Let's cut to the chase: is it possible to make your hair grow faster? The answer is yes, and no. Allow us to explain.
Here are the facts about making your hair grow faster:
- On average, hair grows about 0.5 inches per month, or six inches a year.
- The speed of hair growth varies from person to person, depending heavily on genetics.
- Since the speed of hair growth is largely genetic, there is no proven way to make your hair grow faster than its natural pace.
- However... healthy hair grows the fastest and looks the best. If your hair is not healthy, it may not be meeting its full growth potential.
The Hair Growth Cycle and Health
Healthy hair (and skin and nails) are indicators of a person’s overall health. When optimum health conditions are met, healthy hair begins to grow normally.
Let's take a look at the hair growth cycle:
There are four main phases in the hair growth cycle:
- The first and longest stage of the hair growth cycle is the anagen phase, or the phase of active hair growth. Hair in this stage is always growing. Approximately 80-90% of your hair is in this phase, and it can stay in this stage for anywhere from 2-7 years.
- The next stage is the catagen stage, otherwise known as the transition stage. In this stage, the hair follicle shrinks and the hair detaches from its blood supply, causing hair growth to stop. This is the shortest phase of the hair growth cycle, lasting about 10 days.
- The third phase is the telogen phase, or resting phase. In this phase, the hair that has detached from the blood supply continues to rest in the hair follicle, while at the same time new hair is growing beneath it. Approximately 10-15% of your hair is in this phase, which lasts about three months.
- The final phase of the hair growth cycle is the exogen, or hair shedding, phase. In this stage the detached hair is fully removed from the hair follicle and falls out, allowing new hair to take its place. Losing 50-100 strands of hair a day is considered normal.
Negative health factors (such as a imbalanced diet) can disrupt the hair growth cycle and discourage hair growth. Conversely, positive health factors can encourage hair to stay in the anagen phase for the maximum amount of time, allowing your hair to grow longer.
Tips to Maximize Hair Growth and Make Your Hair Grow Faster
For many people, restoring healthy hair growth is a matter of making lifestyle adjustments. Top experts in the fields of holistic medicine (that treat the whole body, not just a part) as well as experts in hair care and styling commonly recommend these tips for growing hair healthier and faster:
1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
You have heard this already, but here’s a reminder. Healthy people who eat nutritious food usually have hair that grows better than people who eat junk food. Hair growth can be significantly slowed down by poor diet. Changing to a healthy diet will increase the nourishment that is made available to your skin and hair, and help make your hair grow faster.
In addition to eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, consider adding the following to your diet:
- Vitamins like Vitamin C and the entire B Complex
- Zinc supplements
- A pro-biotic supplement to aid digestion and help your body get the most nutrition possible from the foods you eat.
2. Eliminate toxins
Toxins that can slow down hair growth include nicotine products and alcohol. If you want to grow your hair faster, you’ll need to eliminate or at least reduce the daily level of these chemicals in your body. Enjoying an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t going to drastically change the immune system of a healthy person, but too much alcohol, nicotine, and even chronic use of certain prescription medications can change how your hair grows. Remember that your body removes toxins via the pores (and hair follicles) in the skin.
Get moving! Physical activity boosts the immune system, mental sharpness, and helps people lessen the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart problems. As your overall health and especially your circulation improves through the benefits of regular exercise, you’ll also very likely experience improvement in your skin and hair.
4. Protect the scalp
Too much sun, wind, and cold can damage hair. Cover your hair and scalp with a hat when you go outside. Give yourself 15 minutes of sunlight to produce Vitamin D in your skin, but after that, protect your skin and hair from exposure to weather.
Even sleeping on a cotton pillow case can cause damage to your hair. Try sleeping on a silk pillow case, or wrapping your hair in a silk scarf to protect it.
5. Take Proper Care of Your Hair and Scalp
Regular hair care can take damage your strands if you aren't careful. Follow these tips to ensure your hair care routine is healthy and gentle on your locks.
- Keep hair coloring to a minimum, as it can strip and damage the hair. If you color your hair, try asking your stylist to give you a “shadow root” to keep the hair follicles intact.
- Avoid heat styling when possible. The heat from hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons all damage the hair, so keep their use to a minimum. When you do use heat styling tools, spray a heat protector on the hair to minimize damage.
- Wash your hair as infrequently as possible, as this can stress the hair. Washing your hair once a week is recommended.
- Invest in quality products that gently cleanse, condition, nourish, protect and strengthen the hair you already have.
- Once a week, consider using a deep conditioning product that reduces split ends.
- Never pull your hair hard to style it. Brush hair gently with a soft brush, and be very careful when brushing wet hair.
6. Expert Intervention
So, what do the experts say about how to grow hair faster? That depends on the expert’s field of expertise. Medical experts sometimes focus on more serious remedies such as surgical procedures to restore hair follicles. These remedies are for people whose skin and hair follicles have been damaged by disease or trauma. For most people, this is a last resort. Before considering any medical procedure, consult with your healthcare provider and weigh all the options.
Can You Make Your Hair Grow Faster?
At the end of the day, there is no easy, quick, one step way to make your hair grow faster. However, living a healthy lifestyle and taking proper care of your hair and scalp will lead to beautiful, healthy hair that meets its full growth potential.
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