Why Does Black’s People Hair Grow Different?

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Why Does Black's People Hair Grow Different?

Ever wondered why black people’s hair grows differently? Well, it’s simply because black people’s hair is extremely curly as opposed to other types of hair that grow straight or with bigger curls.

Hair growth is a big deal for everyone. Many people spend hours online surfing for products and solutions to either increase their hair length or texture. In Africa and other black regions, hair growth is part of their identity and how they interact with society.

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About Black People

However, there is a frustration that comes with having slow and different hair growth. As an African, or Black American you might want to blame it solely on genetics, but this is not the only reason. As you read through this article you’ll have an in-depth understanding of why black people’s hair grows differently.

Also Read: Black People Statistics You Probably Didn’t Know About!

Why Black People’s Hair Grow Different

There are so many factors that contribute to black hair growth and the major reasons.


1. Genetics

Genetics and hair growth go hand in hand. But this is not just about the hair length, it is also about the density, color, and texture of the hair. Most black people are genetically prone to have shorter hair lengths compared to other races, and this is not a bad thing. 

A lot of black people have darker hair, while others have dark brown or auburn hair colors. Your genetics determine your hair growth phase.

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

Statistically, a healthy hair growth rate is between ½ – ¼ inches per month. These stats apply to each strand of hair growth, and your genetics determines if your growth rate is ½ or ¼ inch per growth and month. Every hair growth comes as a result of the way the follicle in the scalp is.

The size and shape of these follicles determine your hair thickness and texture. Large hair follicles produce thick hairs and vice-versa. Round follicles make the hair straight, and oval follicles make the hair curly.

For most African regions and black descent, hair follicles are almost flat and in a ribbon-shaped pattern. This follicle makes the hair extremely copied with a different texture. Due to the tight curls, the sebum produced by the hair doesn’t spread across the hair fiber.

Without lubrication and proper care, your hair fiber becomes dry which causes the hair strands to be weak and eventually leads to breakage. 

2. Improper Hair Care

Certain hair loss types are genetic—for example, Alopecia Areata. Alopecia is the variation in the HLA gene reacting to inappropriate immune responses, targeted at the hair follicle. This reaction is common among African Americans, and very little can be done to prevent it or control its effect on hair loss.

However, dermatologists will say the major reason for hair loss is due to lack of hair care. The extent to which you care for your hair influences its growth. When you use harmful and chemical products to maintain your hair, you are bound to experience stunted hair growth over time.

For example, petroleum-laced products can stop your hair from getting properly hydrated, which goes along to damage your scalp and the number of follicles in the hair.

Water is recommended as the best product for excellent afro-textured hair, however, you can add natural products like natural protective oils, and shampoo for lubrication, and generally for protection against dirt and dust. 

Not all black folks have the same hair pattern. Black people with looser curl patterns may likely grow longer hair if it is not over-manipulated. So you shouldn’t mirror people’s hair care procedures, try understanding yours.

Also Read: 70+ Incredible Natural Hairstyles for Black Women

3. Nutrition

Another reason why black people’s hair grows differently is due to their diet. What you consume also can affect your hair growth. While natural hair products can protect the scalp and prevent hair breakage, a good diet can influence the thickness and texture of your hair.

Hair is said to grow from dead tissues, meaning your body pushes out these tissues that are no longer needed or functional. Melanized keratin fibers consisting of 65-96% protein, 1- 9% lipids, and 3% melanin forms the hair composition. Vitamin C is also responsible for repairing and renewing tissues in the body.

A healthy diet, particularly foods rich in iron, protein, zinc, and vitamin B, can facilitate healthy growth, so you should consider making them part of your diet if you haven’t. Malnutrition causes thin hair strands, hair breakage, and loss.

4. Environment

Credits can also be the environment.  Africa’s Continent lies in the intertropical zone between the tropic of cancer and Capricorn. In this region, the solar radiation intensity is usually high and it tends to affect the scalp.

Since the hair and scalp go together, damage from these radiations tends to affect the hair’s texture and length. But then it doesn’t matter whether you are in an African country or not, dust and sunlight can affect hair growth, so it is always advised to keep the head moisturized. 

Research shows that the impact of sunlight radiation attacks the melanin pigment and protein fraction of the hair. This damage can lead to fragile hair and pale hair color. Also,  air pollution, like dust in the sebum, can cause scalp irritation, itching, dandruff, and hair loss.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best Vitamins & Minerals For Black Hair Growth?

The most recommended vitamins for black hair growth are Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B7 (Biotin).  Over minerals, the best minerals to enhance the healthiness and growth of black hairs are Iron and Zinc. 
You could also decide to take hair growth supplements such as Millet seed extract, Horsetail (stem) extract, and Marine extracts, their nutrients are good for hair growth.

Why is black people’s hair thick?

Generally, hair thickness is determined by a combination of the follicles’ size and the number of follicles that line our scalp. The thickness or thinness of hair strands is determined by the size of the follicles. Thick hair grows from large follicles which explains why blacks have thick hairs. 

Is it possible for black people to grow long and thick hair?

Yes, it is possible. With healthy hair habits, and a good diet you can get your desired long and thick hair. However, you might not necessarily get the exact length you so desire, due to the factors mentioned in the article.

It’s Your Turn

We’ve seen the reasons why black people’s hair grows differently, ranging from our environment to genetics, to the degree of hair care.  However, here is a word to all black folks,  be excited about the nature and texture of your hair, since the only change you can offer is good care. This is my view, what’s yours?

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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.