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4 Myths About Black Hair Growth

• Sep 12, 2012

By Chinwe (pictured above) of Hair and Health

Deciphering the facts from the myths can be overwhelming, especially for those just starting their hair care journey.  Does braiding help the hair to grow faster?  Does black hair really grow slow?  Well, let’s get to the facts and bust a few myths in the arena of hair growth:

1. Kinky hair can only grow long if loc’ed

Fortunately, this myth is not as prevalent as it used to be thanks to hair inspirations like Sera.  However, it still exists, so let’s bust it.

The reality is that kinky hair can grow long with the right hair care regimen. A combination of protective styling and low manipulation can help those with this hair type to achieve length retention.  Again, just look at Sera’s progress.   If you have kinky, or type 4b/4c hair, do not feel like you have to transition to locs in order to grow your hair long.  Locs should ideally be a style one wears out of desire and not necessity.

2. Braid extensions will help your hair to grow faster

Believe it or not, this is a common myth that requires busting. What we do know is that one’s growth rate is determined largely by genetics and then diet and health. What braid extensions do allow for is length retention – not faster growth – when properly maintained. Poor maintenance of your hair while in braids can actually produce hair loss.

3. Black hair grows slow

Brace yourselves for the busting of this myth.  Does black hair grow slow?  No.  Just look around you and on photo-sharing sites.  You will not have to look too far to find black women with average or faster than average growth rates.  Now some of you may be thinking ahead and asking “What about African hair”? Several years ago, there was a study (published in a respected journal) that demonstrated slower hair growth rates in Africans versus Caucasians even suggesting less than average growth rates (4 inches/year, give or take) in Africans.  While the study is respectable, one has to consider the sample size (38 subjects), the region (only a portion of Africa was considered), and that it did not account for environmental factors.  Additionally, the study’s findings do not translate into “all” Africans having slow hair growth rates.  I have witnessed African women with average to fast hair growth rates, both online (e.g., just peruse the photo-sharing site of Sera, who is originally from Sierra Leone) and in person (e.g., my sister, who is Nigerian).  All black people – and all African people – are not the same.  Some of us have slow growth rates, while some of us average, and some of us fast.

4. Trimming makes your hair grow faster

If you missed this informative post by Jc, please do read it.  The bottom line is that trimming does not make the hair grow faster.  It does not have an effect on our growth rate.  What trimming can do is cut away the damaged ends of the hair thus allowing for one to attain longer length.  Length retention and growth rate are two different areas.

Well, that is it for the myths on hair growth.

What are some other myths you have heard?

About Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more! http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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151 Comments on "4 Myths About Black Hair Growth"

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Bri
Guest

The plural of anecdote is not data.

Loo
Guest
Hi Bri. Here is some “data”: The study I’m referencing: — had a small sample size (roughly 38) — only focused on a particular region in Africa (central/west Africa) — did not account for environmental factors Given this “data”, more studies are required to determine whether it is really true that “African hair has slower growth rates than Caucasians”. I would like to see a study with a larger sample size and using subjects from various parts of the vast continent (e.g., southern Africa, east Africa, etc.). Assuming that it is true, this still does not translate into “black/African hair… Read more »
Bri
Guest
Fair enough. Questionable methodology is obviously reason to doubt the study’s conclusions. I just don’t like the “study says…but I’ve seen.” Because I’m sure you’ve also seen people whose hair grows more slowly…in all races. I think people are quick to jump to “things they’ve seen” because they don’t like the outcome of certain “studies,” which is misleading. I’m not saying to break down the methods section, it’s just misleading. I also don’t think that differing growth rates on “average” is a bad thing. People tout that hair growth is determined by genetics but we are unwilling to say that… Read more »
Precious
Guest

@Bri, some ppl (aka YOU) just have to be negative about everything. Rather than projecting that other ppl are hung up on good hair, it seems it would more accurately reflect that YOU are hung up on “good hair”. Please present for examination your own personal data on black hair growth rate. And try removing the stick from your–

Bri
Guest

I’m an epidemiologist Precious. I’ll get back to you on that study 🙂

Bri
Guest

I realized the “plural of anecdote is not data” came off as a bit harsh. It’s just a saying. But “This data is questionable because the methods are questionable” is valid. All arguments fall apart when “This data is questionable because I’ve seen other stuff,” is used instead.

camille
Guest

Ha!

Nikki
Guest

+1 Boom!

Tyler
Guest

definitely agree with you on that one, Bri!

HelowAddicted on Youtube
Guest
HelowAddicted on Youtube

Why making the difference between Black and Africans, are Africans not Black themselves?
I just want to understand because it’s not the first time I come across people differentiating Africans with Black

Loo
Guest

Hi, HelowAddicted on Youtube. Yes, Africans (black Africans, that is) are black. Depending on who you talk to, they are considered a subset of the black population. On the forums, I have seen people differentiate between black and Africans (especially in the United States given the mixing that has occurred as a result of slavery), so I wrote in anticipation of it. It was not my intent to imply that Africans are not black; it was my intent to tackle the “but African hair grows slow” issue before it started.

Jade
Guest

It just goes to show you the lengths people will go to prove “true” Black hair does not grow. i mean, you have people accrediting their ONE or TWO nonblack ancestors from like 8 generations back for their long hair. Everyone/eveything BUT their African ancestors/heritage. I have even heard people accusing West African women who have long hair of having “Arab or White” ancestry way back there. What gives!

HeyHeyHey
Guest
Preach!!! I’m West African, so when people see my hair, they’re all like “I thought African hair couldn’t grow.” Or they’re surprised to see that I have a mixture of 3c, 4a, and 4b; there is a stereotype that Africans all have the same hair texture, just SMH. That being said, a lot of people have this notion that their hair growth rate or hair texture, or even skin/ eye color is a result from ONE white ancestor from 5–6 generations ago. Give me a break. Your skin might be a certain shade from that ancestor, but many are unaware… Read more »
Nubiahbella
Guest

Africa is the continent the most genetically diverse. There are Plenty Africans ( I am not talking only about West Africa) are mixed with Asian, European, Arab etc… too

maralondon
Guest

Africans have out of all other races a larger gene pool. This has nothing to do with Asian or European being in the mix.

Adama
Guest

You completely twisted that. The genetic diversity in Africa comes FROM Africa. Not from “European, Asian or Arab” admixture. Most AFricans with all of their hair texture, facial, skin color variation are NOT mixed.

For goodness sake it’s a continent. You think all Africans had the same hair texture?
the same skin color?
the same facial features?
the same hair length?

BEFORE any foreigners came? Throughout ALL REAGIONS??? In other words you think Africa had no diversity of it’s own. It just HAD to be given to them by foreigners. What racist logic.

Ugonna Wosu
Guest

she isn’t saying they are not black, she made the distinction because saying this happens to “black people” is not enough for people who feel that those who have a mixed background may have an advantage or disadvantage. I am Nigerian, and I have a hard time talking to my mom about hair cause she doesn’t believe its possible to grow it long for african, un-mixed people.

Bernadette
Guest

When I lived in Africa (Cameroon), I was called White. 🙂 My boyfriend got a good kick out of that one.

Precious
Guest
Though it is true that Africans can be classified as black, all ppl classified as “black” are not necessarily African (unless one chooses to conveniently ignore the variances in historical heritage). Shall I spell it out? Someone from Africa who can trace their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great-great-grandparents, etc to black Africans is an African. Someone like Vanessa L. Williams, though not technically bi-racial, is someone containing genetics that deviate from the African spectrum, and therefore, though technically black, could not be accurately referred to as African. Without her relaxers, her hair is just as kinky/coily as many other blacks… Read more »
Mizz Tbone
Guest
There is a difference between a race and a skin color and nationality. There are only 3 races … The black, the yellow and the white. I am black and I have friends from the Dominican Republic who are also black. We are black due to the African blood that flows through our veins. However, i know several Dominicans who do not like to be referred to as black. They would rather be referred to as Dominicans or Hispanic … But Dominican and Hispanic is not a ” race” … It only makes it easier for someone to narrow down… Read more »
Barbara
Guest

There are actually a few studies that show black hair does in fact grow slower ***on average*** , I will link it later when I get a chance.

Barbara
Guest

Spoke too soon, okay so one of the studies was mentioned but refuted on the basis of “but my brother’s mother’s cousin” ummm that is not very scientic coming from a hair science blog.

Loo
Guest
The study I’m referring to demonstrated “slower hair growth rates in Africans versus Caucasians”. My mentioning real life examples of women with average/fast growth rates was not to refute the study. My mentioning of them was to demonstrate that the study does not mean we cannot have average/fast growth rates. Additionally, another thing we must consider is that this study had a small sample size and only focused on a particular region in Africa. The sample size could have been larger. Africa is a large continent with numerous countries. I would be interested in seeing a study that gathered groups… Read more »
Precious
Guest

You will find that the hair itself does not grow “slower”, but must maneuver through a series of twists and turns which give the illusion of slower rate.

Marcia
Guest
I was not educated on how to take care of my hair and therefore I assumed my hair just didn’t grow long. While I was relaxed I never made it past APL. Never. It just hovered there. It wasn’t because I was black and therefore my hair didn’t grow it was because I was not taking care of my hair. I relaxed, bleached, rarely deep conditioned, didn’t know how to detangle my fine strands and didn’t take care of my ends…oh yeah I used heat ALL the time. Blow-dryers, flatirons, roller-sets…I loved Dominican salons…anyway my point is that now that… Read more »
mlank64
Guest
Marcia, I totally agree with your statement. I’ve never achieved anything past shoulder length hair when I was relaxed. Like you I abused my hair. I rarely if ever deep conditioned, neglicted my ends, used heat everyday, bleached, colored, relaxed parts of my hair already relaxed. Now that I’m natural, I’m loving it. The fullness is back, it is growing longer, thicker, shinier. I BC’d on 8-6-2011, so I’m a little over a year. When I first BC it was very short, couldn’t even twist the front of my hair and wouldn’t pull down past the tip of my forehead.… Read more »
Ohdear
Guest

Tell them again,Marcia! LOL

When are people going to STOP making excuses and start taking responsibility for what grows out of their head? Seriously we have a long way to go. WE have the internet as encouragement and PROOF that hair length can be retained with a lick of sense and patience.

Jane
Guest

It is easier to make excuses or quote unreliable or badly created studies. All I have to do to get people to believe any thing about themselves is to put together a study of 10 people and I know they will take its word as truth.

To quote Mark Twain: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Eloisa
Guest

Amen!

hyspin
Guest

The myth that I keep hearing that I find is generated by hair product companies then, repeated by uneducated hair stylist, and then believed by general by the general public that definitely has to DIE is that all Ethnic/Black hair is COARSE (both meanings of the word).

Very not true frankly I think they should even use the word coarse because it usually misunderstood but also used to mean the texture of the hair.

I know plenty of black women, including my self that has neither thick strands or rough feeling hair.

HelowAddicted on Youtube
Guest
HelowAddicted on Youtube

I know right! I ave this word, coarse. My hair is not “coarse” and it should not be a way to define somebody’s hair texture. It’s very pejorative to me.

hyspin
Guest

HelowAddicted on Youtube your last sentence concisely conveys my feeling for the word.

Ohdear
Guest

So true,it goes to show they are a LOT of myths that need busting and we are the ONLY ones that can do it. Stylists only say what they have been tought so that is a whole other matter. *smh* 🙁

Jo
Guest

Coarse hair is not confined to any race. I remember working with a white women that had very thick coarse hair.

Kinky hair despite is fierce appearance is so fragile and needs a lot of TLC.My individual hairs are fine and medium size with a thick density.

Here is a an interesting article:

http://www.philipkingsley.co.uk/hair-types

Jane
Guest

I don’t think it is pejorative. Used in its proper manner, it just refers to strand size.

Ugonna Wosu
Guest

asians are considered to have the coarsest and straightest hair, as well as the strongest. Coarse isn’t a negative word.

ming
Guest
I don’t believe this article. Ok, excluding the Somalians, Ethiopian, Egyptian (all of Arabic decedent) why the women/girls in lets say Africa in tribes or OTHERWISE hair down to their shoulders, waist etc. Even in Haiti but when we look at the same living circumstances of females in India, Cambodia, Nicaragua etc. their hair are long. Put things in perspective, I have been to schools with girls from the 1st grade, and we went to the same high school and Colleges and up to this day, those who stay natural hair still isn’t by their shoulders much less their waist… Read more »
Loo
Guest

Hi Ming. Length retention and growth rate are two different areas. What you are discussing is an issue of length retention.

ttemfash
Guest

You’ve proved the writers point perfectly. These girls that you went to school with do you know their hair regimens/practices. Oh and about long haired non-mixed Africans with long hair, I know quite a lot of Nigerians with exceptionally long hair.

Differences Are Okay
Guest

@ttemfash You may very well but that simply is not the norm.

Jade
Guest

There are many women in west Africa that have very long hair. But they usually take care of their hair the traditional way. You will often find this in rural/nomadic communities. If you look at vintage photos of women with natural hair in that region, many had very long hair. point is: it’s all how you take care of it.

HeyHeyHey
Guest

+1

If you slap a relaxer on it and flat iron it every day, of course it’ll look like it can’t grow. LOL

HeyHeyHey
Guest
Simply put, how would you know? Black hair is like no other.…Other races TYPICALLY don’t have nearly as much shrinkage as kinky unrelaxed type 4 hair, for example. My natural hair un-stretched only shows 1/3 of my true length. Another thing: I know that relaxers have highly affected our ideals of black hair growth. Simply put: highly processed hair is less likely (though not impossible) to retain 100% length, regardless of race. I know many Caucasian women who cut off so much hair damage after bleaching their hair, for example. The natural movement JUST now (in the past 5–10 years)… Read more »
vive
Guest
African textured hair (especially extremely coily kinky hair) is more fragile and requires more attention to prevent breakage. It also requires more moisture than looser textures because the natural oils don’t penetrate the whole strand of hair(hence the dry ends many naturals complain about). Dry hair = breakage. Do these girls you speak of give their hair the kind of attention it needs to prevent it from breaking, thus retaining the length? Probably not. Point is, a black girl’s hair may grow at the same rate as her white counterpart, but she has to do MUCH more to retain the… Read more »
vive
Guest

Oh and if you’re looking for “unmixed” West African females as you call them, check out Sera2544(Sierra Leonean on youtube), RusticBeauty (Nigerian on youtube), FushionOfCultures(Ghanaian & Egyptian on youtube), NaturalBBdiamond (Togolese on youtube) Geraldine (Nigerian) on geraldinethegreat.blogspot.com

And trust me, there are more.

vive
Guest

Ivie011 is another Nigerian youtuber with gorgeous natural hair.

Jade
Guest

If you encounter West African women from rural regions/Nomadic cultures, like the Toubou and Woodabe, you will see a lot of them have long natural hair. This is due to the fact they tame care of their hair the traditional way. They use special butters and protective styles.

Mina
Guest
I am a woman with two Nigerian parents and two sets of Nigerian Grandparents and two sets of Nigerian great grandparents and their parents where Nigerian as well you get the point. My hair is long down my back.It also grows very fast. I grow about 8–10 inches a year. And just as a side note the Somalians Ethiopians and Egyptians are all Africans they’re not any less African just because they don’t fit into the image you have of Africans. A few limited experiences doesn’t mean generalisations can be applied for the whole of Africa or for the entire… Read more »
Victoria
Guest

^^ Fellow Nigerian co-signing, esp on Somailians, Ethiopians and Egyptions not being any less african.

Deav
Guest
They may not be less ‘african’ in your opinion, but dna evidence shows that many of them are mixed with arabs/asians. So lets not get caught up with semantics here. When people refer to research on African populations, they are refering to mostly unmixed black african people with dna that has never left the african continent over the past 40 -70,0000 years. If a good proportion of your ancestors came from the middle east, then that is a slightly different racial group with different genetic propensity to retain hair. Significant proportions (around 50%) of the ‘black’ populations in Egypt, Somalia… Read more »
Jade
Guest

Its actually the other way around. Eurasian peoples carry THEIR DNA. Eurasians are the ones admixtured.

Jane
Guest

I was reading her comment, pondering how she got it so wrong. The desire to hold on to her ignorance was so deep.

Deav
Guest

You were pondering how I got it so wrong, but can’t manage to summon up a single fact to support YOUR ignorant opinion, just bile. Pathetic troll.

Adama
Guest

The desire to hold on to her ignorance was so deep.”

@Jane
Lol! Yes it was wasn’t it?

Deav
Guest
@Jade, the out of Africa theory of the origin of the ‘M’ haplogroup, is just that a theory. It has some arguments in support of it but the out of Asia theory has far more evidence to back it up. For example, the fact that M1 has a limited geographic distribution in mainly North Africa and Horn of Africa regions is a strong argument for the out of Asia hypothesis. If ‘M’ had originated in Africa, before the out of Africa migration, it would be expected to have a much more widespread distribution within Africa. In addition the distribution of… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

@ Deav: From your antiquated ‘ruling-class’ agenda-drenched response, I bet you deny global warming as well. Sad.

goyta
Guest

i understand what you’re saying. and you raise a very good point. if you ask any ethiopian they’ll tell you that a good significant portion of their population was actually intermixed with the euro peoples (romans, primarily) between 400‑1000 BC. i worked with many ethiopians in my last line of work, and they told me as much as that their history, relatively recently, is in fact quite mixed.

Adama
Guest

Please stop this. Ethiopians are not mixed. Everyone include Europe has interacted with foreigners, but to attribute their physical biology and apparance to foreigners is racist. Too many black people have absorbed racist European perceptions of what full-blooded Africans look like. Otherwise called the True Negro myth.

I think some black people(including Africans)are jealous and hold onto this ignorant logic to dismiss what they don’t have as the result of mixture. They would rather believe that their hard coarse hair and unattractive too-broad features are the True African look. They’re jealous. And so are you, Deav.

tinabobina
Guest

Wait…what? “Coarse” (I suppose you mean tightly coiled) hair and broad features are unattractive? Since when? Isn’t this supporting the racist ideology you are railing against?

anonymous
Guest

My mother was from the St Lucia and all her life had midback to waist length unprocessed thick coily hair. I on the other hand am struggling to grow my hair to shoulder length — I know that this is because I struggle to stop it breaking it is thick and kinky as well as fragile. If it wasn’t for my mother I too would have grown up believing that black hair never grew long.

Zanthe
Guest

Now let me preface this by saying that I grew up around loc’d people so much so that it was the norm for me. My dad was loc’d. However, amen on that! Why is it that people are quick to say that 4b/c is best, looks best, grows best and can only reach longer lengths in a loc’d state? I think I know why but interested to see what others say.

Jade
Guest

Even though they won’t admit it, SOME people only like 4b/4c textured hair when it is in styles that “hide” or “deceive people” of their true texture.

goyta
Guest

i think it’s because typically it’s easiest for black people to grow long hair when it is worn in locs. Now as to the aesthetics of it, i can’t answer for that. i don’t think it necessarily looks better in locs, and i think that locs is no more than a style preference. but the logic of it dictates that if one wants long hair the fastest way they can get it, the best way would be to loc it. that goes across the board for all races, actually, not just black.

Barbara
Guest
From L’oreal whose busine$$ is hair Asian hair holds the speed record for growth with 1.3 cm (app .52 inches) a month. On the other hand, it has lower density than any of the other ethnic groups. The way its follicle is implanted causes the hair to grow straight, perpendicular to the scalp. African hair, generally black hair, is the slowest growing of all, at less than 0.9 cm (app .36 inches) a month. On the other hand it is slightly more dense than Asian hair and grows almost parallel to the scalp, twisting around itself as it grows. As… Read more »
Mizz Tbone
Guest

Word!

Vonnie
Guest

We can argue back and forth about whether it is true or not that Black hair grows the slowest, trimming, blah blah, but there’s enough Youtubers and forums such as this one that can attest to, with proper care, Black hair (AA or African) can grow just as fast and long as other ethnicities WITH PROPER CARE. I think shrinkage really masks our growth rate a lot, which is why when I picture-document my hair growth I always reference with hand-stretched hair. Trust, it grows just as fast.

Stacey
Guest

Honestly ladies, WHO THE HELL CARES about how fast black/African hair grows???

As long as it’s growing,and you are taking care of it to retain length, just sit your asses down and watch your twists grow to your waist.

Most women’s hair grows at different rates anyway. I don’t get why some naturals act like it’s a speed race.

Cherie
Guest

+1

tinabobina
Guest

+8,000

Jane
Guest

+64,000,000

anastasia
Guest

LOL!! (I agree) Be happy that it grows!

Tyler
Guest

I actually think it is helpful to know the average growth rate of your hair because you may get discouraged thinking that you doing something wrong which is preventing you from RETAINing length, when in fact your hair is just growing at a slower rate than others and you’re not doing anything wrong.

Nikki
Guest

This! +1 I was reading these comments thinking are making this way to deep. Hair grows. Period. How much you retain is a combo of factors but at the end of the day you can only control so much so just chill and wait for it to grow.

JenniD
Guest
Yes it all boils down to hair care. As a group of people I think our biggest issue is in the fact that hair is such a BIG part of our culture. We do so much to it that we kill it faster than we can grow it. Many of the other ethnic groups pretty much keep the same style for a while before they change it up. But not us. I mean our hair is versitle but I think we sometimes take that to mean indestructable. I mean we have to challanges and what not just to keep our… Read more »
Jo
Guest

I totaly agree with you,Black women love to wear fried,died and layed to the side hairsyles. LOL

Jo
Guest

*dyed

Mahalia
Guest
When I was younger the longest my hair ever was shoulder length. Now since I am almost 2 years natural I’m at armpit length and I am African (Sierra Leone). I do get the same stupid comments ohh you must be mixed somewhere down the line for your hair to grow so quick and to be curly and I just laugh because some of them can’t even remember their hair in it’s natural state nor look after it to retain length. Black or African or kinky hair (what ever you want to call it) grows. It’s down to how you… Read more »
Sophie
Guest
I think hair care is a big issue here in length. My parents are West African, and there are many traditional hairstyles that utilize long hair. Nowadays, people achieve them with wigs but braiding has been around for ages and women braided their hair and it grew out long. Climate is also a big factor. African hair is not made to be lashed by winter winds! When I visit my family in Ghana, my hair is happy with bar soap and Vaseline. In New England winters, my goal is just to not have Brillo for hair! Also, I’m wondering how… Read more »
T.
Guest

And then I found five dollars.” This made me laugh so hard! And I agree, hair growth ain’t a competition.

anastasia
Guest

LMAO @ “And then I have $5”

Valeria
Guest

My skin is browner. And then I found five dollars.”

Best laugh I’ve had all day!

Dawn
Guest
Last year around this time, a woman of south american/european heritage, with wavy shoulder-length hair, griped to me, “My hair is like a black girl’s–it don’t grow!” At the time, I wore twists with the ends tucked under. “My hair grows,” I said. “Well, you know, I mean past your shoulders.” “Yeah, if I were to straighten it then it would be past my shoulders,” I said. She gave me a side-eye. “Your hair comes to here?” She indicated on her body Areola Length (lol). I said, “It’s on it’s way there.” She looked at my hair, and her eyes… Read more »
Vonnie
Guest

You are better than me. I can be mature but that woman wouldn’t have made it past the first comment with me.

Dawn
Guest

Oh it got me vexed, believe that!

These past two years I’ve learned those comments are due to ignorance, laziness and, sometimes, just plain ol disrespect. Some folks you gotta check harder than others.

danni
Guest
i have to say that for my hair , leaving it alone allows it to retain the most length and that is also one of the reasons (not the most important) of why I have loc’d my hair. Ive did everything , but I have both fine and 4b hair and it makes it super hard plus 90% srinkage. Im really big on healthy hair and have been for about three years so I know that Ive done everything. from super moisture to only finger detangling I have done and I have only reached 2 inches from collarbone in 1… Read more »
Nana D
Guest

I think its FUNNY how people are debating about hair.….never cease to amaze me!!.…as long as they’re stupid debates on HAIR…the general population will NEVER embrace their natural hair…
Loo, interesting post!

Woot woot for Haiti!.…..just a side note. :):)

J
Guest

I don’t think it’s stupid. Black women have endured many things regarding their appearance and in particular hair,so unless it gets talked about no healing an take place.We are the only ones that can talk about this and dispel all the myths.

Nice of you to join the conversation though. 🙂

Sharen
Guest

Well mine is coarse and I’m happy about it. It doesn’t feel rough but its texture has personality. I love to touch it. My strands are bigger than sewing thread. My hair will hold styles much longer than most and I love that about it.

afrobella1982
Guest

Why didnt I come to this website my lenght was almost past the neck and I did a trim, and now I regret it.. I dont believe I am going to pick up a hair scissors again. This is my fourth big chop and my hair has grown to my neck in 8 months.

Nini
Guest

I think it is safe to say that certain ethnic hair types grow faster than those of Black people. But I don’t care, because I’m Black. I’m not Asian, White, Indian, Arab, Jewish or a mixture of all of them. All I know is that, when I chopped off most of my hair, the front strands couldn’t even reach my eyebrows. Now some of them can reach my upper lip, and that’s after I trimmed my hair last month. #proudofmyself

Tyler
Guest
naomi
Guest

Black hair grows slowly and it is for this very reason that we do touch ups on our relaxed hair every 6 weeks. BUSTED!!

Taylor
Guest

You sound very ignorant, because its actually the very opposite. Natural hair (if your doing it the right way) grows so fast, because the heat or rather the chemicals wouldn’t break them off. Relaxers are chemicals, that burns into your head. Why would you do that to your hair? Just to fit into society? Or is it because you believe that white hair is better? Smh. Most African Americans are in the slave mentality, and your one of them. BUSTED!!!! You didn’t bust anybody but yourself.

AFRICA
Guest

I think you are talking about Africans who are partially mixed if you go to africa you will find that our hair does grow much slower and few people have long hair with in africa means shoulder length. Also we chemical our hair because it is hard to manage if it gets wet it tangles,if you lie down it tangles,if you blow dry it after a day or two it tangles

Hillda
Guest
I disagree with that, Am African not mixed African and in my family from my dad, mom, sisters and my brothers our hair grows fast. The only thing that we do wrong is trying to make our hair adapt to Caucasian hair treatments and ignoring what our hair really needs. Also retaining length is the hardest part of our hair journey. Our hair is not hard to manage, we compare it with straight hair and end up getting frustrated with it. Yes most of the people use relaxers to make life easier but how many of them have healthy past… Read more »
angel
Guest

No need to be nasty to her. You can’t take criticsm? Each man to his own opinion. Everyone keeps saying nigerians are nasty and I never used to believe them but each time I come across them, they prove to be just that — Nasty. Be nice, no matter what.

Amy
Guest

WTF?? Are you ignorant or just being ridiculous? Where there can you see that the poster is Nigerian?? Is Nigeria the only country in Africa? I am Nigerian and very offended by that! Such a ridiculous comment and an unfair, stupid stereotype. Have you met all Nigerians?? Yet you will complain if you are stereotyped into whatever category someone might try to put you in e.g. African American, Somalian, female or whatever. SMH. Take the log out of your eye first then you can come back and tell someone about their speck!

Disa
Guest

Relaxer doesn’t affect your hair growth..it just makes it easier to see how much hair has grown because of the different textures..and i would know because my hair is relaxed. Also people tend to take care of their hair better when it is relaxed so a lot more hair is retained.

RBCA07
Guest
I have to say I don’t agree. I have been relaxing my hair since I was 11 and when I was 18, I decided to take my hair out of extended braids and have my own hair. I’ve been taking care of my hair very well in the last 2 years and had some growth improvements that I hadn’t seen after a few years of relaxing. I understand that black girls love the thought of their hair blowing in the wind like grass. But if you continually relax your hair with all the conditioning in the world, it gets stressed… Read more »
Cass
Guest
I disagree. A lot (not all) of the time I see girls and women with damaged thin hair who put it into a struggling pony tail. When I look at their hair, it’s permed. This doesn’t apply to everyone who put in relaxers because when I had one my hair was always thick, shiny, and long, but when the hair is processed women think it’ll be easier to manage and you have to do less so they neglect it. Either that or they over manipulate it (heat, combing, brushing) and break off their ends. For those who have had their… Read more »
jessica
Guest

I honestly believe that most African American hair grows much slower than Caucasian hair. We didn’t always perm our hair so that is definitely not the reason. It just grows slower. Big deal. When I was a girl I had a full head of hair and my mom took excellent care of it but it was nowhere near the length of my white friends. They were always cutting their hair and it would grow back so fast I was stunned.

Cass
Guest
everyone’s hair grows at different rates. don’t automatically look at someone of a particular heritage and say it’s because they are white, Hispanic, mixed, e.c.t and that’s why their hair is long. A black person’s hair can grow just as long and at the same rate. Only difference is you can see more of their length because the hair doesn’t curl up as much. Instead of it growing big it grows long. The best way I described this to a friend of mine was by telling her to pull out her index finger. Hold it straight up. That is hair… Read more »
Stephanie
Guest

I don’t think anyone actually read this post correctly. She’s refuting the claim that black hair grows slowly. She’s saying that if it grows so slowly THEN why are touch ups done every 6 weeks? She’s calling the myth busted, just as the article stated.

Rosie
Guest

I agree. She just should have put a question mark instead of full-stop before “Busted”.

NCchick
Guest

Black hair grows on average of 4–6 inches per year (i have seen research of 6 inches). hence the term “on average” your hair can grow slower or faster than that. getting a relaxer every 6 weeks is up to the individual. When I had a relaxer, i had to get touch ups every 4 weeks. touch up or not hair growth differs amongst the individual. your hair may grow slower than the average, while grow a little bit faster than average.

Hillda
Guest

Well if your hair grows slowly I don’t think you would actually have to relax the growth every 6–8 weeks, It would be after every 3 months…

jointadvance
Guest
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notjustanyone
Guest
Somali people are not of Arab decent at all, they aren’t even related genetically also they have all hair textures, and are ethnically and linguistically distinct. Just because they are muslim don’t make that connection its foolish. Also Ethiopia has so many ethnic groups with a diversity of looks. Do not speak for people you don’t know. In addition, I cannot speak for Egypt it has been conquered 100s of times by foreigners. Aside from that Africa is the most diverse place on earth, don’t be deceived there are many looks, that aren’t the product of admixtures. If you take… Read more »
Adama
Guest

Somali people are not of Arab decent at all.”

THANK you. Attibuting African diversity to foreign admixture is really patronizing.

Audra
Guest

The biggest myth, I believe, that is not mentioned here is that washing is bad for retaining length in black hair. Having done it all from locs to the flat iron and everything in-between the common denominator for periods of great growth has been WATER. The more often I wet my hair, the more growth. WATER=MOISTURE=LESS BREAKAGE=GROWTH. The times I took bad advice and only wet my hair every two weeks or so caused intense breakage.

Vine
Guest

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sean
Guest

wow.…your not ignorant its true and just because you relax your hair doesnt mean you want to obtain“white hair“and you called her ignorant im half black-mom and half asian-dad i look asian i look white but i still want a relaxer and btw u also mentioned trying to fit in correct?well idc all i have to say is people just might want a cleaner look for themselves

Taylor
Guest

It doesn’t matter what your race is. A cleaner look? Yep. That’s what society has made us into. Making us feel like natural hair is unruly and ugly, because during slavery they called us ugly the entire time. And over time we grew to believe it.

Grr
Guest

Slavery causes black people to hate their hair therefore getting bad weaves, wigs, relaxers that damage the natural hair in turn making black hair shorter. Slavery causes short hair”

One of the most “ig-nit” things I’ve heard.

Also slavery has been abolished for some time now. It’s sad to hear people blame the hatred of “nappy” hair on slavery when I’ve seen white people compliment coily hair and other black people mock it.

It seems people today blame salavery for all the problems more than the people who were actually enslaved. Its an insult to them.

Charlotte
Guest
Lol that’s so true. It seems most ppl who hate black hair are black. I am mixed, I wish my hair looked a bit more “black.” It’s still curly but not as curly. I do sometimes hear out of pocket comments. Like this white lady at the store told me her hair became more curly after having kids. I told her mine seemed to lose some of its curl. She said “well that’s good, right?” And I said “no, I like curly hair.” It’s true I never straighten because I like curly hair and my husband who is Mexican and… Read more »
Glowheel
Guest

Does black hair make its own oil? Becomes oily from own oils.

charmaine
Guest

it does get oily but because of the coils/ curls it doesn’t travel down the hair shaft very far. my hair tends to not need to be oiled n when i do it becomes horrible n itchy no matter what oil i use.

???? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ???
Guest

Thank you for any other informative site. Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a venture that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

malisa
Guest
massage your hair regularly, to help the roots grow. take vitamin tablets do the hair has nutrients and develops strength. have a trim approx every 1–2months. give your hair fresh air so avoid wearing hats/hoodies etc. also,avoid relaxer because you’d end up with slit ends and you’ll need to cut it, making the process of growing hair very slow. ONLY WASH HAIR ONCE A WEEK. IGNORE THE NONSENSE ABOUT WASHING IT MORE THAN A WEEK. black peoples hair needs lots of oil whether its natural oil or whether you’ve bought it, so washing hair too much will make the hair… Read more »
Candy
Guest

Moisturizing is a very important part of growing out long beautiful hair. Hair dries out and breaks, regular moisturizing is critical to the life of hair. http://www.salonweb.com/features/hair-care-articles/6-Tips-to-Grow-African-American-Hair-Longer.htm

millan
Guest
I thought i would never let go of my long relaxed hair… I let my hair define my beauty. Whewww im finally free i did the big chop. I had been relaxer free for 18 months n finally decided 1 day to free myself..i cut my hair into a bob and i love it..! Ladies dont b afraid my hair is growing soo fast.. My beautician has to trim my hair to keep my bob defined every three weeks . I use echosline products i have the conditioner, placenta which is leave in and a strengthening spray ..the key to… Read more »
awesome
Guest

i don’t know why everyone is arguing about different races.We are black an should be proud to black.we are unique , beautiful and different from any other kind of race so lets just think about that instead.:-O 😀

awesome
Guest

U could try stretching hair,by doing the banding method.It’s just tying bands inches apart down your hair.+ African threading is simmular just with thread.also, you could try herbal scalp treatment from organics. it’s just a liquid herb mixture.to hydrate hair,spritz hair with water and don’t put too much coconut oil. only enough to make hands a little shiny.

Charlotte
Guest

I am half black and my hair grows from shoulders to rear end in less than a year. My hair went from bra strap to hips in about nine months.

Jody-Ann
Guest

How comes?!?!?

power washing trailer
Guest

Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?

I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

Tee
Guest

I’ve had relaxed hair for years and have had no issues and my hair is past my shoulders. I’ve had quick weaves, red hair, natural hair, short hair, braids and sew in weave and have had no issues. Go to your stylist regularly, take care of your hair and it will be healthy chemicals or not.

Keisha
Guest
I think that “black hair” from what I have read in the past actually on average grows at the same rate of all other races. The thing is our hair needs different circumstances in order to maintain length, healthy hair, and promote growth. Our kinky hair may look stronger, but it really has to be pampered a little bit more. Two main things we need are moisture and minimum hair manipulation such as overcombing, over brushing, chemicals, heat, etc. When our hair is relaxed, it automatically becomes damaged and damaged hair will tend to not retain length. One of the… Read more »
Asa
Guest

It’s likely that the hairs that you are losing are
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treatments may also transplant hair to grow in places wherever hair stopped growing.

Mercy
Guest
i want to share my testimony on how i gain my nature hair back in just three weeks: i had very thick curly hair.i straightened my hair 2 yr ago.they after some time started 2 fall out.i also having dandruff problem all d time, before i used shampoo called antidruf containing ketoconazole and tugain 2%(minoxidil) have stopped using chemical one year ago.but still i am loosing a lots of hair everyday and my hair has become so thin. when a friend of my visit me and i explain how i lose my hair every day, she told me she was… Read more »
chanel
Guest

I def believe and have seen it all my life that black hair def grows very slow. Im half black so ive been around black people all my life. Most of black girls hair will not grow past their shoulder. theses are girls i have know since childhood. they never cut their hair it just doesnt grow and im not talking about a few girls. this is 75% of black girls i have known all my life. I always wondered why their hair doesnt grow like other races.

Bumper1959
Guest

It’s not that their hair didn’t grow — they were not retaining the growth. This could be down to bad hair practices etc. My hair didn’t retain any great length until I learned how to look after it properly.

Tammy
Guest
BUMPER1959 is correct. It has to do with RETAINING that growth. THe reason some black women have short hair is due to BREAKAGE, not hair growth. Their hair breaks because (especially in USA) due to our culture and heritage being stolen from us for over 500yrs, we no longer knew how to properly maintain our hair. All we knew is to mimic what whites conditioned us to know. This is white supremacy, stripping someone of their identity and forcing them to be something they’re not. There are MANY black women who are proving that our hair grows long by discontinuing… Read more »
Minipoof
Guest

I call BS on this. We had gigantic Afro puffs in the 70s. All you have to do is eat decent, drink water, put your hair and WAIT. Blaming everything on slavery gives people the impression that we don’t take responsibility for ourselves. Slavery did not make anyone put 10 pounds of weave in their hair or perm it weekly. That’s on you ma.

Vee
Guest
Uhhh.… Not all black hair can use “black hair” products, and some afro textured hair works really well with “white hair” products. Actually a lot of relaxed and naturals use Suave, Herbal Essence, Tresemme as three examples, since they are cheap, and they work well. All three where “designed” for white hair. Hair is hair is hair, the structure of human hair is the exact same around the world. So structurally, I can use a $.99 product, or a $20.00 product, if the ingredients are really similar, and I’m not allergic, they will have the same effect regardless who they… Read more »
Reanna
Guest

You are clearly very new to this blog.

Guest
Guest

As a black girl let me ask this — how often were those black girls getting their relaxers retouched? That’s how fast their hair was growing. How many of them had hair just brushing their shoulders? That’s showing their hair can grow 6–12 inches on the top of their head but only 1–2 inches at the back of their head. Why?
Because that bottom 2 inches are the part rubbing against cotton pillowcases and rough clothing. All those broken pieces laying in the bathroom sink are what’s making it look like their hair doesn’t grow.

Phoxxie
Guest

My hair grew 6 inches in a year since I big chopped. Sooo that tells me my hair grows at the same rate as any other human being and I’m black…human.

dezumz
Guest
I think a controlled study is more reliable than anecdotal evidence. A sample size of 38 is not as small as it seems; it is actually quite a reasonable and reliable sample size for biostatistical analysis. Secondly, studying the hair growth rates of Central and, especially, West Africans is reliable because blacks in America, the UK, and the Caribbean are mainly descended from those regions of Africa. It would not be reliable to study Ethiopians or Sudanese or Somalis because they do not represent a significant proportion of black DNA in the Western world. Black American hair may grow faster… Read more »
Hannah
Guest

Non-mixed, Southern African person here. Our hair grows. Fast. Most cases of ‘slow growth’ can actually be attributed to breakage vs slow growth rate…

Sisanda
Guest
Hannah, I am also a non-mixed Southern African from South Africa with naturally black, thick and tight coiled hair. My hair use to break a lot before, even though it was not relaxed, colored or straightened. I was however not aware that my hair was breaking because it was not breaking from the roots but from the ends, it was also not thining so my head was always full of hair.I chopped all my hair and started over, I gave myself time to learn more about my hair. I changed the way I cared for my hair i started loving… Read more »
Tammy
Guest
I like this article. It’s very informative. Some people dont realize that protective styling has nothing to do with how fast your hair grows, but only with keeping and maintaining your growth by lowering manipulation lowers breakage and damage. As for the african hair growth rate, I agree, it depends on genetics, not race. I know white people that have hair that grows very slow, and some that dont. Just like blacks(like myself) have hair that grows fast, and some of us have slower growing hair. It’s all about diet and genetics in my opinion. It is true, that your… Read more »
Mashapi
Guest

Hi Mam/Sir

Will you please send me all details including cost about 7 Easy Chick Natural Hair Updo Tutorial Video;I’m interested in your hair pictures.

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Erin
Guest
African hair or coarse hair breaks more easily due to a lack of elasticity. Moisture is the key to retaining growth, protective hairstyles, and minimizing using heat or chemicals. Pollution and overwashing plays a role as well. Diet plays a crucial role as well, you need Omega 3s, B-vitamins, protein, water, etc…Asian hair grows fast, I do believe diet plays a role. Straight hair is also not exposed to as much heat and abuse. Curly haired people tend to abuse their hair and curly hair is dry and will break. I have multi ethnic hair and it grows so fast… Read more »
gina lee cooper
Guest
I find it very stupid and idiotic to talk about Blacks and Africans as if they were different. Sure, in African there are caucasians and arabs, but the Blacks ARE from Africa, whether you want it or not. It’s the same BS Jamaican serves us, when they say: “I’m Jamaican and we have nothing to do with Africans!” (read History books damn it!). You are delusional and this goes to show how some Afro-americans (see, the “Afro” there?) are still feeling uncomfortable to be related to Africans…so uncomfortable they need to use two different terms: Black, and African. Well, your… Read more »
Kendall
Guest
And this here is the reason a lot of africans dont like african americans. I dont identify as african because im not. My history is here, my ancestors built this country, this is home, for as problematic as it may be. To willfully claim a heritage you know jack about is rude and ignorant, to say the least. I know people who are half african (One parent comes from the continent) who still dont use that ethnic heritage to claim that they are “african”. So who the heck is you? Probably some clueless person who just woke up to the… Read more »
Rosie
Guest

Kendall — I could kiss you. That is exactly it. I am Jamaican heritage born in Britain. I do not and cannot deny the African blood that is in me but my heritage is Jamaican now for good or ill and I know plenty of Africans (Have lived in France and the UK) and they do not claim us as their own. Africa is a continent with a rich and diverse people not a country.

Rosie
Guest

But ANYWAY back to the hair. I think agree with all the above — its not an issue about slow hair growth its about lenght retention — my white friends hair does seem to grow like weeds but if their hair was subject to relaxers etc they would see the same issues. My friends with bleached blonde hair have the same issues with growth and length retention… its basically a case of (be you black or white) stay away or minimise use of the chemicals folks!

Napturally Kia
Guest

that black hair grow slow myth kills me slowly. my last relaxer was may 2012 and when i trimmed my last few inches off of relaxed ends off on feb 28 i was right about BSL and that was with constant trimming throughout my entire transition. i can only imagine how long it would’ve been if i had only cut of the bare minimum.

Breanna
Guest

Honestly,what is up with all these people disagreeing and arguing over whether or not your hair grows slowly or not compared to white people.It doesnt matter where you came from,whether it be the blacks in jamaica or the blacks in georgia,because your hair,and your DNA is different.Your hair is gonna grow at the rate its gonna grow,and you really cant change that without some miracle or some bs like that.Who cares about busting a myth when you cant really change the way your hair grows,because of the fact that youre different.

loving1624
Guest

I believe what makes blacks hair seem to grow so slow, or not at all are the 360’s in our hair. It’s my theory that the further apart your 360’s are, the longer your hair grows with little to no effort. One small tiny coil (nap) is about an inch long in my hair and my hair breaks at these coils even though I try to be really careful with it these days.

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