Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Q&A - Natural and long, but too thin!

 Dora writes:

Q.  I am completely natural and have been for about 7 years now. I have bra length, fine soft hair. My hair does not like to be twisted. When I did wear twists, I did not like them because you could see my scalp. When I wear a ponytail I have to make sure I brush my hair a certain way, so that my scalp won't show. Is there anything that I can use or do to thicken my hair up. I henna once a month or every 3 weeks and sometimes it depends on how fast the grays decide to show up. I thought by being natural my hair would become thicker on its own.

A.  As a natural for 7 years, your hair has gone through all the phases of growth, probably several times. Let's just review:

Anagen - active growth - new hair is pushing out the old fiber and the follicle is growing deep for nourishment
Catagen - the transitional phase. Hair detaches from the blood supply and the hair follicle shrinks
Telogen - Resting. Hair fibre easily pulls out
And there is one more phase, mesanagen -- a returning to growth.

A full cycle can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years per follicle. And sometimes hair or patches of hair can get stuck in the resting, or telogen phase.

Everything you put into your body eventually comes out in your hair, usually within three to six months. . Hair grows from living follicles in the skin of the scalp. At the shaft, or root of the hair, all of your major systems are at work, including your circulatory, endocrine and central nervous system.

Other factors for thin hair and ways to improve hair health: