Hair prod­ucts and good man­age­ment tech­niques are the two main fac­tors that most nat­u­rals look at to gain length. We do often talk to about hav­ing a healthy diet and exer­cis­ing too but less atten­tion is paid to rea­sons why hair may gen­uine­ly be grow­ing slow­er than nor­mal or shed­ding faster than it should. Here are 5 med­ical caus­es that could cause per­turb hair growth cycles.

1. Tak­ing Sup­ple­ments that you do not need
There is a school of thought that if you take cer­tain vit­a­min or min­er­al sup­ple­ments, you can pro­mote hair growth or thick­en hair. Some peo­ple self pre­scribe larg­er than nor­mal dos­es of these sup­ple­ments. In actu­al fact, tak­ing sup­ple­ments in excess or those that you do not need may lead to hair loss (Clin Exp Der­ma­tol, pp 396–404, 2002). If you tru­ly believe you are lack­ing in vital min­er­als or vit­a­mins, it is def­i­nite­ly worth hav­ing some blood work done before you start on a course of sup­ple­ments.

2. Thy­roid Check
If your thy­roid is under­ac­tive, you are like­ly to suf­fer from increased hair shed­ding as the bal­ance between the hair which should be grow­ing (ana­gen phase) and hair that should be shed­ding (tel­o­gen phase) is dis­turbed (Arch Der­ma­tol, pp 349–352, 1972). In essence, hair that should still be in the growth phase some­how switch­es to the shed­ding phase. It is not known sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly why this hap­pens. The obser­va­tions, how­ev­er, so far are that hair fol­li­cles do have attach­ment areas for thy­roid hor­mones and for peo­ple with an under­ac­tive thy­roid, sup­ple­ment­ing with syn­thet­ic hor­mones leads to a rebal­anc­ing of the hairs’ ana­gen and tel­o­gen phase. So if you sus­pect an under­ac­tive thy­roid, do have it checked out, it could improve your hair.

3. Iron Check

This is yet anoth­er case where there are more obser­va­tions than expla­na­tions. The obser­va­tion is that women who either have low iron but not ane­mia as well as those with ane­mia can expe­ri­ence increased hair loss. Sim­i­lar to the under­ac­tive thy­roid, this is due to hair that should be in the growth phase switch­ing to the shed­ding phase (Clin Exp Der­ma­tol, pp 396–404, 2002). Sup­ple­ment­ing with iron allows restora­tion of the bal­ance. How­ev­er, hair loss in women with low iron or ane­mia is not uni­ver­sal, some women do not expe­ri­ence this. Addi­tion­al­ly in some cas­es sup­ple­men­ta­tion does not nec­es­sar­i­ly change the bal­ance. Although the evi­dence is unclear, there is a link of a kind to iron sup­ple­men­ta­tion improv­ing hair qual­i­ty for some women.

4. Hor­mone Check
Women pro­duce a small amount of testos­terone in addi­tion to mak­ing larg­er quan­ti­ties of estro­gen. The bal­ance between these two hor­mones can affect hair growth. Estro­gens are known to play a role in hair growth and are part of the rea­son why in preg­nan­cy the growth cycle of hair is elon­gat­ed. For women, testos­terone in high­er than nor­mal quan­ti­ties can cause scalp hair to become thin­ner and shed more as well as pro­mote thick­er hair growth in typ­i­cal­ly male areas such as the chin and chest. If you have any prob­lems with your men­stru­al cycle or if you notice that your hair is thin­ning and shed­ding more, do have a hor­mone check.

5. Eat­ing Dis­or­ders
The pri­ma­ry rea­son hair grows is because we con­sume food. A diet that is low in pro­tein will gen­er­al­ly still allow your hair to grow although it may be more brit­tle. A diet that excludes pro­tein can lead to hair break­age, hair loss and slow/no hair growth (Am J Clin Nutr, pp 1158–1165, 1967). There is a cul­tur­al stereo­type that black women in gen­er­al do not real­ly suf­fer from eat­ing dis­or­ders such as anorex­ia and bulim­ia but this is just a stereo­type. If either of these con­di­tions affect you, do seek med­ical help.

Ladies have you dealt with any of these issues? Please share.

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51 Comments on "5 Medical Reasons For Slow/No Hair Growth"

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I’m try­ing to grow my dughters hair .I tried every­thing. She wants her hair hip length but now it is mid back length. All her friend hair is butt length. Help

Hannah Thomas

My hair has always been my pride and joy. I fig­ured since it is pret­ty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach dam­age. And I fig­ured the mas­ter styl­ist who did all the col­or-cor­rec­tions would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been short­er than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

Hel­lo ladies, I am not a med­ical expert, Ive been suf­fer­ing from alope­cia area­ta for 8 years now and for the past 6 months i’ve seen results i havent seen since my first patch…I want to share my sto­ry and expe­ri­ence and what I did that end­ed up work­ing for me in the end to give me the results i have now. First, any­one read­ing this is prob­a­bly does alot of online research and look­ing for what works for oth­ers. UNDERSTAND THAT ALOPECIA AREATA IS A AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER!! That means that this is an inter­nal prob­lem. Top­i­cal treat­ments will only take you so far, but… Read more »
Nerida Nine

Ok inter­est­ing arti­cle, but where is the ‘sound’ advice to some of the ques­tions? Any­one can post an arti­cle, but hav­ing some back up answers would be nice.


Please help me here I don’t know what is the cause of my hair stay­ing at the same length near my neck a lit­tle past my shoul­ders I don’t like this length I pre­fer longer hair hate short my hair falls out some times I have been strug­gling try­ing to grow my hair every 6 to 8 weeks I get my trim what in the world does it take for my hair to grow either it stopped grow­ing or grows slow­ly dont know what it takes for my hair to grow


Stop get­ting trims! Your hair grows from the root not tip so trims aren’t nec­es­sary for hair growth. Your hair will grow regard­less of trims!


“Tak­ing Sup­ple­ments that you do not need” This is not nec­es­sar­i­ly true. Espe­cial­ly if you take water sol­u­ble sup­ple­ments. Any excess would be flushed out of your sys­tem. It’s a very smart move to drink tons of water when tak­ing var­i­ous sup­ple­ments to move the process along. Being in my late-50’s I know this for a fact.


Two of the jour­nal ref­er­ence sit­ed are over 40+ (42 and 47 ) years old! Sure­ly you could find cur­rent research to sup­port your hypoth­e­sis. As some­one with a sci­en­tif­ic back­ground, con­firm with a med­line search and quote cur­rent (with­in the last 7years prefer­ably) research to sup­port your hypoth­e­sis. You will be pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion that is more clin­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant to your read­ers.


yes, i have dealt with all of them, caused by an under­ac­tive thy­roid. Although i’m on med­ica­tion i still have shed­ding, strug­gle with ane­mia (lack of iron) and hor­mon­al imbal­ance. Hypothy­roidism is a real strug­gle as it affects every cell in your body. I’m even suf­fer­ing with acne which i’ve nev­er had trou­ble with.

[…] 1. From Shoul­der Length to Waist Length: Geniece’s Nat­ur­al Hair Sto­ry. 2. 4 Nat­ur­al Reme­dies to Relieve an Itchy Scalp. 3. 4 Amaz­ing Prod­ucts for Type 4B/4C Nat­ur­al Hair. 4. 8 Amaz­ing Home­made Aloe Vera Recipes for Nat­ur­al Hair. 5. 3 Sim­ple Recipes for Home­made Mois­tur­iz­ers and Sealants. 6. Hair Loss, Dry Hair, Split Ends? 10 Nat­ur­al Reme­dies for Com­mon Hair Prob­lems. 7. 6 Alter­na­tives to EcoStyler Gel for Slick­ing and Defin­ing Nat­ur­al Hair. 8. How to Use Olive Oil on Nat­ur­al Hair. 9. 5 Ways to Enjoy Your Hair While Tran­si­tion­ing! 10. 5 Med­ical Rea­sons For Slow/No Hair… Read more »

[…] women, poor hair growth could also be caused by […]


Let’s not for­get about preg­nan­cy. I had two kids with­in 23 months of each oth­er and now a year post baby two my hair is still shed­ding. I’ve been nat­ur­al for going on 3/12- 4 years while my hair has nev­er been this long before (a lit­tle past my should blades when pressed) its nev­er been this thin either. Sigh, final­ly got length but lost the full­ness.


Same thing hap­pened to me. Con­tin­ue to take your pre­na­tal vit­a­mins AFTER child­birth until your hor­mones adjusts back to nor­mal (may pos­si­bly take 1–2 years) and espe­cial­ly if breast feed­ing! All nec­es­sary nutri­ents goes to your breast milk and your body uses what­ev­er is left — your hair and nails gets any­thing the body doesn’t need, which many times is noth­ing, there­fore shed­ding occurs.

Ugonna Wosu

great advice.

So I’ve been strug­gling with dis­or­dered eat­ing for sev­er­al years…I start­ed starv­ing myself on and off start­ing when I was eleven or twelve, and I began expe­ri­enc­ing hair loss; I was diag­nosed as iron-defi­cient ane­mic, but I didn’t do any­thing to improve my eat­ing habits as I still had lots of thick hair and I wasn’t con­cerned with my appear­ance because I didn’t think I would ever be attrac­tive any­way. My issues reached a peak at age 15/16 (the years are a blur, it’s hard to remem­ber) when I was offi­cial­ly diag­nosed with binge-purge type anorex­ia. I lost maybe half… Read more »

I am also a woman of colour with an eat­ing dis­or­der for 4 years. Main­ly binge purge anorex­ia as well and I too have had my hair fall out! I actu­al­ly shaved my head skin bald for a while because the hair loss was so bad. The hair does come but only through prop­er nutri­tion. I asked my doc­tors and they said hair is the last thing that is restored because it is not vital to the bidyt in terms of sur­vival but it only comes back when one is com­plete­ly symp­tom free. Hang in there though !


I’ve had my thy­roid removed and have been hav­ing mas­sive shed­ding for a very long time. So frus­trat­ing :(


Iron and Eat­ing dis­or­ders!?!?!? well that explains ALOT…

I’m in the process of doing these checks now. I just turned in my sam­ples for my cor­ti­sol lev­els, and also will be doing tests on my Vit­a­min B-12, D, TSH and T-4 lev­els. My hair has nev­er grown beyond a cer­tain length (less than shoul­der when straight). I’ve had my hair nat­ur­al for lit­er­al­ly 5+ years, fol­low all the prop­er steps for nat­u­rals (fin­ger comb­ing, mois­tur­iz­ing but not over mois­tur­iz­ing, not over trim­ming, care­ful cleans­ing, etc.) and it still won’t grow beyond a cer­tain point. My doc­tors thinks it’s unde­tect­ed PCOS or an under­ac­tive thy­roid because of a com­bi­na­tion of… Read more »

i need help!my hair has become very short.i used to have very long hair but i relaxed it.since then,my hair has lost strength.

paul tooley

this all about wom­ans hair. what about the sto­ry of mens hair.please help.

Ryan Butner

Med­ical­ly known as hypothy­roidism, an under­ac­tive thy­roid is not usu­al­ly seri­ous. It is eas­i­ly treat­ed by tak­ing hor­mone tablets to replace the hor­mones that your thy­roid isn’t mak­ing.-.”*

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I am ane­mic and preg­nant my hair is shed­ding more n more I’m sur­prised I even have the amount of hair on my head that I do, I should be bald by now.

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It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be hap­py. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to sug­gest you few inter­est­ing things or tips. Maybe you could write next arti­cles refer­ring to this arti­cle. I desire to read even more things about it!

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Marian Murray Saunders
Marian Murray Saunders

I am 69yrs old and my hair has always been thin and short. I can­not put chem­i­cals in my hair because it starts falling out. My hair prob­lem is genet­ic. My moth­er and sis­ters had very thin and soft hair. I am ane­mic so I take iron. I also take hair vit­a­min and biotin which seem to help. But age(hormones) , ill­ness and meds also con­tribute to hair loss. As black women our hair tends to run dry and white women hair is oily. They need to wash their hair every­day but we need to lim­it how much we wash ours.

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That may be incred­i­bly atten­tion-grab­bing, You will be the over­ly com­pe­tent blog­ger. We’ve reg­is­tered your own nour­ish and appear­ance toward with­in mis­sion of addi­tion­al with­in your excep­tion­al post­ing. In addi­tion, I con­tributed your inter­net site at my social net­works

I think this advice applies to all heads of hair blac­ck or white peo­ple!! Thing is a thy­roid test can show nor­mal range and not be, one should ask for an iodine defi­cien­cy test That is the BIG thing now..also if you are thy­roid defi­cient DO NOT take Syn­throid! Take Armour Thy­roid because it is not syn­thet­ic and is from nat­ur­al source.. I take biotin, sil­i­ca and B vit­a­min it all helps but age is what caus­es hair to seem to stop grow­ing and be dry. Estro­gen replace­ment is too too scary try nat­ur­al meth­ods and stay far away from… Read more »

I just did the iodine test last week and my patch dis­ap­peared in 4.5 hours.


I have pso­ri­a­sis, went for cor­ti­zone shots & a thy­roid test which was nege­tive & still have bald spots & no hair. Will not col­or my hair & don’t know what else to do to get my hair back.


I have Lupus, low iron and thy­roid issues and this is why and when my nat­ur­al tran­si­tion began…because of all the meds, and the dis­ease my hair broke off and I have been nat­ur­al every since. Its not a long and thick as before, but its ok…havent found my style or reg­i­men yet…but tri­al and error I will…really want more thick­ness and length.


I also have Lupus and although I don’t have bald spots or prob­lems with grow­ing my hair, it’s def­i­nite­ly thin­ner than it used to be pri­or to the dis­ease. I’ve also noticed my hair­line is super frag­ile / thin and doesn’t seem to want to grow back no mat­ter how much cas­tor oil I mas­sage into it! It’s so frus­trat­ing! But I will con­tin­ue to nur­ture in hopes of retain­ing length and body. :)


The sup­ple­ments for sure was once a prob­lem to me … good thing about being unem­ployed though is that I can no longer afford them and that seems to make my hair quite hap­py. Also I have an iron defi­cien­cy which is being cor­rect­ed with Tri­hemic-600 so that seems to help as well.


I also have an iron defi­cien­cy, what is Tri­hemic-600, where can I get it and have you seen any improve­ment in your health, and /or hair while tak­ing it?


I got the Tri­hemic-600 from the phar­ma­cy, and my hair doesn’t look so red at the ends any­more, my toe­nails are peel­ing, and my men­stru­al cramps are a bit more bear­able which for me means that the OTC painkillers are actu­al­ly work­ing (most of the time, any­way).


Sor­ry my toe­nails are NOT peel­ing. I knew I for­got some­thing, sor­ry, I didn’t edit before post­ing.


I am fac­ing this same dilem­ma, with fear in my heart! With­out my sup­ple­ments I get angry! You won’t like me when I’m angry (in my in my Bruce Ban­ner voice!) I am ter­ri­fied! Self diag­nosed PMDD suf­fer­er! Your com­ment made me gig­gle as well.

The Natural Haven

I hope you get a new job soon, but your response made me smile.


Thanks, I have some inter­views com­ing up so I’m very hope­ful that one (or maybe ALL of them) will mate­ri­alise into work :))


Nice post. Off top­ic but I’m new here. Has this blog always been focused on nat­ur­al hair? I used to think it was for relaxed peo­ple but maybe that was Lhcf..

I think my main issue is stress but I have delt with issues of 3 and 4, more 3 than 4 though. Now when comes to stress my hair will grow in white on sev­er­al strands but once the stress sub­sides my hair seems to return to black is it pos­si­ble for the oth­er strands that it could result in slow­er than nor­mal hair growth? I found out this year that my hair growth is only 3 inch­es and reten­tion is 1 inch (that includes two trims, and esti­mat­ed 1 inch of break­age) My ques­tion to this is how much… Read more »

Oops! Didn’t mean to reply to brinky­Dinks.


Yes, you are think­ing of LHCF. That site is for all hair types (relaxed and nat­ur­al) while this site is for nat­ur­al hair. HTH.


Lol did I real­ly get thumbed down for ask­ing an hon­est ques­tion? geesh.. Im nat­ur­al btw nazi


Shut up
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Lmao! You look like an expired choco­late bar!

The Natural Haven

I thumbed you up lol. Yes this site has always fea­tured nat­ur­al hair, pret­ty much the best there is for that pur­pose :)


I can’t real­ly help you there, I only joined last year and it seemed to be all about nat­ur­al hair. Real­ly, some­one thumbed you down … child­ish :(


I was diag­nosed with an over­ac­tive thy­roid about 4 years ago. Among oth­er things, my hair was extreme­ly dry and thin. Because of it, I tran­si­tioned to being nat­ur­al. My endocri­nol­o­gist said it was because of my thy­roid issues. Sad­ly, my hair still is not as thick as it once was and it is hard to main­tain mois­ture in my hair.

i also have a thy­roid dis­or­der. i’ve had it now 17 years. ive gone from over­ac­tive to hav­ing radi­a­tion so im under­ac­tive and its tire­some. i shed a lot of hair. it can be very dis­cour­ag­ing. i lit­er­al­ly have a few bald spots. spots not whole cir­cles. and final­ly a new endocri­nol­o­gist who works to adjust the med­i­cine i have to take. my doc­tor also runs tests on my vit­a­min lev­els and dis­cuss­es with me the appro­pri­ate range for every­thing from vit­a­min D to iron. she also rec­om­mend­ed a der­ma­tol­o­gist who can pro­vide shots in the scalp to help.

I have an under­ac­tive thy­roid and I feel like my hair sheds A LOT!!! I also feel like it’s always dry no mat­ter what. I just try and keep it mois­tur­ized best I can.