So many products for hair growth are marketed for black women but are we neglecting good hair practices by relying on them too much?
If you are a black woman no doubt at some point you have come across a hair growth aid. They come in different forms, oils*, lotions, conditioners or shampoos. They could also be home made concoctions we whip up ourselves! The products make claims ranging from stimulating your hair follicles to increase the rate of growth to re-growing hair where it is thinning like hairlines.
Now let’s start with the facts. Very few of the products for hair growth we use have ever been impartially and scientifically tested for accuracy in the flashy claims the products make. All we have to go by is either a friend who used a product and swears that it made her gain an inch every month or the new rave on the hair care forums whose results which are inconclusive at best.
Here’s the problem: since our hair grows anyway and grows really slowly, it is difficult for a consumer to be accurate in any improvement made in hair growth as the result of growth aides. How much of the growth can really be attributed to the product? To answer this question only a long term impartial study carried out by people totally unrelated to the hair growth aid industry could give conclusive proof. However, most of the study results so far have only been carried out by individual manufacturers of the products. Trusting these would be naive if nothing else.
A comment on hair growth aids based on anti fungal creams: It is possible that if your scalp is suffering from a slight fungal infection that is inhibiting growth then the cream will cure the fungal infection thereby allowing your hair to grow as it should giving the impression that growth rate has increased. Again there have been no studies to prove the efficiency of anti fungal creams as hair growth aids.
All things considered, the jury is out on whether hair growth aids make a difference in the rate of growth in the long term or not. The most important aspect of hair growth is healthy hair care practices, period. If you are neglecting moisturizing your hair, avoiding deep conditioning* or even brushing or combing your hair excessively or incorrectly then no amount of growth aids will give you long hair.
Having long hair is not so much about how quickly your hair grows than how much length you retain. Think about black men and women who have gorgeous long locs past waist length. As the hair is in a ‘locked’ state and there isn’t any combing or brushing therefore there is little breakage and very close to 100% growth retention!
The lesson here is that growth aids could enhance your hair growth rate but should never be used as a substitute for a solid hair care regimen.
Originally posted 2010-03-22 04:38:44.