My 5 year old daughter’s hair will not grow! I have tried almost everything and it still seems to be the same length since her birth–very short, course hair. I have recently resorted to extensions (braids) in an effort to give her hair a break from everyday styling, but nothing appears to work.

Could she have a medical problem?

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Hair on the scalp grows in cycles. They have three phases of growth:

  1. Growth phase (Anagen phase) which lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 years. This is the phase where your hair is actively growing at approximately 10cm per year. 85% of hair is at this phase at any given time.
  2. Transitional phase (Catagen phase) which lasts about 2 weeks. This is the phase where the hair follicle shrinks and prepares to enter the resting phase.
  3. Resting phase (Telogen phase) which lasts about 1- 6 months. This is the phase where hair does not grow but stays attached to the follicle. Some hairs are shed at this phase, but at the end the hair follicle re-enters the growth phase to start the cycle over again. 10-15% of hairs are at this phase at any given time.

I do not know why your daughter’s hair has not grown in 5 years. There is a peculiar genetic condition that impacts children of her age causing hair loss and balding. There may be variants of this condition worth exploring. You should discuss this issue with her Pediatrician and determine if she has any medical conditions that may be contributing to such slow hair growth. The use of hair extensions may cause the hair she has to fall out from the traction it causes. If her hair is not growing as you reported, then she may become bald at the point the ‘extensions’ are attached.

Tags: traction alopecia, child, hairloss, hair loss, hair growth, slow