Can relaxers stunt hair growth?

sharonkaycurlsharonkaycurl Posts: 37Registered Users
Hi, I'm Sharon and I enjoy reading the various articles and comments on the site. Many of you ladies here have really nice hair and seem to know a lot about how to take care of curly/natural hair. My hair type is 4a and I had my last relaxer back in Nov 2007. I had to cut off a lot of my hair this spring and would like to get it back to shoulder length or longer. I have been using Qhemet biologics products and avoiding anything with mineral oil & petroleum. I also started taking biotin supplements. I heard that when people stop relaxing their hair and go natural, their hair really starts to grow very well. I guess the relaxers must stunt hair growth. I would like to hear any opinions and would love to hear from someone with similar hair texture (3c,4a,4b) who had experienced any hair growth after going natural. Thanks.


  • mariag002mariag002 Posts: 3,557Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hello! My last relaxer was Nov. 2006 and I cut off the relaxed ends in Sept. 2007. I can't speak for everyone, but for me relaxers did not let me retain the length. If I got a trim in January for example, by March my hair would be full of split ends. My hair was below shoulder length for YEARS, but it would never grow any longer than that.

    I've been natural for 7 months now and I've been able to retain all my length. I can't say its growing faster, I'm sure my relaxed hair grew 1/2 inch a month too, but my hair is much healthier, thicker, easier to manage. Its also more versatile and I have more styling options.

    By the way, good luck on your transition! And congratulations on making the decision :compress:
    - Maria

    Big Chop: 9/23/07
    Relaxer free for almost 5 years!

  • jamaica81jamaica81 Posts: 115Registered Users
    hey sharonkaycurl - congrats on your transition. here are 10 things that i know about hair (so far):

    1. hair growth comes from the inside and not the outside, therefore its all about your: genetics, diet, water intake, and vitamins that will effect your hair growth.

    2. once your hair leaves your scalp, it's dead. (i didn't believe it when i first heard it, but thats why we can cut it, throw chemicals on it and never feel it. remember when you got your relaxer and if it started to burn, you felt the burn on your scalp and not your hair ends; that's because your scalp is alive but your hair is not.) also, when stylists say trimming makes your hair grow longer. nope not true. trimming your hair makes it healthier because it takes care of damaged hair ends. so a relaxer cannot stop stunt growth (hence why most of us had to go every 6 weeks for a retouch). what a relaxer does is it breaks down your natural hair shaft and strips away the natural hair oils and texture.

    4. curly hair is very fragile because of the bends and coils in the hair are more subject to snapping and breaking.

    5. curly hair looks like its growing slowly because of the way it grows. straight hair grows out the scalp straight, but curly hair bends and coils its way out the scalp. think of it as a nail vs. a screw. you can hammer a nail in but with a screw you have to twist and turn it in order to get it through.

    6. yes natural hair is healthier (if taken care of properly) because.. well its natural. the only thing is you have to make sure you take care of it.

    7. don't be tricked into believing that coarse hair is stronger. (refer back to #4). it takes a lot of work but it can be done.

    8. about coarse hair - i read once the reason why curly/kinky hair is coarse is because the hair cuticle cannot lay flat on the hair strand. unlike straight hair, the hair cuticle on curly hair has to follow the bends and coils of curly hair so it tends to stick up instead of laying flat. that's why its important to get a great moisturizer that can smooth the hair strands.

    9. make sure to develop a good hair routine. once you focus on healthy hair the length will come!

    10. as with anything: knowledge is key! read as much as possible. i thank God for this site and all the ladies on here who have donated their opinions and expertise!

    i hope this helps some! sorry so long. i just love hair! :)

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