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?