Trying to grow out your hair can be a frustrating experience, particularly if you’re giving up weaves and wigs after using them for a long time. Many people have trouble growing out their hair past a certain length, but that is less related to your hair’s growth cycle and has more to do with how you treat it.

Check out some of the most common reasons your hair isn’t growing, and find out how to fix them. Keep in mind that your hair doesn’t actually ever stop growing, but a stable length usually has to do with breakage.

You’re Ignoring Split Ends

If you want longer hair, you’ll have to get the ends trimmed regularly to avoid split ends. If you don’t let any scissors come near your hair, you might notice that it stops growing, when actually it’s just dealing with a lot of breakage. Normal hair growth is about half an inch per month, so if you’re leaving in split ends, you’re risking breakage at the same rate.

You’re Subjecting It to Heat Damage

While split ends are often responsible for the apparent stunted growth, damage caused by thermal tools is also one of the reasons your hair isn’t growing. Use products that protect your tresses from the heat or just give them a break for a while, and you might notice an improvement.

Your Hair Is Too Dry

If you’re not providing your hair and scalp with all the moisture they need, you’ll also deal with breakage that can make your hair look like it stopped growing. Using natural oils on your hair and scalp, from coconut oil to olive oil, can help your hair bounce back. A weekly deep conditioning is also recommended in order to protect dry, color treated hair.

You’re Choosing the Wrong Products

Even if they were formulated for your hair type, some products can have bad effects on your hair. Using the wrong products can be one of the reasons your hair isn’t growing. Silicones in hair products are especially problematic, since they can coat your hair, make it feel heavy, and they’re sometimes difficult to remove.

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You’re Subjecting Your Hair to Too Much Tension

Tight hairstyles don’t just cause breakage, they can also lead to traction alopecia. If you want to avoid permanent hair loss and damaged hair, avoid styles that put your hair in too much tension, from tight ponytails to wearing extensions on a regular basis.

You’re Overprocessing Your Hair

One of the most obvious reasons your hair isn’t growing is the fact that you’re subjecting it to too many harsh treatments, from hair dye to relaxers. Even if you’re not going to subscribe to the less is more hair philosophy, at least make sure that you’re not overwhelming your hair by scheduling too many hair treatments in a brief period of time.

Your Diet Is Lacking

You don’t have to take a daily multivitamin to make sure your hair is well nourished, but it doesn’t hurt either. A diet that’s lacking in protein, along with vitamin B12, zinc and other important minerals and vitamins will take its toll on your hair. Iron is also important, so eating a balanced diet and taking a multivitamin supplement might solve your problem.

You’re Suffocating It

If you’re always wearing extensions and weaves, that could be one of the reasons your hair isn’t growing. Your hair doesn’t only suffer when it’s pulled tightly, it also needs to breathe, and so does your scalp. Keeping them covered up all the time without any breaks can stunt growth and also contribute to hair loss.

You’re Dealing with Scalp Problems

From dandruff to more serious conditions, including dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema, any skin problems that affect your scalp can also contribute to hair growth slowing down. Make sure that you’re getting the help your need from a dermatologist and that you have a healthy scalp if you except your hair to grow in a healthy and beautiful way.

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You’re Using the Wrong Tools

Even when you don’t subject it to heat daily, one of the reasons your hair isn’t growing could be the fact that you’re not using the right hair care tools. Brushes that aren’t suited to your type of hair, small toothed combs can also contribute to breakage and make your hair look like it’s not growing.