The struggle to grow long black hair is very real for a lot of us, and can be quite frustrating. I’ve run into a lot of naturals who want to give up because they aren’t getting the results they want, but fail to realize that the fault may lie with them and not their hair. Just as with any disease, you need to attack the problem on multiple levels.
Growing natural hair, either using the long-transition method or after a big chop, takes diligence and know-how. Having a regular regimen for your hair, as well as your body is very important.
Yet even with a great regimen, ignoring your lifestyle and diet is the worst thing you can do to your hair and you know what? It will show all too clearly in the health of your hair as you experience shedding, thinning and stunted growth.
There are many different reasons why your hair growth may have stalled, all of which can be resolved using simple remedies or methods. As long as you take an all-around approach to hair health and growth, the results will come! So let’s begin the process of elimination and see what can be done to get you out of your hair slump.
1. Your hair is sufficiently lacking protein or is getting too much
Protein treatments can be good and bad for your hair depending on your circumstances at any given time. Protein can both soften your hair helping it hold on to moisture and also make your hair hard and brittle, making it easier to break off. It is of vital importance that you balance out protein treatments with water-based moisture treatments.
So if you’ve just jumped on the bandwagon of protein treatments (since it’s highly promoted that hair needs protein to grow), make sure that you’re not overdoing it.
Pay closer attention to your strands, and if you notice they are getting hard and dry, then back off the treatments and focus on moisturizing. Cut back to only doing them once or twice monthly or every other month, depending on the condition of your hair.
Remember, what’s working for someone else isn’t necessarily going to work for you — their hair and their journey isn’t identical to yours, so why would you expect identical results?
2. Your hair is physically breaking from your styling and maintenance
Your hair is like a baby — you have to be gentle and caring or it won’t develop properly. When you’re excessively using heat styling and hair manipulation methods or not being gentle when detangling (especially for transitioning hair), your hair is more likely to break.
Also, refrain from tying your hair too tight because this can break your edges and roots, causing your hairline to start balding (traction alopecia).
Reduce the amount of heat styles you wear by either cutting back or learning how to retain your style longer, so that your heating tools don’t have to be used as often. Of course, going cold turkey for as long as you can would provide optimum results.
You should also bear in mind that if you’re not going to sleep with a silk or satin scarf or pillowcase, then you risk having your hair broken. Cotton and polyester sheets and pillowcases dry out your hair and moving around on them can snag your hairs more easily than a smoother pillowcase. Another option is to wear your hair in a pineapple, using a fabric hair tie. However, I still recommend protecting your roots with a scarf while you sleep.
3. Your hair has buildup from the water coming out of your shower head
If you’re convinced that your methods are all good and should be working, then it could be that your tap water is counteracting your hair care regimen.
Hard water is a common problem in different areas of the U.S., which can cause your hair to dry out. The same goes for chlorinated tap water, which is known to excessively dry your hair out as well.
To combat this problem, it’s best that you install a filtered shower head. I personally use this and have seen the difference in my skin and hair — the moisture is better retained in both.