Genetics play a huge role in hair growth. Everyone is always searching for that miracle product that will give them the long tresses, but the truth is hair growth is largely determined by genetics. Start by taking a look at the women in your family and see if you notice any kind of length pattern. Some people simply have genes that help their hair grow faster and longer than others. Do not get discouraged; genetics aren’t the end of the road. It is just something to keep in mind when you are comparing your hair to someone else’s.
Hair Growth Products
Many products have very little impact on hair growth. In addition to that, everyone has an optimal growth rate, which can be inhibited by things like diet, stress, etc. and promoted by vitamins, exercise, and eating healthy. However, there are very few products that will make your hair grow faster than your optimal rate — which varies from person to person. For example, Castor oil is known to have a positive effect on thinning hair, hair growth and is also used to thicken eyebrows and other variable natural oils.
• The key is taking extra time to ensure your hair is properly moisturized and wearing a lot more protective or low-manipulation styles (rod sets, straw sets, etc.).
• Hair that retains moisture, has more elasticity, breaks less and retains more length. Dry hair is more brittle, breaks off easily and prevents you from retaining length.
• Eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking adequate water, taking vitamins and exercising regularly have all been known to support hair growth no matter your ethnicity, genes, etc.
• Eating a lot of saturated fats and sugars can also prevent your hair from growing at its optimal rate.
Protective styling does not help your hair grow any faster, but it helps you retain more length because you are not constantly manipulating your hair. The ends of your hair are the most fragile because they are the oldest part. So after all the combing, detangling, blow drying, and flat ironing, it is very easy for your ends to become damaged and if you don’t get your ends trimmed regularly, they will break off. So in order to keep your ends healthy, you have to continue to trim. The average person’s hair grows 1/2 inch per month, so if you are losing that amount or more due to breakage then it will appear as if your hair is not growing.
• Protective styles like braids, twists, up dos or any style that tucks away your ends and doesn’t require manipulation can help you retain more length.
• Natural hair is prone to snagging on clothing (especially wool), which can cause breakage and split ends, so keep that in mind during those cold months.
• Remember that just because your hair is in a protective style (yes, extensions count too), don’t neglect to moisturize it. Because when you take it down, you will have a lot more breakage due to the fact your hair has dried out.
Massaging your scalp for 20-30 minutes per day is a great habit to get into. It increases blood flow to the scalp area and can stimulate growth. This may be especially helpful if you have thinning edges from relaxers or weaves. If your hair is not permanently damaged, this could help your hair grow back. If you cannot sit and do the scalp massage all at once, do it several times per day in smaller intervals.