Have you ever heard that, “black women can’t grow long hair”?
You may have even said it yourself and if so, I want you to ask yourself:
“Do I ever end up with new growth?“
And if you answered, “Yes”, then your hair DOES grow!
It’s funny – back when I used to do hair, a lot of women would tell me,
“Cherie, my hair just doesn’t grow!”
And I’d reply by saying…
“Umm, yes it does! If it wasn’t growing, you wouldn’t need to see me every 4-6 weeks for a touch-up!”
I’d then go on to explain…
“… As fast as your hair shows growth at the roots, it’s breaking off on the ENDS from all the combing, styling, heat, over-processing, etc. and THAT’S why it seems as though your hair isn’t growing!”
But the truth of the matter is, our hair DOES and CAN grow long. It just needs the right conditions.
I’ve seen women with hair down their backs and, NO, not all of them were wearing locs.
Some of them even had relaxed hair, although it is a rarity.
And it’s NOT because of our race, and it’s NOT because “our hair” doesn’t, can’t or won’t grow. But it’s due to other factors – many of which we can control and change, as you’ll read in a moment!
What Are Some Reasons So Many Black Women Never See Visible Length?
It’s such a common belief that our hair doesn’t grow long that, anytime a (Black) woman has hair that reaches past her shoulder blades, the question of her race and/or whether or not the hair is “all hers” comes up.
I’m sure you’ve heard (and probably even said) it before…
But let’s dive a little deeper and take a look at some of the most common reasons there seems to be a lack of long hair growth among Black women.
Okay, let’s keep it real. If you are using chemical relaxers, there is a GREAT potential for inevitable damage to your hair – if for no other reason than the sheer science behind how they (relaxers) work.
Hair is made up of bonds (hydrogen, salt, and disulfide) and relaxers break these bonds, making the hair more susceptible to breakage.
And when over-processing occurs – which is more often the case than not – it makes matters even worse! However, when done correctly (not over-processing or overlapping) and much care is given to nurture it, even relaxed hair can grow long!
If you’re taking certain meds, be well aware that there is a strong possibility your hair woes may be caused by them, whether in full or in part.
According to Hair Doc, some of the most commonly-known medications that cause issues with hair loss are:
- certain cholesterol drugs: clofibrate, gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- some Parkinson’s medications: levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa)
- common ulcer medications: cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famotidine (Pepcid).
- high blood pressure beta-blocker medications: Atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and timolol (Blocadren)
- anticoagulants (blood thinners): warfarin, coumarin, and heparin.
- gout medication: allopurinol (Zyloprim).
- arthritis medications that may cause hair loss include: penicillamine, indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Naprosyn), sulindac (Clinoril), methotrexate (Folex)
- and others that you can read more about here
If your diet is high in (unhealthy) fat, carbs, etc. and low in healthy, nutritional foods, this could play a part in any hair drama you’re suffering from. Iron, zinc, niacin, and fatty acid deficiencies are but a few nutrient-related causes of hair loss.
This is why many “hair supplements” feature such nutrients as the aforementioned, along with biotin, selium and others.
If you’re not eating the best diet, then you may want to consider a good quality nutritional supplement, with high absorbability, to fill in any gaps.
Stress is a major culprit in so many things we suffer: hair loss/breakage, weight gain, and more.
I realize that life sometimes throws us some mean curves, but it’s important to find ways to deal with those things (prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.) as opposed to allowing yourself to become stressed out to the point of it affecting your health and the health of your hair.
5. Excessive Combing, Styling & Use of Heating Implements
Okay, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that aside from over-processing with relaxers, THIS is the biggest culprit to the hair dilemma that most Black women face.
All the combing, using the WRONG combs, curling, pressing, flat ironing, etc. takes a major toll on the hair – making it snap off in a heartbeat.
That’s why when it comes to messin’ with your hair, my motto is, “Less is best!”
6. Styles Done Too Tightly
Yep, even something as “innocent” as the beloved ponytail can cause hair damage, loss and/or breakage when they’re worn too tightly, too frequently, or both.
And we won’t even talk about excruciatingly-tight braids and weaves! No hair style is worth potentially permanent hair loss!
So, which one applies to YOUR hair situation?
In my own personal situation, I believe it was the use of chemicals, coupled with all the rigorous styling and heat applied to my hair. I also believe that my poor diet played a BIG part as well. I thought it would be my fate to never have hair longer than my shoulders.
I mean, I’d get my hair relaxed and then it was like a cycle… it’d grow to the top of my shoulder blade area, then all of a sudden and without warning – my hair would start breaking off on the ends, for some odd reason, and never get any longer.
But eventually, I came to the realization that the reason this was happening wasn’t all that “odd” after all and, once I made some changes, something that has never happened to me happened…
My hair grew all the way down to my WAIST!
Click here to find out how that happened!Blessings & Warmest Regards,