The Natural Hair Pop Quiz (Part 10): Does Curly Hair Grow Faster than Kinky Hair?

Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - April2015A few months back, we started a quiz series on the world of natural hair, where we look at popular myths and misconceptions about it in greater detail.

To get caught up, please check out quiz #1quiz #2quiz #3, quiz #4, quiz #5quiz #6, quiz #7, quiz #8, quiz #9 but make sure to come back so we can debunk another natural hair myth.

This week, we’ll be looking at the final question, Question #10!

Question: Is curly hair easier to grow than kinky hair?
Answer: NO! Notice that I emboldened the word “grow”.

Adeola Adegbusi Natural Hair Pop Quiz - BellaNaija - January 2016

Before we dive right into why the answer is ‘no’, let me first take a moment to discuss the differences between hair growth and length retention.

Simply put, hair growth is a passive internal activity that allows new hair to grow out of your scalp. Whereas, length retention is any activity that is performed on the hair after it has grown out of the scalp. So, when most people say “grow”, what they really mean to say is “length retention”.

For example, whenever you hear someone say any of the following phrases below, it means that they are referring to length retention.
– “I just can’t get my hair to grow long(er)”.
– “I wish my hair can grow as long as your hair”.
– “It’s so much easier for mixed people to grow their hair long”.
– “My hair has never grown past my chin”.
– “I wish my hair would grow much faster”.

So, back to the question;

Hair types with looser curls do not grow at a faster rate than tightly coiled hair types. If you’re into hair typing, what I am trying to say here is – someone with type 3 hair probably has the same hair growth rate as type 4 hair. This is in the case that all factors – genetics, health, and diet – remain the same.

Studies have shown that the human hair grows at an average of 0.5 inches in a month. Since this is just an average growth rate, it’s possible for someone’s hair to grow at a longer or shorter rate in a month.

One thing to keep in mind is that because our hair grows out of our body, it shows that hair growth is mainly controlled by internal factors. Therefore, regardless of your hair type, your genes will have a major role to play in how long your hair can grow out of your body on a monthly basis. Other factors that determine hair growth include the state of your health, your diet, exercise routine, and whether or not you’re taking any medication.

This means that aside from the role your genes play in the way you look in terms of your height, skin color, shape of your nose, height, eye color and the rest, your genes can also determine how fast & how long your hair grows. And so because you don’t have any control over your height, skin color or eye color, you also have no control over the mechanism that dictates hair growth.  

Now, even though you can’t control hair growth, you can enhance it by giving your genes a hand with healthy living and eating.

To conclude, a person’s hair type has no influence over hair growth, the only truth to this general knowledge is that looser hair types are easier to manage, and so it’s easier to retain more length. But since we know that kinky hair requires more maintenance than any other hair type, it’s still possible for someone with type 4 hair to retain more length than someone with type 3 hair, if (and only if) the type 4 girl actually puts in the work required to “grow” long hair.

So, if you want to grow your hair longer this year, it’s best that you do all that you can to keep as much hair on your head as possible. And eat & live healthy to give your genes all they need to deliver your best strands.

Do you have some tips on how to enhance hair growth? Be sure to share them with us!

14 Comments on The Natural Hair Pop Quiz (Part 10): Does Curly Hair Grow Faster than Kinky Hair?
  • She January 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Be sure to use both protein and deep conditioning treatment. Mehn tbh growing natural hair isn’t beans…..it really all boils down to genes. You wouldn’t believe the look on my face when my sis hair grow way longer than mine. This is someone who started her hair journey after me and has kinky hair.
    Be sure to visit my blog
    sherijourney.blogspot.com

    • jade January 4, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Im not even into natural hair movement but the wig that i ordered for didnt get delivered as quickly. Out of frustration, left my hair out, rocked my small afro last minute. I washed, condition it as usual. I rub olive oil, shea butter with water. Im still in shock the way my hair grew. Even Bae said, i look beautiful with my afro coming from someone who met me wearing wigs&weaves and loved it. Ive been getting lots of compliment. Too

    • adeola @ coilsandglory January 5, 2016 at 6:53 am

      haha. I hear you o. genes plays a huge role. but regular maintenance also helps 🙂

  • ATL’s finest January 4, 2016 at 10:58 am

    When it comes to natural hair, I discovered the Inversion method recently and it helps retain your length. I’m natural and my hair browns very fast and rapidly even before I went natural. Like I tell people, it doesn’t matter how U get there; be it by ship, car, train, plane etc as long as u get there & giving your hair the right treatment.

    Nice write up by the way & I learned something too.

    • adeola @ coilsandglory January 5, 2016 at 6:56 am

      Thanks ATL’s FInest!

  • Natu January 4, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Curly hair does not grow faster than kinky hair. I have 3c curls and my hair grew mostly because of deep conditioning treatments and protective styling.

    • adeola @ coilsandglory January 5, 2016 at 6:53 am

      You have GREAT Hair! yes, DCT saved my hair too

  • Belema January 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    My hair grew without me doing anything. Then, I knew nothing about pre-pooing, deep conditioning, detangling or any of that and my hair grew, as in, grew. It wasn’t until 2014 that I started taking care of my hair adequately and getting more acquainted; as regards catering for natural hair. In a nutshell, eat well, make sure you have lots of protein and iron in your diet and drink lots of water. Your hair will grow when you make it, but it’s necessary to sometimes let it breathe. If you can, avoid Ghanaian braids and very tight braids at all costs. Use the right Carrier and essential oils and butters. Be patient!

    • adeola @ coilsandglory January 5, 2016 at 6:57 am

      I don’t understand why women do such painful hairstyles in the first place 🙁
      thanks for your comment 🙂

  • Onetallgirl January 4, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I noticed that when I braid my hair, my natural hair started to break off, then I started deep conditioning my hair before I braid it, and that has helped me retain length and grow my hair a lot!

    • adeola @ coilsandglory January 5, 2016 at 6:54 am

      Love this. A lot of women believe that braiding the hair helps it grow, im glad you mentioned an important element which is DCT!

  • Mahka January 5, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Adeola…thanks for the info! Am almost one year into my natural hair journey from relaxed. No big chop yet
    Its been painful n heartbreaking, I might give up. Am still confused on what to do next when I take off my weaves…Ideas pls?plus have you tried ‘Botanical hair texturizer’

  • IgboGirl January 5, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    A texturizer is the same thing as a relaxer, it is just less harsh. Don’t do it.

    Use wigs/weave while your hair grows out, but make sure the weave is done properly, if not, the weave will damage your hair, particularly your edges. As it grows trim of the relaxed ends; at least 1cm every month.

    Moisturise with natural oils i.e. olive/avocado, and seal with butters or heavy oils like shea/mango/cocoa/coconut oil or grease i.e. blue magic.

    I did the above, and after 2 years my hair is now armpit length. It would have been longer, but I damaged my hair due to protein overload .I made a homemade protein treatment, but my hair didn’t need it, and it made my hair very dry, and caused my ends to tangle very badly, so I had to cut them off, My hair isn’t as soft anymore, but it’s getting back to normal, and it’s still healthy and strong.

    However, in saying that, everyone’s hair is different, and what worked for me may not work for you. Going natural involves a lot of trial and error,

    Best of luck!

    • Mahka January 5, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you! I feel really encouraged to continue…

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