

23) Maintain a healthy lifestyle!!! You might want to try a hair vitamin (I do suggest something natural like a multivitamin or if you need more fatty acids or omega 6 cod liver oil and flax seed), drink eight glasses of water, eat fruits, vegetable, and nut, exercise regularly to provide good circulation to the scalp.

24) Try to find natural alternatives to store brought products that are damaging to your hair.

What to know

Understand that Hair grows, but there are many reasons as to why you may be having problems with your hair growth. Black hair tends to be the most fragile of all hair types, especially if your hair is tightly coiled every twist and turn is a weak spot. We shed on average fifty to hundred hairs per day; this is why it is important to understand your hair type to better care for your hair. Hair grows four to six inches a year, half an inch a month, although some have shown to grow as much as an inch per month. This may vary from person to person as your hair may grow faster or slower depending on your overall health and genetics. Here are a few reasons as to why your hair may have slow hair growth:
·       Damage follicles
·       Taking certain medications
·       Unhealthy lifestyle
·       Hard water
·       Over moisturising (can clog your pores)
·       Harsh shampoos and conditioners

Remember that once your hair has grown out it is up to you to retain length. I have stated before that protective styling and paying close attention to what your hair needs will help you keep your hair.

Three stages of hair growth:
Growing- hair is actively growing from scalp
Resting-hair is longer actively growing and is just sitting on your scalp.
Shedding-hair dies at the root, and a new one is waiting to take its place. 
Always keep your hair clean, a dirty scalp prevents growth.
Cutting damage hair improves our appearance and  manageageability  by preventing tangled ends and spit ends from moving up the hair shaft.


What if my hair is permed do I have to do the BC?
I have known people that have been able to grow out the perm naturally. This does take a very long time and the results may require a lot of patience. The BC chop I believe is a personal choice that every one woman needs to decide for herself and what will work best for her. I believe you confidence, health, patience and knowledge as a lot to do with the overall appearance of your hair and the decisions you make regarding your hair.

Is hair a living tissue?
No, Hair is dead. Our hair cannot repair or regenerate itself once it’s damaged. These products that claim to do so may only eluded the hair for a while, however, once damaged the hair will eventually break causing split ends or worse. It is wise to just remove damage hair.
What is the Cuticle?
It is the outer layer of the hair. It protects the interior Cortex layer and contributes to 20% of the overall strength of the hair.
What is the cortex?
The cortex contributes to 80% of the overall strength of the hair. It is the middle layer and gives the hair strength and elasticity.
What is the medulla?
It is the innermost layer that plays a minor role in hair colouring. It can also be absent from the hair.
What determines thick or fine hair?
Thick or fine hair is determines by the diameter of the hair shaft, and genetics.
What about Density?
Is the number of hairs per square inch, ranging from thick to thin. You can have a lot of hair in density but very thick in diameter, while someone else can have fine hair but a lot in density.
What is Porosity?
Is the ability our hair has to absorb moisture. Natural hair can be very porosity absorbing moisture very easily.

Stay Beautiful!!!