www.4haircare.com.au Hair growth is a universally fascinating subject. Across almost every culture, inordinate attention is given to the hair on the head, and social significance is attached to hair style. Very long hair is especially interesting, not only because it takes years to achieve lengthy locks, but because not everyone can do it.
Lets see the importance of treating the hair with the up most care and respect by removing unnecessary damage.
Here are SIX facts about hair growth summarized:
- Hair grows half (1/2) an inch per month
- Hair is not alive but dead
- The natural life cycle of a single hair strand is 2-6 years, and your scalp can shed as many as 60-100 hairs per day.
- Cutting the hair has nothing to do with growth.
- Hair breaks because it is excessively dry or abused!
- Hair is 90% protein.
Hair Grows half (1/2) an inch per month
A: The speed of hair growth is roughly 1.25 centimeters or 0.5 inches per month, being about 15 centimeters or 6 inches per year. Of course the rate of one’s hair growth can either be faster or slower. With age the speed of hair growth might slow down to as little as 0.25 cm or 0.1 inch a month.
Cell division is responsible for the hair growth cycle. The new cells push the hair forward to make it longer, so the new hair is added at the root. There are about 100.000 hairs on a healthy scalp of hair.
Genetics, diet, age, hormones, overall health, and environmental factors all contribute to the rate of hair growth. Some of these factors are out of your control but there are some things you can do to increase the rate of hair growth. Usually, fast growing hair is also healthy, so even if you try some of these tricks like protein keratin protection, or laser treatments and your hair doesn’t grow as fast as you hoped, you will obtain healthier, shinier hair.
Regardless of the speed of growth; in most cases, the hair is always growing.
I use this 6-step model to formulate realistic predictions about my hair growth. Every two months I briefly analyze my hair and search of notable growth and thickness.
Hair is NOT alive but DEAD
It is important to understand that hair is dead. It cannot defend itself from damaging hair tactics and hair products. YOU have to actively protect the hair by practicing preventive hair-care methods.
Hair can only be preserved. The longer you keep the protective layer of the hair (the cuticle layer) intact; the quicker the hair will become longer. Preserving the hair strand is the key to how hair obtains longer length.
It is not about making the hair grow faster. You just have to provide an atmosphere where your hair is either breaking off significantly slower than it is growing. OR, create an environment where the hair can do nothing but grow.
Start taking care of your hair better by being nicer to it. Hair falls out naturally on its own so be sure not to ruin its pattern. The gentler you are to your hair, the less likely it will fall out faster. You don’t want to cause breakage because it will make your hair shorter and thiner within a short period of time. Protective hairstyles such as braids, and buns are perfect for creating a long-hair-growth environment. The key to such hairstyles are they promote low-manipulation.
It is very difficult to eliminate the opportunity of hair becoming damaged. Many people wear protective styling for long periods of time. Some people apply excessive moisture to the hair while styling.
Also brush your hair carefully when putting it up, but never brush it wet. Brushing wet hair causes lots of breakage and frizz. If your hair is wet, be sure to brush it out with a comb as gentle as possible. Some people have naturally tangled hair. If you are stuck in this situation be sure to take care of it properly. You should go to the store and buy a detangler. Then work through any knots with your fingers, do not pull on them. This will make tangled hair much easier to brush through as well easier work with.
The fact of the matter is, if you are using a hair care regimen that prevents the hair from breaking off; then every two months you should see an inch of hair.
Remember, if you are experiencing chronic breakage; you will not see longer hair. Your hair will remain the same length, if not shorter.
The key is preservation of the hair strand and preventing breakage.
The natural life cycle of a single hair strand is 2-6 years, and your scalp can shed as many as 60-100 hairs per day.
How hair is able to reach long waist-length. Each hair on the body has its own growth cycle consisting of three phases. Anagen is the period during which the cells are deposited on the hair shaft in the hair follicle, lengthening the hair. During catagen, the hair stops growing and the follicle retracts. During telogen, the follicle rests. The hair may be shed during the telogen phase or it may be pushed out of the follicle by a new hair as anagen begins again.
According to science 85% of all of our hair is within the growing phase. So, most of the time our hair is growing.
Howse uses a time frame of hair constantly growing for 2-6 years to illustrate that a single hair strand can grow from 12 inches in length all the way up to 36 inches. I have read sources that claim 3-7 years of growth; so the growth cycles of a single strand of hair, can and does vary, among different people.
These are realistic possibilities for all cultures and races. Just imagine how long your hair could get if you preserved the same hair strands for six years or so? For many people, three extra feet of hair amounts to waist-length.
Women with extraordinary long hair practice GREAT discipline. It takes a lot of patience and hard-work to almost completely eliminate hair breakage. You have to be willing to put in the work.
You can help combat your hair’s dryness by using an appropriate water-based moisturizer that is pH balanced. I will continuously emphasize the significance of the pH level of the hair products you use because it will eliminate the guessing game.
I focus more on getting the cuticle to close simply by using light heat such as that from a hair dryer; OR a water-based hair product with a pH between 4.5 – 5.5. Most hair products that you purchase will be a pH of 7.0 which is still slightly too alkaline to close the hair cuticles and lock in moisture.
A pH of 7.0 will not cause the cuticles to close and seal in moisture. If you do not want to buy pH strips; then consider using natural oils or grease to lightly coat the hair after you have applied a water-based moisturizer, of course.
Greasy hair products do not protect the hair long. To prevent your hair from becoming matted and dry, you will have to routinely replace the lost moisture since the grease and/or oil will eventually get wiped away by anything and everything that touches it.
You are taking a gamble when you rely on oil as your only means of moisturizing and/or protecting the hair.
Cutting the hair has NOTHING to do with growth
There was a time when I thought the hair grew from the ends. Why? I don’t know!
I was taught in order to get the hair to grow, you must cut your split ends. I never liked the idea of cutting an inch of hair that I had worked so hard to gain. But this was the norm, so I did it.
I actually thought that once the ends of the hair were cut, there was a signal sent to the brain to make the hair grow faster. Boy, was I dreaming. How ridiculous it is to believe that dead hair could possibly cause the body to have any kind of response.
Apart from the receptors within the scalp, the hair has no way of sending the body information about its condition. The only way for us to understand our hair is through visual perception and our sense of touch.
Some women enjoy incorporating trimming into their hair care regimen. Maybe it is a psychological thing. I have heard women mention that trimming helps prevent tangles and ragedy-looking hair. Such concepts are subjective and not supported by anything other than one’s personal preference-which is completely fine.
I try to keep my hair care methods based on facts not opinions.
I doubt you will see me part-taking in cutting my hair to attain length. I am only interested in discovering creative methods for keeping those old ends. Since I have learned about pH balance of the hair; I have yet to see ends that look damaged, or even ragedy.
Some women trim their hair for a more even, neat look; and some because they think the damaged ends will destroy the entire hair strand by continuing to split up.
The only time I advise trimming the hair is if there is a single-strand knot; or you want a fashionable hairstyle.
Every book I have read about hair supports the notion that cutting the ends is insignificant to acquiring healthy hair. Hairstylists are the culprit for spreading such groundless ideas. Sources based on scientific, factual information, will tell you that cutting the ends has absolutely nothing to do with the hair’s health, the hair’s strength, nor the hair gaining length.
Hair breaks because it is excessively dry or abused!
I bet when you were brushing your hair or styling it with the curling iron, you never once thought that you were treating your hair within an abusive manner.
When you have a hair type that is already structurally prone to dryness; and you decide to elevate that dry condition; then you are practicing abusive methods.
This breakage problem that we have IS NO JOKE.
You cannot use chemicals improperly, burn the life out of your hair, contantly pull on the hair, whether it be from hair weave, synthetic braids, or hair accessories and still expect to have long, healthy hair.
I am surprised that our hair still remains on our heads after all of this drama.
Sometimes I wonder, if the shoulder-length hair that persists, in spite of our abusive methods, is due to the six-inches of hair that we gain every year just from our hair constantly growing.
I would not be surprised to find that most of the hair that we start with at the beginning of a year becomes broken and replaced by new hair by the end of the same calendar year. This is very, very disturbing to me.
I, seriously, believe the damage that we do to our hair is under-estimated.
If you really think about it, most women do not have hair gracing the shoulder. If I could give an educated guess, I would guesstimate that most women have six-inches of hair. The six-inches reflecting the new hair that will grow regardless of one’s hair care efforts (based off of 1/2 inch per month model-12 months=6 inches of hair).
Months and years should not be passing by without you seeing improvements within your hair. You do not need to wear fake hair in order to get your hair under control. Dry damaged badly grown hair hair is not unmanageable; it is simply managed poorly.
Hair is 90% protein
Note hair is not all protein; just mostly protein. Protein is only one aspect of how the structure of hair is formulated. But clearly protein is significant in helping to preserve the protective layer of the hair.
Protein is a great additive for damaged hair. Damaged hair are porous hair. Hair can become porous when the cuticle becomes damaged from over-manipulation. Abusive styling methods, damaging styling tools, and improper use of chemicals can actually chip away at the protective layer (cuticle) of the hair.
Research shows that since hair is made up of protein, using products that contain protein such as keratin, biotin, wheat, and so on can actually fill in the open holes (pores) of a damaged hair cuticle. The protein will attach to the cuticle allowing it to mimic strong, healthy hair.
This almost sounds to good to be true.
The only down-side is that the protein does not attach to the hair permanently. As soon as the hair becomes wet, and shampooed, the protein enhancement will become removed. So, the protein deposits only give the hair extra strength, temporarily.
However, temporary strength is better than constant fragileness and vulnerability to breakage.
It is so important to understand how the hair products that you use everyday is affecting your hair. Not all hair products have protein. Is you hair severely damaged and fragile? If so, maybe you need more protein wihtin the ingredients of the products you choose.
If your hair is healthy displaying flexibility and shine; then protein may sit too heavily upon your hair strands and actually cause breakage. Products heavy in protein are not for every hair type.
If you want those old ends to stay attached to your hair; there has to be a system in place that is efficient at protecting the hair shaft. When you understand the science of hair every other aspect of preserving your hair will make a lot more sense.
Always remember, right knowledge corrects wrong behavior.