Why is My Hair Not Growing? Here are 14 Reasons

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why is my hair not growing

Sometimes hair won’t just grow, and it can be frustrating. Some possible causes include high stress levels, a poor diet, poor hair care practices and using the wrong products.

Read on for more reasons.


At some point in my natural hair journey, I felt that my natural hair was not growing despite all the care I gave my 4C natural hair. This led me into researching on the possible causes of my natural hair not growing, which I will be sharing in this article.

Here are 14 possible reasons why your hair might not be growing.

1. Genetics

Genetic factors have a major influence in determining the length, thickness, color and texture of hair. (1)

Each person has a predetermined maximum length his or her hair can possibly reach when it is not cut or damaged. This mainly depends on how long the Anagen/growth phase of hair lasts.  A person with long growth phase (about 6 years) tends to have longer hair than a person with a short growth phase (2 years).

Other hereditary disorders can affect hair growth, if for example you have a history of family hair loss you are also likely to experience the same.

Next Read: Effective ways to encourage hair growth

2. Nutritional deficiency 

Your diet should provide nutrients such as Iron, protein, zinc, vitamins among others to help promote healthy hair growth.  Adequate intake of these nutrients together with others nourishes and strengthens your hair thus preventing hair loss and promotes hair growth. 

If these nutrients are deficient your hair weakens and becomes susceptible to damage and hair loss.

Learn about the most important nutrients for hair growth in this article.

3. Aging

Age slows down the growth of your hair by shortening the Anagen phase. The hair that sprouts as you get older is thin and weak. This hair is prone to breakage and damage therefore a high volume of the strands is lost (2)

Both males and females can experience hair loss related with age. Many women in menopause experience hair loss due to the changing hormonal levels. Some men experience gradual hair thinning as they age.

Clearly, as we grow older the more reason we need to take good care of our hair in order to boost its strength and health to withstand the negative effects of aging.

4. High stress levels

Causes of stagnated hair growth - stress

Physical and psychological stress (surgery, physical trauma, illness, fever or sudden hair loss) may trigger Telogen Effluvium which is a form of temporary hair loss. When this happens it results in excessive daily hair fall. (3)

Stress also affects the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients in the body. Since the hair is a non-essential tissue it suffers greatly if the body lacks nutrients.

Hair loss resulting from stress is not permanent and therefore the hair growth pattern returns back to normal as soon as stress level gets normal.

5. Poor hair care regimen

A poor hair care regimen can be the reason your hair is not growing.

A good hair care regimen involves basic practices such as regularly moisturizing the hair, protecting the hair from physical elements, proper cleansing and conditioning, detangling gently and styling properly.

It is essential for you to create a hair care routine that works for you and be consistent with it.

Read this article to learn about good hair care practices that you should incorporate in your hair care routine.            

6. Underlying medical conditions

1. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is a disorder where the immune system attacks the cells of the hair follicles and causes your hair to fall out in patches. (4)

2. Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders affect the hair follicles and the production of hair cell proteins.

Severe and prolonged irregularities in the production of hormones by the thyroid glands- hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism- induce hair thinning leading to hair loss.

7. Medical treatments

Medications for treatment of illnesses such as cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure and depression cause hair loss as a side effect. Hair loss that comes during or after medications are often temporary and the normal hair cycle returns back to normal as soon as treatment is over. (5)

8. Childbirth and Breastfeeding

Many new moms tend to experience hair loss after child birth a condition referred to as postpartum hair loss. (6)

Hormonal fluctuations and the gradual decrease of blood flow are the main reasons for the hair loss after child delivery.

Postpartum hair loss is normal and temporary. To minimize the effects, have a healthy diet, exercise regularly and take nutritional supplements.

9. Wrong hair product choice

Your hair type and porosity are important factors when choosing hair products. This explains the fact that a product would work for you and not work for another person.

Avoid using products that have harmful chemicals or have ingredients that cause excessive drying which may result in damage

10. Lack of moisture

Lack of moisture causes the cuticle to dry out and become brittle. Once the cuticle dries out hair easily breaks slowing down the hair growth process.

Prolonged dryness of the scalp leads to the development of scalp infections that would eventually lead to hair loss.

Ensure you constantly hydrate your tresses to promote hair growth. In addition to that drink adequate amount of water daily so that your hair remains hydrated within and without.

11. Split ends

Split ends negatively impact hair growth. Even though the hair may be growing it keeps on breaking at the ends hence it would seem like your hair is stuck at a certain length. Split ends have to be trimmed so that you start noticing an increase in hair length.

12. Heat damage

Heat damage can be a reason your hair is not growing.

Heat damage results from the frequent use heat to style or the exposure of hair to too much heat. Heat damaged hair is brittle dry and susceptible to breakage. Avoid constant exposure to excessive of if necessary ensure you use a heat protectant.

13. Inappropriate Hairstyles

It feels great to be in neatly made hair styles. But did you know that your hairstyle could be a reason to why your hair isn’t growing? Too tight hair styles put a lot of tension on your fragile hair strands hence they easily fall off.  Therefore, avoid tight hairstyles.

14. Over-manipulation

Constant combing, brushing and hair detangling causes stress to the fragile hair ends making them break off. You cannot retain hair length if your hair is constantly breaking.

Wear protective styles such as braids and twist which do not require daily manipulation. The protective styles also help if you can’t keep yourself from touching your hair.                   

Do you think there are other causes of hair loss that I might have missed out? If so, please share in the comments section below.  

Before you leave, you may find this recommended products page useful. Here you will find the natural hair products that my friends & I have found to be very good for natural hair.

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