Many people will tell you about how they’ve been trying to grow out their hair for months but to no avail. Some people that face problems with hair growth see that many of their relatives face the same problem as well. So is it genetics that stunts hair growth? Or is it environmental factors and lack of adequate hair care that are to blame?
Genetics plays a vital role in nearly every aspect of our lives. Everything from our height, skin color, eye color, and even predisposition to certain diseases is all determined by our genetics. Of course, environmental factors aren’t to be discredited either. Even if you’re born fair, frequent sun exposure will cause you to become tanner or darker. This is why it is relatively easy to change the things about us that we don’t like. At the end of the day, our environment and our lifestyle play a crucial role in our lives as well.
Even if someone is genetically predisposed to being stout, diet, exercise, and an active lifestyle can ensure that they remain in great shape. Similarly, genetics plays a huge role in the shape, thickness, texture, and even the length of your hair. However, this does not mean that the environment or lifestyle will not affect your hair whatsoever. If you have curly hair but want a sleek straight look or vice versa, various treatments can achieve that for you. If you have thick hair but prefer reduced volume, you can easily ask your hairstylist for thinning scissors tech. Hair thinning scissors are an easy and non-damaging way to reduce hair volume for thick and unmanageable hair.
Is The Role Of Genetics Crucial To Hair Length?
So to answer the question directly, yes, genetics does play an essential role in determining what is called “terminal length.” That being said, environmental factors and haircare are also crucial in deciding how long your hair will grow to be.
Every hair follicle goes through a total of 3 stages during its life. First is the anagen phase, where the hair is actively growing. The second phase is the catagen phase, where the hair isn’t growing anymore but hasn’t been shed either. This is also called the resting stage. Lastly, every hair strand goes through the telogen phase, where the hair strand falls out, and the process of anagen starts again for a new hair strand.
The anagen phase is the phase that determines the hair strand’s final length, also known as the “terminal length,” after which the hair ceases to grow more. The average anagen phase usually lasts between 2 to 6 years so that most people can grow their hair till waist length. However, anagen phases have also been known to last for 12 years, with people achieving a terminal length that reaches their ankles. On the other hand, some people have a short anagen phase, lasting only 2-4 years. Such people are unable to grow hair beyond shoulder length, no matter how much they try.
There is no sure-fire way of knowing the average anagen phase for individual people, and most timelines are made on assumptions. So for all you know, you could have a long anagen phase but haven’t been able to grow your hair out because of inadequate hair care.
Hair Damage And Hair Fall
The texture of your hair, how often you style your hair, and what techniques you use, all make a tremendous impact on the length of your hair. Other factors, such as mineral deficiencies, stress, and hair products, can also invariably contribute to the health of your hair.
Generally speaking, curly hair is much harder to grow and take care of than straight or wavy hair. This kind of hair is more prone to damage by heat styling and tends to break off easily even if it hasn’t achieved terminal length. The hair fiber’s coiled nature also shrinks hair and makes it appear shorter than it is.
If you’re trying to grow your hair, there are a few things that you need to be mindful of. Firstly, avoid styling your hair with heat, and if you absolutely must, then make sure you’re using ample heat protecting spray. Damaged hair tends to break off easily and will, therefore, not grow to its full terminal length.
Secondly, avoid tugging or pulling your hair. Especially when styling your hair, avoid hairstyles that pull and tug at your hair unnecessarily. This will cause hair strands to either fall off entirely or break from the middle. Again, resulting in hair with stunted growth.
Thirdly, avoid brushing your hair when it is wet. It is common practice to quickly brush your hair after you’ve showered to avoid the hassle later on. However, your hair is at its weakest when they’re wet and tend to fall more when brushed in this state. Even if it seems cumbersome, it is best to wait a while and let your hair air dry naturally before you brush it.
Another pro-tip for brushing tangled hair is to gently start from the bottom and then work your way up. You can even use a detangling serum so that brushing becomes easier.
Tugging and pulling at tangled hair with all your might, especially when they’re wet, will result in severe hair fall or breakage.
Lastly, use protective hairstyles such as two-strand twists, braids, and coils. These hairstyles tend to keep your hair in place and prevent breakage and hair fall. For hair that is thick, hard to handle, and more prone to hair fall, we suggest using thinning scissors tech to achieve a more manageable look.
Although the terminal length of hair is determined by genetics, it is tough to determine what that length actually is. Various factors may cause your hair growth to be stunted. Unless you completely rule those out, you can’t entirely fault your genes for your short hair.
Proper hair care is of the utmost importance when you are trying to grow your hair. Without this, your hair growth will remain stunted and uneven, no matter how long you wait.