You’ve been doing everything right: no tight hairstyles, low manipulation, gentle detangling, deep conditioning* at least once a month. You practically follow every rule in the hair book to the letter. But despite all your efforts, your hair hasn’t increased even by half an inch in the past few months.
What could be wrong? Is it that your deep conditioner* isn’t “deep” enough? Or maybe it’s that one day you forgot to massage your scalp?
First off, it is commendable that you’re concerned about your hair health. What you should realize, however, is that more is involved in growing healthy long hair than just a deep conditioner* and a wide-toothed comb. In this article, we’ll discuss 8 often-overlooked reasons why your hair isn’t growing.
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance affects every body process including hair growth. Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones that directly impact hair growth. When there’s hormonal imbalance, estrogen and progesterone levels fall which results in slow hair growth and thinning.
Also, severe and prolonged hypothyroidism (low thyroid production) and hyperthyroidism (high thyroid production) can cause loss of hair.
When you’re stressed, your body deprives the hair follicle of vital nutrients and hampers both cell creation and good hair development. Chronic stress eventually leads to weaker and thinning hair. Stress could also disrupt hormone levels which will, in turn, affect hair growth.
3. Poor Diet
A poor diet lacks the essential nutrients your body and hair need to flourish. Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are necessary for your hair to grow properly. Consuming insufficient amounts of protein and other necessary vitamins and minerals may cause anomalies in hair growth.
Sometimes, stunted hair growth could be a side effect of a medication. Antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications are among drugs that could interrupt our hair growth cycle, subjecting more strands to an induced resting phase. In this case, your hair will most likely grow back once you stop the medication.
The hair follicle typically grows, rests, and then sheds to make room for new hair. The stress of illness, however, can cause all hair follicles to enter their resting phase, and hair growth temporarily stops as in the case of a person with a severe illness like pneumonia. This is known as telogen effluvium.
6. Excessive Heat Styling
It is well known that excessive heat styling can damage your hair strands. The use of curling irons*, blow dryers*, and flat irons* can weaken your hair strands, causing brittleness and eventual breakage.
In this case it’s not so much that your hair has stopped growing than you can’t see the growth as your hair is breaking at the same rate.
7. Excess/Unnecessary Supplements
Certain vitamin or mineral supplements are believed to stimulate hair growth. Some people, unfortunately, self-prescribe these vitamins in higher doses than required.
Nicotine present in cigarettes and tobacco causes your blood vessels to constrict or narrow, which limits the amount of blood that flows to your organs including your scalp.
Less blood circulation to the scalp means less hair growth.