Why Does Black People’s Hair Grow Slower? Everything You Need to Know!

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Black people hair grow slower for various reasons such as genetics, hair types, hair growth cycles, age, and hair maintenance. The influence of these factors also varies from one individual to the other.

This is why, while one individual can grow shoulder-length hair in a year or two, another may take years. As you read through this insightful piece, you will understand the matrix involved in black people’s hair growth. Let’s get on to the details! 

Also read: 21 Must-Know Hair Trends for Black Women That Will Be Big in 2024

Why Does Black People’s Hair Grow Slower?

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Some people easily conclude that black people’s hair grows slowly since it is not as long as that of whites. Below are various factors that may be likely causes of the slow hair growth for blacks;

1. Hair Type

A good number of black people’s hair type is curly and coily. These hair types grow slowly because of how curly they are. Your hair type is simply the shape of your hair follicle, while your hair shape is how straight or curly your hair is.

You may say that black people’s hair is different from that of white people because of its length and looks. While that may be true, you should also know that even among black people, there are differences as well. This difference is in your hair type and it greatly affects almost everything about your hair. 

There are generally four main hair types, which are straight, wavy, curly, and coily. The straight hair type grows fast, the same with the wavy. The curly, and coily on the other hand take pretty long to stretch out. Now, this is where hair growth differs between individuals.

All these hair types also have certain tendencies such as hair loss which also slows down hair growth. The coily hair type for instance lacks moisture so it is usually dry. This also causes easy breakage and hair loss. 

2. Hair Growth Cycle

Every strand of hair on your scalp goes through a cycle as it grows. The hair growth cycle starts from the initial growth of your hair to when it is shed. This means that there’s a time when your hair undergoes a growing process, a time when it becomes weak, and then a time when it falls off.

This cycle goes on for every hair strand. The hair growth cycle happens in three phases, which are; 

  • The Anagen stage: This is the active/growth stage which lasts for 2 – 7 years.
  • The Catagen stage: The Catagen stage is when a hair strand stops growing from within the hair follicle, and this lasts for 3-6 weeks.
  • The Telogen stage: At the telogen stage, the hair strand is detached from within, for new hair to start growing in its place.

This opens another cycle. Here’s how this cycle affects black hair growth. It takes 2 -6 years for your hair to grow. Now if your hair growth is stopped for any reason at all during the Anagen stage, the cycle starts all over again. So, when a black person’s hair falls off which happens often, it slows down hair growth.

3. Genetics

This may sound ridiculous, but you can run this quick survey right now. What is the length of your sibling’s, mum’s, or grandma’s hair? Do you have an idea of their hair type? Genetic predispositions influence hair growth to a large extent because your hair shape which also influences hair growth is genetically determined.

You probably have seen young people with very short hair, and also those with extremely long hair. This difference has everything to do with genetics. 

4. Age

Although age determines how fast hair growth happens, there are exceptions to it. But then, these exceptions still do not downplay its contribution. Aging in hair growth is in two areas; the age of the hair, and the age of the individual.

With regards to the age of the hair, the older your hair, the longer it gets. However, this is subject to care and maintenance.   On the other hand, hair growth is fastest between the ages of 12 and 30, and slower afterward. This is because hair strands become thinner and the rate at which new hair grows is limited.

5. Hair maintenance

This is where most people contribute to their slow hair growth. In a bid to grow the length of hair, many ladies use many products that damage and weaken their hair follicles. This weakening leads to hair loss which in turn slows down hair growth.

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Secrets to Growing a Long Black Hair

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Having long black hair is attainable with the right hair care. As much as genetics also aids speedy hair growth, there are other ways to get the same result.

1. Abstaining from harsh hair products and practices.

A major feature of black people’s hair is its tenderness. This means that it can easily break and fall off. Black people with natural hair have to avoid hot combing and practices like hair cleansing. Just ensure that your hair is not exposed to excess heat. 

 Also, a black person’s hair lacks moisture, so the application of moisturizing hair products is encouraged. 

Also Read: Can Black People Have Red Hair? Facts And Misconceptions!

2. Maintain a healthy diet

“You are what you eat”, plays out here. To encourage speedy hair growth, you have to intentionally feed on nutrients that sponsor and aid hair growth. To intentionally grow your hair, you have to eat foods such as nuts, meat, and beans which are high in protein. Vitamins B and C also supply the necessary nutrients for speedy hair growth.

3. Trim split ends when necessary

Most people dislike hair trimming because it seems like cutting an already short hair. But then, it is a way of losing to gain. Split ends cause hair breakage which makes it seem like your hair isn’t growing.

4. Wear protective hairstyles

Curly and coily hair types which are characteristic of black people’s natural hair react badly to certain hairstyles. So it is best to make hair that enhances hair growth such as braids.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does African American hair grow any faster?

Whether African American or American, racial influence on hair growth is minimal. This means that even as an African American, you can still experience slow hair growth. 

How is Black Hair Different From White Hair?

Aside from color, black hair also differs from white hair in hair type. Most black people’s hair types are curly and coily while those of white are straight and wavy. There are white people with a curly hair type though, but genetics kind of makes it longer still.

What is the African Hair type called?

African hair is kinky or afro-textured. This name makes for why black people’s natural hair is called an Afro. 

It’s Your Turn…

Are you weary of trying to grow your hair for years now? You don’t have to accept the myth that black hair grows slower. You may just have to pay more attention to your hair and discover what plays out in your hair growth. 

Maybe you’ve been using the wrong hair product or procedures. Let your hair type decide what you do to your hair to enable speedy growth. You may want to consider a diet revamp to get the proteins up.  So, what new route do you see yourself taking to improve your hair growth?

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Faith is a seasoned writer and economist. Proud of her ethnicity and delights in helping black women become the best version of themselves. When she isn't working, you can find her with family, reading, engaging in DIY home crafts. You can connect with her on social media at faith.c.ojigbo.