The minimum growth for black hair is 0,9cm a month, so lack of hair growth is more about hair breaking faster than it’s growing, says Khathwane. “We all get that growth, but because some people don’t take care of their hair, it breaks off faster at the tips,” she says.
She says dietary reasons contribute to hair not growing as fast as it should. A good, well-balanced diet is essential for healthy, strong hair. “Vitamins such as biotin, vitamin B and protein are essential for hair growth, so if your diet is lacking in those key elements, you may experience issues.”
Stress factors that result from work, anxiety and personal or financial issues also inhibit hair growth, says Khathwane. Stress can also manifest in our skin, resulting in breakouts and dry skin. Because the ends of the hair are the oldest, they tend to be drier, which is why they require moisture.
With the tips being so fragile, Khathwane says the most common reasons for breakage are excessive heat styling, overmanipulation from styling and bleaching and overlapping relaxers. A previous article in DESTINY advises stretching out the time between relaxers as a way of minimising chemical damage and breakage.
Take care of your hair by moisturising with an oil, and seal the moisture in with a thick hair butter, especially those with 4C hair (tightly coiled hair), says Khathwane. Those with this hair type should use a thick butter – oil alone won’t penetrate and stay in the hair shaft.
She adds that damage at the tips usually occurs when hair is short. “When the hair is short, we tend not to care for it like we should. That results in the hair ageing faster, especially if you aren’t moisturising it properly.”
Wearing protective styles for too long also result in hair breakage, especially when you fail to take care of the hair beneath. “You have to moisturise and seal the hair and ends even when the hair is in a protective style. That’s true for relaxed or natural hair.”
Whether relaxed or natural, deep conditioning should be an integral part of your regime. Deep-condition your hair twice a month to keep it healthy, replenish lost moisture and strengthen the hair.
Another major culprit is not detangling the hair correctly and regularly. “You have to comb out those knots regularly. If you wait too long, by the time you do, your hair will have knots that you’ll have to pull out and throw away,” Khathwane says.
READ MORE: How to detangle natural hair
Lastly, your hair may not be growing because of an undiagnosed medical condition. Consult a dermatologist or medical doctor if you suspect this to be the case.