We’ve all been brain-washed with the myth that afro-textured hair cannot grow or can only grow to shorter lengths in comparison to other ethnic groups. Why aren’t there more black women walking around with waist-length hair that isn’t a weave or braids? Many would argue that it is a rare observance and if the person has long hair then (1)she is either mixed (parents) or (2) some repressed non-black genes have decided to rear their heads. But the fact that it isn’t a common observance doesn’t mean that it is not possible.
I know it is hard to grasp that the hair on your head which has remained the same length for the past few years has grown…is growing??? For those who relax their strands…why do you go every 6 to 8 weeks for a touch up? Because your hair is growing!!!! Research indicates that afro-textured hair grows 1/2 an inch to over an inch per month like other ethnicities. Yes, you read it right, the rate of hair growth is like other ethnicities. So again we are not genetically disposed to short hair.
Okay so yes our hair can grow but not all of us will achieve floor length or even waist length hair. Each individual has his/her hair growth cycle. What this means is that a person’s hair will grow to a certain length and then it will stop. The hair will enter a resting period and then shed. A growth cycle can be as short as 2 years but as long as ten years. Waist length hair requires a growth cycle of six years. Now I’ll repeat again: a hair growth cycle is dependent on the individual and her genetic disposition not the ethnic group she belongs to.
Now we know and hopefully some of us are convinced that our hair grows. But why aren’t we achieving the lengths that we want? We’ve been miseducated about our hair for so long that we have repeatedly damaged our hair which leads to breakage and a loss of length. A history of racism and pressure within the black community to conform to white beauty ideals has lead to the adoption of bad hair habits (constant heat applied to make hair bone straight) as well as confined us to a mentality where we are incapable of extracting the full potential of our hair. Check out kimmaytube and rusticbeauty for black women who are achieving their length goals.
We need to adopt better hair care regimes that understand and respect the integrity of our hair. This might mean applying less heat, increasing the frequency of washing our hair, paying attention to the products we use and what we eat and essentially developing a Grow It process.
We must jump, leap like our hair into new lengths, new ways of care and new appreciation for the crown that sits on our head.