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Hair not growing? If you’ve ever tried growing your hair out but can’t seem to grow it past a certain length, we understand your frustration! We’re here to tell you why and a bunch of things you can do to stimulate hair growth for longer hair.
A few Reasons for your Hair not Growing Past a Certain Length:
Hair grows at an average rate of half an inch a month or about 6 inches a year. If, however, your hair isn’t receiving the care it needs and breaking off at the same rate as it grows, then it will stay the same length until you change your hair routine. Often times it’s over-processing, overuse of hot tools, and aggressively styling your hair that can cause damage and results in your hair not growing. Let’s talk about each one of these.
Over-Processing: This often happens if you get your hair styled at a salon and they accidentally over-process your hair causing breakage. When you use chemicals on your hair, it strips it of its natural oil. Synthetic dyes also damage your hair strands by lifting the outer cuticle. A healthy hair cuticle lays flat and makes the hair look beautifully smooth and shiny while a damaged, lifted cuticle causes hair to be dull and washed out looking. The end result of over-processing is, of course, split ends and breakage resulting in your hair not growing past a certain length.
Overuse of Hot Tools: Hot tools can and will damage your hair and thus hair growth. When you’re growing your hair out, it’s essential to keep your hair as strong and healthy as possible and with curlers and the like they only accelerate damage by drying out your hair. Dried, weak hair can only can so much before split ends form and breakage begins. It’s a good practice to give your hair a break from the hot tools to help it regain its strength and allow your hair to grow again.
Aggressively Styling your Hair: If you’re too rough when you style your hair, you will affect your hair’s ability to grow. Being too aggressive while styling isn’t all: using uncovered elastics or fighting with your curly or coarse hair can cause breakage as well.
Every one of us has had to deal with split ends, which are the ends of hair that have split in two or even three. Split ends are caused by the hair not getting the proper nutrients to thrive. Split ends occur when a split in the hair goes up higher until the ends break off. Even though your hair grows from the root, it’s at the same time breaking off from the bottom making it appear that your hair isn’t growing past a certain length.
The tricky thing about split ends is that it isn’t possible to undo them once they’ve started and the only viable option is to cut them off to prevent further damage. You don’t want to leave them in your hair as that will only cause them to split even more and lead to further hair breakage and continue the cycle of no hair growth.
The best way to prevent split ends and hair breakage is to avoid bleaching your hair or over-processing it as those things can lead to dry hair. Another good idea is to avoid towel-drying your hair harshly and instead let your hair air-dry and make sure to gently brush your hair from bottom to top when your hair is tangled.
A few other possible reasons for a Lack of Hair Growth:
Occasionally, hair growth is simply based upon genetics. Everyone has a cycle of hair growth specific to them and hair stops growing once a certain amount of time has passed not when it has reached a certain length. Thus once it has reached the end of its growth cycle, it won’t grow anymore and will either break off or shed. Each hair strand has its own unique growth cycle which is why we typically have different lengths of hair strands on our head. This cycle varies but can often be between two to six years and isn’t dependent on how good or bad you treat your hair as it’s simply a genetic factor.
Like genetics, age can be a factor as to why your hair won’t grow out. A lifetime of heat styling, processing, bleaching, poor diet, and other abuses can contribute to your hair becoming weaker. Not only that but as you get older, your scalp produces less oil which leads to coarser, dryer hair and hair that is more prone to split ends and breakage. A good way of fighting this is to massage your scalp every night to stimulate the hair follicles and blood flow to encourage hair growth.
Having a healthy, vitamin-rich diet is essential to having beautiful, strong hair. Iron, Vitamin D, B-complex, and zinc are all great vitamins to include in your diet to promote healthy hair. Iron can be found naturally in eggs, spinach, and chicken, while salmon, mushrooms, and natural sunshine are great, natural sources of Vitamin D. B-Complex includes biotin, niacin, and cobalamin, which all give the hair thickness and shine—avocados, legumes, eggs, and whole grains are a great source for these. Finally, load up on lamb, turkey, and pumpkin seeds for an extra dose of zinc.
Buildup of oil and products on the scalp
Often times you might focus only on the ends of our hair but giving enough attention to the roots and scalp is important too. You want to have a healthy scalp too and a buildup of oils and/or products can prevent hair growth. If your hair follicles are blocked, hair can’t grow. This can be caused by a number of reasons including the buildup of products or even your own body’s production of sweat and oil. Check your styling products and throw them out if they have silicone in them. Silicone-based products buildup on the hair and not only create a blockage to hair growth, but also weigh down your hair and dull its natural shine. Hair falling out isn’t the issue as this is normal, it’s when a blockage on your scalp stops new hair from growing back in, leaving you with thinning patches of hair. A clarifying shampoo is a good idea to use to wash away any buildups and keep your hair looking and feeling great.
Here are a few healthy hair tips to incorporate into your hair routine to keep your hair looking beautiful:
1) Always brush your hair before washing. If you brush your hair when it’s wet, you’re doing so at its most vulnerable state with leads to more breakage and split ends. Instead, brush your hair before showering to completely detangle it and always start at the ends while carefully and slowly working your way up.
2) Don’t use hot water while taking a shower. Hot water dehydrates the hair causing brittle strands that are prone to breakage and fall out. It’s best to keep the water about medium temperature and run some cold water over your hair at the end of your shower to keep moisture in your hair.
3) Be sure to keep your conditioner in when washing your hair and focus on the mid-shaft and ends. Hair masks are also a good idea as they boost your hair’s vitality and are great for restoring nutrients, moisture, and shine.
4) Don’t towel dry your hair and instead pat your hair dry and then air dry it. More about 5 common hair or hair extensions drying mistakes here
5) Simply brush your hair once it is half dried and apply hair oil before styling to keep it soft and easy to manage. The reason for this is because soft hair is easier to manage which helps guard against breakage when brushing, styling, or wearing a hair elastic.
You can always invest in hair extensions! All the above tips are long-term solutions that can take anywhere from a month to several months before you see results. That’s why hair extensions are a perfect solution to adding instant length and volume while you grow out your own natural hair.
About the Author
Jennifer Melpignano. Mother of 6 incredible children and has 1 awesome husband. Learning, sharing and blogging on the health and beauty of human hair. Building a family-run health & beauty business. https://www.endlesshairextensions.com
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