Hair growth stalled at same length for years

cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
hi, I was wondering if anyone has the same experience as me. My hair has been grazing my shoulders for the past 4yrs or so. I'm at the point that I believe some people's hair will just not grow past a certain length. Has anyone ever had this happen to them, and manage to overcome it?
I don't know what more I could possibly do. I wash weekly with Giovanni Triple Tea shampoo, condition with Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle rose, use Kinky curly Knot today to carefully detangle/comb, and then twist while damp with Qhemet Heavy Cream. When dry I undo the large twists and do smaller twists to last the whole week. I never use heat or dye. But, damnnn....people have grown hair past shoulder length with less pampering.
Any thoughts, ladies?
Oh, my hair is 4a, very, very fine strands.I twist while damp because have to keep it somewhat stretched after washing, otherwise tangles/breakage-galore!. I wonder if the twisting is contributing to the problem. I haven't noticed any excessive breakage or weak or stunted spots in general. Why can't I retain length? Jeez

Comments

  • makeupvixenmakeupvixen Registered Users Posts: 507
    That's a very good question and I would love to follow this thread.
  • moosegrl_86moosegrl_86 Registered Users Posts: 403
    Have you had a trim lately? Also, have you considered other health factors?
    Whoop whoop! :hello1:
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  • AimWardAimWard Registered Users Posts: 192
    What are you using to detangle your hair with? I was frozen @ BSL for years until I realized my wide tooth comb was breaking my ends. My hair is a mixture of fine and course strands. Every time I combed my hair, it was like I was giving myself a trim. I switched to a denman and I was still frozen (if not worse). I switched to a jibere shower comb; and still not much difference. It was only when I completely ditched the combs/brushes and started finger detangling exclusively that I got over the BSL hump. My straightened hair is now grazing on WL.
    I like my gels light, my oils heavy, my conditioners thick, and my curls long...
  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    yes, I do trim every now and then, not huge chunks though. Healthwise, I'm pretty good. I mean, I've never had an issue growing nails, nor does my hair look like there is something inherently wrong with it in general (very fine strands, maybe:dontknow:). Besides, an illness- say like severe anemia- might cause unusual amounts of shedding, in addition to other systemic issues like palpitations, shortness of breath, etc, none of which I have.
    I see all these ladies on the board and elsewhere who just have to pamper their hair and it responds appropriately and does its thing. With me its as if anything I do or try is of no consequence.
    I use a wide-toothed comb or my fingers, but i am very gentle as the strands are fragile.
  • SailaSaila Registered Users Posts: 1,212 Curl Neophyte
    I'm sorry you're having difficulty with this. It sounds like you're doing a good job.

    If there are no health concerns, your hair must be breaking. Fine hair snaps very easily. Are you protecting it at night? Do you see broken hairs while detangling? Have you tried protein treatments or henna for strength? Does your hair snap while twisting?

    Finally, does your hair (the ends) constantly rub against your clothes during the week? I have heard people stalling at SL for this reason before. The friction slowly breaks of the ends.
  • CocoTCocoT Registered Users Posts: 5,330
    Do you trim? If so, how often and how much?

    What kind of hair styles do you wear? Do you mostly wear your hair out and loose, in twists, etc where your hair is rubbing against the clothing?

    Do you have dryness issues at all? Hair breakage can be caused by excessive/rough handling but it can also be caused by dry and thirsty strands. Does your hair feel moisturized? How often do you moisturize, if at all? Do you seal?

    If you're not retaining length, and you are trying to take care of your hair as you say you do, then it could be your hair is either not growing (which is quite extreme and you may need to assess your diet/internal health) or your hair is breaking off.
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  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    Thanks for your responses. I wear it in twists for a whole week. I also gather it into a bun, that way it looks presentable. I don't have dense hair, so leaving twists hanging looks awful in my opinion.
    You know, all my life I have never had anyone compliment my hair. It's been a struggle. I stopped relaxing in 2003 'cos it clearly couldn't handle relaxers. But, shoulder-length for years?? I'm at the end of my rope.
  • *Marah**Marah* Registered Users Posts: 8,032 Curl Neophyte
    cocobean wrote: »
    hi, I was wondering if anyone has the same experience as me. My hair has been grazing my shoulders for the past 4yrs or so. I'm at the point that I believe some people's hair will just not grow past a certain length. Has anyone ever had this happen to them, and manage to overcome it?
    I don't know what more I could possibly do. I wash weekly with Giovanni Triple Tea shampoo, condition with Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle rose, use Kinky curly Knot today to carefully detangle/comb, and then twist while damp with Qhemet Heavy Cream. When dry I undo the large twists and do smaller twists to last the whole week. I never use heat or dye. But, damnnn....people have grown hair past shoulder length with less pampering.
    Any thoughts, ladies?
    Oh, my hair is 4a, very, very fine strands.I twist while damp because have to keep it somewhat stretched after washing, otherwise tangles/breakage-galore!. I wonder if the twisting is contributing to the problem. I haven't noticed any excessive breakage or weak or stunted spots in general. Why can't I retain length? Jeez

    I personally do not believe hair stops at the shoulders for most people.. but I do know among some people with type 4 hair it's a common belief. I think the problem is that very fine type 4 hair is fragile and incredibly easily tangled. You mess with it too much it can easily snap, pop, and break off. Something seemingly so inconsequentual as wearing a wool coat or wool scarf can be a disaster of breakage for fine 4a hair...really fine hair of any type.

    It does seem like you have a good regimen. But let me ask you.. How are you handling your hair when you manipulate it ? Are you very gentle ? Do you make sure your hair is coated very well with conditioner that can easily help you move the comb through your hair ? Do you section off the hair in small section and work thru 1 at a time ?

    Also if you are using a Denman brush..I'd say nix it. I really think for certain curlies this brush is EVIL. And with your fine hair that thing could be making your hair weak and prone to snapping when using it.
    tumblr_m9jonzYZmu1re7hjjo1_250.jpg
  • SmilingElephantSmilingElephant Registered Users Posts: 666 Curl Neophyte
    How many products with protein are you using? I know the GPB....but maybe ur protein sensitive?

    If it's :::snapping::: off that's usually the culprit.


    Sent from my iPod touch using CurlTalk
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    Cleanse: SM Moisture Retention or Suave Naturals shampoos
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  • P.P.P.P. Registered Users Posts: 1,617 Curl Neophyte
    Mine stalled at ear length for about 3 years during the 90s. I was mostly wearing twists and twist outs. I'd go to the salon to have it done about every 2 weeks & I'd do it myself on in between weekends.

    My problem was often leaving it dry for days at a time and relying on oils alone. I think I might have been even still using Luster's Pink oil at times. :oops:

    Also my stylist was a hindrance..she'd comb through my hair with a rat tail comb as she made the twists, I can remember the hair all around me on the floor and cape. This was after sitting for like 30 min with an itty bitty dollop of conditioner on my entire head.:sleepy6:

    I'd take breaks when I get busy or decide to get african braids and my hair would get longer then I'd fall back into the getting my hair done habit and lose ground.

    I don't think my hair likes being in stretched dry twists for more than a day or so. I had more success with the tighter shrunken twists and spraying the hair daily. Similar to how i retained length with my locs too. I was rinsing them at least 2-3x week.

    I would try:

    a different style

    more watering,

    more conditioner,

    careful handling

    being more aware of possible friction at night or against clothing fabrics

    If i think of something else I'll post because omg,
    I really did think that my hair wasn't growing back then but now i can see that it was just snapping off left and right. I have fine fragile strands too.
    True realism consists in revealing the surprising things
    which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
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  • KeenyliciousKeenylicious Registered Users Posts: 2,320 Curl Neophyte
    do you seal your ends?

    ... everyone else asked all the good questions already lol.
    tumblr_lr2y4sUYNh1qb5gkjo1_250.gif
  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    No, I don't own a brush. I use my fingers or a wide-toothed comb to detangle when its slathered with KCC knot today. I dont necessarily see an excessive amount of snapping off or breaking, I mean a reasonable amount is inevitable when manipulating, right? I've switched from GPB to just honeysuckle rose, and back to GPB, or alternating the two- no difference.
    Does anyone share my same experience?
  • KeenyliciousKeenylicious Registered Users Posts: 2,320 Curl Neophyte
    when i started trying to let my hair grow (after keeping a twa for like 1.5 yrs), my hair stayed at the same length for almost a year. then, i started sealing my ends, and retained 90% or more of my length in the past year.
    tumblr_lr2y4sUYNh1qb5gkjo1_250.gif
  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    How do you seal the ends? Is it rubbing an oil e.g castor oil on them?
  • SailaSaila Registered Users Posts: 1,212 Curl Neophyte
    cocobean wrote: »
    I mean a reasonable amount is inevitable when manipulating, right?
    Potential red flag! How do you definite "reasonable amount"?

    In my definition, "reasonable amount" is less than 5 noticeable broken hairs per session. I wash/detangle my hair everyday though. I always glance at my brush to see if there are any broken hairs. Normally there are none. Of course, this number will vary for people with more dense hair or for those who detangle less frequently, and so on.
  • AimWardAimWard Registered Users Posts: 192
    I really think you need to keep an eye out (like a hawk) for breakage. If you have no bald spots on your head, then your hair is most certainly growing and if there is no increase in length (either vertically or horizontally) then, to be perfectly honest, it's breaking off. Hair does not just grow and sit suspended for 4 years on your scalp with no increase in length. It's a constant growth and shed cycle. The next time you do anything to your hair, put on a white shirt and make sure your counter top (or where ever you do your hair) is clear. Take a look at your shirt and the area around you (if your hair is really fine, you may have to look very closely). Your regimen sounds good, but you are not retaining your length for some reason. That means its time to play detective and not rule out anything. Even being an exclusive finger detangler, if I'm not extra careful (at all times) I can cause as much damage as a comb.
    I like my gels light, my oils heavy, my conditioners thick, and my curls long...
  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    Thanks again. what is sealing? If it is breaking's the culprit, how do I counteract that? Up the protein or moisture?:confused1:
  • greenandchicgreenandchic Registered Users Posts: 2,584 Curl Neophyte
    Despite all the years I've been natural, I'm just learning I cant do nothing to my hair. Though my hair is dense, the strands are delicate. Multiple textures and curl sizes makes it hard to detangle without taking considering section carefully and taking my time. I also cant:

    * Do daily wash-n-go's = too much hair loss.
    * Go more than 3 days without washing or co-washing while in a wash-n-go = tangles, SSKs = hair loss.
    * Not using a LOT of conditioner while detangling = hair loss.
    * Permanent hair color (even if its not lifting the color) = hair loss.
    * Skimping on protein treatments...
    * Not moisturizing daily...
    * Not sealing daily..

    I can lose a crap load of hair if I'm not careful. You have to find what your balance and routine is.
    APL BSL MBL WL HL TBL | porous, fine/medium strands, medium density
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  • JessicazFroJessicazFro Registered Users Posts: 1,446
    cocobean wrote: »
    Thanks again. what is sealing? If it is breaking's the culprit, how do I counteract that? Up the protein or moisture?:confused1:

    Using an oil or butter on your ends after your leave in/moisturizer. My fav is jamaican black castor oil. Its the only oil my hair likes on its own.

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  • principessa1984principessa1984 Registered Users Posts: 129
    cocobean wrote: »
    hi, I was wondering if anyone has the same experience as me. My hair has been grazing my shoulders for the past 4yrs or so. I'm at the point that I believe some people's hair will just not grow past a certain length. Has anyone ever had this happen to them, and manage to overcome it?
    I don't know what more I could possibly do. I wash weekly with Giovanni Triple Tea shampoo, condition with Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle rose, use Kinky curly Knot today to carefully detangle/comb, and then twist while damp with Qhemet Heavy Cream. When dry I undo the large twists and do smaller twists to last the whole week. I never use heat or dye. But, damnnn....people have grown hair past shoulder length with less pampering.
    Any thoughts, ladies?
    Oh, my hair is 4a, very, very fine strands.I twist while damp because have to keep it somewhat stretched after washing, otherwise tangles/breakage-galore!. I wonder if the twisting is contributing to the problem. I haven't noticed any excessive breakage or weak or stunted spots in general. Why can't I retain length? Jeez
    Something similar has happened to me. My sitch was a little different, but hear me out. As a natural (4a), I was BSL. When I got a relaxer, over time I went to SL. I stayed there for two years straight. Had I not known my hair was capable of growing longer, I would've believed SL was as long as it could get.
    With that said, unless you have a health concern your hair can grow longer than that. There is a such thing as "terminal length", but it's not as short as shoulder length for anyone.

    1) I CAN'T do twists. My hair knots up. A lot of ppl love twists, but I know I'm not the only person who can't hang with them. Try switching to braids/braid-outs.
    2) Check the protein content of your products. I think Giovanni usually has a good amt. of protein and GPB def. does. Cool it w/ those for a little while. You have virgin hair, you don't need protein the way someone like me (a hair abuser) does. Since your strands are fine, they're liable to break. I think if you braid and limit the protein, you'll be good.
    3) Make sure your natural shampoo isn't drying your hair out. I used Aubrey shampoo once. It stripped my hair. I now follow a modified-CG regimen

    Here's another tip- when you use your moisturizing, non-protein condish (i.e. Honeysuckle Rose) and then braid your hair, place each braid in a sandwich bag (closed w/ a rubber band). You'll look like a fool, BUT you'll get a full fledged deep conditioning treatment while you sleep (w/o sweating up your scalp).
    I double process my hair. I do this 3x/week and my hair doesn't "look" or "feel" processed at all. Try it out for a week and see if you like it.
    good luck
    My signature style: the "braid n' curl"
    High porosity, normal elasticity, high density, thick strands, DRY (must moisturize/oil and DT a lot), tangles easily. Highly textured...curl softener+demi-perm color.
    Straightened length: Waist (layers)
    Textured length: (variable) full SL to BSL

    Condish/Shampoo: VO5
    Pre-poo: mild protein(VO5)+castor oil+tea tree
    Steam treatments: 1-2x weekly
    Daily routine and DT: Moisturize w/ Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose+Olive oil and seal w/ Avocado oil
  • Chicago KinksChicago Kinks Registered Users Posts: 2,748 Curl Novice
    ^^ baggie each individual braid...well darn learn some new everyday.

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  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    :wave:
    Do you think braidouts would ultimately cause more problems because of potentialy more manipulation; re-doing them more frequently so that the style lasts longer?
    I use the Giovanni Triple Tea because it curbs my scalp flakiness, but looks like I have to find another shampoo.
  • principessa1984principessa1984 Registered Users Posts: 129
    @Chicago- well, that's what I do. Some/most ppl do the whole head.
    @Coco- I was a dandruff girl too. This is what I do. Get some castor oil (hexane free and cold pressed) from the health food store. Right now, I'm using Home Health brand. And I've used the "so-and-so" (maybe Edward?) Cayce Palma Christi brand in the past. Buy tea tree essential oil as well. Before each wash, mix an ample amt. of tea tree w/ castor. Maybe I do 7 drops in a handful of castor?? Apply that to the scalp. Then do your normal DT. Pick an oil to seal your hair w/. My faves are olive, avocado and castor. (I always use castor on my scalp, but tend to prefer olive/avoc. for hair since they penetrate the hair shaft and nourish it from inside). AND then put on a plastic cap for at least an hour (preferably overnight). When you wash, you shouldn't see any flakes. If you do, increase the amt. of tea tree next time.

    I use a cheap, drugstore shampoo and still have no flakes w/ this method

    ETA: sorry, I didn't answer your other question. I've been doing braid outs since HS. I've had virgin hair and "chemicalized" hair w/ this style. I've never had a problem. BUT, my strands are thick, so if you think your hair can't handle being out, don't do it-stick w/ the braids. Or maybe do a braid-out bun, or something. Idunno. Ohhh, also add a few drops of EVOO to Aubrey HSR, it gives it more "slip". That will decrease knots while you detangle.
    Take a look at my siggy, everything I've said is there (plus my DIY steam treatments) maybe some of what I do can be of help to you (minus the protein). Notice that I don't use a lot of products and my regi is pretty simple
    My signature style: the "braid n' curl"
    High porosity, normal elasticity, high density, thick strands, DRY (must moisturize/oil and DT a lot), tangles easily. Highly textured...curl softener+demi-perm color.
    Straightened length: Waist (layers)
    Textured length: (variable) full SL to BSL

    Condish/Shampoo: VO5
    Pre-poo: mild protein(VO5)+castor oil+tea tree
    Steam treatments: 1-2x weekly
    Daily routine and DT: Moisturize w/ Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose+Olive oil and seal w/ Avocado oil
  • shadyFLEXshadyFLEX Registered Users Posts: 7
    Hi I had a similar problem last year, after growing my hair for years it appeared to be stalling at just above bsl. I have grown my hair past this before and hadn't noticed any significant increase in breakage. Despite always trimming my hair regularly I decided to try concentrating more on my ends like others have mentioned, by sealing and avoiding my hair from rubbing against clothes, coats etc, whenever possible. Now a year on I can see a marked improvement in my growth agian, also i find that I don't have to trim as often because my ends are healthier which also helps.

    Also like others have said you might want to try changing a few of your products and seeing if this helps as the older hair might not react in the same way to some products as it did back when it was freshly grown and therefore more healthier.

    All the best with your future growth!
  • aubinaubin Registered Users Posts: 286 Curl Neophyte
    cocobean wrote: »
    No, I don't own a brush. I use my fingers or a wide-toothed comb to detangle when its slathered with KCC knot today. I dont necessarily see an excessive amount of snapping off or breaking, I mean a reasonable amount is inevitable when manipulating, right? I've switched from GPB to just honeysuckle rose, and back to GPB, or alternating the two- no difference.
    Does anyone share my same experience?

    I have this problem too. I've known for years that unless my hair is locked, it's very difficult to get it past shoulder length. For me, the problem is that at that length, my hair is just long enough that the tiniest tangle or heavy-handed manipulation or dryness makes it snap right off. Because the hairs are longer, it can be easy to mistake the breakage for shed hairs. Look closely at the hairs. If you don't see a white bulb on one end, then the hair is definitely breaking.

    What I'm trying now is to keep my ends stretched with roller sets and twist-n-curls since tangled ends seem to be the culprit of the breaking. I'll see how this works....

    It's a very frustrating situation; I feel for you. I've been at the same length for just over a year now and it can be heartbreaking to see some naturals who BC'd a year ago with hair past my length now. Hang in there!
    3c/4a OS curls
    Poo: Mehandi Zizyphus Spina Christi and Juniper Shampoo Bar
    Co-wash/Detangler/Leave-in: V05, Giovanni SAS, Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, GVP Conditioning Balm, Aussie Moist
    DC: henna, AOHR, AOWC, Yes to Carrots, DevaOne
    Sealing: cocoa butter
    :clock:Natural since 1990, BC #3 September 2008:clock:
  • greenandchicgreenandchic Registered Users Posts: 2,584 Curl Neophyte
    aubin wrote: »
    cocobean wrote: »
    No, I don't own a brush. I use my fingers or a wide-toothed comb to detangle when its slathered with KCC knot today. I dont necessarily see an excessive amount of snapping off or breaking, I mean a reasonable amount is inevitable when manipulating, right? I've switched from GPB to just honeysuckle rose, and back to GPB, or alternating the two- no difference.
    Does anyone share my same experience?

    I have this problem too. I've known for years that unless my hair is locked, it's very difficult to get it past shoulder length. For me, the problem is that at that length, my hair is just long enough that the tiniest tangle or heavy-handed manipulation or dryness makes it snap right off. Because the hairs are longer, it can be easy to mistake the breakage for shed hairs. Look closely at the hairs. If you don't see a white bulb on one end, then the hair is definitely breaking.

    What I'm trying now is to keep my ends stretched with roller sets and twist-n-curls since tangled ends seem to be the culprit of the breaking. I'll see how this works....

    It's a very frustrating situation; I feel for you. I've been at the same length for just over a year now and it can be heartbreaking to see some naturals who BC'd a year ago with hair past my length now. Hang in there!

    That's what I have to do to my hair most of the time to keep the breakage and tangles down as I stated in my previous post in this thread. I've stalled at certain length for years since being natural and as of 2010, really made an effort to stop stalling, but its a constant challenge.

    Sometimes I wish I just preferred shorter hair and just cut it off. :sad11:
    APL BSL MBL WL HL TBL | porous, fine/medium strands, medium density
    My Fotki!
    Below: Typical PS bun
    004-vi.jpg
  • aubinaubin Registered Users Posts: 286 Curl Neophyte

    Sometimes I wish I just preferred shorter hair and just cut it off. :sad11:

    I hear you. I need someone to talk me down from the BC ledge sometimes. :-(
    3c/4a OS curls
    Poo: Mehandi Zizyphus Spina Christi and Juniper Shampoo Bar
    Co-wash/Detangler/Leave-in: V05, Giovanni SAS, Tresemme Naturals, Suave Naturals, GVP Conditioning Balm, Aussie Moist
    DC: henna, AOHR, AOWC, Yes to Carrots, DevaOne
    Sealing: cocoa butter
    :clock:Natural since 1990, BC #3 September 2008:clock:
  • greenandchicgreenandchic Registered Users Posts: 2,584 Curl Neophyte
    aubin wrote: »

    Sometimes I wish I just preferred shorter hair and just cut it off. :sad11:

    I hear you. I need someone to talk me down from the BC ledge sometimes. :-(

    Ha ha, me too. I have to hide my shears and wear protective styles for a few days to keep me from chopping it up, LOL
    APL BSL MBL WL HL TBL | porous, fine/medium strands, medium density
    My Fotki!
    Below: Typical PS bun
    004-vi.jpg
  • cocobeancocobean Registered Users Posts: 39
    thanks for the responses!
    It should not be this hard with all the extra care and effort I'm putting into it.It's almost as if even touching the hair is a no-no, its so fragile. Maybe, this particular combo- fine strands + coily, is just meant be left alone. I'm talking,maybe growing it out is actually conttradictory and it thrives better kept short, no manipulation.. Anyway, just my theory. I'm venting:sad3:
    Thanks for hearing me out.
    I'm glad to see there are some people out there that have this issue.

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