I have curly 4C hair, which is notorious for being dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. But it’s the strangest thing: my hair seems to have stopped growing completely! Well, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but the reality is, my hair never grows past my shoulders.
The situation has me wondering: Is there something wrong with me, or could it be that generally speaking, natural hair won’t grow past shoulders? I decided to do a little investigation to figure out what’s happening.
All Hair Types Are Not Created Alike
As I embarked on my research, the first thing I discovered is that I’m not alone. Many women want to know why hair won’t grow past their shoulders, not just those with naturally curly hair. Even women with super-straight hair complain that it’s not long enough, and they too want to learn how to grow shoulder-length hair to waist-length. Whew, what a relief that I’m not the only one!
Does Hair Stop Growing, or is Something Else Going On?
If you are trying to figure out why your hair doesn’t ever grow past a certain point, ask yourself these questions:
Do You Dye, Straighten, Perm, or Process Your Hair?
No question about it, chemicals will dry out and damage your hair, causing breakage. If you’re struggling to grow your hair longer, stop processing it.
Do you use a lot of heat to style?
Heat processing is just as harmful to your hair as chemical processing. If you want to ensure your natural hair won’t grow long as you wished for, blowdry it every day or use a curling or flattening iron. Doing this will speed up the breakage and lead to split ends, guaranteeing your hair will never become healthy and long the way you want it.
Do You Avoid Haircuts?
Are you trying so hard for your hair to grow longer that you’re afraid to get it cut or trimmed? That’s a problem; if you don’t snip off the dead and damaged ends once in a while, the hair will continue to break off just when it’s getting a little longer. It seems contradictory, but it’s not; trimming your split ends occasionally will help your hair grow longer.
Do you treat your hair too rough?
Sometimes it just seems to take too long to get scrunchies and hairbands out of my hair. I’m embarrassed to admit that I lose patience and rip them out quickly, paying no attention to the damage I’m doing to my curls. If you’re like me and treating your hair too rough, STOP. How can you expect your hair to grow longer than your shoulders if you’re not treating it with love and kindness?
Do you wash your hair enough?
We’ve gotten it into our heads that washing hair too much can cause it to dry out. But are you taking that concept too far and not washing your hair and scalp enough? If your hair follicles are even slightly clogged, that can slow down hair production. That means your hair won’t grow at an optimal pace.
Do you wear hairstyles that are too tight?
If you often wear tight styles that yank and pull at your hair, you’re causing undue stress on your follicles. Eventually, it can lead to a condition called “traction alopecia.” At first, traction alopecia looks like little pimply whiteheads on your scalp, but it can lead to hair loss and broken hair strands as it progresses. It’s the last thing you need if you’re trying to grow natural hair past your shoulders.
Are there other reasons your hair won’t grow anymore?
Other factors may be preventing you from growing hair past your shoulders to your waist. Certain medications, hormone changes, extreme weight loss, anxiety, and even your genes can make it challenging to attain long locks. If you think any of these reasons might be causing your hair growth woes, consult with a medical professional for advice, and find out what options are available to you.
There’s More to Life Than Having Long Hair
Now that I understand more about all the factors that go into growing long hair, I’ve given up stressing about why mine seems to have stopped. If my shoulder-length hair doesn’t grow any longer, I’ll have to learn how to live with it the way it is. Or maybe I’ll get some extensions.