“My hair doesn’t grow” is commonly heard amongst women when discussing hair length and growth. Many women believe that their hair doesn’t grow, or have accepted the fact that their hair will be short no matter what.  The truth of the matter is, our hair does grow. Scientifically our hair grows at a rate of about half an inch per month. While some people have faster hair growth, and some have slower, that is all determined by genetics and lifestyle. The hardest part in a long hair journey is not necessarily hair growth, but retentionThere are many things that can contribute to hair growth and retention, as well as hinder it. Let’s start with some of the things that can block hair growth or retention.

Stress. Stress can do so many things to our body it’s crazy. Stress can cause acne, mental illness, weight loss, and most certainly hair loss. When our hair becomes a victim of stress you may notice more gray hair, thinning hair, and shorter hair. Many people suffer from Alopecia, which is a stress related illness that will cause the immune system to attack the hair follicles. The light at the end of the stress tunnel is that reducing your stress levels can help your body return back to its balanced state. If you notice yourself getting more stressed out than usual, take a step back to observe this and find ways to help keep your stress down and maintain your health…and your hair of course.

Clothing Material. Everyone loves to bask in the ambiance of reaching shoulder length. With shoulder length hair comes shoulder length problems. If you wear your hair down often you may notice your hair beginning to snag on your clothing, especially if you are wearing cotton or any other non smooth material. Always consider if you will wear your hair up or down depending on the material of the shirt.

Regimen. If you like to style your hair often throughout the week, or brush/comb daily for your night time routine you could be hurting your hair more than helping. Of course we all love to keep our hair on point, especially for school and work. It is best to consider ahead of time how you will wear your hair for the week, and what type of routine you will have to put it through every morning and night. If you are wearing your hair straight you should consider alternatives to wrapping your hair nightly because it can cause your edges to thin as well as split ends from brushing.

Now I will tell you a few tips that can help everyone get on track to achieving their long hair goals.

Nutrition. Anyone that knows anything about hair growth will tell you that healthy hair starts from the inside. This is true, tried, and proven. A proper balance of healthy food, water, sleep, and vitamins for hair growth will not only help you grow long healthy hair, it can also help you in other areas if you’re suffering from acne, fatigue, or dry skin. Along with a proper diet comes exercise. Exercise produces serotonin, which are hormones that help reduce stress. When you exercise you will (hopefully) produce sweat, which will flush out toxins through your skin and scalp. Sweating through your scalp will also unclog hair follicles which will allow space for new hair to grow. Exercise will also create an increase in blood flow and oxygen, allowing more nourishment to flow through your body and scalp.

Frequent Hair Washing. As crazy as it may sound, it is completely okay to wash your hair once a week or every two weeks. It is important to keep your scalp clean and free of product buildup. If you apply products to your hair often such as gels or oils your scalp may be likely to get product buildup quickly. If you wear hair extensions it is especially important to wash and moisturize your scalp frequently to keep your scalp and hair healthy while it is under extensions. Typically the best rule of thumb in regards to hair washing is to listen to your scalp. If you notice your scalp beginning to itch or smell, do not just scratch it and let it go. Wash your hair and remove the dirt from your scalp.

Watch Your Ends. Pay close attention to your ends, especially if you often wear it in a natural state. Single strand knots should be cut to avoid being tangled with other strands. Split ends should be cut immediately. Split ends cannot be repaired, they must be cut. The only product that will ever repair a split end is a trim. Leaving split ends or pulling them apart will only result in longer and much worse splits. Trim your ends as often as you notice splits or knots.

All of the things listed can help you be on your way to a healthy hair journey of long lengths and great retention. Pay attention to your hair and your lifestyle. When something shows you a sign listen, don’t ignore it. Make a change to do better and you will always see results.

<3 Sweet N Sassy