Why is my Hair Stuck at One Length?| Unlock Your Hair Growth Potential

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Why is my Hair Stuck at One Length?| Unlock Your Hair Growth Potential

Have you ever experienced a hair growth plateau? It’s when your hair appears to be stuck at the same length (shoulder length, bra strap length, etc.) and no matter what you, do you can’t grow past it. Well, you might be surprised to know that outside of health issues, the reason your hair is stuck might be due to some bad hair practices. Let’s examine the logic at this point.

On average, our hair grows approximately ½ inch every month, with an average hair growth cycle of 4-7 years. So, if our hair has the potential to grow 24-42 inches in one cycle, why do some of us seem to be stuck at a certain length? Let’s examine 5 things you are doing that is keeping your hair stuck and how to unlock your hair growth potential.

  • You’re not consistent- You either don’t have a regimen or don’t stick to your regimen. You find yourself skipping or forgoing wash days when your hair is parched and screaming for hydration or forgetting to moisturize your hair regularly because you are tired or don’t know how to moisturize your hair properly. If you don’t have a regimen and want to know how to build a regimen based on your hair’s porosity, then check out this series here. Once you find a regimen that works for you then you need to make it a routine, perhaps writing it down on your calendar or setting alerts on your phone.I prefer to wash my hair weekly and moisturize thrice weekly. The longer your hair becomes, the older your ends are, the more specific care is needed, so skipping your regimen will sure to leave your hair on stuck! Find a regimen and routine that works for keeping your hair moisturized and stick to it!

  • You’re not trimming your hair or not trimming enough. In the natural hair community, many have become our own hairdresser, and that includes self-trimming. While learning to care for your hair is important, some are afraid to trim their ends, or afraid to sacrifice those raggedy (yes raggedy ends) just to claim they have “long hair”. However, not trimming your ends or not cutting enough can cause damage to your hair in the long run. How? Well, our ends are the oldest part of our hair and have been with us through detangling, styling, and heat, this causes the ends to wear down and split or cause knots. If the ends are not trimmed, the splits ride further up your hair shaft or the knots are ripped out while detangling, causing breakage and for us to lose more hair than we would have had we just trimmed them off.Find a consistent schedule for trimming, and stick to it. I prefer to trim with the change of the season, about ½ inch off my ends. I trim while in twists if you’re not confident or comfortable with trimming your hair go to a professional who can trim for you.

  • You’re over manipulating your hair. Over manipulation…the bane of my existence. I love to wear out styles and play in my hair constantly, however, this type of constant manipulation will cause damage, damage, damage! The best advice I can truly give you if you want to retain your length and grow your hair out is to LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE. (I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell myself this). Find a protective style that works with your lifestyle and then put your hair up. However, just because your hair is in a protective style does not mean you do not have to moisturize it or cleanse your scalp. When you take down your style you want to see growth and not breakage, so make sure you have access to moisturize your hair regularly-a spray bottle filled with diluted conditioner/oils works perfectly.My favorite style to wear is twist updos. I prefer to wash my hair then put it directly in twists, wear the twists the entire week pinned up (moisturizing of course), then rock an out style on the weekend. This gives your hair time protected and time to breathe; however, the longer you can keep your hair protected, the better.  

  • You’re too rough with your hair- So many natural women try to comb their dry, knotted natural hair resulting in major breakage and damage. Natural or textured hair should not be treated or combed regularly like straight hair. Natural hair is delicate, each bend and kink in our strand is a potential breakage point, so be gentle with your hair especially your ends while detangling and styling can help your retain length faster. Always start from the ends of your hair and work your way up the strand, cutting away any knots that you cannot get out and avoid tearing your hair strands apart- mechanical damage is just as real as heat damage.

    As someone with low porosity hair, I prefer to gently finger detangle in the shower with running water forcing the hair strands down then comb detangle with a wide-tooth comb saturated in conditioner. If you have high porosity hair, your hair may prefer to detangle outside of the shower, starting with your fingers first and working your way up with a brush or comb.

  • You don’t have proper protein/moisture balance. Let’s first focus on PROTEIN because this causes the most friction in the natural hair community. Most naturals need protein but believe that because they had one bad experience with a certain type of protein that they are protein sensitive. The truth is, while some cannot tolerate large proteins, the majority of naturals need and should be using protein. Let me explain. If you think about the porosity spectrum that I previously discussed here, you know that hair ranges from low to medium to high. Those with medium to high protein because their cuticles are slightly to highly raised can and benefit from medium to large proteins. Those with medium to low have slightly raised to very flat cuticles, they benefit from medium to small proteins. Proteins bind to the raised or damaged cuticles adding a protective layer to help seal in moisture. So, protein treatments can help you retain moisture longer. As we’ve discussed, our ends are the most fragile and for most, they are very porous from the constant wear and tear from combing and styling, by using protein treatments, you help preserve your ends longer allowing them to retain length and grow past your growth plateau. Here’s a list of small and large proteins and those that will benefit according to your hairs thickness.

    •    Amino acids and peptides are smallest and will likely agree with the widest variety of hair types - fine, medium and coarse, porous, normal porosity and even low porosity. 

    •   Hydrolyzed silk, keratin and collagen are smaller and may agree with a wide range of hair types - fine, medium and coarse and low to high porosity.

    • Gelatin is between medium and large - better for porous or very damaged/brittle hair or fine/medium hair. 

    • Hydrolyzed wheat, oat, quinoa, corn, soy, lupine and other plant or vegetable proteins tend to have components that are medium to large and may be tolerated best by porous hair, fine and medium hair, damaged hair, chemically treated hair. Infrequent use recommended for coarse or lower porosity hair.- source http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/protein-101-lots-of-basic-information.html

Now let’s briefly talk about MOISTURE because this is just as important as protein. Moisturizing your hair regularly is what will keep your hair pliable, moist and able to retain length, try using the LCO method if you have low porosity hair or LOC (LOCA) method if you have high porosity hair. Additionally, as with the first point, always maintain a regular wash routine which maximizes hydration and follow up with a deep conditioner treatment every time you you’re your hair.

BONUS Introduce Ayurveda into your regimen. My hair has never thrived so well since introducing Ayurveda into my regimen. My favorite herbs that have been in my regimen forever are henna, cassia, amla, and fenugreek. They add strength, shine and moisture to my hair allowing my hair retain length and break my hair barriers. Additionally, to help you grow to your best length, I am now selling my own ayurvedic hair oil. Purchase today- 40% off sale ends at midnight 12/3/19.