Why isn’t my hair growing? I hear you ask in frustration, as your hair seems to have remained at the same length for the last 6 months or 2 years. The truth is, your hair is growing, your hair is always growing regardless of whether it can be evidenced by you. Hair is in a constant state of growth, rest and shed as per the hair growth cycle.
Briefly, the hair growth cycle works like this; approximately 80% of your hair is always growing, 15% is resting, waiting for the new growth to push it to the surface of the scalp and another 5% is being pushed out by your new growth, which you see as daily shed hair. On average, we shed around 100 – 150 hairs per day, yours may be less or more.
The reasons your hair may seem to not be growing are vast, however I have outlined the four main ones below.
1. A Short Hair Growth Cycle Due To Genetics
Our hair is as unique as our fingerprint, no two heads are the same, however, we do have similar problems. The length of your hair growth cycle is very individual, but can be as a result of your genetic make up. Some people have long growth cycles, where the hair continuously grows up to 6 years — one strand of hair staying in the scalp for 6 years before being shed — whilst others have growth cycles that last for 3 years. We don’t know why that is, so the scientist’s best guess is genetics.
There is also the rate at which your hair grows, the average is a quarter of an inch of new growth per month, however, some people have more growth whilst others have less.
You can tell if a hair is shed as opposed to broken, when the hair has a small white bulb on one end. The amount of healthy shed hair looks different from person to person, the average is 100 hairs but 100 fine hairs look very different to 100 thicker strands or ‘coarse’ hair. Pay attention to your own shed and figure out what is your own average, never compare your hair shed to others. If you pay attention to your hair, you will notice if there is abnormal shedding.
2. Illness or Medication
Another cause of slow growth could be a serious illness or using certain medication. When the body is ill it goes into protection and healing mode, which means nutrients are restricted in some places as they are drawn to the area of the body that is ill. There are also medications that stunts the growth of your hair or even encourages hair fall.
High stress can also inhibit growth as the blood that would go towards supporting and stimulating the hair shaft is reduced, so it is able to support other areas of the body under stress. You may not be able to do much about your medication, but reducing stress by chucking whatever you can’t control in the ‘phukit buckit’ can help exponentially, not just with your hair but also your overall mental health.
3. Stunted Hair Growth Due To Poor Scalp Health
Dry scalp, like dry skin, is an indication of poor health and dehydration. Your hair will find it difficult to grow in such an environment. Imagine growing a Tulip in a desert, difficult right? With a dry scalp, your sebaceous gland (oil glands in your scalp) will be working overtime to help your dry scalp, taking away any nourishment it would have given to the hair.
A nourished and healthy scalp is one of the biggest factors in healthy hair growth. A nourished scalp is gained by keeping yourself hydrated, keeping the natural oils balanced, scalp moisturised, and getting the correct treatment for any scalp conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, etc. Scalp oils such as our Revive Scalp Oil does an amazing job of keeping the natural oils balanced, whilst stimulating healthy new growth.
4. Hair Breakage
Do you examine the ends of your hair from time to time to check their health? Do you often see small broken pieces of hair when you comb or brush your hair?
Hair breakage can result from chemical damage, heat damage, mechanical damage (rough combing or brushing), or simply living in an environment that is not conducive to your hair. Chemical damage is a result of the products you use, chemicals such as perms and colours break the bonds of your hair, making them weaker and more susceptible to damage. Products that create a strong film on the hair, such as silicones and petroleum also lead to damage if they are left to build up on the hair strand. The hair strand becomes brittle and breaks off.
Mechanical damage is a result of hot irons, rough combing, combs with jagged or small teeth, vigorous brushing and brushes with hard bristles. Currently, the majority of tools on the market for haircare are not suitable for curly hair.
Curly hair has a unique make up in which the hair twirls and swirls around each other, each swirl creating a weak spot. As the tools try to stretch the curls (combing out), it ends up breaking the fragile bonds in the hair as it snags against the swirls.
Finger detangling is optimal for curls and swirls, but a gentle touch is still necessary when detangling. A wide tooth comb comes in a close second, but not all wide tooth combs are created equal, so choose carefully for your curly hair. Brushes are not ideal, but do what you’re comfortable with.
Our environment wreaks havoc on our hair and skin, especially living in extreme climates and city life. However, that is not something we can do much about as we live in these environments for a myriad of reasons. One of the most effective ways to combat the pollutants in the air is to simply wash your hair more frequently. Choose mild, sulfate free shampoos when washing, moisturise and protect your hair during extreme weather and extreme temperatures.
Now you know a little bit more about why your hair may seem as though it’s not growing. I hope you’re reassured that it is indeed growing, it may simply need a little more TLC or it could be something you can’t control, such as your medication. Like a beautiful garden, your hair and scalp needs to be tended daily, or it will be overrun with issues, stunting your hair growth and diminishing your confidence with it. Tend to your garden and it will reward you with healthy, luscious looking tresses.
Talk to us over on our Facebook and Instagram pages, @Holpura. Let us know how you keep your hair healthy and luscious.
Be great x.