Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Why isn’t my hair growing?

My last stretch was the longest stretch I had even been on while on my hair journey, 17.5 whole weeks! When I stretch for 12 weeks my hair usually gains 2 to 3 inches! Boy was I excited to see my results on relaxer day! I had done all the things right, M&S, I was in box braids for 10 weeks, therefore very low manipulation! I was buzzing!

Then relaxer day came and….. No length at all! I was where I was 17.5 weeks ago….I don’t get it, what did I do wrong? And wait a minute…I just did a week’s worth of GHE and inversion method, are you telling me I did not even gain ½ an inch?

What are the reasons hair appears not to grow?

Hair is always growing from our scalp (if we have a good enough balance diet) the weakest part of our hair in addition to the line of demarcation are our ends. Our ends are the oldest part of our hair and to see length they have to be cared for so that they don’t break off, and we appear to have reached our maximum achievable length when we haven’t.

My thought of where I went wrong?

1. I had my hair in box braid for 10 weeks, although my hair was not tampered with it probably wasn’t being moisturised adequately enough, especially with start of the cold weather.

2. I did not actually deep condition or protein treat my hair once in the 10 week period. I regularly washed my hair and used instant conditioners for my moisture boost; this could have led to a moisture protein imbalance.

3. The one thing I really did not do during my last stretch was drink water….Honestly guys when your body is hydrated so is your hair, all the good nutrients in the body can be shared with your scalp for hair growth.

What I will be doing going forward

1. Fewer length checks - Have length checks once every 2 touch ups. Since my last length check was traumatising, I need to move away from length to a health mentality. This will be a hard thing for me to do, but I really need to get over length!

2. No Heat – Reduce my heat usage to a minimum, as I will only be doing length checks once every 2 touch ups I will only use my flat iron once every 24 weeks.

3. Shorten my stretch - my longest retention has been at 12 weeks and this was before my new growth got out of control, for now I plan to keep my relaxer stretch to 12 weeks.

4. Avoid long term protective styling. This works well for people but not everyone, it definitely did not work well for me.

5. Short term protective styling – I will try doing it like the naturals, protective style on wash days up to the next wash day

6. Deep conditioning!

7. M&S - Regular Moisturising and sealing

8. Protein – Give my ends a shot of protein. Use protein conditioner for my ends and coconut oil for moisturising or sealing

9. Water, water, water and a good balanced diet!

What has helped you most with your length retention?

Happy Hair Journeys Ladies! :o)

‘Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.’ – Benjamin Franklin


  1. Oh Yvonne. Keep your head up. I can totally relate to not retaining as much length as you feel like you should. I felt the same way when I took a look at my length check pictures a few weeks ago.

    Just take it one step at a time and try not to overwhelm yourself with trying to change too much too fast.

    You can totally do this!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

    1. Thanks KLP. It was heartbreaking after the super long stretch, but now am over it, I will carry on and am sure length with come with health. I mean I get so many compliments about my hair so I must be doing something right. It's just trying to be patient, like 2,3, 4 year patience.

  2. Don't beat yourself like that! Some people get thickness then length and I did notice your hair got thicker. Only you knows what's best for your hair, make your tweaks and see if there are any changes. Protect your ends and you will be well on your way.

  3. Take heart. You are not the only one in this predicament of not retaining as much length as you anticipated. The health of your hair improved a lot. I have also decided not to do very long stretches (max sixteen weeks), no long term protective styling, and use heat when deep conditioning. Something else that is working well for me this stretch in retaining moisture is baggying. All the best with your journey.

  4. I've been doing short term protective styling as of late and so far I love it! It's much easier than daily styling. Now that you've reevaluated I'm sure that your hair will flourish in no time! Don't worry we've all be there :)

    Courtnea of Finally Growing!

    1. Thanks courtnea! Am happy I did the evaluation sooner than years down the line

  5. Don't be disheartened Yvonne, it's a journey. We learn as we go. Lucky for you, you observed this quickly and are able to make the necessary changes. All the best!

    Abbi of BelowtheWaist