How to Grow Hair Faster: 8 Pro Tips
- How does hair grow?
- Protein intake
- Essential oils
- Caffeine-based products
- Scalp massage
- Turn the heat down
- Cut back on hair dyes
Ever wondered how quickly your hair grows?
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) found that the average person’s hair grows around 1/2 inch each month, equating to around 6 inches per year. Various factors determine the speed of your hair growth, including:
- Hair type
- General physical health
But what if you want to grow longer hair but feel frustrated at the time it takes to reach your ideal length? The good news is that you can try multiple steps to speed things up.
In this post, we’ll look at 8 tips on how to grow hair faster, covering nutrition, possible treatments, and more. First, though, let’s explore how hair grows and how your body maintains it.
According to the AAD, humans are born with around 5 million hair follicles. They’re the only ones you’ll have for the rest of your life, and around 100,000 of them form on the scalp.
Hair strands grow at the bottom of follicles within the skin, and develop from a root. Blood circulates around the scalp, feeding nutrients and oxygen to those roots. This steady supply keeps your hair healthy and encourages growth, though you lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day without realising.
However, a number of conditions and life events can lead to increased hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness), extreme physical or emotional trauma, or medications may slow and prevent hair growth over time.
There’s no quick fix for slow hair growth, but you can try several techniques to help your hair grow faster.
Nutrition is crucial to maintain strong, healthy hair that grows according to the natural cycle. But if you go on a drastic diet that involves cutting a significant number of calories each day or avoiding specific foods, you could starve your hair of the fuel it needs to grow properly.
The body is an amazing machine. It can prioritise one function over another to help you stay as healthy as possible. That means it will direct nutrients to fuel vital bodily functions before hair growth, and you may notice your start to lose more hair than usual.
You should be able to achieve normal growth once you return to a more balanced diet, but the thinning on your scalp could continue for months until it resumes. If you want to lose weight in a safe, healthy way, speak to your doctor. They’ll help you adjust your eating habits without sacrificing the nutrition your body needs.
Protein is a critical nutrient — especially when you want to boost your hair growth.
Your body relies on proteins to create strong tissue cells, including those in your hair. Healthy strands need a frequent supply of proteins to develop correctly and at their usual rate.
But if you have a protein deficiency, your hair growth will be impeded and you may start to experience thinning on your scalp.
High-protein foods include:
- Lean meats
Vitamins and minerals are also important for hair growth. Try to increase your intake of the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Biotin (B vitamins)
Zinc, for example, metabolises nutrients and repairs tissue, and research has suggested that it could play a part in hair loss. But you need to consume it regularly because the human body doesn’t store zinc naturally.
Omega-3 and -6 may be effective in cultivating better hair growth, with more than 85% of test participants reporting improvements in hair diameter and density after six months.
Essential oils can promote healthy hair growth. Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to stimulate faster hair growth in male test subjects, leading to a 40% rise in the number of hairs on their scalp in six months.
Another study found that rosemary oil can be an effective solution for increasing hair growth, and may work as well as minoxidil (a topical agent applied directly to the scalp).
Caffeine may help you feel more awake in the mornings and alert during that post-lunch slump, but it can also contribute to healthy hair growth. Research found that caffeine could encourage growth of new hair at multiple levels. It increased both the length of the anagen stage and the hair strands.
Various caffeine-based shampoos and products are available. However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned caffeine-shampoo brand Alpecin from claiming that its products could reduce hair loss in 2018. The ASA argued that the company lacked adequate evidence to support its claims. So, caffeine may help but it’s far from a guaranteed solution.
A scalp massage can help you relax, clear your mind, and possibly increase the health of your hair. One team discovered that several men involved in a study had thicker hair after six months of daily scalp massages. It’s believed that the stimulation encouraged blood vessels under the skin to widen, leading to thicker, stronger hair.
Brief massages each day may help combat stress and encourage you to feel calmer over time. That may also reduce your risk of stress-related hair loss.
Straighteners, curling tongs, and other heat-based styling tools can make hair look terrific, but they may leave it dry and brittle too. This can make hair more prone to breakage.
You might be unable to eliminate heat-based tools from your grooming routine entirely, but your hair could become healthier if you cut back on them. Reduce the temperature whenever possible, and apply a heat protectant to your hair before you use a styling tool. These place a barrier between strands and the hot implement, decreasing potential moisture loss.
Speak to your hairstylist about alternatives to heated styling tools and other ways to achieve the look you want.
If you love to experiment with hair dyes and colour your hair frequently, you could be damaging your hair more than you realize. Hair dyes, especially permanent ones, often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin on your scalp. This could lead to redness, flaking, or scaling.
Additionally, repeated exposure to these chemicals may strip protective barriers from the hair strands and leave them more vulnerable to damage. They could become weaker and prone to breakage. If you want your hair to grow faster and look healthier, it may be worth cutting back on dyeing your hair to see if you notice an improvement.
It’s always a good idea to perform a patch test on your skin before you use a new dye for the first time. You’ll see if you have an allergic reaction to the product in an area that’s easy to see before you apply it to your hair. Avoid leaving a dye in for longer than directed too.
Temporary hair colourants made with natural ingredients are available if you want to change your appearance without putting potentially harmful chemicals on your hair.
If you believe you may be losing your hair and want to prevent further shedding or restore growth, various hair loss treatments are available. You can choose from medications, laser therapy, or surgery depending on your goals.
Minoxidil and finasteride are two of the most common medications. Minoxidil is a topical product applied to the scalp, designed to stimulate growth. This takes a few months to generate results, and must be used regularly to maintain any growth that occurs.
Finasteride is an oral medication that blocks the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone. In high levels, DHT can shrink follicles and disrupt the hair growth cycle. As a result, hair will start to become thinner and take longer to grow.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) aims to stimulate circulation throughout the scalp and boost the length of the anagen stage of the growth cycle. However, hair transplant surgery is the most effective way to restore hair growth in thinning or balding areas. For example, if your hairline is starting to recede even slightly, transplantation can make it look thicker and more youthful.
Hair transplants involve taking donor follicles from the back or sides of the head and implanting them into problem areas. Over 12 to 18 months, new strands will grow from these follicles and cultivate thicker hair. The best surgeons position follicles to ensure new hair blends seamlessly with existing hair.
It’s important to discuss this with a specialist, though, to identify potential reasons for your slow hair growth. They’ll examine your hair and scalp, and discuss your medical history, to determine whether there’s a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. This can ensure you’re a suitable candidate for a hair transplant, and that you enjoy effective results.