“My hair seems to have stopped growing!” This was the subject line of an email I received from a former colleague who has been trying to grow out her hair in the last couple of months.
The thing is, trying to grow out your hair is one of the most challenging things any hair lover will face.
It takes a long time to get the length you want, and waiting months for a noticeable change can bring out anyone’s impatient side.
What’s even more frustrating than waiting for your hair to grow even an inch is caring for your hair the best way you can but getting zero results.
And when you can’t even pinpoint what’s causing your hair to stop growing, it can drive you crazy.
But slow, stagnant hair growth has many possible explanations.
Today, we’ll go through a few of them.
What Is Considered Normal Hair Growth?
Before you can understand what normal hair growth looks like, you need to be aware of the three phases of the growth cycle.
First, there’s the anagen phase, which lasts anywhere between two to eight years.
During this phase, your strands grow actively.
At any given time, around 90% of all your hair is in the anagen phase.
That’s why your hair seems to be constantly growing even if the other strands are in other phases.
Then, we move on to the catagen phase.
This happens right after the anagen phase.
In this second stage, the hair is at rest for about a month or two.
It doesn’t grow, but it also doesn’t fall out.
We see the end of the cycle in the telogen phase when your hair finally sheds and the cycle starts anew in your follicles.
During this phase, you’ll notice a bit of extra hair fall for a couple of months.
Since the anagen phase is the longest, most if not all people will see their hair growing all the time.
But it’s just as normal to notice slower growth – this just means some of your hair might be in the catagen or telogen phase.
When the hair grows, it should average about half an inch per month.
That makes six inches per year, without trims.
However, it varies for everyone – other people are blessed with a super active anagen phase that grows longer hair fast (more on that in a bit!).
Is It Possible For Hair To Stop Growing All Of A Sudden?
Yes, it’s completely normal for someone to notice that their pace of hair growth isn’t as fast as it used to be.
Going by the stages of the hair growth cycle, we know that every strand of hair is meant to stop growing after it reaches the maximum length it can go.
But it’s not always just because of the growth cycle.
Often, there are other underlying causes of a halt in your hair growth.
Many people will notice that all their hair will stop growing.
For others, it might just be in a certain spot, like by the hairline.
Where the growth is slow depends on the reason behind it.
And there are tons of possible reasons – from aggressive styling to simply reaching a more mature age.
Why Your Hair Seems To Have Stopped Growing
Can’t put your finger on why your hair has stopped growing?
Here are several reasons why that could be the case:
Your Hair Is Thinning As You Get Older
Just like with skin, age plays a huge part in the deterioration of our hair.
That’s why men start to bald as they get older.
For women, changing hormone levels can also play a part in hair loss and thinning.
The older you get, the weaker your strands become.
Your scalp will produce less sebum to moisturize your hair with, leading to dehydrated hair that can break and split easily at the ends.
Old age also shortens the hair growth cycle.
So instead of up to eight years of actively growing hair in the anagen phase, it might be cut down to just a couple of years instead, followed by months of stagnancy.
Plus, being at a more mature age means that you’ve had years and years of heat damage, chemical processes, and bad habits (like smoking) behind you.
The effects of these can accumulate over the years, leading to fragile hair that can’t grow as much as before.
You’re Suffering From Genetic Hair Loss
From color to volume, a lot of your hair’s attributes are genetic.
Hair growth is the same way.
You know how some people are super lucky and have their hair grow extremely fast?
Chuck it up to good genes.
But it works both ways.
If you have a family history of slower hair growth or male pattern hair loss, that might mean you’re susceptible to it, too.
Think about whether your grandparents suddenly have bald spots now, or have hair that doesn’t seem to grow past their shoulders.
It could be a sign that it runs in your family, making you a possible victim as well.
Your Hair Is Breaking Due To Over-Processing And Styling
Another reason why your hair might have stopped growing is because of excessive styling habits.
This includes heat-styling every day and exposing your hair to too many chemical processes, like bleaching.
Whenever your hair comes into contact with high temperatures, your hair gets drier and more brittle.
The same goes with exposing your locks to chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, which are common in-salon treatments for coloring and relaxing the hair.
These styling habits cause your hair fibers to lift, making your cuticles jagged and porous instead of flat and smooth.
This damage leads to breakage and split ends, resulting in your hair snapping off from the bottom.
So, it feels like your hair isn’t getting any longer.
One way to repair your hair from styling damage is by moisturizing and strengthening it with a protein-infused deep conditioner.
A terrific one is the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask.
This weekly hair treatment is excellent for fortifying dry and lifeless hair damaged by one too many chemical treatments.
It deeply nourishes the hair, bringing back the shine, elasticity, and strength it has lost.
The mask is rich in rosehip and argan oils, whose fatty acids moisturize the hair and add luster to your mane.
It also has proteins derived from wheat, soy, and corn to repair your broken hair bonds.
Together, these ingredients make your hair stronger and more resilient against breakage, thus promoting better growth.
Your Locks Are Dry And Don’t Get Enough Moisture
When your hair is super dehydrated, it can be more prone to damage.
Since it’s not nourished with enough moisture, it doesn’t have the nutrients to grow long, thick, healthy strands.
Having a moisturizing hair care routine is the key to strong hair that grows fast.
Your regimen doesn’t have to be super fancy.
All you need is a nourishing shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner – everything else is just a bonus.
You can get away with just three or four products.
Just make sure all of them are of good quality and have hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter.
Moisturizing your hair properly won’t just encourage better hair growth.
It will also make your hair smooth, shiny, and soft.
You’ll be able to manage it better as you style it, too!
Your Scalp Is Clogged With Product Build-Up And Sebum
A healthy scalp is an optimal environment for good hair growth.
One reason why this growth might be hampered is that the follicles in your scalp are clogged with sweat, excess sebum, or product build-up.
Since hair sprouts at the roots, suffocated follicles can impede fast hair growth.
To ensure that your follicles are clean and healthy, you must clarify your hair at least once every two weeks.
A good clarifying shampoo will wash away hard minerals and product build-up in your strands while unclogging your follicles, giving them a better shot at growing hair faster.
The Ouai Detox Shampoo is an excellent example of an effective clarifying shampoo.
It’s infused with apple cider vinegar to purify your roots and freshen them up.
It also has keratin to strengthen the hair and nourish your follicles.
You Just Went Through A Stressful Experience
When you’re overly stressed, you could push your hair to an involuntary telogen phase.
So for a couple of weeks or months, your hair will be in its thinning and shedding phase, hindering hair growth.
This is common among women who have just given birth, as well as people who have gone through trauma, like major surgery or the death of a loved one.
When your mind and body are stressed over a big event, it decreases the quality of your hair strands.
Thus, hair growth could slow down and even stop altogether.
To get your hair growth back in order, try to do some relaxing activities.
Treat yourself to a spa day or even a tropical vacation to clear your mind.
This is good not just for a boost in your hair growth, but also for your mental health and wellness.
You Have An Underlying Medical Condition
Sometimes, a change in the pace of your hair growth is your body’s way of telling you that there’s something wrong.
If you have thyroid problems, there’s a chance that it could lead to issues with hair growth.
The thyroid produces hormones that normally help the hair grow fast.
Without those hormones, you could lose out on healthy hair growth and notice some thinning and hair loss instead.
Another medical explanation for hair loss is alopecia areata – an autoimmune disorder that damages your hair follicles and keeps your locks from growing in one or more spots.
If your stunted hair growth looks patchy, you might have a type of alopecia.
If you think you have any of these conditions, consult with a trusted doctor to help you figure out the next steps.
You’re Putting Too Much Tension On Your Scalp
Speaking of alopecia, you must also know that a specific type of this condition is called traction alopecia.
It isn’t an autoimmune disease; it’s directly caused by constant tension and aggression on the scalp.
If you wear your hair in tight ponytails, braids, or buns daily, you could be noticing a lack of growth or even some thinning and balding by your hairline.
Frequently putting your hair up in taut styles can lead to broken hair strands, leading to hampered hair growth.
Don’t worry – traction alopecia isn’t permanent, so long as you catch it early.
If you suspect that this is the cause of your slow hair growth, give those ponytails, pigtails, weaves, and extensions a rest.
Let your hair down and keep it natural for a few months until your hairline grows again.
Tips To Speed Up Hair Growth
Knowing the reason behind your lack of hair growth isn’t enough.
You have to take an active stance and fight back to help your locks grow long and strong again.
Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Get Regular Trims To Eradicate Split Ends
Split ends can make your hair break and stunt growth even more.
Instead of leaving your ends to split and destroy your hair shaft from the bottom up, be diligent in getting trims to chop them off.
Your ends will feel fresh and healthy, too!
Massage Your Scalp With Hair-Growing Botanicals
If you have some aloe vera and rosemary oil sitting around at home, mix them together and give your scalp a nice massage with your fingertips.
These botanicals are known to stimulate the follicles and encourage growth by nourishing the follicles and improving blood circulation in the area.
Consult Your Doctor
If nothing seems to be working and none of the explanations above are true for you, try asking your doctor if they can give you hair growth medication.
A popular one is Minoxidil, a vasodilator that widens your hair so it can drink up more nutrients to boost growth.
Adjust Your Diet To Have Lots Of Protein And Vitamins
Maintaining a balanced diet is another way to ensure better hair growth.
Regularly consume protein-rich foods like eggs and meat.
Healthy greens like spinach are rich in iron – another must for boosting hair health.
You can also take other supplements for vitamins that promote healthy hair growth, such as zinc, biotin, and vitamins A and E.
If you’re among the people saying “my hair seems to have stopped growing”, there are many explanations as to why this could have happened.
It could be due to natural causes, like genetics or your hair being in its telogen phase.
Other times, it might be because of carelessness, like a bad hair regimen or too much heat-styling and chemical procedures.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop trying to keep your hair thick and healthy.
Follow our tips mentioned above to encourage your hair to grow fast again.
In no time, you’ll notice those coveted inches of growth after treating your hair the right way.