If you're reading this article, chances are you want to know how to make your hair grow faster. Can products help? What about dietary changes or medications?
Answer: Yes, yes, and maybe. It all depends on what's causing the slow growth in the first place. In this article, we'll take a closer look at different causes of slow hair growth and the steps you can take to get your locks back to their lustrous glory days.
Tips to Naturally Regrow Your Hair
The following are some organic solutions to hair loss or improvement that have been proven to work.
How does hair grow?
Here's an interesting fact: You're born with all the hair follicles you'll ever have on your scalp. It is natural to lose around 100 hairs per day through everyday activities such as brushing and washing your hair. Hair grows from a root located at the bottom of a follicle under your skin. The blood in your scalp travels to the follicle where it supplies oxygen and nutrients that help nourish the hair root, allowing it to grow. As each individual strand of hair grows, it will pass by an oil gland body that produces oil designed to make keeping your hair especially shiny and soft!
What can help your hair grow?
Although genetics largely determines how fast your hair will grow, there are other environmental and lifestyle factors that affect hair growth. There is no instant solution for growing hair, but by following these 15 tips, you can encourage growth and prevent breakage.
1. Avoid restrictive dieting
There are many factors that affect hair growth, but there are some things we can do to help promote healthy hair growth. Dr. Lindsey Bordone, a dermatologist at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, explains what we can do to avoid damaging our hair.
"When you diet restrictively, your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs to grow hair," said Bordone. "And since hair growth is a relatively low priority compared to other bodily functions, your body will quickly halt hair growth when it's placed under stress from restrictive dieting."
"Even after you resume a healthy diet, you'll probably shed hair for months," she explained.
Research suggests that a lack of key nutrients can not only affect the texture of your hair, but also stunt its growth. Sudden weight loss or vitamin deficiencies can cause temporary shedding (known as telogen effluvium or TE), which is often diffuse and caused by niacin deficiency.
2. Check your protein intake
According to Bordone, if you severely restrict your diet, it will impact your hair growth negatively and can even lead to shedding. She recommends consuming at least 50 grams of protein per day for optimal hair health. A review of research found that decreased protein intake is also a cause of TE.
3. Try caffeine-infused products
According to research, caffeine not only provides an energy boost when consumed, but can also stimulate hair growth when applied topically. In fact, studies have shown that topical caffeine is just as effective as some drug-based treatments for hair loss prevention. This is because caffeine promotes cell metabolism and proliferation. So next time you're feeling sluggish, reach for a cup of coffee...or your shampoo!
4. Explore essential oils
Essential oils not only improve the smell of your hair, but they may also promote growth.
One small study found that after three months of using pumpkin seed oil, participants with female pattern baldness significantly regrew their hair. However, more extensive studies are needed to support this result.
As of 2015, research has shown that rosemary oil may be just as effective as minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) at restoring hair growth. However, more research is needed to corroborate this finding. Other essential oils such as peppermint oil, jojoba oil, and lavender oil also have the potential to prevent hair loss, according to a 2020 review of scientific literature.
5. Boost your nutrient profile
There are specific vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that are especially important for overall health and energy production required for hair growth. These include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3 & 6 essential oils
The levels of vitamin D, folate, and zinc were found to be lower in people who suffer from the autoimmune hair-loss condition called alopecia areata. One 2015 study showed that taking omega-3 and omega-6 supplements for a period of six months may help protect against hair loss in women with female pattern baldness.
6. Indulge in a scalp massage
It's crucial to select respectable vitamin brands that use third-party testing, as vitamin supplements are not regulated in the same way as other drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source.
Although more research is needed to confirm its efficacy, a small 2016 study found that scalp massages may improve relaxation and stress levels, as well as overall hair health, Trusted Source.
The 2016 study found that daily, 4-minute scalp massages resulted in hair thickening for the nine men involved in the study. However, larger studies are still needed to support these results.
Although the study showed no significant changes in hair growth, it's speculated that a scalp massage might help dilate blood vessels under the skin. Consequently, this could cause thicker, healthier hair that is less prone to breakage or damage. If you're interested, you can get a professional scalp massage or do one yourself at home.
7. Look into platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP)
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology has been employing PRP therapy with great success in her patients who have hair loss. Although more research is necessary, one study found that PRP may be an effective treatment option for hair loss moving forward.
According to Palep, PRP is a ground-breaking treatment that uses injections of a concentration of the patient's platelets in order to restore and accelerate hair growth. Platelets are proteins sourced from the individual's bloodstream and DNA that can act like a stem cell when injected back into the body. Scalp injections of PRP have been shown to wake dormant hair follicles, leading to more hair growth. Typically, treatments are once monthly for three months, then every six months thereafter for maintenance purposes according
8. Hold the heat
Curling irons, hair dryers, and straighteners may damage your hair if used too frequently. If possible, it's best to avoid heat styling altogether, but limiting use is the next best solution.
Decreasing the temperature of your heated styling tools can help reduce hair damage. According to a 2019 review of research, using a heat-protectant product before using any heated styling tool may significantly reduce hair breakage. Heat treatments work by forming a protective barrier that helps prevent moisture loss when using heated tools.
9. Talk to a doctor about minoxidil
According to Vanessa Thomas, a cosmetic chemist and founder of Freelance Formulations, some ingredients have been clinically tested for hair growth and show positive results.
Minoxidil, one such ingredient, is used to treat hereditary hair loss at the back of the head and is found in Rogaine.
"You don't need a prescription for products with minoxidil if the concentration is below a certain percentage," said Thomas. All products that use this drug, however, must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Not everybody responds to Rogaine positively, and it can take several months to see any results.
10. Go easy on coloring your hair
"According to Thomas, when we dye our hair and change the texture with chemicals, these processes can put stress on the hair and cause it to break. However, she states that if we tone down these processes, less hair will break off and it can appear as though it is growing faster."
A 2021 review of research found that permanent hair dyes can remove natural fatty acids from the hair, causing more damage than non permanent options.
11. Apply antioxidants to your scalp
The clinical studies are in, and they show that using antioxidant treatments on your scalp can significantly reduce hair loss and improve the condition of your scalp. In one 8-week study, women who used a shampoo or leave-in scalp treatment containing the antioxidant piroctone olamine had significantly increased hair growth and improved scalp conditions compared to women who used placebo formulations. So if you're looking for a way to help Give your scalpair health an external antioxidant boost!
A different 24-week study had very much the same findings. The participants who used a leave-in scalp treatment containing piroctone olamine and other antioxidants lost less hair than those in the group who received a placebo Treatment
It is hypothesized by researchers that these ingredients may improve and protect the scalp, resulting in less hair thinning overall.
12. Prevent hair breakage
Hair breakage, dryness, and frizz can occur when the scales that hold your hair strands together fall apart. To avoid hair loss, eat foods high in nutrients that strengthen hair, like iron, zinc, and folic acid. Apply shampoo mainly to your scalp and use conditioner. When towel drying your hair, blot it instead of rubbing it. Let your hair air dry naturally whenever possible instead of using a blow dryer. Also, try not to brush too much, and if you do style your hair with a brush, use one with natural bristles only.
13. Trim your hair regularly
If you want healthier hair, trimming it regularly is key. By getting rid of split ends, you can prevent them from damaging your hair further up the strands and causing breakage.
It's important to note that trims won't make your hair grow any faster though. Your locks grow at a rate of about 0.5 inches per month on average Source.
14. Protect your hair while you sleep
15. Reduce stress
Frequently asked questions
The below answers some frequently asked questions about how to make hair grow faster and healthier.
How can I increase the density of my hair?
You can't change the number of hair follicles you have, but you may be able to help increase your hair density naturally by eating a well-balanced diet that includes nutrients like biotin, vitamin C, and protein. You might also reduce damage to your hair by avoiding permanent dye and heat styling.
Alternatively, surgical procedures such as a follicular unit transplant (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE) can increase the density of your hair.
During what season does human hair grow the fastest?
Although there is a lack of recent studies on seasonal hair growth, an older 1991 study found that for 14 white men in the UK, hair growth was quickest in March and slowest in September. Nonetheless, more significant and diverse studies are necessary to back this claim up. Furthermore, many people believe that hair grows faster in warmer months, but contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence backing this assertion.
How do I stop hair loss after weight loss?
Losing weight isn't always perfect. In fact, one side effect can be losing hair. This is commonly caused by a lack of nutrients such as fatty acids, protein, and zinc.
If you want to avoid this issue altogether, make sure to stay away from crash dieting or any other restrictive diets that may leave your nutrient levels low..
Which hairstyles promote healthy hair growth?
Although there is not one specific hairstyle that spurs hair growth, low-maintenance natural styles may lessen damage to your follicles. Damaging hairstyles for your hair include ponytails, buns, and cornrows. To prevent hair loss, avoid putting tension on your roots by pulling your hair back with elastics, clips, hairbands, or other similar accessories.
The bottom line
There are many reasons why someone's hair may not grow as much as they would like it too. While genetics does play a role, there are other outside influences that can affect hair growth. Factors such as diet, heat treatment, chemical processing, and product use can all stunt or promote hair growth. If you feel self-conscious about your hair loss or lack thereof, speak to a doctor to find out the root of the problem.
Video Credit: Health Line