It’s a myth that Black hair doesn’t grow. Our hair DOES grow, but takes a little more work to retain that length.
For my kinkier (type 4 hair specifically) sisters and brothers, you know what I mean when I say that our hair can be very difficult to maintain. We, especially my fellow 4c’s (if you want to know more about hair typing, click here.) know what it means for hair to be coarse and dry. However, if that description fits your hair on the daily basis, there’s a problem. Dry hair is a cry for HELP!
First of all, ALL HAIR GROWS. But if your hair is constantly dry, that’s probably a big part of why you’re not seeing that length. When hair is dry and brittle, it’s more prone to breakage, especially at the ends.
To clarify, breakage is different than shedding. On average, hair sheds around 100 strands per day. That’s normal. These shed hairs will be closer to the length of your hair, and often times, seeing the “white bulb” at the root. Breakage is much different. When hair strands are weak they “break off” sometimes midway or at the ends. These hairs will be noticeably shorter, and sometimes thinner.
Breakage can happen for a number of reasons.
- MOISTURIZE! MOISTURIZE! MOISTURIZE! Lack of moisture can lead to breakage. Smacking oil on your head won’t do it. The ends are the most important. The ends were there first so respect those elders! Due to our kinky curl pattern, our natural oils have trouble making its way down to the ends of our strands. Our roots will have more exposure to these oils. So make sure to treat those ends. They should be your focus. Preserving the ends with moisture will save it from unnecessary split ends. For more info on how I moisturize my hair and what I use, click here.
- CUT SPLIT ENDS. I’ve learned that length has nothing to do with health. If your hair is long, but full of split ends, there is nothing healthy about that. I know that in the hair community, scissors are the monsters under our beds. However, failing to take care of split ends will only lead to the hair splitting all the way to the root, and it falling out. Think about it, if a strand is split in half, it’s only half as strong, and more prone to breakage.
- PROTECTIVE STYLING IS KEY. Holding onto moisture is something that our hair has some difficulty with. That is why even after moisturizing, it’s not surprising to see that moisture almost evaporate in a few hours. Protective styling locks in the moisture. Protective styles include any styles in which your ends are together. (Braids/Braidouts, Twists/Twistouts, Wigs (with a protective style underneath), Weaves etc.)
I promise you, this made all of the difference with my hair. Although this is my second year being natural and I’ve seen significant growth, I started experiencing breakage when I started being lazy with my hair care routine. A lot of this information, we know of and focus on when we first transition, but it’s all too easy to fall back on it when some time passes.
Good luck and let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear your stories.