Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Does Genes Have anything do with hair growth

Hair grows on average half inch a month. Personally, my hair grows less than half inch a month. My hair based on the hair chart, is 4C. Blogs and other sites say that due to the coily nature of afro textured hair it may seem to grow at a slower rate. Because of the kinks and tight curls, and excessive dryness because the natural oils have too much curls to contend with, it cant be moisturized as it should. This actually makes it a lot more difficult for someone with 4C hair to retain length, and are required to have a more rigid regimen, including deep conditioning, protective styling etc.

It is often  said that the secret to beautiful lustrous hair is maintaining a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, exercising on a regular, having a hair care regimen that includes a regular deep conditioning, protein treatment, and lots of moisture is what is required to have healthy hair.  I did my big chop in May of last year, and in 10 months, I am only seeing 4 inches worth of growth, that I am very excited about. I've seen persons with different textures than mine, cut their hair, and it grew past mine. If I should ask one of these persons  what they do. You may hear them proudly say, its the Indian in my blood. And no I don't take offence to statements like these.

 Now I know many of you may disagree with me when  I say this but, I am being real,  YES, that person may be right, it may just be that mixture in their gene that is contributing to the fact that their hair may be able to retain more length than mine. I'm drawing these conclusions mainly on observation, nothing scientific. Looking around, observing the different ethnicity  Caucasian, Chinese, Indian, even the ones that are mixed, and the rate that their hair "grows" or retain length, doesn't this have to do with their genetic make up?

I recently watched a documentary of persons in India, some of these persons are living off less than $1 US per day. They do not have access to proper water, proper food, how are they going to get the strength to exercise, where are they going to get money from to spend on deep conditioning treatments and all that is said to achieve healthy hair, yet they have hair down to their butts that they are able to cut all their hair off and sell it! Ever heard of Indian Remy? Then, they comment that they don't worry because in no time it will grow back. Can I do that with my 4C afro hair? NO I cant, why would I even think of doing that after I worked so hard to get my hair at my ear?

Looking at our different textures, I will not say that Africans have the worst hair. Based on how I was cultured, African hair would be considered 4C hair, the coiliest of them all. Now, doing research and seeing how huge Africa really is and the wide variety of cultures, I no longer think in such shallow terms. At one time in my life, when I thought about Africa, I thought about thatch houses, and tribes, and people with hair that looked like a mat, people running around with some spear things on their you know what. Fortunately that notion has left my head. I have come to accept my hair for what it is, not associating its nature with a country but see it as pure Kinky Coily awesomeness!

I ran into an article on Black Girl Long Hair speaking about ending the association of long hair with mixed heritage. Now,  my paternal grandmother's grandfather is a white man. So is my paternal Grandfather, his grandfather is white. When I look on my mother's side, her great great grandmother is white woman, her grandmother is dark a midnight with curly soft hair. See where I am going with all the confusion? LOL I'm Jamaican by the way, and we were once an English colony, and this mixture may have occured due to rape or mutual consent,  Do I consider myself 100% black? Yes I do, even though I know that i may be about 10% percent white. We always say that the white genes has watered down, not like some white folks that came up with the one drop rule. LOL.
Also, the majority of Jamaicans don't have the slightest idea of how to care for their hair, we over process it, cuz we want our hair bone straight and laid, like the "coolie" persons.We drag on our edges too tight, because we want it to be very neat, we play tug  o war with our hair while dry, everything done wrong, resulting in maximum breakage and hair loss.
When my hair type it met upon, you would hear things like  " no likkle mixture, just the raw born African". Yet my brothers would hear that they are mixed with something. The article pointed out that we all are mixed, but who has time to claim that? Its the same way how my Dad has bluish grey eyes, and he is Blacker than black. Back to the distribution of genes, and of course how God purposed it to be.

The article, it brought me back to  the silly controversy that started up when Melanie Fiona mentioned that she is part Indian Portuguese and some other race, so she has a good mix for growth. She did not lie. She does, or maybe she should have said she has a good mix for length retention. Afro textured hair does grow, without a doubt,  but as we all know because of how coily and kinky it is, it may seem to grow slowly or is stunted,  also, it breaks easier, its weaker and takes a lot more effort to be successful. We dont need to bash them, love them for their difference, point out the positives in our texture. When cared right, we can have the full-ness of shrinkage, we can do twists out. whatever!  Its all in the technique!

I think we need to just accept our hair for what it is. My brothers have 3c and 4a hair type and I have 4c maybe even 5a. We have the same parents. I am lighter than they are, we have our own unique features that we got from our parents and those features they  So should I say that genes doesn't play a role? Of course it did. Maybe some of that white gene caught them, and by the time I came in the picture, all of it left....I dunno. :-)
But this did affect me in a negative way? Initally it did, I wanted their hair. And maybe my life would be a lot different. Yes I must admit that at times I wish I could just wash n go, and dash my hair about in the wind like those 3C/4A chicks, they make it look sooo easy... But accepting 4C hair for what it is will make you accept so much more in life. Accept the struggles we face daily. Accept limitations, but then why do you need limitations? Its your hair rock it how you want it, with all the confidence in the world. And if someone says to you, why is your hair like that....Dont be afraid to credit your genes!

No comments:

Post a Comment