Can Black women over 50 grow long natural hair?

Nine years ago in 2011 a younger me asked the question: Can Black women over 40 grow natural hair long? Now aged 56, I am wondering whether Black women over 50 can grow long natural hair?

I received so many comments, some recently, from women in their 50s and 60s, giving me hope and inspiration:

I began to transition from relaxed hair to Natural hair at 56. Three years later and my hair is past my shoulders. At 59, my temples are very thin, and my hairline has receded some, but the rest of my hair was thick and healthy. I wore my hair in corn rows under wigs and did very little to it. Never used heat of any kind. I recently decided to dye it, and get a flat iron style. Now it’s super dry, thinner, and shedding. I will never use heat or hair dye again. The texture of my hair has changed and it is not as strong. I will go on from here and pray that when my hair is stronger, I will be able to ditch the wig all together and enjoy my hair. I believe everyone should wear their hair anyway they please, but for me, I absolutely love my natural hair. Rosemary Woods

I’m 60, and without a doubt growing hair now is a definite challenge. In my 40s and 50s it was easier and I grew my 4c hair well passed my shoulders!
But, a fateful encounter with an African braider caused me to literally shave my hair off! That’s right a bald fade. With that being said, after 6 months I have 3 inches of growth. Younger years I would have 4. But, I’ve learned a few things. One – my hair is thinning and drier; I have to address these new problems. Two I must have more patience…its supposed to come with time and, lastly I must not only change my regimen but consistently fine tune it. Will I get it to my bra strap again? Only God knows, but after the journey I will tell…I will embrace my arrival there. Barru

Thank you for this inspiring article. I had been natural since 2006, at age 56 which is also when had small locs installed. My Locktician formerly worked with/under the Sisterlocs brand however developed her own thus the style looked the same as far as the pattern. My hair grew to beyond bra length and began to thin around edges, even had a bald spot. I purchased a truckload of natural products and vitamins trying to regrow my hair before chopping it off iJuly 2017. My hair is growing but slowly and I too cover it up with wigs. I am going to apply suggestions from this blog to work on getting my beautiful hair back, even at age 68. I didn’t mention before getting locs in my 50’s my hair was shoulder length. Keep the faith! Barbara

These wonderful letters encouraged me. I have been natural for the last three years but always wore weaves as a protective style – until this year, after my weave specialist retired during lockdown! I’d been thinking of ditching the weave for a while anyway, as my scalp was becoming itchy, dry and prone to dandruff and my hair was starting to break.

When I began researching how best to care for and grow my hair,I was astonished at how much has changed in the last 9 years! So much so, that I decided to create a free guide for fellow newbies like myself. Please keep sharing your stories, they are so uplifting – and it would be lovely to see some photos!

Deborah Gabriel LC - Tips for growing long natural hair

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