Why is it hard for African American women to grow their hair???

Hello Ladies, Divas and Dolls

 

Today we are going to discuss why it seems so hard to grow black hair.

The common misconception is that our hair does not grow as long or as fast as other races or ethnicities.  This is not true at all ladies.  In reality the problem that we face is the ability to retain the length once it grows. On average, hair no matter the race, will grow about 1/2″ a month give or take a few mm (millimeters).  Think of it this way. When black men grow their hair such as braids or especially dreads in a matter of 3-4 years their dreads are down their back. Is their hair not the same as ours???  Over the years we have been miseducated on the things that are necessary to grow our hair long and healthy. African American hair does grow and can be just as long as any other with the proper TLC.  Today we will cover some of the common misconceptions about Healthy Hair Growth!

Myth 1 WEAVE WILL DAMAGE YOUR HAIR!

  • When properly installed and cared for extensions will help your hair grow and flourish.  If braids are applied to small and to tight around the hair line yes it can cause extensive irreversible damage, but when applied properly braids can allow your hair to relax and grow without the added daily stress from styling your hair
  • Sew in extensions:  Have you ever wondered why your leave-out is always more damaged and shorter than the rest of your hair?  This is not because the weave has damaged it but because you have installed hair that is so vastly different from your natural hair texture that it requires a lot of styling and high heat daily. This is what caused the breakage not the weave itself. Try to find a better match for your hair or tuck it all away!
  • Weave may also seem as though it breaks your hair because it is not being properly cleaned.  Do not wear extensions of any kind over a long period of time without properly cleansing your scalp. It is very likely that you may develop a scalp fungus or clog your follicles. When this happens your follicle will widen to allow the pass of oxygen and scalp sebum. when this happens it will lead to excess shedding resulting in a thinning of your hair.  SO DONT FORGET ABOUT YOUR SCALP HELATH

MYTH 2:  TRIMMING YOUR ENDS WILL MAKE YOUR HAIR GROW FASTER!

  • Trimming your ends is just that, trimming your ends.  Hair is not alive.  Hair is an accumulation of dead cells. Trimming your ends does not make your hair healthier or grow faster. It only makes it shorter. However blunt ends will give the appearance of thicker hair by ridding the frailness at the bottom.   Only trim if you have split ends and that is all!  There is not need to trim monthly or on a scheduled routine. If your ends do not need it then DONT TRIM IT.

MYTH 3:  PERMS STUNT YOUR HAIR GROWTH

  • The rate at which your hair grows is determined by biological functions within the body.  No external factors will effect the rate at which your hair grows. Perms however can damage the scalp and hair strand.  When perms cause a chemical burn of the scalp that area must heal itself. This process can completely damage that hair follicle where it will not grow at all anymore, widen the follicle to where the hair sheds, or create a scab over the follicle that will not allow any further growth until that scab is removed.  But the rate at which your hair grows will remain the same.
  • Perms will damage the hair follicle? YES unfortunately this is TRUE!  All hair have disulfide bonds. Wavy, curly, and kinky hair have sulfide and hydrogen bonds that are further apart of one end side of the hair shaft and closer together on the opposite side of the hair shaft. This is what results in the curliness of the hair (see picture) While bone straight hair will have the disulfide bonds evenly distributed (see picture) .  A perm will break these bonds which results in the straight appearance by allowing the strand to relax and lay straight (hence the term relaxer!). Where each bond was broken that hair strand has been make weaker (think of it as a week link in a chain) and that area is now pron to breakage!
  • disulfide bonds in hair by MNHE

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Alicia James 🙂