Articles, Loc Care & Styles

Why Your Locs Aren’t Growing

Girl in stripped shirt examining shoulder length locs

One of the biggest concerns locs growers have is that their locs aren’t growing. From newly locd to mature locs, it can be frustrating to not see your locs developing as you expected. However, before reaching for expensive hair growth serums and pills, read this article for some free explanations and tips.

1. Natural Hair Growth Process

Before delving into any issues with your locs, it’s important to understand the natural hair growth cycle itself. The average (emphasis on average) length of growth per person is about 4-6 inches per year. Some people have hair that grows faster and some slower. The rate of your hair growth can also depend on your race. One study, referenced in this article, found a 4 inch yearly rate for Africans, 5 inch for Caucasians, and 6 inch for Asians. Moreover, locs are naturally twisted on themselves, so even if your hair grows 6 inches in a year, you may only notice 3 or 4 inches.

2. Your Locs Are Shrinking

This is more prevalent within the first two years of locing your hair. Just as many naturals experience shrinkage when they have their hair in two stand twists or leave it out in a fro, locd hair is prone to shrinkage itself. In fact, the shrinkage is part of the locing process. The strands of your hair close in together and form a more solid unit. This results in shorter locs and the appearance that your locs aren’t growing or your hair is even breaking. This brings me to my next point.

3. Your Locs Are Breaking

Like myself, you may have experienced breakage as a loose hair natural. My hair is prone to folding in on itself, split ends and twisting into single stand knots. Unfortunately, when you loc your hair, previous issues are locked in as well. It took a while for me to really notice any hair growth as there was a lot of breakage within the first year. Luckily, as your locs grow, breakage diminishes. There comes a point when your ends are locd and you experience less breakage and more length retention.

4. You are Breaking Your Locs

While there is breakage from damaged hair that is inevitable, you can prevent some of it. Constant tugging of locs will weaken the strands further. If you find loose strands that have knots that snag on the rest of your locs, try and cut the culprit strands instead of pulling and breaking knots by hand. Breaking the knots by hand leaves the rest of the strand stretched, weakened and prone to more knots. However, cutting out the knotted ends does not.

You should have extra caution when dealing with the bottom of your locs. Tugging and pulling the bottom of your locs is a sure way to prevent loc retention. We can all be a little bit guilty of hand in hair syndrome. However, there are steps we can take to remedy it. Take a look at this article for some tips on leaving your locs alone.

For some people who haven’t been able to grow long hair, it can be frustrating to not see progress with locs. However, it’s absolutely possible for you to grow long and healthy locs, just be patient and leave your locs alone to do what they do best – grow.

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