By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven Bloom

There are many arti­cles on nat­ur­al hair sites about what you can do with or to your hair. While wad­ing through this infor­ma­tion and try­ing new things or retry­ing old exper­i­ments with new prod­ucts or tech­niques, you should always bear in mind that some things we do, can cause dam­age that will even­tu­al­ly break hair or stunt hair at a par­tic­u­lar length. Here are thoughts that I know were cru­cial fac­tors that kept my hair at less than neck length. If you were taught or had these ideas as I did, you should chal­lenge them.

1. Think­ing your nat­ur­al hair is thick when it real­ly is not

Nat­ur­al hair tends to have a lot of vol­ume and tex­ture which leads many of us to make the con­clu­sion that our hair is thick. You may not real­ly have thick hair at all. Your hair may actu­al­ly be quite fine if you looked at an indi­vid­ual strand rather than the full head of hair. Do not auto­mat­i­cal­ly class your hair as thick or coarse. There are many ten­der lit­tle kinks that have end­ed up on the floor as the result of too much force applied while comb­ing. This is because the per­son manip­u­lat­ing the hair thinks that the hair should be able to han­dle that force as it is thick. Com­pare your indi­vid­ual strand hair thick­ness to mem­bers of your fam­i­ly or to your friends and make a judge­ment as to whether it real­ly is thick or fine or some­thing in between.

Side note: I have nev­er real­ly under­stood the term coarse but some do use it to describe tex­ture (as in hair with small coils and mul­ti­ple kinks) while oth­ers use it to describe hair strand thick­ness.

2. Think­ing your hair SHOULD be able to do a par­tic­u­lar style or tech­nique when it can­not

The ver­sa­til­i­ty of nat­ur­al hair is talked about fre­quent­ly. We can wear our hair in an afro, in curls or straight.….….or can we real­ly? There are cer­tain things that some hair can sim­ply not do. Some­one with nat­ur­al curls may be doing unnec­es­sary dam­age to their hair by dry brush­ing it to get an afro tex­ture. Some­one with many beau­ti­ful kinks may nev­er be able to shin­gle their hair into curls. Some­one with fine hair may nev­er be able to use high heat to get a per­fect­ly straight style with­out caus­ing imme­di­ate break­age and dam­age. This does not mean that you should fear try­ing new styles or tech­niques, it does how­ev­er mean that you should trust the reac­tion of your hair and deter­mine whether you should go on or stop based on whether that reac­tion is good or bad.

3. Think­ing that EVERYONE can do a wash and go

Wash and go’s are the main stay of nat­u­rals who have done the big chop. When hair is short, they are fast, easy and one of the least dam­ag­ing styles. How­ev­er,  as hair grows, a sec­ond fac­tor, shrink­age, can crop with some nat­u­rals. After a wash, if your hair shrinks to the point where strands start to inter­twine or form knots, requir­ing you to detan­gle hair yet again, you are prob­a­bly not suit­ed to wear­ing a wash and go, at least not if your aim is to get longer hair. My sug­ges­tion is to mod­i­fy the wash and go by stretch­ing hair out in large braids or twists which can be pinned up and allow your hair to dry with­out the added shrink­age that free wet hair will pro­duce. If your hair does not shrink much or if your hair forms order­ly pro­tec­tive spi­rals, then a wash and go is for you.

Ladies, have you ever made one of these assump­tions? How did you come around and “see the light?”

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39 Comments on "3 Assumptions that Will Stunt Your Hair Growth"

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I don’t think going a month with­out wash­ing your hair is bad, you should go for it if you think that will help, sounds like you need to build a bet­ter hair regime also, my sug­ges­tion would be with or with­out heat keep your hair in low manip­u­la­tion styles and also check out nap­tural85 YouTube chan­nel she is very knowl­edge­able about hair are


I have thick hair, but my actu­al strands of hair are fine…basically I have a pounds of fine hair on my head.

Basi­cal­ly hav­ing fine hair doesn’t negate hav­ing thick hair. Just like hav­ing course strands doesn’t make your hair thick.


I’m with you until no. 3. Just my opin­ion.

Sharen Foster

I am enjoy­ing the accu­rate and detailed info and instruc­tions on how to care for, grow and main­tain healthy Natural/Afro-Centric hair. Thank you!

My moth­er always calls my hair course and thick, but its not. I have fine strands and not that many of them. My hair don’t do have the styles I like even though I have been nat­ur­al for 10 years. Seems like I can­not retain length and have tried all meth­ods. My twist look like lit­tle twigs stick­ing up every­where. I look like Fred­er­ick Dou­glass with a wash and go. My puff shrink to non exsi­tance by the end of the day. Been wear­ing Havana twist late­ly, but I just want to be tru­ely hap­py with my own hair. Maybe… Read more »

This is a great thing to know. I was talk­ing to a lady the oth­er day, who men­tioned how “thick and curly” my hair was! I thought my hair was thick too for so long. But it turns out I just have a big head :-)

Thank you so much for the part that says your hair may not be ABLE to do cer­tain styles. I’m mul­ti racial and I shaved my head 12 years ago and I’ve had lots of black women look at pics of me as a kid and say that doesn’t look like ti would’ve been so hard to care for. My hair is thick, very eas­i­ly tan­gled and heat AND chem­i­cal resis­tant and I have lots of it (When I shave my head it only takes 3 days before you can’t see my scalp any­more). Any­way I’m glad to see some­one… Read more »

This is a great arti­cle. I nev­er thought about the dif­fer­ence between tex­ture and thick­ness. I think I will com­pare my strands. I have nev­er tried a wash and go but believe I will this sum­mer.

I have hair that is like tele­phone wire mixed with pure frizz. I can get a decent curly fro but I’ve always been nat­ur­al and my hair still breaks off. I only realised this a month or so ago because I start­ed watch­ing you tube videos. When I was young my hair was sooooo long as my mum cared for it. Then I went to uni­ver­si­ty and not that I noticed or cared at the time but it just got short­er and shorter.…weird I thought.…my hair is not grow­ing! So I’m 26 and nev­er cut my hair (trim here and… Read more »

The sto­ry of my life.I am going through this at the moment.

@Diane, I can feel your frus­tra­tion!! I went nat­ur­al about 3/4 yrs ago. I had relaxed it for years & years! With relaxed hair, I had pret­ty good hair length, but once I stopped relax­ing, it’s like my hair shrunk!! & my tex­ture is tight coils. I wear it in a wash & go curl style. But it looks so short, & I’d like to grow it out. I have corn rowed or twist­ed it at home overnight,& then untwist, & that seems to add a lit­tle length. Do you ever braid or wear twist styles? That might help for… Read more »
I do not wash my hair every week. I am cur­rent­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in a pro­tec­tive style/protect ya ends chal­lenge, so I am learn­ing as well about seal­ing my ends and mois­ture. My hair is also shoul­der length and I nev­er thought about retain­ing length until recent­ly. I do not straight­en my hair because I am too lazy.  I do not believe straight­en­ing hair is dam­ag­ing if done prop­er­ly. I know hair will grow when there is not a lot of manip­u­la­tion, so maybe not touch­ing it, styling it so often will help. Everyone’s hair is dif­fer­ent. You should prob­a­bly mon­i­tor and… Read more »

Thank you for the advise!

One thing I do get is an itchy scalp after not wash­ing for a week…but my way of deal­ing with it is to be com­plete­ly dis­ci­plined and rub or mas­sage to relieve the itch­ing instead of scratch!

I’ll def­i­nite­ly try doc­u­ment­ing as it will be nice to look back on when I have the hair of rupanzel ;)


In my younger years I had hair almost to my butt. Since it was huge hair like a lion’s mane I always thought it thick. For­tu­nate­ly a hair­styl­ist informed me that my hair was actu­al­ly fine, how­ev­er I had alot of strands that made it appear to be thick. Now that I’m enjoy­ing my nat­ur­al hair jour­ney I keep this infor­ma­tion in mind.


This arti­cle brought some­thing to my atten­tion that I nev­er thought about before. Maybe a lot of nat­ur­al hair wome assume that our hair is thick because the tex­ture and vol­ume cre­ate the illu­sion of it being thick. I know my hair has very fine strands, but I just real­ized that it isn’t as thick as I always thought it was.


If you braid your hair and let it dry, isn’t that a braid-out instead of a wash-n-go? js




Nos. 1 and 2 I have done but nev­er no. 3, I’ve seen my hair after a wash day … it can’t GO any­where in that state lol. But I have been quite frus­trat­ed when try­ing to wear a twist out and my hair just screwed me over but braid-outs work per­fect­ly fine; and maybe when I was younger my hair was thick but that isn’t the case any­more, I find as I get old­er I have to be gen­tler with it or it just breaks hor­ri­bly.


It always seemed like I was the only one for whom twist outs didn’t work. I can get results from braid outs though. And I had tons of hair when I was younger, but age, health, and a styl­ist who refused to wash a “just tin­gling” relax­er off have robbed me of my “enough hair for 10 kids” sta­tus. My indi­vid­ual strands are very fine.

Ugonna Wosu

Course is anoth­er word for “thick”, as in the diam­e­ter of a strand of hair. It is not about curl pat­tern at all. Asians have the cours­est hair, and there­fore the strongest. Blonde, cau­casians have the dens­est hair, because they have the great­est num­ber of strands on their head to make up for the lack of pig­ment in their hair(which is need­ed for pro­tec­tion against the sun). All of this was found over research I did over many months, lol.

Ugonna Wosu

you can read about cer­tain hair terms here http://www.manage-my-curly-hair.com/hair-analysis.html


great arti­cle 100% true.


I pre­fer the LOIS “sys­tem” when it comes to typ­ing hair. It’s most accu­rate and less con­fus­ing

I used to make these assump­tions in the months before my big chop. I’d watch youtube videos and I’d be like “oh, I can’t wait to recre­ate this style or that style”, then I saw the light. I realised that some of my favourite vlog­gers have very dif­fer­ent hair tex­tures from mine. This is why I appre­ci­ate the sys­tem of hair typ­ing and find it weird that many nat­u­ral­is­tas find it restrict­ing or dis­miss it as unnec­es­sary talk. You can be saved a lot of prob­lems if you iden­ti­fy your hair tex­ture or type, and recog­nise that some styles and prac­tices… Read more »
Jane T

I have to dis­agree with the last point, if you want to rock a wash n go with your hair in its shrunk­en stage, just do it..shrinkage isnt a bad thing and not every­one has spi­ral curls, so even if you dont have spi­ral curls n you feel like rock­ing a wash n go, I say just do it ladies, dont restrict YOUR OWN hair because it may lead to resent­ment


The author meant that it isn’t worth it to rock a wash and go because it might be real­ly hard to detan­gle at the end of the day and there­fore caus­es break­age, not that the shrink­age makes it ugly


I like this arti­cle. But I have hair that real­ly shrinks and wear wash and gos with no prob­lem. What I do is use a detan­gler prod­uct before I do the low sul­fate. No prob­lems. But it all depends on your hair char­ac­ter­is­tics. My hair is fine, medi­um den­si­ty, and tight­ly coiled. I would say to test and see what hap­pens for you. Even though my expe­ri­ence is dif­fer­ent doesn’t mean your point isn’t true. I like the empha­sis in this web­site that each head of hair is dif­fer­ent.
Thank you for the post.

Jane T

Yup! I knew that but I was just say­ing.….



Your ques­tion of the use of the word coarse is a good one and speaks to the issue of gen­er­al hair typ­ing charts/guidelines not ini­tial­ly includ­ing “high­ly tex­tured” hair. For con­sis­ten­cy sake fine medi­um coarse refers to the diameter/thickness of indi­vid­ual strands in the cos­me­tol­ogy world. where­as thin medi­um thick refer­to the den­si­ty (# of hairs per sq in of scalp) of the entire head. But alas, there are those licensed pro­fes­sion­als and non who use the words inter­change­ably. As always…appreciate you!

fb/instagram: Tor­rid Tress­es by Ms. Ame­na


Wash and gos weren’t made for me.


“Some­one with fine hair may nev­er be able to use high heat to get a per­fect­ly straight style with­out caus­ing imme­di­ate break­age and dam­age.”

THIS! I’ve learned it the hard way. Now when I want to straight­en my hair, I just stretch it by braid­ing it or putting it in a bun and then I flat iron it. I don’t use a blow dry­er. In fact I haven’t straight­ened my hair since July and I don’t think I will do it any­time soon. It takes too much time and does a lot of dam­age to my fine, frag­ile and thirsty hair.


Inter­est­ing. I have fine hair, but it’s fine as in thin and still strong, so find straight­en­ing for me to be eas­i­er. Some­times it I stretch my hair too much, my hair will actu­al­ly go straight/limp on its own (which is NOT com­pli­men­ta­ry to curly wash-n-gos). :(


A thou­sand times yes to #1. I have a lot of hair. A lot. It looks thick when real­ly its just dense. The indi­v­d­ual strands are lit­er­al­ly fine, fine and super fine but because there are so many of them, many a past hair­dress­er has treat­ed it as if were thick or coarse which led to incred­i­ble dam­age and break­age. It took a very knowl­edge­able hair­dress­er to tell me and show me how thin my strands were despite the immense num­ber of them. Know­ing that has real­ly helped me on my nat­ur­al jour­ney.

Natalie Josephs

I have made all of these assump­tions. The way I came around was by read­ing this arti­cle. Thank you for the wis­dom. ;-)

Candi ( Naturally Sexie™ ) Lee

I work with my hair for what it is. I do not go my the let­ters & num­bers thing to define my hair. I feel that’s what make peo­ple more con­fuse. My hair is medium(density) with tight­ly coils pat­tern (tex­ture). What ever you do for your hair. Make sure that your hair likes it. Lis­ten yo your hair not the world.


#2 is soo true I have no idea what hair type I am but my hair has nev­er respond­ed well to being loose. No afros or puffs for me. Detan­gling night­mare!


In re thick hair, I thought there were two thoughts about what was thick hair: if your strands are thick, or if you just have a lot of hair.


I don’t know the offi­cial def­i­n­i­tions, but my hair is craaaaazy thick (as in I have a lot of it), but my strands are fine (makes for easy straight­en­ing, but I tried braid exten­sions last win­ter and it was a night­mare!!!).


I think hav­ing a lot of hair is describ­ing den­si­ty and thick is the indi­vid­ual strands…that’s my under­stand­ing so far :-)