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Reasons Why Your Hair May Not Be Growing; Internal vs. External

April 18, 2019


Verna Meachum

Find out the reasons your hair has stopped growing and how to fix it!

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I am highly experienced in the beauty industry and specialize in writing for brands and websites that focus on curly hair care. Moreover, I actually have curly hair and have curly-haired children with varying hair textures. I am also surrounded by curly-haired friends, including curly hairstylists and curly-haired family members. You get the point :) I’m well-versed in the language and nuances of curly hair care, styling tips, and product recommendations.

Furthermore, I collaborate with my friend who has a Ph.D. in organic and inorganic chemistry and works as an R&D Chemist to help us navigate through the misinformation around curly hair care. He advises us on Hair Care Science to ensure we are well-informed.

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Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Verna Meachum

Disclaimer: This content including advice is for informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. These are not an exhaustive list of causes and factors concerning hair growth.

Your hair is one of the most important aspects of your appearance, and if it’s not growing the way you want it to, it can be frustrating.

There are many factors that can contribute to hair growth, both internal and external.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different reasons why your hair may not be growing, and what to do about it.

Internal Causes for Hair Not Growing

Hair not growing? It doesn’t just decide to stop growing— there are lots of things that can stunt hair growth.

Hair grows at a pace of half an inch every month on average. As a result, the typical person’s hair increases about 6 inches each year.

Before I go into the reasons why your hair may not be growing, let me address a few factors that may disrupt the hair cycle.

If you suspect that one of these is the cause of your hair growth problems, it’s best to consult with a doctor to get properly diagnosed and treated.


You’ve probably heard about a possible link between stress and hair loss, but is there any truth to that claim?

Stress is a reason your hair not growing

Hair can be affected by stress in any form, whether physical or mental. It makes your hair more prone to gray prematurely and also reduces the strength of the hair follicle, which may lead to your hair not growing (or hair loss).

Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss in which hair falls out quickly in a short period of time. It typically occurs after your body has been subjected to something physically or emotionally stressful (i.e. physical trauma, illness, fever, sudden weight loss), and can also result from sudden hormonal changes.

While it’s difficult to avoid stress altogether, you can take measures to manage and reduce it. Practices like yoga, journaling, essential oils can help to calm the mind and body.

Poor diet

Like with other elements of health and beauty, your diet has a significant impact on not just the condition, but also how quickly your hair grows.

Hair not growing? You need nutrition!

Nutritional deficiency is one of the most common reasons for hair not growing.

Vitamin and mineral supplementation may aid with hair loss. Vitamins and minerals are important for healthy cell development and function, and a lack of these nutrients may lead to your hair not growing.

While supplements are readily accessible and affordable, it’s crucial to understand which vitamins and minerals are required to treat hair loss.

Check with your doctor or a nutritionist to see if you’re deficient in any nutrients, and ask for advice on which supplements to take.


Hormonal changes that occur during menopause may also cause telogen effluvium. As estrogen levels decline, more hair enters the resting phase. This can lead to increased hair loss.

Pregnancy and childbirth

During pregnancy, more hair is in the growth phase for longer periods of time, and hair loss is reduced.

However, about three to six months after childbirth, some women experience a massive amount of hair loss. This is called Postpartum Telogen Effluvium and it’s due to the sudden change in hormones after giving birth.

Hair not growing? After months of giving birth, this can happen to you.

The good news is that this form of hair loss is usually temporary and resolves itself within six to twelve months.

Certain drugs

Certain medications and recreational drugs can cause hair loss.

Some of the most common drugs that are associated with hair loss include:

Hormonal imbalance

Hormones can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, including thyroid disorders, stress, menstruation, and puberty.

Hair not growing because of hormonal imbalance

An imbalance in hormones can lead to hair loss, which is why it’s important to have your hormone levels checked if you’re experiencing hair loss.

If you find that your hair growth is stunted, it’s important to consult with a doctor to get to the root of the problem.

There are a variety of reasons why your hair may not be growing, and it’s important to identify the root cause so that you can take appropriate measures to fix the problem.


Depending on the type of procedure, length of stay in hospital, drugs used, and general nutritional status, surgery can lead to hair loss.

It’s not unusual for people to lose a significant amount of hair after surgery, and it may take months for the hair to grow back.

Metal toxicity

Hair loss can be caused by contact with poisonous chemicals in metal.

People who work with metals, such as in a factory or workshop, may be susceptible to metal toxicity and hair loss.


Hair loss can also be hereditary. If your parents or grandparents have a history of hair loss, you may be more likely to experience it as well.

The hair growth cycle is unique to each individual.


As we age, the hair growth cycle changes and our hair becomes thinner.

This is a natural process and there’s not much that can be done to stop it.

A lifetime of using heat styling, chemical processes such as bleach and color, and a less than ideal diet may all contribute to your hair weakening as you get older.

Aside from this, as we get older, the scalp produces less oil, resulting in coarser, drier hair and a higher risk of breakage.

To combat this, it’s important to use gentle, nourishing hair products and avoid over-styling.

If you are experiencing excessive daily hair shedding for more than three months or significant shedding that has not improved despite treatment, see a trichologist or your doctor, as there could be an underlying factor that needs to be addressed.

External Factors for Hair Not Growing

If you’re having trouble growing hair, it’s crucial to review all aspects of your lifestyle to see if anything can be improved.

Often, just a few minor changes might help enhance hair growth!

The following are some of the most common reasons for hair not growing:

Excessive heat

We all want gorgeous-looking hair, but it should never be at the expense of your hair’s health.

If you’re using heat tools on a regular basis, like a blow dryer on high heat, try to use medium to low setting.

High heat can weaken your hair so even just alternating or going an extra day without heat can improve the condition of your hair.

Heat styling tools can make your hair dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Protein treatments or deep conditioning treatments may be required to repair hair damage.

Hair care ingredients

There are some ingredients that can really benefit hair health and help promote healthy hair growth, while others can cause more damage than good, like harsh sulfates or drying alcohols.

Hair not growing? Stay away from bad ingredients in hair care products.

Look at product labels to discover what products are best for YOUR hair.

Tight hairstyles

Tight ponytails and buns might look nice, but they can cause serious damage to our hair health….trust me I know.

If you’ve ever used an elastic band, it really grips the hair, causing friction which may lead to fraying and split ends.

It’s not a problem to tie your hair up loosely, but wearing a hairstyle tightly will cause harm over time.

Braids are another thing to avoid overdoing, in order to preserve your hair’s health – if done too tightly, braids can physically pull the hair away from the roots, causing splitting, hair and follicle damage.

Product and oil build up

It’s just possible that your scalp is suffocating due to oil and grime. At least once a month, treat your hair to a deep cleaning or clarifying session.

Dry hair

You may think that this is a redundancy, but it’s surprising how many folks rush (or skip over) the conditioning process.

Hair not growing? Don't skip conditioners!

When washing your hair, allow the conditioner to stay in for a few minutes and concentrate on the mid-shaft and tips.

Don’t rush this process.


If your hair isn’t getting the attention or care it requires, and is breaking off at the same rate as it grows, it will stay the same length all year unless you change your habits.

Hair not growing? Constant hair breakage can  stunt hair growth

The most common type of hair breakage is caused by improper handling and excessive use of heat styling tools, chemicals, and dyes.

Over processed hair

If you use too many chemicals or color, your hair may become dry and lifeless. Make sure to keep treatments at a minimum and give your hair plenty of time to recover in between sessions.

Trauma to the scalp

Chemical treatments can cause burns and damage to the scalp andcan disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Environmental factors

Pollution, smoke, sun exposure, and other toxins can also affect hair not growing.

Lack of exercise

Both exercise and a healthy diet are essential for hair development. Exercise regularly to increase blood flow and promote hair growth.

Too many split ends

Split ends can limit the progress of your hair since they take away from its length.

Hair not growing could be due to split ends.

If you’re not careful, split ends can travel up the hair shaft and cause more damage.

The best way to avoid split ends is to get a trim every six to eight weeks.

There are a number of things that you can do to help promote healthy hair growth, both from the inside and outside.

From the inside, make sure that you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and iron-rich foods.

Try to avoid excessive calorie restriction and stress, as these can also have a negative impact on hair growth.

From the outside, use a good quality shampoo and conditioner that are designed for your hair type, and avoid using heated styling tools as much as possible.

Try to limit your exposure to environmental factors that can damage the hair shaft.

And finally, get regular trims (how regular you get them is up to you) to remove split ends and keep your hair looking its best.

If you’re still experiencing problems with your hair not growing it’s best to consult with a doctor or trichologist to get properly diagnosed and treated.


Seeking professional help is always advised to be sure that you’ve covered all your bases. With the right diagnosis, you can get on your way to long and healthy hair.

We hope this blog post was helpful and that it provided some insight into why your hair may not be growing.

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