Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Curl Class 3: Why doesn't my hair grow?!

So, last time I said I was going to convince you that all hair grows. Let’s be honest I know there are lots of people who still buy into the myth that black hair doesn’t grow. You or your sister or your mother have had the same length of hair for [insert number of years you’ve been alive], and you’ll say ‘Mariama, even Wikipedia says that black hair grows more slowly or doesn’t grow at all!’ (Don’t believe the papers cited by Wikipedia though, one of the studies was done on 38 people, hardly representative of the entire black population, and the other was done on school children - we all know school children don’t take proper care of their hair! Even in the pictures you can tell they don’t have healthy hair, most of it is damaged and broken… anyway I’m straying from the subject). 

Aug 2011
Feb 2013 (with much better glasses :D)
All I can say to you is… (and please don’t throw rocks at me if you see me!) it’s your own fault your hair doesn’t seem to grow. Yes, I said it! It’s YOUR fault! You’re probably thinking, ‘but Mariama, everyone in my family has short hair! It’s my genes that mean my hair can only grow up to this length!’ WRONG! (Actually I’m being a bit mean, that is partially true). What I am trying to say here is that your hair doesn’t seem to be getting longer because of your hair care practices. Contrary to the myth Afro hair is not tough at all, it is actually very weak and when uncared for becomes more fragile and dry causing it to break very easily. The strand grows at the root and then breaks at the end meaning that it cannot retain the length from the root, and you end up with no added length. The reason why everyone in your family has the same hair length is probably because you all do the same things to your hair rather than your genes.

Unfortunately I probably haven’t done an amazing job yet of convincing you that Afro hair can grow as long as you want it to. But in the next post I will bust the tough black hair myth by explaining a little more about curly hair structure and why augmenting the structure can cause breakage and stop you from retaining length. 
Mariama xx
1.  Khumaloa et al (2000) What is normal black African hair? A light and scanning electron-microscopic study. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 43, 814-20

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