We all want our hair to grow fast. Even after a good cut that we like, we want to think our hair will grown back in soon. Hair is often a sign of life, of health, and of our own personal style, so we want to think we can do what we can to control it!
That said, nature largely has to take its course. But there are still things you can do to improve your hair and increase its growth rate. It is not all beyond your control. You really can influence the speed of your hair growth and therefore the ways in which you can treat it and style it.
Understanding the growth cycle of hair
You may sometimes have wondered about how fast, or how regularly, or even how strangely, your hair grows. For many of us our hair is a really important part of how we present to the world and we care about keeping it healthy.
In summary, the growth cycle of hair involves three stages: the anagen stage, the catagen stage, and the telogen stage.
During the anagen phase, cells in the hair follicles rapidly divide, resulting in the growth of new hairs that will increase in length. Once the anagen phase is complete, the catagen phase begins, which is a transitional stage lasting three weeks. Finally, the telogen phase is when the hair stops growing and eventually sheds. This stage takes up to three months.
It is a life cycle, but it can, you will be pleased to hear, be sped up by good hair health practices.
Investigating potential causes of slow hair growth
Many people wonder why their hair isn’t growing as fast as they would like it to.
In fact, there is no single answer as to why some people experience slower hair growth than others. It could be attributed to diet, lifestyle, genetics, or a range of other factors about which there is no definitive proof of cause.
It is, however, important to investigate potential causes of slow hair growth so that you can make changes to your lifestyle or hair care routine if necessary.
Firstly, consider your diet. Are you eating enough protein, iron, and B vitamins? These are fundamental to good hair health.
Secondly, is your scalp healthy? Is it clean? A dirty scalp will never be as effective as a clean one in enabling the hair to be fed and given the necessary nutrients it needs for growth.
Thirdly, consider your stress levels, as high stress can have an impact on hair growth and loss. It really is important that you keep control of stress in your life, for so many reasons. But hair health is a really good reason for ensuring you stay on top of stress. Stress also stresses your hair, remember. And stressed hair needs its energy simply to survive, instead of using that energy for growth.
By doing some research, and trial and error, you’ll eventually be able to work out which factors are contributing to your slow hair growth, and hopefully find a solution. But above all, try to eat and live healthily. Your hair will thank you for it.
Making Changes to Your Lifestyle to Enhance Hair Growth
Eating a balanced diet
Most of us have probably heard it said that eating a balanced diet is key to healthy hair growth. Well, it is absolutely true. To make your hair grow faster, you need to ensure you’re eating the right kind of foods. This means getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids from a variety of sources.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus lean proteins like white fish, tofu, chicken, and beans, will help your hair look and feel thicker and healthier. Don’t forget your fats – especially those from high quality foods like eggs, avocados, extra virgin olive oils, almonds, nuts and seeds, and even some high quality seed breads.
Also, you absolutely must not forget to stay hydrated!
Drinking enough water helps maintain scalp and hair health, making sure your hair gets the nutrients it needs to grow faster. Hair that is not well ‘watered’ is limp and lifeless and slow to grow. Your hair needs moisture as much as your skin does.
Minimizing stress levels
Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed, your hair appears to grow slower? In fact, it is certain that stress inhibits your hair’s speed of growth. Stress is a terrible thing, and a real growth inhibitor.
One option to reduce stress is to practice mindfulness, which means being aware of the present moment and accepting it without judgment. In addition, exercise more generally will always help with stress levels. Other simple but highly efficacious techniques include deep breathing; yoga; talking to a therapist; taking a break from responsibilities; and – really important – getting enough sleep. Sometimes you might think your hair has even grown overnight – and you might just be right. A great sleep can be a huge tonic for your hair.
All of these methods can greatly reduce stress, and in turn help your hair to grow faster. Though none of them is a single solution, together they may make a difference to the speed at which your hair grows.
Reducing heat exposure
It has been noted in studies that the temperature at which our hair lives makes a difference to the speed of its growth. This means we have to remember that hair can be pressured and weakened by excessive heat. It means we should avoid the use of hot tools like blow dryers, straightening irons, and curling wands. Whenever possible, it’s best to let your hair dry naturally. If you must use heat, turn down the temperature setting to the lowest level possible.
In addition, you should use a heat-protectant spray or serum before using any hot styling tools. This will provide a protective barrier between your hair and the heat, helping to minimize damage and breakage. It really is important to remember that extremes of heat may retard the speed of your hair’s growth. Hair generally does not like being over-treated.
Smoking affects your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients and vitamins like Vitamin C, which helps keep hair healthy. By quitting smoking, you suddenly start giving your body more of what it needs for healthy hair growth.
Plus, the toxic smoke from cigarettes can dry out your scalp, creating an environment not conducive to healthy hair growth.
So to give your hair the best chance to grow quickly and healthily, quitting smoking is advisable. Your overall health will benefit, too, of course, and this wider feeling of bodily wellbeing will lower your stress levels and further stimulate hair growth.
Getting enough sleep
When you’re sleeping, your body is actually doing a lot of important work, like forming new proteins and stimulating cell renewal. So when you don’t get enough rest, you can’t repair the damage done to your follicles and scalp throughout the day.
Hair that is ‘well slept’ will almost always look better and feel nicer than hair that is weak from a lack of essential nutrients. Sleep really will make a difference to the speed at which your hair grows and renews.
Adopting Healthy Beauty Habits
Refrain from harsh chemicals or styling products
Slow hair growth could very well be due to your regular use of harsh chemicals or styling products. How you treat your hair matters, because the chemicals and styling products on sale worldwide can take a toll on your hair’s health, which can lead to hair loss or breakage.
So if you want your hair to grow faster, it’s important to refrain from using excessive chemical products. You should opt instead for chemical-free options or natural products.
Remember, just because something comes with a glossy photograph on its label, it does not mean it is necessarily going to have that effect on us. Sometimes, the chemicals can be harmful and make our hair less strong, instead of more healthy. By avoiding harsh chemicals and styling products, you’ll reduce the risk of hair loss, restore moisture in your hair, and encourage healthy hair growth.
Applying natural oils and masks to the scalp
As many of us know, one natural way to help promote hair growth is to apply natural oils and masks to the scalp. It’s a great way to nourish and moisturize the scalp, and because the best products add terrific vitamins and minerals to the scalp, this leads to an increase in the rate of hair growth.
Castor Oil, Coconut Oil and Jojoba Oil are all popular options and are widely available in many products. Be aware, though; some products are merely scented with these oils, but do not actually contain the ingredients. Check that the products you are choosing are actually of sufficient quality.
In reality, feel free to experiment to see what works best for you. Local hair salons may offer advice, and your local pharmacy or health store will also have many good products.
As for masks, an avocado-based mask is a great option as avocados are packed with important vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for hair growth.
Massaging the scalp with fingertips or a brush
This may have been something your barber or hairdresser has done as part of your visit. If so, you will have noticed how relaxed and happy you feel when your head is being massaged. For many, it is a lovely sensation.
In fact, massaging the scalp not only feels great, but can also help to stimulate the hair follicles and encourage faster hair growth. This is because the massage increases circulation in the scalp, allowing more blood to reach the hair follicles and nourish them.
If you really want to get the most out of this technique, you should use natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil. These oils contain essential nutrients that will help to nourish the scalp and speed up hair growth. In addition, it is a simple, inexpensive, and enjoyable way to get your hair growing quickly again.
Avoiding tight styles and ponytails
One of the best things you can do to ensure effective and quick hair growth is to avoid tight styles and ponytails. Putting too much tension on your hair can cause damage to your scalp, which will in turn lead to slower hair growth. Invest in some softer elastics and combs that won’t tug your hair too tightly. Also, if you’re wearing a style that requires a lot of tight pulling and brushing, let your hair down for a few days to give it a break. That way, it won’t suffer from too much strain or stress.
Finally, when you brush your hair, be gentle and use a natural bristle brush that won’t pull and break your strands, as this can also result in slower hair growth.
Getting regular trims
It may sound odd if you are trying to lengthen your hair, but getting regular trims is an essential part of the process of speeding up hair growth. While it may seem counterproductive to cut your hair when you want it to grow longer, in fact regular trims and tweaks mean that the process of hair growth itself is speedier.
So, while it may not seem like it, regular trims are actually a great way to make sure your hair grows faster. All it takes is the right stylist, a good attitude, and a realization that what seems unlikely is nonetheless true!
This is because regular trims help keep your split ends from splitting further down your hair strand, leaving your hair looking healthy and full. Plus, getting rid of those split ends will help prevent future breakage, making it easier for your hair to grow.
Utilizing Supplements and Vitamins
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
You may have heard about Vitamin B7, sometimes known as biotin. It’s been proven to help promote the growth of healthy hair and it is an important vitamin for us to consume if we want to have good hair. By taking supplemental biotin, you may be able to help boost your hair growth.
At the same time, it’s important to note that biotin isn’t a miracle cure. It will take time to start seeing the results, so do not give up on it too soon. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist to see if biotin is right for you and to find out the recommended dosage.
If you incorporate Vitamin C into your diet you will make your all round hair health better. Vitamin C isn’t just good for your overall well-being, it’s also highly beneficial for your hair. It helps your body absorb iron more efficiently and this, in turn, helps your hair to grow. Studies have shown that taking a daily supplement of at least 500mg of Vitamin C can be beneficial. And if you’re worried about the cost, there are lots of affordable options out there.
In addition, Vitamin C is found in almost all fruits, and in citrus fruits especially. Even a small glass of orange or apple juice a day is likely to give you your daily dose. For hair health, it really is an extremely important vitamin to incorporate into your daily diet.
Fish oil is a great way to nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It is a nutritional supplement made from the tissues of certain types of fish and has wide-ranging health benefits. In particular, it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy hair growth. You can take fish oil either in pill form or as liquid supplements. You can also find it in foods like salmon and mackerel. While it won’t make your hair grow faster overnight, it can help nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth over time.
Iron is an essential mineral that helps carry oxygen to the cells in our body and allows our hair to thrive. It is essential for maximal hair growth. So how can we make sure our bodies get enough iron?
Diet is the answer. Foods such as beef, salmon, spinach, and even raisins, are all rich in iron. We should also consider taking a daily supplement if necessary, as it can be hard to get enough iron naturally. Research has shown that iron deficiencies can lead to hair growth problems, so ensuring adequate iron levels could be the key to healthier and faster growing hair.
Zinc has been shown to be an incredibly effective supplement for growing out your hair.
Critically, it helps our bodies produce keratin, which is a key protein in the structure of our hair. Zinc also helps maintain hair follicle health and stimulates circulation in the scalp, which can also lead to faster hair growth.
So if you’re looking to grow your hair faster, do really consider adding some zinc to your diet, either in supplement form or as whole foods, such as nuts, seafood, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal.
Seeking Professional Advice
Talking to a dermatologist
Talking to a dermatologist can be incredibly helpful when it comes to hair health and hair growth.
Whatever kind of skin, scalp, or hair concerns you have, a dermatologist will be able to offer counsel and ideas. A dermatologist can examine your skin, answer questions about scalp health and possible causes of hair loss, and help you find the best way to promote hair growth.
If there are particular products relevant to your personal scalp and haircare that you should be avoiding or focusing on, the dermatologist will be able to recommend those that are wise to use or avoid. They will focus on your individual needs, as well as providing advice about proper styling techniques to help foster healthy hair growth.
Discussing hair loss medications and treatments
Hair loss can be traumatic. Male or female, at any age, the reduction of the quantity or quality of our hair can be enormously impactful of our emotional wellbeing. Do not be afraid to acknowledge this. It can be desperately upsetting for many people to see their hair diminish.
Hair loss treatments are available, however, and nowadays there are some advanced options that involve transplants.
In addition, nowadays there are more topical or medical options available than was the case a decade or two ago. Hair loss medications and treatments such as minoxidil and corticosteroid injections can all be effective at stimulating hair growth, but they usually come with some side effects, so you must do these under medical supervision. To be clear, in most cases these medications can be used safely, however it’s important to discuss the risks and benefits of the different medications and treatments with your doctor.
Remember the scalp is a highly sensitive part of the body and its skin can be very easily damaged if certain medicines or chemicals are put on it unduly. Scalp damage impacts very badly on hair growth, so you need to exercise care. Do not try to sort things out yourself without taking professional advice from a trichologist.
Considering hair transplantation
You may already have considered a hair transplant. It’s an increasingly popular solution for restoring hair growth, especially among younger men. Turkey, Hungary and other countries in eastern europe and the middle east have become popular places for men to go to have a hair transplant, as treatments, though still expensive, are cheaper than in many other western countries.
It is, however, important to think about long-term results. The procedure can be expensive, it takes time, it can involve multiple sessions, and, of course, there are risks involved. For many people, it is also, as we said, a procedure done abroad, so you may also need to factor in holidays and travel arrangements.
You therefore need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it worth the cost and effort?
- Can I commit to the process
- Will it give me the results I’m looking for?
In addition, do some research, talk to a doctor or specialist, and make sure you understand the procedure and its potential consequences before you make a decision. It is not to be undertaken without due care and diligence.
Hair heath is maybe more within your control than you realize. Even the speed of its growth can be influenced, so follow the advice here and you will hopefully be able to have a fuller head of hair again sooner than you feared.