By Mieisha Runnels
One misconception about hair in the African American community is that our hair doesn’t grow. Our hair grows; it’s just a matter of taking care of it properly. On average, hair grows about 6 inches a year and grows the same speed all over our head. As new hairs are formed, they push the old hair on your scalp forward. This is when you begin to have length. Our hair sheds off dead and old hair naturally. That is why it is extremely important to know your hair type and different ways to prevent breakage so you won’t lose even more hair!
Different factors also can contribute to your hair growth. A healthy lifestyle, i.e. diet and exercise, can play a role in your average hair growth per year. Other factors such as stress can stunt your hair growth. There are three main phases that in the hair growth cycle that each strand of hair will go through: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen.
1. Anagen: The growing phase. This process can last up to 7 years.
2. Catagen: The transitioning phase. The hair follicle begins to change and even shrinks as it prepares for the Telogen phase.
3. Telogen: The resting phase. In this stage of the hair cycle, your hair will not grow. In fact this is where some of the shedding takes place. As the hair is resting, new hair is beginning to grow underneath and will begin the cycle over again.
As long as you continue to pursue a head of healthy hair, growth should be inevitable!