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Klassy Kinks: 5 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair Isn’t Growing!



Our hair is not an easy matter. Whether you’re just considering going natural or you’ve been at it for 5 years, there are some potential reasons why your hair may not be growing as well as you would like.

Reason #1: You Still Take Care of Your Hair as if It was Relaxed

Although natural hair is healthier than relaxed hair (in the sense that relaxers permanently break bonds holding together the proteins in your hair), it is still quite fragile and delicate. Comb with wide toothed combs and avoid brushes that may rip your hair strands. Do not avoid water; in fact, water is your hair’s best friend. If your hair is still short, gone are the days when you can just put your hair in a ponytail when you’re running late, so prepare yourself with a few quick and easy hairstyles that you can manage in the car (or if you dare, the bus) while stuck in traffic jams on the way to work.

Reason #2: You Don’t Let Your Hair Breathe or Rest

Do you take out your attach one night just to go to the salon the next day? Are you re-twisting each and every single night? Haba let your hair relax! Over-manipulation means your fingers have more chance to disturb your hair and cause it to knot on itself or break. If you play with your hair too much, you will be surprised that you don’t see any growth.

As for braiding and weaving, too much of this can also prevent your hair from growing, even if you are trying to let it rest. When you are repeatedly getting small or heavy braids and weaves, installed by stylists with no regard for your hair (the kind that bend your neck in all directions trying to comb), chances are that your hair, especially your edges, will suffer. Alternate protective styles – braids, weaves, and wigs – with styles that only use your own hair. If you are not ready to wear your hair out, wigs are a better option than weaves since you can remove them in the evening and moisturize your hair.

Reason #3: Your Hair is Not Well Balanced

Speaking of moisture, your hair may not be growing because it does not have the right balance of protein and moisture. If your hair is very stretchy and limp, you may need more protein. If you cannot find a protein based conditioner, make your own using a few eggs, honey, and oil.

If your hair feels dry and brittle, you probably need more moisture. With the disrespectful Naija air, this may seem like a never ending battle, but you can beat the weather by using a liquid based leave in conditioner (one whose first ingredient is water), follow it up with an oil like coconut oil, and then apply your styling cream. This LOC method (leave in, oil, cream) is a surefire way to lock in moisture.

Reason #4: You Are Not Measuring it Correctly

Shrinkage is both our friend and deepest enemy, because it lets us have double or triple the style options as those with straight hair. However, shrinkage can also make it seem as if your hair is not growing. The most accurate length checks are performed on straightened hair; but you can do one just as well by stretching your over the course of several days using braids, twists, or threading.

You may be tempted to check your hair every month or every few weeks, but trust me, all you will do is vex yourself. Furthermore, holding onto dead ends and using them to check your length is counterproductive. You should trim your hair regularly; you will feel better when you can say that your hair is even and long, rather than 1 strand of your countless strands is long and the rest are jagga jagga.

Reason #5: You Do Not Love Your Hair

Gbam! This is the real problem. Either you’re ‘jealousing’ someone else’s hair type or you’re always calling your own hair rough, difficult, ugly, or unmanageable. If you do not show your hair any love, it will not prosper. That is it.

Your natural hair is like a rose bush: you must pay careful attention to it, learn how to navigate it without injuring yourself (physically or emotionally), prune/trim it regularly, feed it with enough nutrients without suffocating it, and it will reward you in due time.
________________________________________________________________________________ founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. She can be found on social media @klassykinks.


  1. viva

    April 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    As long as you are in good health and all things being equal ! I would give you five reasons your hair is not “growing” ( what ever that means) is your genes! genes!! genes!!!genes!!! genes!!!!genes!!!!!

    • Jo!

      April 7, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Loooool. yea true

  2. darkchildlovethyhair

    April 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Wonderful article. Everything you wrote is true. If you lovingly tend your hair it will flourish. No long thing about the matter!

  3. @edDREAMZ

    April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Thank God am a man….. God i give yu all the glory…..

  4. LadyID

    April 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    LOL at “disrespectful Naija air”.
    #1 is a biggie. I tell me friends you want to go natural that it is a process. You spend about fifteen years with a relaxer, learning what does and does not work. When you go natural, you have to relearn your new hair. It is not overnight. Each has its own quirks.

  5. No wonder

    April 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I have natural hair but no time to take care of it. I have always hated weaves with a passion because of the time it took to always comb and maintain them. So the best for me was braids, braids and more braids. Now my hair is so stunted, lol but I don’t mind as long as there is hair for the hairdresser to hold and make braids, even if na five strands remain, I am good to go. When I get tired or when everything falls off, I shave them off simple.

    • aj

      April 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Looooooooooool na wa.


      April 5, 2014 at 12:36 am

      [email protected] no wonder. ur comment cracked me up big time. My hair has refused to grow too though its not natural. I have totally given up on it.

  6. nene

    April 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    as far as i’m concerned some people can’t grow their hair no matter how much they take care of it. everyone is different. these rules apply to certain people but if your hair is destined for shoulder length, it won’t grow past that. shaken!

    • nene

      April 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm


    • Oyinkan

      April 6, 2014 at 12:34 am

      I’m sorry, but you are categorically incorrect. This is coming from someone with a health care background, and shoulder length, healthy natural hair. Unless you are suffering from illnesses such as hypothyroidism, anemia, PCOS, lupus, or undergoing chemotherapy, your hair grows. In fact, studies have shown that regardless of race, hair grows an average of 1/2 inch every month. Either your damaging that 1/2 inch or nurturing it, but it definitely grows.

  7. Ebony

    April 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    The writer had the right idea but wrong deliver. Barring a medical condition everyone’s hair grows regardless. What doesn’t happen for everyone is length retention and that is what the writer should have been talking about instead of “not growing”. Before some people go all naija environment appropriate article on me in terms of the words she used “not growing” as opposed to “length retention” just remember this is an article that anyone online anywhere in the world can stumble upon.

    • Oyinkan

      April 6, 2014 at 12:21 am

      Thank you for pointing this out. I think the biggest issue with Nigerian women is lack of basic understanding on hair maintenance, period. Everyone’s hair grows. The issue is whether you are taking the appropriate steps to maintain the length or if you are damaging your hair and causing it to break off. Many Nigerian women have a negative attitude about their hair, and this prevents them from properly seeking out advice on how to maintain it.

      Other than the term “growth” I think this article is pretty spot on. Its the advice I normally give my newly natural hair. Especially the last one. I always tell my friends that if they accept that their way of thinking is the problem, and not their hair, then they will enjoy their natural hair journey.

    • Ijeoma Eboh

      April 7, 2014 at 4:11 am

      You’re absolutely correct, a better title would have been reasons why your hair *seems* like it’s not growing. Thanks for pointing out this important distinction!

    • Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

      April 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      i see nothing wrong with the title, it grabs attention since many black women believe their hair isn’t “growing”, what they don’t know is that it grows, they’re just not retaining length. and so when such people click on the article based on the title, they then have the opportunity to learn about length retention 🙂

  8. Damilola

    April 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    This is so lovely, I jst strtd my journey to my natural hair and it feels so good, will definitely put dis into consideration.

  9. BrownySays

    April 4, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Well.. I should try this

  10. Noni

    April 5, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Exactly! Another thing to add to the list is stop leaving the ends of your hair out all the time.
    Some people always say their hair doesn’t grow past a certain length but they’re at the salon relaxing the new growth every month. Don’t give me that ish, you’re breaking your hair at the ends and that’s the reason it looks like it isn’t growing. It is a scientifically proven fact that everyone naturally grows more or less 6 inches of hair a year on their head.
    Stop justifying your negligence with a lie.

  11. polished crown

    April 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    some good advise

  12. Stephanie

    April 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    lol…this is both funny and very true

  13. ajus

    April 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    natural oils like almond oil, castor oil, unrefined coconut oil and others like Shea butter will really help. They speed up hair growth especially castor oil. You can also use them on your relaxed hair. Good luck to everyone!

  14. Real Treasure

    April 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Am on he journey of transitioning from relaxed to natural DO i chop off the relaxed hair ? help a sister out thanks

    • Oyinkan

      April 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Yes, do that. Trying to maintain both textures at the same time increases the likelihood of breakage. Some people do try to maintain both, but I think its too much work.

    • nyechi

      April 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

      thanks…..needed that answer too…how many months do i have to grow my natural hair to cut off the relaxed part???….been growing mine for just 4months #coversface

    • Ijeoma Eboh

      April 7, 2014 at 4:15 am

      Here’s a quiz to help you figure out whether you should chop or transition depending on your skill set and lifestyle:

  15. Mrs Obinweluego

    April 7, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Must ed DREAMZ comment on all BellaNaija posts. Nawa for joblessness

    • nique

      April 7, 2014 at 9:48 am

      LMAOOOOO @ “na wa for joblesness”

  16. Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

    April 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm


  17. yemi

    April 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    pls can any one advise on good hair product to make my hair grow ? thanks

  18. Liza Fernandez

    November 16, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Please help. My hair has always been my pride and – joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

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