By Choya Randolph
Have you ever seen people document their natural hair journey? One year they have a TWA (a teeny weeny afro) and then three years later, they got inches down to their back like they stole one of Nicki Minaj’s wigs. We shouldn’t compare our hair journeys but it isn’t fun seeing someone who has only been natural for a couple years with long hair when you’ve been natural for much longer and can’t grow past neck length. If it seems like your hair isn’t growing, it’s time to rethink your hair care regimen. Here are a few things that could be a contributing factor as to why you aren’t seeing the inches you want.
Your Hair Isn’t Hydrated
As a natural, most of what we do is to keep our hair hydrated. Hydrated natural hair equates to healthy natural hair. Those with straight hair can’t relate because their hair texture makes it easy for their natural hair oils to coat their hair strands. Us naturals have a kinky hair texture that our natural hair oils can’t fully coat. Because of this, we go the extra mile to keep our hair hydrated. This includes not washing our hair daily, deep conditioning and using the LOC or LCO method.
If you think your hair isn’t growing, it could be because your hair isn’t hydrated. If your hair is dry it will become brittle and break off. Our hair is already more susceptible to breakage because our coils love getting all tangled with each other. If your hair is tangled and dry, you will definitely see breakage. You can’t grow inches if your hair keeps breaking. To keep your hair hydrated, consistently deep condition, don’t be afraid of a steam treatment, and don’t skip wash day. Wash day is more than just cleaning your scalp.
As mentioned earlier, our kinky hair gets easily tangled due its texture but detangling isn’t fun. It’s one of the easiest steps to skip because it takes so much work. Some of us detangle before shampooing then we detangle again when deep conditioning and then detangle again when we LOC. It’s an arm workout but it’s necessary. When you skip detangling, your hair gets tangled which could lead to matting. Detangling matted hair is not only hard but could lead to breakage, the same breakage stopping you from having inches. If you bite the bullet and detangle, your hair will thank you and may even reward you with some length.
For my naturals who do detangle, are you detangling properly? Detangling the wrong way is basically breaking your hair. Sometimes when detangling, we’ll notice some tangles that are stubborn but we must be patient with our hair. To make detangling easier, make sure your hair is soaking wet and that you’re detangling with products that give your hair that slip. When I say slip, I mean that it makes your hair kind of slippery so those tangles glide right out. If you have a hard time detangling and you’re breaking combs, try finger detangling. A comb may fail you but your fingers won’t.
If you’re really obsessed with hair growth, you may be against getting your hair trimmed regularly. If your goal is long hair, why would you ever cut it? Two words: split ends. The ends of our hair are the oldest parts of our hair which means that they sometimes need the most love. We put them through a lot so sometimes they simply split. Not only are split ends not cute, they lead to breakage and even hair thinning. Avoiding the scissors may get you a little bit a length but what’s long hair if it’s not healthy? If you want healthy hair that maintains its length, you gotta go get that trim sis!
At the end of the day, having long hair shouldn’t be the main goal. Having healthy hair is the priority. I know it’s easy to get obsessed with having inches but once you’ve accomplished keeping your hair healthy, the inches will follow.