By Hadassah Agbaps - March 17, 2014

Hi people, what's been on.....

See the topic?
Who said she loves genetics??? Lol!

So, I was reading Geri's blog and I saw something that made me laugh. Someone asked her if she was a 'real' Nigerian....ermmm....are there fakes?

Geri's hair
Then a friend of mine said someone asked her if I was  pure Nigerian.....I assured her I wasn't adulterated.

Then I posted Lade's picture as my dp on BBM and I got the 'She can't be a real Nigerian'....
Is Lade a 'real' Nigerian?

Why these questions/statements?
....because it is erroneously believed that Nigerians' cannot have long hair without being mixed or without the use of extensions or some secret growth potion......

In summary, Nigerians just don't have the genes for long hair in them.....and current evidence seem to support this because many Nigerians do you see on the streets with their own hair (not their weaves) flowing behind them in the wind?!.......*crickets*

So is long hair due to genes?

Yes and No.

 Let me tell you why.....
"Follow me careful with the chemicals please...."
*dons lab coat, geek glasses and enters lab*

The Science of Hair Growth

There are three stages of hair growth.

a. The Anagen - The stage of hair growth. Your hair root is still attached and well nourished by blood. This stage lasts from between 2-6 years and the number of years is determined by your genes. So if your anagen is 2 years, after two years, the old hair gets ready to be replaced by a new one.
Interesting to note, have you ever wondered why the hair on your arms, legs and eyebrows don't grow to your ankles?
 It's because thanks to our genes, we've been saved from a real hairy situation by having very short anagen phases for those parts.......that is unless you have an inherited syndrome like the Wolfman Syndrome......which again is genetic.

b. The Catagen - This is the stage where your hair is gradually cut off from blood supply as it gets ready to shed. The hair is no longer firmly attached.  It lasts about 3 weeks.

c. The Telogen - This stage is where your strands say bye bye to the hair world. You'll notice a tiny white bulb at the end of the strands when you see it on your comb or sink. Luckily it left a little baby hair behind that will grow out again for the next 2-6 years and the cycle continues.

So that's the biography of your hair strands.

How long does your hair grow within this anagen period?

Well that depends on how long your gene predetermined anagen phase is.
You see, we the science geeks have calculated that on average, your hair grows between 0.5 inches to 1 inch per month. So let's picture this.
Assuming your genes acknowledges that the hair on your head has to grow longer than an eyelash and decides to 'dash' you the slowest growth of 0.5 inches  and the shortest anagen phase of 2 years (which I doubt most Nigerians have) , in that two years, if my calculations are correct, you will record a total growth of 12inches......not bad huh???
 In visual terms, that's about shoulder to bra length.

Hair growth chart

Also note that the hair doesn't all go Telogen at the same time so it's unlikely that you'll end up bald or with a compulsory hair cut after two years. It's all done in a way you wouldn't even notice......our genes would make good butlers right?!

And an even better news is that Nigerians are genetically programmed to have hair blowing in the Elton John's candles....yeah!

So you may ask? Where does all that hair go in two come 10 years later, we are stuck with chin length hair?

Well, the lab is getting quite let's meet up again!

Class dismissed!

Bsc. Msc.

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  1. To be honest, most Nigerian ladies can achieve a reasonable length (past shoulders) if they knew how, whereas our African American counterparts, maintain their hair and achieve different results. I shake my head in disbelief when I give people my business card and they say "But you are Yoruba?" and look at my hair...What do you say to that? LOL!

    1. Wait o my sister......'but you are Yoruba'....what's that supposed to mean? Is hair growth now tribalistic? Chai.... Lol!

  2. Lade Before is so Nigerian while Lade After isn't. LOL.
    Maybe you should de-mystify the second most popular myth next. The idea that our hot climate can't support long hair.

    1. LOL! AB, you just hit on my 'favoritest' myth with regards to Nigerian hair growth.


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