‘My Hair Won’t Grow Past a Certain Length’: The Causes and Remedies
‘My hair won’t grow past a certain length’ is quite a common hair complaint. The stunt of hair growth or lack of length can be contributed to a number of reasons. Diet, over-processing, handling your hair too roughly and even cutting it too often are all factors to consider if your hair isn’t growing longer.
Firstly, we will deal with the cosmetic side of hair length. More often than not, it’s not that your hair isn’t growing, but that it’s breaking off. No matter how good your diet, if your hair is frequently snapping off at the ends the length will be affected. Hair grows about half an inch a month, so, if your hair is breaking approximately that much in the same time period, it will stay the same length. This hair breakage can be caused by the incorrect and frequent use of straightening irons, curlers and tongs. And also using a hair-dryer without protective serum, using uncovered elastic bands, or brushing your hair too often or too roughly. All of these processes can cause your hair to lose excessive amounts of moisture, causing dryness, brittleness and loss of elasticity, which lead to breakage. The way to minimize this breakage is to use products that will inject moisture back into the hair shaft and products that protect your hair from heat. Also, be gentle with your hair when styling, brushing, removing tangles and towel drying.
This same logic applies to cutting and trimming your hair. For instanace, many women go to the hairdressers every 6-8 weeks to get their hair trimmed. In 8 weeks, your hair will grow approximately 1 inch. Therefore, if you are cutting off 1 inch of hair (or more) every 2 months, your hair will remain the same length. It is important to keep the ends of your hair in good shape, but if you want length, either have your hair cut less often or only ask for a minimal amount to be taken off. Furthermore, if you take better care of your hair on a daily basis, as described above, you will also need to get trims less often.
Diet is another reason for hair not growing past a certain length. Low ferritin levels can affect the growth cycle of hair, especially in women. Ferritin is your body’s iron storage. It can have a profound impact on the health of your hair as good levels of ferritin optimize hair growth. A lack of ferritin can result in the hair moving out of the ‘growing phase’ and into the ‘shedding phase’ sooner than it should. In women, ferritin levels should be over 80 for optimum hair growth. Anything below this can result in your hair falling out before it has reached the desired length. An underactive/overactive thyroid can also do this. Getting your thyroid and iron levels checked is also a good idea if your hair isn’t growing past a certain length.
Vitamins B12 and Zinc are also important when it comes to hair length and texture. Insufficient levels of zinc can affect hair texture by causing brittleness and therefore breakage. Adequate protein intake at breakfast and lunch should be taken into account as well. However, always consult your Doctor before taking any supplements as too much of any vitamin/mineral can be detrimental to your health.