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 therein 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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