Photo source: Essence.com
Many women with natural hair struggle with the issue of growth. They think that since they are natural, their hair should fall down their backs and they will achieve a BAA (Big Ass Afro) but to their disappointment, they end up with even shorter hair than when they had a relaxer. Why is this? Well there are a number of reasons that hair does not grow. We cannot address all of the reasons in one post but will provide a few causes and prevention tips to help on your natural hair journey.
Ever heard the saying, " African American hair is much shorter than Caucasian hair. I wonder why?" A study around African American hair growth parameters showed that, African hair was measured at between 3.7 to 4.3 inches per year while Caucasian hair was measured at 5.7 to 6.3 inches per year. But really who cares? We just want to know how we can make our hair grow, right?
Many women believe that since they are 'Natural' this means that they do not need to trim. Others believe that trimming defeats the purpose of growing hair in the first place. Some are horrified of getting a trim because hair stylists sometime "GO IN" and you thought you were getting a trim and end up with a cut (This has happened to me before....). Trimming actually does more GOOD than harm and allows your hair to retain a longer length. Why is it important to trim? After your hair reaches a certain length it starts to taper. The strand becomes thinner as it moves away from scalp. We know that the hair outside of the follicle or scalp is DEAD. As the hair grows and leaves the scalp area the damage to the cuticle increases due to de-tangling, wetting, UV rays, etc.
If you are afraid of going to the salon for a trim, try doing it yourself (See: Trimming Your Natural Hair: Straight vs. Curly, Coily, Kinky). How often you should trim your hair depends on your ends. If you find that your ends are thinning then it is time for a trim. A good way to detect thinning ends is through two strand twisting. When you twists your hair, you will see that the part of the twist closer to the scalp is fuller and thicker than the ends. If the ends are noticeably thinner than the hair near the scalp it is time for a trim.
The key to retaining length from thinning or tapered ends is to snip off the ends before they cause damage to the entire strand- in the form of split ends.
Was this post informative? How often do you trim your ends?