Since I have been involved in hair care, I have been very interested in hair growth, particularly fast hair growth and judging by black women’s obsession with hair growth aids, so are many of you.
Of course I’m sure that the biggest reason we love hair growth aids is because we find it easier to believe that a product is actually responsible for hair growth rather than anything as boring as a regimen.
So we continue to be taken in by marketing ploys with actions terms like ‘super growth’ or ‘crazy growth’ to encourage us to purchase products pertaining to make our hair grow faster, thicker or longer.
When it comes to length retention, majority of black women’s problems are caused by inadequate hair care techniques that encourage breakage instead or encouraging length.
But why, even after we have adopted healthy hair techniques, do some of us continue to have slow growth and again have to turn to hair growth boosting products? Is it impatience or is there something to the slow growth argument?
Recently I had a discussion with a hair stylist of note about hair growth rate in general. She stated that a healthy hair grows at a rate of ½ an inch per month and any less indicated hormonal problems in the individual. Naturally I vehemently disagreed with that statement and here I would like to show you why.
Yes, I would like to start off by talking about average height in humans, it may seem unrelated but stay with me… Average height has been a moving target since the beginning of recorded history.
An Auxologist (a person who study’s height) will tell you that height is a measure of the health of populations where the average is measured in those who share a genetic background and environmental factors.
In essence, even though the quality of nutrition that you get will affect your height, other factors like genetics and environment also come into play in determining the height of an individual.
For example, the Nilotic people of Sudan are described as some of the tallest in the world which is an adaptation to their environment. However when these individuals go through warfare where malnutrition is rife, their offspring will suffer from stunted growth and be unable to grow as tall as their ancestors.
The pygmies of Central Africa on the other hand are unusually short with male height being below 4 feet 11 inches. While various theories have been proposed to explain their short stature, it appears that it is a combination of genetics and an adaptation to their environment that causes this phenomenon as there is not much evidence to suggest that malnutrition applies to them.
The point that I am trying to make is that even though height can be a measure of health across populations, it is probably best judged in people of a similar genetic background and environment in the absence of malnutrition.
As it relates to black hair growth
When it comes to hair growth in people of African descent, you may be surprised to learn that very little has actually been studied or published. The British Journal of Dermatology 2001; 145: 294±297. African hair growth parameters states in a study it conducted:
Hair growth parameters have been studied mostly in Caucasian hair, whereas few data on African hair have been reported in the literature.