If you scan our message inbox and search for these two words ‘not growing’ you might find more than 100 instances of that very phrase in that order highlighted in yellow.
There are healthy women out there that genuinely believe that their hair is not growing, and can attest to the fact that year after year their hair is the same length regardless of what they think they might be doing to prevent that.
News flash, your hair IS growing which is a great thing because your body is doing what it is naturally supposed to do. If you want long hair your job is to retain the length that you grow with healthy hair practices.
In this post we want to take a critical look at some of the errors that we make when trying to retain length and maybe see if we can root out some of the most common mistakes that naturals make.
1. Uncontrolled shrinkage – I recently read a post on Urban Bush Babes calling naturals to embrace shrinkage because that is our hair in its healthiest form. When you tug on your coils and they spring right back into position and you can rest assured that your strands have not been subject to any heat, chemical or mechanical damage that can break the bonds in your hair to the point of it remaining straight or ‘permanently stretched’.
While this is true to some extent, when you have high shrinkage hair, allowing it to shrink fully after every wash is a sure fire way to cause unbelievable tangling, knots and breakage. Nothing ‘healthy’ about that.
When you are rocking a TWA or other short styles full shrinkage is fine and unlikely to cause you too much harm. But when you attain a bit of length, many of us prefer to use healthy ways to stretch our hair, such and braid outs or bantu knots to avoid full shrinkage that can be linked to tangling and breakage. Still stretching is considered by some to be over manipulation that causes stress to our strands too, so which way is best?
Lynette Lynch says
I think doing what is best for your hair is best. I have been natural for 1yr 8 months. I found that twist outs work best for my fine hair it prevents it from getting knots.
AWESOME ADVICE! THANK U SO MUCH
Panama M America says
I get so shear happy. Thin uneven ends is my weakness. going to try and reduce trimming to once pr yr. getting no where w/length bc, I keep chopping it off.
I had my barber clip my ends in September between 1 st and 5th. And then again on my birthday which is in March. That’s it. Iif i see knots i clip those too.
Terry Norman says
I do the majority of this stuff sadly, but my hair is still growing healthy.
Imples Paynter says
it ok =) it very nice by the way …very creative =)
RoAnn French says
Karamel Edwards checkout her blog. Gave me great advice! I’ll post pictures of what I use, where I was and where I am now.
K. Samuels says
Thank you so much for this incredible article!
Frankye Campbell says
Good info.. this statement could have been number 6 “Note that this is very different from over elastic hair that is a result of too much conditioning. Do not condition your hair to the point of it feeling like mush because if it’s too elastic that will cause breakage too. – See more at: https://blackhairinformation.com/by-type/natural-hair/5-mistakes-costing-naturals-length/4/#sthash.LkZtwIQ7.dpuf ” A lot of women still don’t understand about over conditioning and how it too can cause breakage.
Michelle F. says
I probably need to see a dermatologist, BUT I’m already having another part of body checked via the gynaecologist and now the gastroenterologist; so I can’t take anymore specialists right now. The thousands of dollars are starting to add up and if I didn’t pray on a regular basis, I would’ve broken down already. It also helps that I have at least two family members there for support as well.
At the moment, whenever my scalp flakes I return to Remedi’s medicated shampoo and Hollywood Beauty medicated hair grease to eliminate the little buggers. And when my hair starts to look a bit ratty, I condition it with beer and give it a trim. Although it may be the painkillers I’m downing that frigging with my hair and scalp, and chances are when my gynaecological issues get sorted out so would the health of my scalp and hair. But I can’t concentrate on them now.
I wash and rinse my hair with black green tea only. I jave also been advised to wash my hair w black tea also. This is for shedding hair.
Felecia Campbell says
Natural for 10 years. It takes much patience thru trial and error.
These totally apply to us relaxed girls too. Even the uncontrolled shrinkage where new growth is concerned. Great post Emily.
Abbi of BelowtheWaist
Amy Toure says
beryl michal says
can i apply protein and conditioner at the same time
Jason Neman says
Nice article! Very interesting. Your post caught my attention. I had a great time reading your this. Keep posting!
Diamond A. says
Great post! Embracing my shrinkage is a big no no for me not because I am ashamed of my kinky textured hair but because my hair would be a tangled mess. I also try not manipulate my hair too much, protective styles are my best friend. Finger detangling works very well for me, I can’t remember the last time I used a comb.
Its hrad for me not to use my comb. I keep my hair in boxbraids (my own hair) during the winter. I wrap my hair with a headwrap to protect it. I wash ny hair while its braided. I take out one braid at a time to tighten it again untill the summer time.
Keetah Hudson says
Love article ehich i could read more on this topic.
Keetah Hudson says
Thanks for this article, i wish it was longer.