Common Causes of Hair Not Growing.

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‘My hair won’t grow’ is a frequently brought up concern in our consultation rooms. However, even though both frustrating and upsetting, there is always a cause for hair failing to reach past a certain length – many of which are quite easy to remedy.  In this article we will address two of the most common causes.


Hair breakage is a common reason why your hair may not seem to grow past a certain length. However, this does not mean your hair isn’t growing! It’s simply that the rate of growth is not exceeding the frequency and extent of snappage. Reasons for hair breakage include: over processing, over-use or incorrect use of straightening irons and blow-dryers, hair extensions, tight uncovered elastic bands, sun exposure without protection, vigorous brushing and combing, and using the wrong styling aids.


Use a weekly pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment. This will help to restore moisture and elasticity to your hair and so reduce breakage. If you’re sitting in the sun for a prolonged period of time, shield your hair and scalp with a hat, or use a protective Swimcap Cream.

Keep the use of heated styling aids, such as hair straighteners, to a minimum. And try not to go over the same area of hair twice, leave them on too long, or put too much traction on your hair as you pull the straighteners through. If you only use a blow dryer to style, stop when your hair is ‘just dry’ – over drying can take precious moisture out of your hair and cause it to snap very easily. For added protection, always use a conditioning heat-protective spray and/or a heat protective straightening gel. Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence spray is a great product to use, even on those days when you’re not heat processing, as it helps protect your hair from daily environmental wear & tear.

Style gently and use vented brushes that contain rounded tips that will not scratch your scalp, or hair. Boar bristle brushes can be especially harmful as they can actually tear the outer cuticle, leaving your hair vulnerable and brittle.


In some cases, your hair actually may not be able to sustain growth past a certain length due to nutritional deficiencies. One of the most common of these being a ferritin (a stored iron that helps produce hair cell protein) deficiency. According to Philip Kingsley Trichologist and Director, Glenn Lyons, “90% of women who come into the Philip Kingsley Clinic concerned with hair loss have low ferritin”. Ferritin levels are easy to have tested by your doctor, although they are not usually checked in a routine blood test. The optimum ferritin level for hair growth for women should be at least 80 micrograms per litre (80 ug/L) – and if they are much below this, your hair can enter the shedding phase prematurely and before it reaches the desired length. Not eating enough protein with breakfast and lunch can also cause your hair growth to suffer. Your hair, after all, is composed of protein!


The best way to increase and sustain healthy ferritin levels is to eat red meat at least once a week – and if your levels are just under 80 ug/L, this is usually enough to get them to where they should be. However, if your ferritin levels are way below normal, or diet alone is not working, nutritional supplements may be needed. While many good ones are available over-the-counter, it is essential you check with your doctor before taking an iron/ferritin supplement as high levels can be dangerous. In terms of protein intake, you should include at least 120g with breakfast and lunch. You may also want to take a protein supplement for an added boost. If you are a vegan/vegetarian, it can be especially difficult to include adequate protein in your diet. Have a look at our pinterest board for vegan/vegetarian meal idea inspiration!

If you are concerned that your hair is not growing, please contact the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in either London or New York to book a consultation to see a Philip Kingsley trichologist.

4 Responses to “Common Causes of Hair Not Growing.”
  1. Member says:

    Thank you for the helpful tips, I been having issues with my hair not growing I’m taking biotin supplements suppose to help it’s been almost a year since I experianced a bad hair cutt I bald my eyes out I still do I just want to know why my hair is not growing please help thank you. Amber joye

    • thepkteam says:

      To find out why your hair is not growing past a certain length, we suggest you see your GP or a trichologist. There can be many reasons for this, such as low iron and ferritin (stored iron) and thyroid and hormonal imbalances – which need to be checked via a blood-test. In mean-time, try to optimise your diet for hair growth. Make sure your are eating adequate protein at breakfast and lunch and do not leave longer than 4hrs between meals without having a healthy snack in the form of a complex carbohydrate. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

  2. Mandy says:

    Thank you for the helpful article. I am shedding hair and eyelashes like crazy. Not to the point of bald spots but a definite thinning of both, it seems like neither is replenished normally. I am on medication for an underactive thyroid and am trying to eat healthy and exercise daily. I have seen both a GP and a dermatologist and both confirm there is no damage to my hair causing the shedding but we’re not concerned and dismissed my concerns saying goes to use Rogaine and add Biotin supplements. I am very frustrated is there anything else I could try? My hair and eye lashes seem more brittle than in previous years. I am 33 and ha email been fighting this for about a year. I have been on thyroid medication for 4 years now and had my levels stabilized at last check. I am very upset and frustrated and keep on without a doubt both of Dr’s would be if this were them or their wives struggling. Thank you for your time and any advice you can give me.

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi Mandy. We are very sorry to hear that you have gone through such a difficult time with your hair. Hypothyroid can certainly cause hair loss, but this usually rectifies once your thyroid levels are back to where they should be. We suggest you visit your doctor for a full blood test to also check your iron and ferritin (stored iron) levels, which can both have a huge impact on your hair. You may also wish to try our brand new product, Trichotherapy, which is a 3 step holistic regime for fine and thinning hair. It is based on the 50 plus years of experience we have in our Trichological Clinics, and what we prescribe during consultations. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

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