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In a world where weaves, wigs, extensions, clip ins, you name it, have become the norm amongst black women in the U.S. and abroad, you may ask yourself, why can’t black women just grow their own, long hair? Daily we see black women vying to fulfill their fantasy of having long, thick, healthy hair, and spending millions to acquire it.

Articles, upon articles, in the media, address the question, many providing half‐truths, and some downright myths. The truth lies in asking the right question in the first place. The question is not, “Why can’t black hair grow long?” It is a proven fact that black hair will grow and grow, and grow.

The challenge is, retaining the hair you grow. A black woman’s hair is always “starting over,” so to speak, due to dryness, breakage, and excessive shedding, therefore leaving them dependent on hair purchased from our European, and Indian counterparts, to fulfill their “long hair” fantasy.

So the real question is, “Why can’t black women “retain” the hair they grow?” Well, it’s a proven fact that their own hair will actually grow from their scalp, but the problem is, they’ve just got to keep it! And there in‐lies the problem. Science has revealed, that black hair tends to be more dry and brittle, and that can cause it to fall out and/or break off. But fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s based on a scientific fact, so many overlook…iron. Yes, iron! Iron deficiency, is one of the most prevalent of all vitamin deficiencies amongst the human population. And it is extremely prevalent, amongst women of African descent. “Ahhaaaa”, you say?

Studies show that “iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide.” And according to WebMD, a review of 40 years of research shows that iron deficiency has a much closer link to hair loss than most doctors realize, and it may be the key to restoring hair growth, Cleveland Clinic dermatologists said. “We believe that treatment for hair loss is enhanced when iron deficiency, with or without anemia, is treated,” Leonid Benjamin Trost, MD; Bergfeld, MD; and Ellen Calogeras, RD, MPH, write in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Study researcher Wilma Fowler Bergfeld has been doing this for years. And she’s finding that whatever the cause of hair loss – for both women and men ‐‐ having too little iron in the blood makes it worse.

“Though they are others things you can do nutritionally and topically to stimulate, and promote your hair growth, as well as maintain overall healthier hair, adding iron, in the right balance, could make a world of difference. Iron deficiency can cause hair to be very dry, brittle and prone to breakage; couple that with styling, manipulation, poor hair care, chemical treatments, and poor nutrition, the hair is not going to be in optimal shape to maintain the right ph, moisture, and elasticity, to keep it from breaking and shedding unnecessarily, and it will be less likely new hair will even grow.

You tell us, do you think black women have an issue with hair growth? What vitamins, if any have you used to combat against breakage?

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95 thoughts on “Science Reveals Why Many Black Women Don’t Have Long Hair

  1. Really on said:

    Happy to see so many black people embrace their natural hair our hair is unique one of a kind and beautiful just like our skin. I have permed pressed hot combed and weaved. I have gone natural and love it. Let others debate our hair we do have the option to straighten if we want. But our natural hair cannot be dublicated.

  2. Wanda Williams on said:

    The reason we have an issue with length retention has more to do with coil pattern fragility than dryness. This is why there has been more attention being paid to these days to texture, which involves HOW it grows, density, which has to do with how thick and dense the hair is, and porosity, which involves how our hair absorbs and retains moisture. in that same order. Our hair has more places to break off other than the root. Our hair can literally break at the base or bump of each wave. The closer the wave pattern, as in 4C hair, the more chances for breakage. 4C hair also has the problem of low porosity, so we have to do more to retain moisture.

  3. Michelle on said:

    Patrick not true… Latin and white bitches! They want a big butt. Look at your whores Jenna Jameson. She got her ass done. Oh yeah Asians too! Dumb asses!

  4. Ashley Stumon on said:

    The growth of a black woman’s hair has nothing to do with science. It has everything to do with the Curse the MOST HIGH has us under because our Nation havnt been obedient to the laws, statues, and commandments the most high has given us. So if you have long luxurious hair that’s good for you and if you don’t it’s the Most High’s will. I don’t expect heathens to understand.

    Isaiah 3:24

    “And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.”
    King James Version (KJV)

    • JD Richards on said:

      You can make the bible say anything you want to hear. Did you ever consider that we are made in the image of God and He knew what He gave to us and why. There is a beauty in being who God has called you to be. The scripture you quoted is out of context. The black women who are bald are that way most of the time because the are trying to be someone that they are not or they are braiding there hair too tightly and pulling the hair out of the follicle. God doesn’t make mistakes and my natural hair is not a curse but her is yours. I will pray that you receive the beauty that God created you to be.
      BNCouraged

      • Ashley Stumon on said:

        I took the words for what they said…if that’s your understanding I’m not arguing with you. You can bend the truth so that it suits you as much as you like but that scripture is indeed a fact brother. Shalom🙂

    • You really are a child. You must have been rejected by Black women repeatedly because nobody who doesn’t care would put forth the effort to comment like this on an old 2014 article. You’re bitter and undeserving of any Black woman’s attention. You probably fail miserably at life and THIS is all you have. Again, Sad mofo.

  5. Kaya Gaye on said:

    Do any of yall smell that bullshit? I don’t care what any Science says, you assholes, African hair grows JUST as fast and JUST as long as any other race! This is the reason why America is so damn stupid, because there’s people like you ALWAYS making race in the equation. The truth is EVERYONE is beautiful, EVERYONE can grow hair just as long and fast, it takes CARE. Race is not and never was in the equation–in fact I am a 95% black woman and my hair grows up to 2 inches a month. You know why? I take care of it! Not because of the fact I’m “mixed” and I will live my life to prove we can grow long hair when I grow my hair down to my KNEES! The reason black women wear weave, wigs and extensions is to give our hair a rest, protect it! We aren’t bald, weaves wigs and extensions are made to give our hair a rest AND our hair grows while we wear it. To all you black girls feeling bad after reading this, ignore this. All of this is crap! Just take care of your hair, drink a lot of water, and exercise, and your hair will grow ❤

  6. Patrick your a fucking lair..white women are so fucking flat thats why most of em get stupid implants and end up having complicated health issues dont even get me started on their flat peanut like boobs

  7. There is another reason black women’s hair does not grow, that is how we damage our hair. Because of the texture and light weight, we are not to comb through or or brush our hair. If one were to search hair styles of ancient African’s, you would see that their hair was long and in a style in keeping with their texture. I personally wear the Sister Locks, which I keep moisturized with coconut and olive oils. My hair is the longest it has ever been. Since my hair is light weight and I have very little natural scalp oils, it easy to keep my hair clean and fragrant.

  8. I have naturally curly hair that I truly find beauty and goes past my shoulders when curly. I don’t wear weave, but for the record NO ONE WANTS EUROPEAN HAIR and certainly no ones buys it lmao

    • Black hair is Naturally curly. We just take offensive names given by slave masters like “Nappy” and call our hair. Our hair is curly.

      • I am 82 and my hair is soft because of New Orleans mixing from slavery. However, you can get very soft hair if you take hair vitamins with biotin and use macadamia nut oil on your hair. Also have your estrogen levels checked because my hair grew to my waistline when I was pregnant. Eat omega three fatty acid foods to help your hair continue to grow and remain softer. Do the research on eating healthy for hair, skin and nails.

  9. S.D. on said:

    Why do they keep putting up this old, non-truth article? Black women can and do grow lengthy hair with proper care….such a wasteful topic.

      • Michelle on said:

        Amen! Science is a lie! And man made science at that! When men think they know shit and don’t! And I don’t want a wig or weave! Btw, what about all the white women whom have shedding and balding and have to cover up with a weave or wig too?
        Man, the attacks by our own kind are the worst. I don’t care if white ppl attack, they have most of the head issues anyway. Wont waste my time with those joker’s.

  10. Cyndi on said:

    … after reading the comments im beginning to wonder if anyone read the artical or possibly misunderstood it. Its not saying african American woman cant achieve long hair, its saying its harder when the hair and body isnt properly taken care of.

      • What am I wrong about? It does not matter who you know, moisture grows black hair fast because as it is said, our hair out fast so we need to keep moisutized. When I don’t, my hair breaks; when I condition and moisture, my hair grow faster and long. That is why the curl grew alot of blacks folks hair but you have to continue to do it.

  11. Black beckie on said:

    The real reason BLACK MEN have so many comments on this article is because black men want to influence and to control your Decisions about your hair by talking about you. By being very very catty. Like asian man say sum ting wong.

      • Michelle on said:

        Educated black men prefer white women! LMAO! Please, alot of those men are gay. And this white women are whores! Make me laugh! Really!!!! You lie!

  12. Sinabell on said:

    In my opinion a lot of people in all races do not like what they look like or who they are. That is why they keep trying to find a new look all the time.

    • It's Britney Bitch on said:

      Wow. Congratulations for being the stereotypical white person who pretends they aren’t racist but says the most hateful things about someone based on their race. You literally said all black women’s hair stink and black people all practice self-hate. Okay Becky, your vagina probably smells like 3 day old fish and vinegar, but you don’t see black women pointing that out to you. You also fail to mention that your skin is dirty and greasy and white people are the ones who never bathed and because of it started a bed bug epidemic. I’m white and I’ll say that all races suck, but I’ve been the MOST disappointed with my own because of racist fucking CUNTS like you.

    • Dorothy madden on said:

      And I know someone who does white people hair, and she said you white people hair smell like a wet dog and dogs really do stink.

  13. Gloria Smith-Matthews on said:

    Sometimes you need to ignore something if you know it to be untrue, or ine sided. You don’t have to agree or argue every point.

  14. Kris9470 on said:

    I believe it’s about how you take care of your hair. Relaxers, color, heat, and etc can be damaging to your hair. Also, DNA plays a big role. Your hair can grow 1 to 3 inches or more a month.

  15. Georgette Johnson on said:

    That article is incorrect, blacks hair grow just as fast as whites. Clean hair grows fast. Some blacks don’t know how to care for their hair the reason they struggle with growth and you have those who feel they can wear it long or short if they cut it off and a weave. I have members in my family with extremely long hair. So that’s not true. You want to know about black hair go to black salon who specializes in growing the hair before start posting information that’s farther from the truth

    • straightnochaser on said:

      What specific ‘misinformation’ was in the article? As the writer pointed out, it’s about retaining length, which a lot if black women do lose due to the factors mentioned. Our hair does grow like everyone else, but because of the curl pattern, dryness, incorrect use of chemicals, or lack of general hair care knowledge, it is more likely to break off before any length can be noticed. Establishing a good hair care routine can be the difference between healthy hair that consistently retains length, or consistent breakage.

      • Patrick F Hewitt on said:

        Black women are too lazy to take the time to grow their hair. They are too busy having bastard babies. The average black woman suffers from the have, they gotta have weave they have on average 2 kids by 5 dudes and have an excess of body fat.

  16. Marsha Latham on said:

    We need 2get off the hair jazz n get to the program, ppl r dying out there teenage need help un wed mothers need help n somebody needs 2kno abt Dr. JESUS!!!!!!!!!!umumum. Away with all this other stuff. Can I get an amen up in here!

  17. Oh and SHRINKAGE is real. I have 75%shrinkage. So if you see a black woman with an afro that is 4 inches, multiply that length by three and that’s her real length if she decided to stretch her hair. So 4inch afro = 12inch stretched.

  18. I stopped perming and straightening my hair. Once I educated myself on how to properly care for my hair, I went from two inches of hair to hair that is now mid back length in three years. I used to be the girl that people told I needed a perm. When I STOPPED letting people tell me who I was and chose to be who God says I am, I kept wearing weaves I just changed my way of thinking and how I care for my glory. Now I have so much hair I don’t know what to do with it all. Lol. This article is true but to a very small extent. Honestly as a child I became annoyed with habits forced on me to conform to common European standards of beauty. I follow the African standards of beauty that black people followed in the 1970’s black panther era. Those women had long beautiful nappy , kinky, and curly hair.

  19. Nothing can be discussed in a mature, respectable fashion. Name calling. Profanity. Hatefulness. It all makes it just plain boring and uninteresting to read other’s opinions on different topics, which is the one of the best ways to discover different points of views. Pity.

    • Long or short. Black women are very beautiful. It has made me wonder why sometimes they have short hair. But only in a inquisitive mannor. Black or white. We’re all the same.

    • First mistake is comparing hair, wtf? African hair does not grow to the ground, it grows to the sky. Secondly, No one has the same hair as you, so stop. Our hair breaks and falls out because of the things we put in our hair and our bodies. BTW I rock a very high and huge afro and no one else’s opinion matters.

  20. MALAK YAHASAPAH TZABAH on said:

    THE BLACKS IN BABYLON ( AMERICA ) ARE THE TRUE DECSENDANTS OF THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES OF JERUSALEM. THE VOOK OF DEUTORONOMY, 28TH CHAPTER SPEAKS ABOUT THE CONDITIONS WE WOULD LIVE IN ONCE WE DISOBEYED THE MOST HIGH AND ACCEPTED RELIGION INSTEAD OF THE LAW OF THE CREATOR OF ALL. ONE OF THE CURSES THAT FELL ON OUR WOMEN WAS THAT THEIR HEADS WOULD BECOME A SCAB ( BALD), AND THAT THEY WOULD EXPOSE THEIR PRIVATE PARTS-(ISAIAH 3 AND 16-17). SISTAH’S IN YOUR HUMBLE STATE THERE IS NONE WHO CAN COMPARE, YET IN YOUR HAUGHTINESS THERE IS NONE AS FOUL FOR YOU ARE NOW A QUEEN DRAPED IN A STENCH ONLY PIGS CAN DELIGHT IN. BLACK WOMAN, TURN BACK TO THE MOST HIGH AND LET LOOSE OF SELF CONCERNS FOR THESE ARE THE REA

    • I said it. on said:

      You’re running late for a prophet. Have several seats. We get our hair cut like everyone else. I’ve seen long, short, and medium lengths in our community. God is more concerned with our hearts, not our heads. All of this talk about hair is becoming nauseating. Their are bigger issues and more to life. White women fixate on their weight and our community fixates on how to wear our hair. None of it will matter when we are gone. It’s silly.

    • Malalk your a very uneducated individual,,your a profit of bullshit ,,keep your bullshit Babylon to yourself ,,did you pop to many pills and scramble your brain,,what does any of your bullshit have to do with hair,,your the kind of low life that keeps racism alive ,,Jesus Christ was white that’s facts he was Jewish decent,,these have been facts for eternity but some poeple can’t except that and create false profits kinda like yourself,,with a false religion and lies apon lies,,,so sorry poncho Jesus was not African and nothing you say or do can change that fact,,what’s the issue cause you don’t believe he is white,,you won’t love him if he is white,,,and won’t believe and pray to him cause he is white,,,well guess what even though he is white he excepts you for who you are and your differences,,CULTURE VOLTURE

  21. Chinua on said:

    BS BS BS BS BS !!!!! Women within the African diaspora DO have long hair, it’s a matter of how they’ve been taught to take care of their hair. My mother and her sisters had long hair, and several aunts still have it. My mother chose to cut her hair, and keep it short. After military service, I cut mine off, grew locs and wore them for seven years, and now keep my hair short. My daughter has hair to the top of her ‘rear-end,’ and she chooses to flat iron her hair ( no chemicals ). The reason many of us today appear to not have hair is because we don’t educate ourselves to the affects/effects of chemicals, weaves, and glue. We have a bad habit of looking for quick fixes, and ignoring the signs of damage to our scalp. More BS propaganda!!!!!!

  22. Jen B on said:

    This article ignores one glaring fact; most black women are killing their hair and scalps trying to change their natural style and composition. My hair has already grown well-past my shoulders. The key to my success? I stopped burning it with hot combs and putting toxic chemicals in it to straighten it. I sport professionally done dreads (without any sort of extensions), and am regularly complimented on how nice they look.

  23. Most black women want straight hair because they dislike their nappy born hair, if they were proud of their nappy hair they would sport it.THE TRUTH HURT.

    • Jiggy5 on said:

      Rj, the truth is a non- factor here. If the facts embarrass, shame, or otherwise expose undesirable behavior, you will be called a host of names and labelled a troll. However if you buy into the collective group think mentality that has taken blacks completely backward from the direction that Dr. King set us on in the 1960’s, then you alright bro-bro.
      They refuse to see their hypocrisy and thus spiral further into mediocrity. It’s really sad to watch.

    • Black beckie on said:

      Most black WOMEN are choosing what black men like or what will catch his eyes. So that is that purchase hair that is what he likes. another point BLACK MEN make sure to keep their hair cut very close or bald so black men don’t like their natural hair either. You can say the same thing about black men that you say about black WOMEN.

    • Kaya Gaye on said:

      Another reason I straighten my hair is to show the assholes like (some not all) of the commenters here that black girls CAN grow long hair.

  24. Guest1 on said:

    Jiggy, women and men have been wearing weaves and wigs for centuries. Now it’s “our women, but at every turn, you don’t hesitate to degrade and disrespect.

  25. Jiggy5 on said:

    I’m not starting a mess, simply stating facts. Facts that you don’t want to acknowledge. We are not talking about other races. We are speaking about American black women and the foolishness that they perpetuate with their self hate. We’ll just agree to disagree.

    • Guest1 on said:

      You’re problem is that you think you can speak for everyone because YOU feel a certain way about something. That’s sad that you think because black woman wear weaves and wigs, that they are self loathing and desperate, and perpetuating self hate. How sad indeed. I don’t know where you get your facts. Maybe from the women in YOUR family. Again, you can’t speak on anyone else. You know absolutely nothing about how a black woman feels.

      • Guest1 on said:

        **Your** problem, not you’re (contraction meaning you are). Had to correct myself otherwise Jiggy might call me uneducated.

      • Jiggy5 on said:

        I simply state the facts, I don’t resort to childish name calling like yourself.

  26. Guest1 on said:

    There is nothing desperate about it, or any self hatred involved. It’s always something negative coming from you, and you couldn’t be more wrong each and everytime you post one of your asinine comments. Everyone has the right to like what they like and if women, any woman, wants to have long hair whether it’s theirs or purchased, it’s their choice. Having long hair isn’t a “whites only” thing. And, since you’re on the subject of self hatred, hater…what about your phoney @ss caucasion persuasion counterparts, injecting their lips with helium looking like big fools, what about those butt implants, what about laying in that tanning bed at 350 degrees just to try and get that golden brown color? So the next time you want to talk about self-hatred, and acceptance, look no further than your own mirror.

      • Guest1 on said:

        It’s their right to have what ever color they want. Again, white people don’t hold a patent on long hair, or blond hair. So what, a black woman wants to sport blond hair. You’re saying she doesn’t have that right, and just because she does, she wants to be like a white woman? Really? I’m a black woman and I cringe at the thought. Nothing attractive about wanting to be white, at least not for me. I see colors of the rainbow in a variety of young women on a daily basis, whether it’s blond, blue or red. You need to start thinking outside the box.

  27. Jiggy5 on said:

    So desperate to look and be accepted as white. Come correct now black women and stop the self,hatred.
    Holla’

      • I said it. on said:

        Thank you. He can’t hear you though and you completely lost him with asinine. I thought he died. He has been missing in the comment section on the articles pertaining to whites. I was getting ready for the second line march. (SHUCKS!)

      • Guest1 on said:

        Jiggy, again, you show you mental capacity of comprehending isn’t that great. The women you call hood rats are just like those hood rats housewives from Miami, NY, Orange County, & Beverly Hills, and your neighborhood, yes trailer parks count as neighborhoods, too. You can’t believe that all those white women are natural and have not had anything done to them. Get a grip, no one wants to look white.

    • Debbie on said:

      Who the hell wants to be white??? white people don’t want to be white. That is why your asses are laying in light up coffins in February, hoping you will be my color by May.

      • Jiggy5 on said:

        White people tan yes, some augment that process, but it is nonetheless, a natural process. Wearing hair hats to cover your natural hair is not. Look at Ne-ne and the rest of the hood rats from Atlanta HW, all doing their damnest to look white with those silly azz weeds.
        Holla’ at the Scholar

      • I said it. on said:

        This fool thinks that baking in a human oven is natural process. We urge you to go to where you are wanted which isn’t on this site.

      • Jiggy5 on said:

        No, I didn’t say using a tanning bed is a natural process. UV rays from the sun stimulate skin cells resulting in a melanin pigment. That is a natural process. The only thing natural about wigs and weaves is that it is naturally someone else’s hair, a European. European = white. Our women are strutting around with white people’s DNA on their head. That is the epitome of self loathing and desperation for society to accept them as white.

      • I said it. on said:

        Our people? Whatever. Read the comment at 2:17. Then get back with me.

      • Jiggy5 on said:

        I can present the facts, but at the end of the day, the I Said It, and Debbie’s of the world will choose only the facts that support their case and decry that Trayvon Martin was an innocent little boy and Sabrina Fulton was a good mother. Sighhhh, and life continues.

      • I said it. on said:

        Your a grown boy. so you may not get this yet, but I will try to explain. T.M., or his mom have nothing to do with this article, or these post. It is important to stay on topic. You can Google how to do that.

      • I said it. on said:

        Dark complexioned people can be born blonde. Ever heard of the people of the Solomon Islands, the Melanesians or Oceania? Go use the net for something besides trolling to start a mess. Pick up the National Geographic. Go to a museum. Do something to enlighten yourself. The Klan, your parents, and yourself have failed you.

      • Danica Banks on said:

        You are so right Debbie. They do want to be colored. And let them go one day without washing their hair and they smell like a wet cat.

    • Jenna Angel on said:

      You a lie no black person wants to be white because while their hair may be long they barely have any there plus they have flat asses

      • Patrick F Hewitt on said:

        I hate to the one to tell you…all races have their share of fat asses. What’s the difference between a white booty model and a black booty model, people will pay to see the whiter one.

        P.S Google “women dying to get butt implants” note that the women are all black.

    • Aye bring all I gotta say is u prolly be look as dumb as u sound . You know how many white people try to do everything like blacks ? N u sound like u coming from slavery days , we’re in the 2019 . WE ARE ALL EQUAL N SHOULD BE LOOKED AND TREATED AS SUCH . The fact that your even still comparing races shows how much of a narcissistic, self-centered, punk bitch you really are . U Probably one of them white assholes still hoping slavery days will come back . N people like u are the reason why is black people look at u white people differently . WERE ALL HUMAN BEINGS just with different skin colors n the color of your skin should never base u off who u are or what u do . Now snap back to reality bitch .

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