Ugh… It Doesn’t Grow! – The Real Truth about Hair Growth

You need to stop!

Stop saying that your hair isn’t growing or has stopped growing; you just might not be retaining any length.

Length retention is often mistaken for hair growth and as a result, the lack of length retention is usually interpreted as lack of growth.

The truth is, hair growth and length retention are two completely different things but they do have a causal relationship with each other. If you consider yourself or aspire to be a very pro-active “coir head/naturalista”, you should strive to strike a balance between both. Maintaining a balance simply means that you ensure that as your hair grows, you employ healthy habits and steps in an effort to retain the length as much as possible. Therein lies the secret to long healthy hair.

The Difference between Length Retention and Hair Growth

Hair growth as the name suggests, speaks to the biological process of hair being pushed through the follicles, thus increasing in length. Most of you should be able to safely say that your hair does grow, have grown and still is growing. Once you are alive and in good health; all things considered, your hair will grow. Length retention, on the other hand, is the ability to retain hair length. What makes hair seem like it’s not growing is our inability to retain its length.

The Standard Hair Growth Rate

I know some naturals have length goals that they are striving to achieve. It is important to know that there is a standard/general growth rate that most people, including me, have and it, is 6 inches per year (0.5 inches per month). While trying to attain your length goal try not compare your hair growth with anyone else because growth rates can vary.  Some naturals may take supplements and tablets to increase their hair growth rate,  and that is okay! Some, just naturally have a very high growth rate, which may be due to genetics, and that too is okay!

However, the process of retaining hair length can be very frustrating and discouraging, especially if the hair is being manipulated and styled frequently. The truth is that your hair might not seem to be growing because of constant manipulation; the constant combing and brushing and improper styling practices can also retard your hair length goals.

Protective Styling to increase Length Retention

So, my best advice to the coir heads with length or health goals is to protective style. Protective styling will certainly help with growth/length retention and will help you to be able to see noticeable growth. Your growth will definitely stand out, especially if it’s a style that includes braids, sew-in or wigs. Protective styling can last anywhere between two weeks and two months, depending on the style. The fact that you are not manipulating the hair, the visibility of “growth” will be more apparent after the takedown. Like puppies and babies, when you are around them frequently, you won’t see the growth as obvious; but if you have been missing in action for a month or two, the growth would be very noticeable. You can also try to challenge yourself to do protective styling for a period of time and record your progress. Click here to see how you can do it.

The Importance of Trimming and Conditioning

Our hair usually communicates its needs to us. So its very important that we listen. Dried brittle looking hair is a clear indication that the hair needs a deep conditioning session. Stubborn hair ends that are just not curling up the way they use to, might be need of a trim. So as naturals striving to maintain or achieve healthy growing hair, you must be very attentive to its needs. Dried hair will eventually become brittle and begin to break and if not treated or trimmed will get worse and would make hair growth be unnoticeable.  So be attentive!

Once you maintain a healthy diet your hair will grow but it is important to pay keen attention to the needs of your hair; knowing when to protective style, trim or deep condition because that is crucial when trying to increase your length retention ability.

Have questions about your natural hair? Post your question below or follow me on Instagram and send me DM , so we can talk.


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