African Hair GrowthQ: Why do black people's hairs grow much slower than other races'? Six inches a year doesn't necessarily apply to the black race. My hair only grows about 1-2 inches a year and I never had hair reach my shoulders. On average, you can see this within the black race.
A: There was an article published in the British Journal of Dermatology in August 2001 that detailed the results of a small study done on African Hair growth parameters. The study was done because the majority of the studies performed on hair growth had been conducted or focused on Caucasian hair growth. This study was an attempt to generate data specifically pertaining to African-ethnic hair types.
The study was conducted in Africa and consisted of volunteers born in Africa. There were 19 men and 19 women classified as "young adults" who were natives of central and western Africa. The data collected, when compared with previously gathered data on Caucasian hair from volunteers of comparable age, showed that the growth rate of the study group was approximately 65% of that of the comparable Caucasian group.
There is little extra information on the study to describe possible environmental or styling factors that can play a part in "apparent" growth rates. It should also be noted that more studies need to be conducted in order to general conclusive data and ensure that this is not simply a fluke. The data showed margins of error as high as 18-20%
Regardless of the differences in the growth rates between races, the needs of the hair are the same: Nutrition, cleansing, conditioning and gentle care are all key factors in ensuring strong healthy hair.
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